Starting your entrepreneurial journey can be an exciting time in your RD career. Let’s not sugarcoat it…most dietitians don’t want to stay in a traditional clinical role for long, and starting your own nutrition business often feels like the perfect fit. And it is, for some.
But undoubtedly, there are challenges that will arise. Some of the challenges are immediate and practical (business foundation set up, marketing, etc) and some are ongoing and emotional (overwhelm, frustration, etc.).
Imposter Syndrome is a common emotional challenge that a lot of new entrepreneurs face and overcoming it can feel daunting, especially when you don’t know how.
Today, I want to share the importance of overcoming imposter syndrome as an RD entrepreneur, especially if you want to succeed in growing a business that impacts the lives of others.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Imposter Syndrome?
- 2 Can you really overcome Imposter Syndrome?
- 3 5 Books to Help You Overcome Imposter Syndrome & Self Doubt
- 4 First Steps in Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
- 5 Key Takeaways: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as an RD Entrepreneur
Let’s first start with defining what Imposter Syndrome is, originally termed as the Imposter Phenomenon.
According to Psychology Today, people who struggle with imposter syndrome believe that they are undeserving of their achievements and that they aren’t as competent or intelligent as others might think—and that soon enough, people will discover the truth about them.
You may have experienced this feeling yourself or maybe you know someone who has.
It’s more common than not, and I believe part of the reason has to do with the socialization of women in our society. But that’s a topic for another blog article.
But what we also know about Imposter Syndrome is that it disproportionately affects high-achieving people. Hello, dietitian friend!
The good news is that you can work on this because you’ll need to if you want to grow yourself professionally in your career as an RD entrepreneur.
Can you really overcome Imposter Syndrome?
Well… yes & no.
I say yes because overcoming Imposter Syndrome involves working on your mindset regarding your abilities, competence, and overall intelligence personally & professionally.
I also say no because mindset work is lifelong work. Saying that you can overcome Imposter Syndrome implies that you can resolve it completely and that may not be true for everyone.
But hope is not lost on this issue. It’s important to do the mindset work to overcome Imposter Syndrome, otherwise, it’ll stifle your potential for growth in your career as a dietitian.
5 Books to Help You Overcome Imposter Syndrome & Self Doubt
If you’re anything like me, you like to research certain topics of interest.
That’s why I’ve gathered several books that have been identified as the best resources for helping to work through feelings of self-doubt and Imposter Syndrome.
- The Impostor Phenomenon: Overcoming the Fear That Haunts Your Success – Dr. Pauline Rose Clance. Clinical psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes (1978), however, originally developed the concept and defined it as “a psychological experience of intellectual and professional fraudulence.” This three-part book examines how and why the experience occurs and provides guidance on how to overcome it with several practical exercises interspersed throughout.
- The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer From the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It – Dr. Valerie Young. This book addresses why capable people suffer from imposter syndrome and attempts to create a roadmap for thriving despite it. The book is packed with useful distinctions and reframing exercises that advance the reader’s understanding while helping them master their challenging inner critic.
- The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are – Dr. Brené Brown. The Gifts of Imperfection imparts a multitude of learning points for anyone struggling with imposter syndrome. The book emphasizes the importance of developing authenticity, ‘owning your story,’ and letting yourself feel vulnerable as routes to fighting the stigma that so often accompanies feeling like a fraud.
- The Imposter Cure: Escape the Mind-Trap of Imposter Syndrome – Dr. Jessamy Hibberd. Praised for raising further awareness about how imposter syndrome is so common and how it can insidiously undermine people when left unchecked. It’s also packed with illuminating case studies along the way, which readers will find bring the learning points to life.
- Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges – Amy Cuddy. Presence considers imposter syndrome from a different angle. It outlines how the practice of ‘power posing’ can help to lessen the intensity of imposter syndrome.
First Steps in Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
While reading up on the subject is a good thing, knowledge alone won’t create the “cure”. You’ll need to take practical steps, as well.
Below are the practical first steps I recommend you take:
Step 1: Identify Your Limiting Beliefs
Your beliefs are the roadmap for your life’s journey. They will either lead you towards the goals you set for yourself, or they’ll throw you way off course. Identify what’s holding you back from getting what you want, then do the work of changing your mindset.
As you recondition your mind, you’ll gradually transition into a new way of thinking. You’ll start showing up differently in personal and professional situations.
Clients tell me that mindset work helped them so much they feel like a “different person.”
It can be that powerful.
Step 2: Change Your Negative Self-Talk
The words you speak to yourself, about yourself, are very powerful.
It doesn’t matter if you say the words out loud, or silently in your own mind…
…You’ll want to become more aware of whether they’re positive or negative. And if they’re negative, get to work on changing that.
We all have an inner critic. The key is to learn how to stop believing her.
Tony Robbins talks about the power of Transformational Vocabulary, consciously using your words to improve and change your life. You’ll want to identify your habitual vocabulary first and then start incorporating transformational vocabulary into your daily vernacular.
Step 3: Surround Yourself With Support
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t master your mindset on your own. That also means you can’t overcome imposter syndrome & self-doubt by yourself, either.
When you surround yourself with people who have similar challenges and goals, you grow faster.
So minimize relationships that bring negativity into your life and surround yourself with positivity and support instead.
Key Takeaways: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as an RD Entrepreneur
Imposter Syndrome is real and can stunt your personal and professional growth, if left unchecked.
There are reputable resources available to help you navigate feelings of self-doubt, but what’s equally important is to employ practical strategies as well, like mindset work.
Surrounding yourself with others on a similar journey can be helpful because you’re not meant to struggle on your own.
If you’ve struggled with Imposter Syndrome and you know it’s been holding you back from reaching your career goals, check out my private coaching program.
This is where you can get the mindset support you need and grow your business at the same time.
And if you’d like another resource on Imposter Syndrome, take a listen to the Make More Money as a Dietitian Podcast episode 22.
You’ve got this!