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How to tackle Imposter Syndrome when it strikes

Imposter Syndrome can strike anyone at any time, no matter how fantastic they are at what they do, and it can seriously harm your business vision if you give it enough airtime.

I’ve worked with many new and startup Virtual Assistants, and I’ve had many conversations over the years in relation to this topic – mainly with over-anxious self-doubting VAs who are feeling sidelined, or even crippled, by a persistent inability or inadequacy in what they do, despite the fact that they know their stuff, and have done it successfully (often over a sustained period of many, many years).

So, what do you do when this ugly – and I mean UGLY – beast shows its face in your life? Here’s some tips to help you through…

ACKNOWLEDGE IT – yes, that’s right… as scary as it sounds, the first step should always be to acknowledge what’s going on in your head (and it is in your head by the way!). The simple act of doing this totally takes the power away and allows you to regain some control over your thoughts.

Tip - If you’ve got a trusted friend or mentor, then have a chat with them so you can talk it through. Generally, a conversation with someone who knows who you are (in relation to your skills and background) will be able to help you feel better about the fact that you absolutely have what it takes!

REVIEW – go back to your ‘why’ and the reason you started your business in the first place, including what skills landed you here… then separate fact from the nagging and unhelpful no-confidence motion that keeps going around and around in your head.

FOCUS – on all those great things you have learned and built up over the years… those foundational skills that you do, and do well, and which your business is based on!

KILL THE PERFECTIONIST IN YOU – are you stressing out over everything having to be 100% perfect? If that’s giving you grief, please – in the words of that annoying song from “Frozen”- let it go. I seriously congratulate you for it, but in all honesty, it’s counterproductive and downright stressful!

Instead, allow failure into your life… it’s not going to be the end of your life if you do that, and it’s actually a great way to learn, and as Henry Ford once said, “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.

BE ASPIRATIONAL – visualise your success with your clients now, and in the future… Develop a habit of spending time putting positive rather than negative energy into your thoughts. I guarantee you will see a change.

INVEST IN YOURSELF – consider investing time into educational opportunities to expand your business scope, or networking events to grow your credibility in the local business community. Focus on growth, and actively pursue it!

Remember, Imposter Syndrome can happen to anyone and it’s so important not to let it get to us or, worse, cause us to give up on our dreams.

Feeling the Imposter Syndrome hitting hard? Reach out to us at VA Institute because we can help you work through it, or just drop me an email to and set up a time for a call :-)

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