Have you ever felt insecure about your abilities? That no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t stop yourself from pursuing your dreams? Imposter syndrome is a nagging sense that causes you to distrust your own talents. It’s not simple to get out of that mindset, but millions of individuals have done it before you, and you can too.
It all starts with figuring out who you want to be and letting go of the perfectionism that has been holding you back.
SUCCESS People Editor Tristan Ahumada talks to Lisa Bilyeu, co-founder of Quest Nutrition and host of the Women of Impact show, about overcoming self-doubt in this episode of Brilliant Thoughts.
Quest Nutrition was recently sold for $1 billion by her and her husband, Tom. Bilyeu had previously overcome self-doubt in order to contribute to the company’s growth and discover her calling.
You won’t be successful unless you become your own personal hero. That’s what Bilyeu believes, and in three simple steps, she made it a reality.
1) Create a Mental Image Of Yourself at Your Best.
All personal development, according to Bilyeu, begins with a single question: What does my best, most powerful self look like? You can’t use someone else as a reference point, so it’s a difficult question. It’s not as straightforward as saying, “I want to be just like my mentor or a Forbes 30 Under 30 entrepreneur.”
It is a highly personal task to improve your life. Every small change should be deliberate enough to drive you forward in the proper direction.
Instead of trying to live someone else’s life, figure out what makes them successful. Is it their self-assurance that keeps them going? Do they have a higher level of self-control than the ordinary person? Make a list of whatever superpowers you have. Keep the list handy so you can focus on acquiring those characteristics each day.
Be patient with yourself in the interim. It can take years to discover and master all of the adjustments you need to make. Whatever happens, remember that each failure—which is unavoidable—isn’t the end of the world. You still have time to remedy your errors and improve every day.
“Even if you want to be a kinder person—just let’s assume that to keep things simple—you don’t wake up one day and decide to be nice,” Bilyeu explains. “It takes time, effort, and energy to become that through repetition.”
2) Give Up the Pursuit of Perfection.
Did you know that perfectionism stems from a desire for everything to be flawless rather than a desire for perfection? The majority of individuals are aware that life is not without imperfections. The ego, on the other hand, has a self-serving goal and seeks to persuade us otherwise. It encourages us to believe that everything can be wonderful if we only work a little harder.
With this perspective, it’s tough to progress, especially when you’re dealing with self-doubt. What’s the good news? Flexibility, according to Bilyeu, might help you overcome perfectionism. When she’s faced with a challenging scenario, she reframes it to get rid of those rigid, unproductive thoughts.
“I went from feeling horrible about myself for two days, allowing a negative voice to hold me back, to being able to say in real-time, ‘How do I want to respond to this based on the person I want to be?’” Bilyeu explains.
To get there, follow these four steps:
Make yourself at ease with being uncomfortable. When you’re pushed beyond your comfort zone, true growth occurs.
Have an attitude of a learner. By recognizing that you don’t have all the solutions, you can relieve some of the burdens on yourself. If you’re in a room full of experts and you feel like an imposter, ask questions. Give yourself permission to expand your horizons.
Don’t set goals for yourself that you can’t meet. It’s not necessary to become your best self by a certain date. Focus on the journey rather than the destination because it is a lifetime process.
3) Take Control of Your Emotions.
Try to moderate your emotions before you become stuck in self-doubt. When Bilyeu first began assisting her husband with Quest Nutrition, she kept asking herself, “What are the things I need to do right now to show up?” Even when she was paralyzed by dread, this meant speaking up in meetings.
“I found such meetings to be highly damaging to my self-esteem…. “I felt horrible about myself because I was in a room full of people and had no idea what they were talking about,” Bilyeu adds.
“Then I said, ‘All right, you have a choice.'” You can keep going into this room feeling horrible about yourself, you can stop coming into this room feeling bad about yourself, or you can recognize that they’ve got 15 years on you and start putting your head down and learning instead of focusing on the emotion you’re feeling bad about.'”
Taking care of yourself is another aspect of emotional management. No matter how hectic your schedule as an entrepreneur is, eating healthily and exercising regularly are two strategies to keep your emotions under control.
Because it’s difficult to make good judgments when you’re sleepy or hungry, developing healthy routines is essential. Bilyeu enjoys doing weights in the morning (after a good night’s sleep) and is conscious of how particular foods influence her body.
However, everyone’s requirements are different. Make it a point to get to know your body so you can have a successful emotional day, stay in charge, and gradually overcome the self-doubt that’s holding you back.