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Starting a blog (or a business, or a podcast, or a new job, or even a TikTok channel) can be a daunting task simply to set up.
But once you get it set up, you have to actually put yourself out there…and that’s where one of the biggest challenges lies.
If you’ve ever found yourself hesitating at the starting line, or suddenly feeling unqualified to present your content, or deciding you just need to do x, y, and z, and then you’ll get started…you’re probably struggling with imposter syndrome.
Almost all of us experience imposter syndrome at some point or another, whether you want to give it that label or not.
It’s that little voice in your head that says, “Can I really do this thing? Am I really qualified? Will anyone actually like this?”
Imposter syndrome is one of the biggest challenges I hear about from my students, especially when they’re creating their first course.
It keeps a lot of people from ever getting started.
And I can personally say that unfortunately, imposter syndrome never truly goes away–but you can learn to recognize it for what it is, and keep it from slowing you down.
I still struggle with it–although it manifests a little differently than it did when I first started my business five years ago.
I know I’m not alone in struggling with imposter syndrome, but I think I do a pretty good job of hiding that in most of my content.
And that’s a big reason why I wanted to record this episode–because I guarantee you that even the most successful, confident creators out there sometimes feel imposter syndrome, too.
While that does mean that for most people, imposter syndrome never really goes away; it also means that you can learn to recognize it and move through it.
So today, I’m sharing my experience with imposter syndrome, and how you can learn to recognize it so you don’t lose momentum on your journey to blog biz success.
In this episode, I’m discussing:
- What imposter syndrome is
- The different ways it shows up in business
- How it can change and manifest in different ways over time
- Why getting out of your comfort zone relates to imposter syndrome
- Tips for dealing with imposter syndrome so you don’t lose momentum
- And more
- [0:35] Catching up with Lauren
- [2:33] Imposter syndrome: Does it ever go away?
- [4:57] How self-doubt manifests now, five years into a successful business
- [5:56] Imposter syndrome + potential rebranding
- [8:16] Imposter syndrome + possible course restructuring
- [9:51] Don’t let imposter syndrome sideline you
- [11:21] Can imposter syndrome be a good thing?
- [12:44] You don’t have to be an expert
- [13:28] Imposter syndrome can look like perfectionism
- [14:17] Don’t lose momentum, even if you need to take baby steps
- [15:09] Moving through imposter syndrome looks a lot like getting out of your comfort zone
Resources and Mentions:
- Related podcast episode: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone This Year
- Tutorial: How to Start a Successful Blog
- Start your first blog with our Free 5-Day Blogging Bootcamp
Full Episode Transcript:
Episode 27: Full TranscriptDownload
Welcome to the Launch Your Blog Biz podcast. I’m your host, Lauren McManus. I used to be a full time tax accountant and CPA with a whole lot of limiting beliefs and “I can’t”s whenever I thought about starting my own business. Fast forward a few months, and I quit my job after starting and growing my first blog to six figures in just a year. This is my space to share, and yours to listen and grow, about how to build and scale your own blogging business and design a life on your terms. Let’s get started.
Hello, and welcome back to the podcast everyone. It feels like it’s been a little bit for me, because I had a couple of pre recorded interviews that I did a couple of months ago. But it is now early February, and this is right before the next episode is coming out. I don’t have any content created in the wings waiting and ready. And, you know, I do have a few more interviews that I want to do soon. But you’re gonna hear from mostly me for the next few weeks because I have a lot of personal stuff going on right now that is making it very difficult to be able to schedule interviews, to be honest.
I did mention recently that my mom passed just a few weeks ago. And throughout all of this, my father has been in the hospital recovering from a stem cell transplant. He was in the hospital for a while actually while my mom passed and you know, then he was out for a while. Now he’s back in and I’m actually in Florida right now. I flew home or you know, Germany is home now. But I flew from Germany to Florida to be my dad’s caregiver for the next few weeks. And it’s just been a lot more difficult than any of my brothers and I had anticipated. So I’ve actually been spending five to seven hours a day driving to from and being at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. And that’s been very difficult. I had to actually cancel a couple of interviews that I had scheduled.
So anyway, long story short, I’ve had a tough few weeks. But you know, I’ve been trudging on. And sometimes focusing on work for me is a way to just kind of tune out a lot of the noise of you know, personal stress and other stuff. So, here I am still showing up for y’all. And letting you know that you might be hearing from me a little bit more often in the next few weeks until I can get on top of a few things a little bit better.
But today I want to talk about imposter syndrome. And it’s funny because I already had this topic on my spreadsheet to record soon. And my customer service manager Cathy is actually recording her first course right now super pumped for her. And she just asked me a couple days ago, “Does imposter syndrome ever go away?” And this is Cathy’s first course. So this is totally normal. But she’s also pretty confident on her Instagram stories and her TikTok videos, she has a YouTube channel, she’s definitely way more confident than I am in front of the camera, that’s for sure. She actually has a Keto blog. So you think the girl’s got it figured out.
