Learning how to overcome imposter syndrome is a real battle, but the victory could be the cornerstone for your success in your virtual assistant career.
The surprising thing about imposter syndrome is that it affects both experienced and new virtual assistants. Therefore, you cannot dismiss and assume it will end as you gain your experience as a VA.
Whether you’re facing it right now or not, learn the ways to overcome imposter syndrome as soon as or even before it strikes.
What is Imposter Syndrome and Why Do VAs Get It?
Imposter syndrome is a pattern of behavior where you doubt your achievements. You persistently fear that you aren’t suitably qualified or capable to the extent of holding internal fears of being exposed as a fraud.
Simply put, it is the feeling of self-doubt and fear of putting yourself out there. Internal fears lead you to second-guess your decisions. In other cases, you may start overcompensating by brushing off your accomplishments or constantly pushing yourself to work harder.
As a virtual assistant, imposter syndrome can arise when you compare yourself with other VAs or your VA business clients that hire you. Your clients’ business success can make you wonder why they even chose you as their preferred VA.
Signs that You are Facing Imposter Syndrome
Maybe you are already suffering from imposter syndrome and have no idea about it. Here are the common symptoms to check out for:
- Strong desire for perfectionism – you constantly try to perfect everything but struggle to acknowledge your accomplishments. For example, you find it hard to be satisfied with the results of a project you are performing for a customer.
- Jack of all trades- have you ever found yourself with the urge to learn every skill possessed by other VAs in your network? It is a typical sign of a VA with imposter syndrome. You find yourself feeling stupid for not having the skill possessed by other top VAs.
- Fear of failure – you fear trying something or taking a chance because you failed the last time. The reason you even failed the first time was that you doubted your abilities.
- You feel like a fraud – you doubt your levels of expertise and feel like an amateur in your field.
- Hiding in the Shadows – you shy away from networking opportunities or talking to potential clients because you don’t trust your ability to deliver the job they may offer you.
- Putting too much pressure on yourself- you constantly set unrealistically high goals for yourself and are harsh on yourself for not achieving these unrealistic goals
Now that you know of the symptoms of imposter syndrome, here is how to overcome it.
1. Acknowledge the Feeling
Imposter syndrome is a psychological issue. Therefore, an essential step towards dealing with such an issue is acknowledging that the problem exists.
Acknowledging the feeling may require an internal inquisition about the root cause of the problem. You need to answer these questions:
- What happened that made you start doubting yourself?
- Did someone say or do something that affected your self-esteem?
- Have you always been afraid of what people perceive about you?
- Could your hurtful past be affecting your present?
You may not always find the answers by yourself. Don’t be afraid to look for someone to talk to if you feel you need external help to overcome the battle.
2. Avoid Comparing Yourself with Others
Benchmarking yourself against the top virtual assistants in your field is good. However, it is wrong to try and become those virtual assistants.
It makes you start doubting your abilities. You forget about your goals and start trying to be a version of another person.
But who would blame you for comparing yourself with others? We live in a digital era where everyone wants to show off their achievements on social media. And that may make you feel like you are not making progress on your part.
The sad reality is that few of these people share the story of how they got there. So, you can’t even be sure whether they are hyping their success or the challenges they had to overcome to get there.
To avoid the imposter syndrome, start being appreciative of who you are. Don’t burden yourself with trying to become another person. Instead, focus on your goals.
3. Set Realistic Goals
By now, you should have already set SMART goals for your VA career. Your annual and monthly goals should also align with your overall career growth.
Having realistic goals is a safeguard against putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. It also allows you to grow your virtual assistant business to the best of your abilities.
These goals will also be your safeguard against being swayed by the moving currents. Therefore, you will avoid feeling like a failure by comparing yourself to other people’s successes.
4. Acknowledge and Celebrate Your Achievements
Imposter syndrome affects your ability to believe in your accomplishments. You can change this now that you have already set realistic goals for yourself.
Set performance metrics for your set goals. Then make it a habit to celebrate every time you achieve these goals.
Doing this will help you develop a sense of pride in your accomplishments. It will trigger a feel-good feeling when you get associated with this success.
5. Perform a Mental Reset
Sometimes when your computer is not performing at its optimum, a simple restart may help get it back in line. You can perform an almost similar exercise with your brain.
You can reset your brain to counter the imposter syndrome. There is no harm in taking some time out to recharge your systems.
Access More Tips to Rock Your VA Career
You can perform a mental reset and rock your VA career starting right now. Join the Royal VA Community today to view the checklist and learn other techniques other VAs have used to deal with the imposter syndrome challenge.