7 | Conquering the Unseen Enemy: Imposter Syndrome

The original blog post below was published on Mar 4, 2023. It was updated to a podcast episode on Jul 13, 2023.


Imposter syndrome is that nagging feeling of fraudulence or self-doubt that creeps in when we achieve success. It's that persistent voice in our heads telling us that we don't deserve our accomplishments, that we're not as competent as others perceive us to be.

This insidious mindset can act as an invisible barrier, holding us back from reaching our full potential as creative entrepreneurs. And it's particularly prevalent for those of us who work independently, tirelessly building our e-commerce or small business ventures.

Many factors contribute to imposter syndrome, including the following:

  • Lack of role models or people who look like you in your expertise
  • Racist and sexist comments such as women don’t know how to run a business
  • Not having a supportive business partner

Have you ever questioned your worthiness despite years of hard work, glowing reviews, and impressive accomplishments? If so, you may be experiencing imposter syndrome. Let's delve deeper and see if you relate to the following self-assessment questions:

  • Do you often attribute your achievements to luck or timing rather than your own skills and abilities?
  • Do you struggle to accept compliments or recognition for your work, dismissing them as unwarranted?
  • Do you frequently compare yourself to others, feeling like you don't measure up in terms of talent or success?
  • Are you haunted by the fear of being exposed as a fraud, worried that you won't live up to others' expectations?
  • Do you find yourself hesitating to take on new challenges because you believe you're not qualified enough?
  • Do you constantly seek validation from others, even when it's unnecessary?
  • Do you experience feelings of anxiety or stress related to your work or achievements?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you're not alone. Imposter syndrome affects a staggering number of individuals, regardless of their age, gender, or level of success. In fact, studies published in the International Journal of Behavioral Science suggest that up to 70% of people experience imposter syndrome at some point in their lives, more specifically 75% of female executives have felt the weight of imposter syndrome. Understanding that imposter syndrome is a shared experience can help us feel less isolated and more empowered to tackle it head-on.

Below are six common scenarios where imposter syndrome may have influenced your mindset and decision-making process:

  1. Difficulty pricing products/services
  2. Fear of self promotion
  3. Hesitation to share work
  4. Comparison to others
  5. Perfectionism
  6. Difficulty accepting compliments

Now that we've explored the ways imposter syndrome can manifest in your t-shirt business, let's focus on strategies to overcome it and unleash your full potential. These practical techniques can help you regain confidence and move past the self-imposed limitations.

  1. Identifying your achievements and accomplishments
  2. Celebrate your achievements and accomplishments
  3. Recognize that everyone feels like an imposter at times
  4. Find a support network that speaks the truth
  5. Talk about your doubts
  6. Challenge your negative thoughts

I want you to reflect on your journey as a t-shirt maker and consider where imposter syndrome may be holding you back the most. Remember, you have the power to change your mindset, one step at a time. By addressing imposter syndrome head-on, you can cultivate a positive and empowering perspective that propels your business forward.

Links mentioned in this episode


*This podcast contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through them – but rest assured, I only recommend products and services I truly believe in and think will bring value to you.

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