Celebrate You! 5 Ways to Overcome Imposter Syndrome | By Ruby McGuire

Bird Tweeting 5 Ways To Overcome Imposter SyndromeStop Feeling Like a Fraud in Your Biz!

Imposter Syndrome. Have you heard of it? It's when you feel scared you're going to get found out - for being the fraud you think you are.

We all have days when we don't feel we're doing a great job, but when this happens on a daily basis it's time to work on it.

Even famous people have Imposter Syndrome. Emma Watson, Kate Winslet and Sheryl Sandberg have all said they've suffered with it at some point. So if you have it, you're in good company.

Some of the ways Imposter Syndrome might show up include:

  • You worry people will discover you're not as good at coaching as they originally thought.
  • You downplay how you got to where you are. Perhaps you put your success down to luck, a mistake, saying 'anyone could do this' despite having relevant credentials and/or experience.
  • You disregard people's compliments. You think they're saying it because they feel sorry for you, are just being 'nice' or some other reason than it being the truth.

I suffered with Imposter Syndrome when I was in my HR role. It all started when my assistant, who was doing the HR qualification I'd completed a few years previously, was questioning why I did things a certain way. Typical for a trainee, huh?

It was messy. I second-guessed everything I did. I doubted myself at every turn and had to double-triple-quadruple check myself constantly. My brain decided that my assistant's comments weren't that she was trying to learn, instead I decided I wasn't good at what I do.

Logically this didn't make sense. I received excellent appraisals, but logic doesn't come into it when it comes to Imposter Syndrome and limiting beliefs!

Then, at the beginning of my coaching journey, Imposter Syndrome reared its head again. For example I procrastinated on applying for my Accredited Senior Coach assessment for over 18 months because I thought I wouldn't be good enough, might fail and would be exposed as a fraud. But this time I was prepared and I worked on strategies to overcome it.

Over the years I've collected a number of strategies and tips. Below I share what's worked for me - my Top 5 Tips for overcoming Imposter Syndrome. And these are also what I work on with my clients when they are fearful about being visible in their business.

Here are 5 Ways to Overcome Imposter Syndrome:

1. Get Really Good at What You Do

This might sound odd but, even if you're good at what you do, get better. This is to give yourself evidence that you're improving.

As you build on the skills you already have, your confidence can't help but grow. We all know that story that we need to spend 10,000 hours to become an expert. Well whatever the actual number is, the more we practice the better we get. So keep practicing.

2. Celebrate You! With a 'Happy Things' or 'Compliments' Journal

When people say nice things to you or you get lovely testimonials from clients, learn to graciously thank them. No justifications. No saying, "Oh that was easy" or, "It was really my graphic designer" or some other way of denying it relates to you.

Instead say, "Thank you" and acknowledge the 'gift' they just gave you. Accept that someone took time out of their day to say something lovely to you when they didn't have to. Acknowledge it, own it and write it down as a reminder of how fabulous you are for when the Imposter Syndrome bug comes back to bite you.

Store all these compliments in a folder - either online or in paper form. Then when you need a boost, go and take a look at all the nice things people have said to you. It's proof!

3. Stop Comparing Yourself!

If you're in business, and especially if you're online, it's very easy to notice what everyone else is doing. It's easy to get into a space of, "So and so is doing so much better than me" or, "They get more comments on their posts than I do".

Forget what other people are doing. Mind your own business (in the most polite way possible of course). Focus on your business, not theirs. Focus on your journey, not theirs.

The reality is that they've had different life and business experiences that brought them to where they are. Social media can make anyone look like a celebrity - when the reality might be very different.

Instead show up as 100% you and you'll attract the right people to you. There's no need for comparison.

4. That's What Friends are For

The one thing friends do best is tell you to, "Get a grip!" and make you laugh at yourself. They will help you realise you are, in fact, good enough and an amazing person - both in business and life. Talking about how we feel shines a light on it - and we all know as coaches that the first step to change is awareness.

So if you're feeling vulnerable, share with one or two really good friends. They can usually call you out on your nonsense and help you get a fresh perspective.

5. Get a Mentor

Finally, working with a mentor to build my coaching skills helped enormously.

Whether it's your coaching skills, business skills, working on your confidence/mindset, just get the support you need. If you allow Imposter Syndrome to fester, you run the risk of not being able to serve your clients in the best way possible, and that would be such a waste with all you have to offer.

In Summary

Remember that you're not alone! And get a hold on Imposter Syndrome before it gets hold of you - it's all about building your self-confidence up. And in case you wondered, I did pass my Accredited Senior Coach Assessment, so maybe I am good enough after all 😉

Finally, check out her Visibility Quiz, where you can find out just how visible you really are!

If you want to create discovery calls - as if by magic - to attract dreamie clients into your business, Ruby has a Special Offer on her Discovery Call Magic Programme. Find out more here >>

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Contributing Author:

Ruby McGuire is a Business & Mindset Queen. She's an Accredited Master Coach & Master Mentor with the IAPC&M, Trainer, Inspirational Speaker and Author of multiple books. She loves helping her clients step up and become leaders (aka Queens) of their businesses. She helps her clients develop their leadership and business skills, create a success mindset and attract dreamy clients. She is a Brit on a mission to live a simpler life without marketing on social media so that she can spend more time in her beautiful Scottish surroundings. You can find her at her pretty online home, over on her podcast show, Rock Your Fabulous Biz, and here where she shares her Mini Guide to Marketing Without Social Media. When she’s not working you’ll find her surrounded by books, making hand-made cards, and enjoying life with her hubby, little dog and chickens (usually with a Whittard Vanilla cappuccino in her hand)!

Learn more about Ruby & see all their articles here >>


  1. Olivia

    To overcome Impostor Syndrome, you need to break the pattern of setting yourself unattainable standards and thinking that external, temporary factors such as luck, help or hard work are responsible for your success. You also need to stop blaming your own personal shortcomings for mistakes or failures.

    • Angella Nunes

      Thanks! I needed to read this article today; my inner critic has been out of control. I am in process of starting my career/ college planning consulting business and I am driving myself crazy. I am good at what I do as an employee so why am I so fearful of doing it on my own?
      These 5 simple, concise tips are very helpful.


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