But this one is for you, Cathy, today, and really all of the rest of you. Because I think that almost all of us have this feeling of imposter syndrome to some extent whether or not you even want to give it that label. It’s really just this feeling that you might not be cut out to do something, you know, whatever task at hand or whatever big project is in front of you. And I actually just googled the definition because I was totally curious what the internet said, you know, imposter syndrome is and it’s loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud.
So of course, there’s a spectrum here, right? Having some doubts and fears might be on the lower end. But feeling like a complete fraud is obviously the worst end of this. But it is a real thing. And it’s actually a lot related to my recent episode on getting stuck in your comfort zone. Because when your mind tells you that you might not be able to do something, you often believe it and you do get stuck in your comfort zone because of it. It can cause inaction. And it’s a big reason why people do get hung up on creating their first products or really realizing their true potential and stepping into that role in their business. Because it requires you to put yourself out there in a way that perhaps probably you never have before.
And it brings up these feelings of am I really qualified to do this? Is anyone even actually going to buy this thing that I’m creating? Are people gonna like it? Am I gonna sound okay, am I gonna look okay? There’s a million different things here that is floating through our brains, right? And this feeling just plain sucks. And I’m gonna let you in on a nasty little secret here. Y’all. I don’t think this feeling ever really goes away.
I can tell you that I certainly feel it right now in my business. And I’ve been doing this for a little more than five years. I’ve talked on this podcast quite a bit about my own struggles with public speaking, getting my podcast started, really doing any kind of video projects. So I’m not going to talk your ear off about that, because you’ve heard it enough.
But for anyone new listening, I do struggle with those things. I’ve never been totally comfortable in them. Although I do get a little bit more comfortable every time I practice and have to venture outside of my comfort zone, like I did when I started this podcast. But you know, then it just manifests in other ways, you get comfortable in some ways, and then it manifests and others.
And right now I know I’m feeling it the most, because I’m in a bit of a pickle with some of the higher level decisions of my business right now. I’m thinking about rebranding, I’m thinking about restructuring some of my courses. And these are both really big moves.
As far as the rebrand goes, I think the story of Create and Go might be changing soon. This story of Alex and I accomplished all of this, and we’re here to teach you now…it’s gonna probably transform a little bit more into my own personal story. And maybe something like I built a couple of six figure businesses with my ex boyfriend. And I’m here to teach you now. Because Alex has taken a big step back from the operations of the business, and it has mostly been me and the rest of our team behind the scenes for a little while now. And I honestly think that it might be time for me to really step out from behind the scenes and really be the face of this business.
And Alex has given me his full support on this, by the way. And it’s really just me here talking to you all the time on this podcast and in these courses, too, right? But man, that imposter syndrome really creeps up hard when I think about stepping more into the limelight and spotlight by myself, and really owning this new story and this new image. And I think about what maybe I have to do to really own that, you know, do I have to do Instagram stories about my personal or professional life? Do I have to get on TikTok?
These are things that I don’t really want to do, because, well, for a variety of reasons. One, I don’t like being on video like that. But two, I also just try to limit the social media in my life, and, you know, try to use it minimally for business purposes. But of course, you know, wondering about just how much I have to step in front of the camera and stuff to really own and live and do this role well, right?
But I do think that is what my business needs, and is probably what I need. I don’t want to keep telling this story that was true for a really long time, but isn’t really a reality anymore, right? So anyway, there’s that and I’m battling imposter syndrome in that aspect. And I’m also currently working through the whole vision for that, I know, it’s taking me longer than it should because of those feelings of imposter syndrome, just holding me back. And of course, I have all this other personal stuff going on in my life that is making it a bit difficult for me to really have my head down and working on higher level strategies at the moment. But anyway, I know that imposter syndrome is a factor here.
And then, you know, there’s this other huge decision I have to make about restructuring my courses. I’m thinking about merging content from some, discontinuing others, and maybe doing a complete rebranding of product names. And that’s a scary thing for me, because what if I change everything and my sales do stop?
You know, I have an example here, when Alex and I, first I guess, in the first few months of having our Yoga Fat Loss Bible, we actually totally rebranded it and called it the Yoga Fit Challenge. We created a new name, of course, and all new covers for this yoga program. And we thought that this was so much cooler and so much better. But what happened was our sales almost stopped immediately after a month or two of you know, implementing this. And we actually ended up totally reversing that rebranding and went back to the old product and then immediately started selling again. It was just a huge mistake, based on what you know, we thought was going to be right. Sometimes you think that you know what’s best, and you really don’t.
So of course, I have some hesitancy here because pivoting in this direction, and then pivoting back isn’t the best look, when you do have a larger audience, and you do have affiliates counting on you. You know, we have people selling our courses. So if we make big changes, and then communicate those changes to our affiliates, and then a month or two later, change our mind to go back on everything. It’s you know, it’s not the end of the world. So we could do it if we needed to, and we would if this rebrand didn’t end up working, but it still definitely requires a bit more thought because it’s a bit more complex now than this older product that we had.
