Do you suffer from Impostor syndrome?

Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which one doubts one’s accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.” 

As an entrepreneur (I think I can call myself that now) I started my business from a passion I had which was sparked after the birth of my daughter. I am not creative, nor have I ever been creative, but I embarked upon a journey, a journey to craft handmade keepsake jewellery. 

In my “proper job” as I call it, part of my imposter coming out there, I am an Area Manager in a completely unrelated field so how the hell can I do this? How can I put myself out there? I am not trained, I am not experienced, I am not worthy for people to actually buy from me, am I? 

DO YOU SUFFER FROM IMPOSTOR SYNDROME?

IMPOSTOR SYNDROME

Then, after running my business for over 2 years as my side hustle, I started to think about how I can make this my full-time “proper job”. But each time I am scared that I will be found out as I am a fraud. Why should people trust me with the most important parts of their lives? I deal with people who are experiencing some of the biggest highs and lows of their entire lives.  

From the birth of their child experiencing the joys of motherhood and all the complications that go along with that, after all it isn’t what we see in the adverts is it! I know my breastfeeding journey was tough and didn’t last as much as I wanted it to, which still saddens me to this very day! Maybe I failed at that as well? (imposter again!) I enjoy creating these beautiful one-off pieces for them so they have something truly unique and special to remember and will be the only time this happens for them.  

To the death of a loved one where they are going through some of the toughest times in their lives and want something beautiful to have with them. When I got my first ashes order I was so overwhelmed it actually made me cry, and I was so petrified that I would balls it up! Like shaking scared when I made it! These are such precious items for people who are going through some of the toughest times of their lives.  

I am not an expert, I am not jeweller, I am not even a full-time business owner what am I even doing? 

The I realised, I have imposter syndrome! I thought it was just a tag line insecure people used when they failed at something, or “sensitive” people because I didn’t really understand it or understand me! So what am I doing about it? 

DO YOU SUFFER FROM IMPOSTOR SYNDROME?

IMPOSTOR SYNDROME
  1. Really build on the positives to help push out the negatives – these are facts not things that are going on in my head! 

I am good enough! This is my mantra. In my workshop I surround myself with my accomplishments so when I am having a wobble I can look up and see my jewellery in Vogue magazine with Madonna on the cover; or look up and see my jewellery in Tatler magazine with Eva Herzigova on the cover. Looking over at my local award I won for the “Feel Good Award” which acknowledges what I do isn’t flight of fancy but is actually meaningful.  

  • Write your own rules to follow and then follow your own path, after all it is your path and only you can walk it.  

I am running my own business, which I started from scratch, without a clue in the world what I was doing and it is working and made up in my own way. Making my own rules for my business, and what I want to do and how I want to do it means I have ownership over this and no-one else’s opinion or criticism counts as they are MY rules.  

  • Learn from your mistakes and embrace them as new avenues to follow, they might take you to a place you never dreamed you would be!  

I hate failing, it breaks me a little bit each time and beats me down making me feel even more of a fraud, then one day I made a mistake and the most stunning item came out of it. It wasn’t what the customer wanted so I had to remake the item of course, but from that mistake sparked a new technique for me to use in my craft.  

  • Start talking, find your spaces, your tribe, your way of an outlet and I promise it will help!  

As a natural introvert, I don’t always reach out unless it is to a very close friend. I don’t show weakness, I don’t show chinks in my armour which has taken me years to build up, and I certainly don’t show vulnerability! After many years of working in male dominated industries I learnt very quickly to be unemotional through fear of being “temperamental”, I learnt o hide my anger for fear of being “intimidating” it is strange how women are perceived to be emotional messes when they express their feelings so I learnt not to. Until I joined a business group. It took me 1 year to come out of myself and share, and be known. I had a few small connections and tried to collaborate but would always shy away from fear of being found out, they would finally know I AM A FRAUD! Then I took a breath and started sharing, not just sharing about my business but about me, the good, the bad and the ugly. And it paid back in dividends.  

  • Come up with your own internal mental tapes to help you put that foot into the ring and I promise it will pay back ten fold!  

At my “proper job” I taught myself how not to be me, because people I thought that was how I could be successful. I couldn’t be successful being me could I? Because I am not good enough? Wrong! The moment I started being more me, believing more in what I was doing and had already accomplished, the more I embraced my niche, which is essence myself I felt more confident and less like a fraud. I am writing my own script for life and my own inner monologue to go along with this to help me beat back the imposter demon when it raises it’s ugly head and it can help you too. 

My journey has only just started and I am still battling. 

These 5 strategies have really helped me drive forward.  I am well on the way to quitting my “proper job” and making my side hustle my dream job and you can do it to! I am not there yet, I am still walking my path building my dream. 

DO YOU SUFFER FROM IMPOSTOR SYNDROME?

Erin Parnell is an entrepreneur and business women, her business Eternally Cherished UK Ltd www.eternallycherished.co.uk has been featured in Vogue, Tatler, Closer, London Life and been featured multiple times on That’s TV Hampshire. She crafts people cherished items into stunning pieces of jewellery for them to cherish forever. 

IMPOSTOR SYNDROME