How do I overcome imposter syndrome in education business?

Imposter syndrome is a pesky thing. In short, imposter syndrome is just doubt. Doubting that you are capable of being responsible for your education business, doubting you’re the right person for the job, doubting that what you’re doing will be successful.

It is a feeling I am all too familiar with. It’s easy to think that other people haven’t struggled with it, but the truth is everyone experiences some kind of imposter syndrome. It is simply that some people have learned to deal with it more effectively and others haven’t learned, and it takes its toll on that person.

Back when I first started Classroom Secrets, I dealt with my imposter syndrome by hiding behind the website. I thought teachers who had an opinion about the product would simply not buy. I would be frightened any time I put out a social post in case I’d made a mistake and the teaching community would jump at the chance to let me know about it. I was scared that people would call me out as a fraud. Someone who was clueless and had no real business starting an education business because what did I know about selling primary resources? I felt extremely fragile.

One day, Ed asked me if we should start thinking about how a school would get access to the website. I told him we don’t need to do that; I had no intention of selling to schools.

Selling to schools meant dealing with headteachers and leadership teams. They would be able to see straight through me and decide I was an unqualified fraud, and they would let the rest of the teaching community know all about it.

One day I was contacted by a headteacher via Facebook messenger, he wanted a subscription and asked me to give him a call to discuss this. A call of all things! I think back to this time and I made things so challenging for him that I am so surprised he went through with the subscription. I let the imposter syndrome lead the way.

I go through waves of imposter syndrome still now. I had them when I was working on the Education Business Club and I’ve had them over Discover Yourself After Teaching. These feeling don’t just go away, we have to deal with them. So, how do we deal with imposter syndrome in education business?

First of all, you’ve got to accept that it is inevitable. You’re going to get them in the beginning and all the way through your journey. As long as you acknowledge this and are willing to do the work to get to the next level, you will be fine. These thoughts are just thoughts, not facts!

You’ve got to meet it head on. Don’t allow it to stop you! If you stop then your business stops! Feel that fear and do it anyway – you are capable!

Something that really helped me was starting my personal development journey. I learned about my brain, how it works, how I think, what I need to do to change my thought processes. Learning this unlocked a whole new way of dealing with imposter syndrome.

If you work on the personal development piece, you will be able to add so many tools to your toolkit. My ‘toolkit’ contains different tools I use to help me move through my fears and feelings. Some tools I use to help me tackle imposter syndrome include meditation, walking, journaling, tapping, listening to audiobooks and podcasts.

The worst thing you can do when you’re feeling those imposter syndrome feelings is ignore them. They don’t go anywhere if you ignore them, and they will negatively impact your education business. So, start the work now. You’ll be grateful you did as your business grows.

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