So those feelings are creeping up there too. And I’m not really sure what I’m going to do yet, and it would be easier just to sit here where I am with everything. Maybe just not make a move in either of these directions, just keep on keeping on. But the problem here is that imposter syndrome sidelines us, it keeps us from making big, bold changes in the right direction. It keeps us from creating these courses from putting our face on the business.
I know when I was interviewing Mia, who has actually just gone through a major rebrand from she dreams all day to, you know, Mia Brox. Her story is all about being an introvert and really coming out in her business and, and teaching other people how to really find their voice and find that confidence. And we talked a lot about how, you know, it’s really difficult sometimes to step in front of the limelight like that, to get yourself on YouTube, to get in front of the camera, or to really do what it takes, you know, to grow. But this is how we learn and we grow.
And, again, please do listen to my episode on getting out of your comfort zone, if you haven’t already, because these two are very much related. They can of course, be very different. But feelings of imposter syndrome can definitely keep us inside of our comfort zone. And that really leaves us with this question of “what can we do to combat this imposter syndrome?” This feeling of, you know, I just don’t know if I can do this, or just don’t know if this is the right thing for me, and, you know, just keeping us stuck.
And first of all, I want to say here that I think that a healthy dose of imposter syndrome can actually be a good thing–as long as we do identify it and manage it properly. But these feelings of doubts and fears can keep us humble, and they can certainly keep us on our toes. Because the reverse side of that is that we could be too bold or too rash. And we could have this egotistical mindset of feeling like we have everything figured out, feeling overly confident.
You know, I think there’s definitely a healthy balance there to, you know, be able to not suffer from this so much that you can’t make decisions. But also, perhaps to not make decisions too quickly. You know, because you you’re totally fearless, right. And also, I think that our audiences want to know about these struggles. And maybe that does depend on your niche. But I bet that you can think about a way to relate what you’re going through back to your audience in some way. Regardless of what your audience is struggling with, I think that these things are often very connected.
So think about letting your audience know that you don’t have everything figured out. But you do know one thing, and you know that you can help them where they need it the most. They do need that confidence from you that you can help them, but it’s okay to not have the total confidence and to still be figuring some of this stuff out along the way.
So do find that strength and confidence in your own experiences and skills. And do try to relay that confidence to your people. But know that you don’t have to be this expertly expert on everything that you do, you don’t have to sound like somebody that you’re not, you don’t have to sound like some crazy done-up professional that has everything figured out. Because you probably don’t, and that probably wouldn’t really be you.
So just know that this feeling is perfectly normal. And it’s okay if you take a little bit longer to work through it. But do try to be mindful enough to be able to identify that that is the feeling that you’re struggling with. Because you will be able to address it head on and start working through it.
I know people that take our course in creating courses and get a little bit hung up in the beginning stages. They’re often battling with imposter syndrome. But they make up other excuses for it, you know, oh, I need to learn this other skill first, or I need to do this first or I’m not quite ready to create courses because x, y and z. And sometimes it these things, maybe there’s some grain of truth to them. But we’re often covering up this much bigger feeling of actual imposter syndrome, that we just don’t want to admit with ourselves. Because to admit that would be to say, I’m scared. And I don’t know how to get past this. And I don’t know if I can do this.
But really, it’s okay to admit that it’s okay to feel that. We just need to work through it. And you know, take baby steps if you need to. But the most important thing is just to take action, to never be sidelined and to not take action because even taking smaller steps is still going to give you the momentum to keep going in the right direction.
So know that you can do it. And you don’t have to do it in the most perfect way. You just have to do it honestly and in your own way. And be transparent about it if you want. Don’t be afraid to own this part of your journey, too, and share that with your people. Just be confident enough, of course that your people don’t think that you’re absolutely crazy and that you don’t know what you’re talking about. But yeah, don’t hesitate to share that.
And you know, I think that is all I have to talk about on this subject today. So I hope that this helps y’all push through your next project. I know that it’s something that I have to consistently remind myself. And, you know, again, do the things that I talked about in the episode on getting out of my comfort zone to really identify when I’m just a little scared of making this next move, and then you analyze: Why are you scared? You know, is it because you’re scared of getting on camera? Is it because you’re scared of how your voice is gonna sound? Is it because you’re scared, people aren’t going to buy it? And do your best to reassure yourself that, you know, you’re just in your head a little bit, and you don’t know any of these things to actually be true. And you’ll never know until you try. And even more than that, you’ll never be able to improve and get better if you don’t try. So definitely take that first step and just keep pushing forward.
Alright, y’all, thank you for listening today, especially as I unload a little bit about some of the personal stuff I have going on. Sometimes it just doesn’t feel totally right to just hop on this podcast and be this personality, when I have so many heavy things going on in my life. And today was a particularly heavy day for me. But it feels really good to be able to talk about some of these things that I enjoy and that I also struggle with right now.
So I hope it helped you and please do leave me a review on the podcast if you did like this episode, or if there’s some more stuff you want to hear. And I will see you next time.
Thanks for listening to the Launch Your Blog Biz podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes. And please share the love by leaving us a review if you loved this episode. And if you want to learn more about how you can launch and grow your own blogging business, make sure to check out our website at CreateAndGo.com