Today I have been freelance, self-employed, a sole-trader, running my consultancy business, for 14 years. Lots of ways of putting it but definitely time to celebrate all of those contracts secured, work delivered as well as the ‘back room’ functions that come with being a freelancer and running a business. Juggling the hats of also being Head of Business Development, HR, Finance, Administration and so on. You wouldn’t therefore think that after 14 years of freelancing and 20 years as a consultant I still have to watch out for imposter syndrome?
Thoughts are not fact. Surely the rational part of the brain really should automatically override any imposter thoughts in the knowledge that I have been doing my job for 20 years plus all the other previous experience and training. But it doesn’t, and it takes some reminding from time to time!
So today, on my freelance anniversary, I am going to take myself for a coffee, celebrate and give myself some credit that it wasn’t all just by luck!
There are various techniques and ways to slay the imposter and those negative thoughts –
- Reframing your negative thoughts with positive ones
- Keeping a diary of achievements and reviewing these
- Knowing what makes you feel confident and including this in your routine
You may have developed additional ones that work for you?
My key advice though is don’t wait for those times of self-doubt and negativity to raise themselves to put your ‘imposter action plan’ in place, but invest in being compassionate with yourself. Dare I say I feel a little bit of feeling of imposter/self-doubt is good as it keeps you grounded, human and can give you just the spur you may need sometimes to develop yourself and work. But this needs balancing. Do use every opportunity to remind yourself of your achievements, give yourself credit and reward yourself. Monthly goal reviews, at the end of a contract, end of the year…there are lots of opportunities to build reflection time and celebrate success into your routine.
So, who is with me today? Time for a coffee and a little self-reflection and celebration of what you have achieved over your 1, 5, 10 or 14+ years?