Overcome imposter syndrome with these tips from a successful entrepreneur
Before I moved into the creative world of the digital and beauty industry,
I spent seven years working in taxation law and struggled with imposter syndrome throughout.
I never felt like I knew what I was doing and was always worried about someone tapping me on the shoulder and saying, “Hey, I know you don’t know what you are doing. You’re not meant to be here.”
What I learned through speaking to friends and the women around me was that this is a much more common occurrence among women than you may think. If you’re someone who feels like a fraud, you’re not alone.
My lack of confidence in my twenties and also not being passionate about my job definitely contributed to this, too.
Women generally struggle more with putting themselves out there and going for opportunities. It’s frustrating because women are amazing, but they really doubt themselves. I saw this great post on LinkedIn once and it said “I wish women could operate with Kanye-level confidence!” and I fully agree! He ran for the President of the United States with zero experience in politics, whereas many women won’t even go for a job if she doesn’t have all of the necessary qualifications!
Surround yourself with those who bring you up
Having the right people around you can make all the difference! I’m lucky enough to have incredible women I see as friends and mentors around me I learn from everyday.
My friend Mia, who is the founder of amazing femcare brand Moxie, has been an incredible support. She’s always there to celebrate the wins with, and also make me feel better when things don’t turn out the way I want. She has really helped me believe in myself.
At my digital marketing business, CODI Agency, my General Manager Lana has also been a huge inspiration for me. She really accepts me for all my weaknesses (and there’s a lot!) and does an amazing job making up for all of my shortcomings so I can focus on what I’m good at and what I love.
Learn from mentors & inspiring people
I’ve seen firsthand the benefits of mentors and this is one of the reasons why I created my new online mentoring platform Lisnic, which connects anyone who is motivated to advance their career (mentees) with experts and experienced people within business, entrepreneurship and academia (mentors).
It’s so interesting how having the wrong people around you can hold you back; sometimes it’s not even intentional - they might be trying to protect you. Similarly, I’ve seen firsthand how if you have the right people around you and inspirational and experienced people to learn from, they give you the confidence to go for any opportunity.
Here are my top 5 tips on overcoming imposter syndrome, helping you become the most confident version of yourself:
1. Learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power, and it gives you more confidence to feel like you can tackle anything. This is why I consume content like it’s going out of fashion! After all, the saying goes, ‘the more you know, the more you grow’ - and this also applies to you growing out of your imposter syndrome.
2. Surround yourself with the right people. Having people around you with positive energy and those who boost your morale does wonders to your confidence and self- doubt. They will have a huge influence on the person you are and they are the people who want to see you succeed.
3. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and tell people when you are doubting yourself. You’ll be amazed to find out how many people are going through similar challenges. Similarly, ask questions if you’re not sure of something, but if you do know the answer, make this known, too.
4. Go for opportunities even if you don’t meet 100% of the criteria. Men are great at this, but women need to get better at it! What’s the worst that can happen if you don’t go for it? You never know the yes’s you could be missing out on by not even trying.
5. Ultimately you need to believe in yourself or no-one else will. I’ve done a lot of work in this area including investing in therapy which has made me mentally so much stronger. When you believe in yourself, you’ll realise anything is possible.
Lisa Teh spent seven years in tax law, but her flair for creativity and passion for beauty and digital saw her leave that corporate world to start several businesses including CODI Agency, and more recently, Lisnic - a global online mentoring platform changing the way mentors and mentees interact around the world.
Lisa is also the founder of beauty brand 101 Lifestyle, a natural oral hygiene brand stock at MECCA.
She is also co-author of best-selling books Australian Style and Australian Beauty, and co-founder and editor of Couturing.com, one of Australia's most popular fashion, beauty and lifestyle media platforms which has been running for over 10 years.