(1:27) Have you ever felt like you don’t deserve your accomplishments, despite working hard to achieve them? Or perhaps you’ve had a nagging feeling that you’re not as good as people think you are, and you’re just waiting to be exposed as a fraud?
These are just some signs of imposter syndrome, a common phenomenon affecting all kinds of people, including speakers. It’s something I’ve had to get over myself as a business owner, and it might creep up on you if you’re starting your speaking journey and not yet an established authority in your niche.
So let’s explore imposter syndrome, including how it might affect you as a speaker and, most importantly, how you can overcome it to become a more confident and effective speaker.
How Does Imposter Syndrome Affect Speakers, and How Can You Overcome It?
Here are the minute marks that cover highlights in this episode:
What is Imposter Syndrome?
(2:33) In short, imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that refers to an individual’s persistent feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and fear of being exposed as a fraud – despite evidence of their competence and success.
When you connect this back to speaking, you might experience imposter syndrome in all kinds of ways, from feeling as though you don’t belong on stage to feeling as though you are not qualified enough to speak on a particular topic.
Personally, one of the biggest “signs” of imposter syndrome I’ve witnessed as a speaking coach is feeling your performance wasn’t good enough, even when the feedback you received is positive.
I’ve worked with dozens of speakers who start dissecting their performance as soon as they step off that stage, trying to find what went wrong and why it wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be.
As you can imagine, that’s not a healthy habit, especially when trying to build a strong foundation for your next performance.
So, how can we overcome these feelings of inadequacy and ensure they don’t hold us back from speaking or leading other speaking-related activities such as corporate training, workshops, or online courses?
How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome in Speaking
(4:20) I think it’s fair to say that we all feel a degree of imposter syndrome at some point in our careers. As a speaker yet to hit the “big time,” it’s only natural to feel a little insecure and unsure of yourself.
So what steps can you take to address these feelings and insecurities?
Start By Acknowledging and Accepting What You’re Feeling
(4:47) One of the best ways to overcome imposter syndrome is to start accepting that you’re feeling this way. Like any problem, the best start you can make is acknowledging it and accepting that it’s something you’re struggling with.
The first point is to accept that this is totally NORMAL. If you feel like you’re not good enough, that’s perfectly normal, especially for someone who has yet to get booked regularly. Of course, you’re not going to feel a million dollars when you’re still honing your skills and not quite getting where you want to be.
Therefore, the first step is to accept that you’re not perfect (yet), and that’s okay.
Challenge Negative Thoughts and Beliefs
(5:39) Tackling those negative thoughts and beliefs head-on is a critical step in overcoming imposter syndrome.
When they do pop up, challenge them.
For instance, let’s say you secure a gig at an event way bigger than you ever thought possible (YAY, go you!). If you suddenly feel like you’re not good enough to speak at this event, ask yourself what evidence you have to support this thought. Have you always received positive feedback? If so, why are you concerned?
You can also frame any negative thoughts you have in a positive light. To reuse the example above, instead of thinking you’re not good enough, reframe it to “I have valuable experience and insights to share with the audience.” By focusing on the positive aspects of the situation, you can shift your mindset and feel more confident in your abilities.
Focus on Your Strengths and Accomplishments
(6:50) Another crucial step in overcoming imposter syndrome and building self-confidence in your speaking abilities is to reflect on your strengths and accomplishments.
Take the time to remind yourself of your past accomplishments. When you feel like you’re not good enough or doubt your abilities, take a moment to reflect on your successes. It can be as simple as reminding yourself of positive feedback you’ve received from an event planner or client.
No one knows you better than yourself, so also spend time reflecting on your strengths and how you leverage them to perform even better on stage.
Seek Support and Guidance from Others
(7:46) Lastly, one of the reasons many speakers struggle with imposter syndrome in the first place is that they struggle to believe any positive self-talk or self-compassion they practice.
That’s why seeking support and guidance from others can be so important. An excellent way to do this is to seek out mentors or colleagues who have experience in the speaking space and can provide meaningful feedback and support.
You can also consider joining online speaking groups to connect with like-minded individuals and learn from their experiences.
It’s also essential to seek professional support if you’re struggling with severe imposter syndrome or speaking anxiety. A therapist, counselor, or professional speaking coach can help you work through the underlying issues that contribute to imposter syndrome and provide strategies to help you overcome it.
Lean on the Support and Guidance Offered by Charli Jane to Beat Your Imposter Syndrome Once and for All
(9:07) You can take several steps to beat imposter syndrome, but leaning on others for support, guidance, and mentoring can be a powerful tool.
At Charli Jane, we have a thriving and fantastic group on Facebook, and our signature speakers club has helped budding and established speakers achieve their goals for almost two decades. (Doors open April 3-14, 2023 to new members)
So if you’re unsure of yourself or want to start feeling better about where your speaking business is headed, sign up for our speaker club waitlist and get started on building your confidence.
And while you’re waiting for the doors of the Charli Jane Speakers Club to swing open, why not join our Facebook Group, Breakthrough Public Speakers to get instant support from other speakers in your position?
We all look forward to seeing you over there!
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Resources & Links
The Charli Jane Speakers Club – Learn more.
If you’re ready to get on more stages you’re in the right place! We provide members with 5,200 – 10,400 speaking opportunities a year! Yep, you heard that right! There is something for everyone. I also created a program called The Booked Solid Success Path. It goes hand-in-hand with the speaking opportunities. Plus, an amazing community and more!
Episode 152: 11 Quickfire Tips for Staying Consistent on Social as a Speaker
The Breakthrough Public Speakers Community – Join us here.
My team and I are inside this community helping you, encouraging you, and supporting you through your speaking journey… along with 3,000+ speakers!
I hope you enjoyed the training episode.
Every week I release a new training episode to help you launch and grow your speaking business.
Keep Inspiring! – Wendi xo
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Meet Wendi McNeill
As the Founder and Owner of Charli Jane Speaker Services®, Wendi has been “Opening Doors of Opportunity” for speakers since 2002.
Charli Jane Speakers provides speakers with support, exposure, tools, tips, speaking and media leads, coaching/learning programs, and much more to assist them in growing their speaking business. Learn more about Wendi
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