Do you often think, “I’m not good at this. I’ll probably bungle it. Maybe later. I’m not ready.” That’s Impostor Syndrome. It’s your internal beliefs of inadequacy and that nagging self-doubt. It’s that crippling fear that one day, people will discover you’re a fraud — or that they already think you are.
It’s a mindset issue, and it’s one of two biggest mindset obstacles to your success as an entrepreneur, or as a lawyer taking your firm to six or even seven figures.
In these blog posts, we’ll discuss insights on mindset from Goli Kalkhoran, well-known for her Lessons From A Quitter podcast. She quit the law and started a different business. I love her point of view. When you visit her website, it’s right there: “It’s never too late to start over.”
None of us are quitting, I hope, but Goli’s insights on mindset in these blogs help so much.
In my work, I call it a law firm “makeover” precisely because we have to do things over — to change things for the better. And if you’ve watched my other videos, you know I believe mindset is absolutely essential for your law firm makeover.
Impostor syndrome is a huge block we should all learn to handle. Because it persists. We’re going to have that voice inside our heads forever.
Are you getting prepared or procrastinating due to self-doubt?
This risk is huge for lawyers with a Type A personality — and we all seem to be Type As! We always need more information. We want to know more first before we act. And certain thoughts come with that:
- I don’t know how to do this.
- I should take a class on sales or Facebook ads.
I’m not saying that information is not helpful, and I’m not saying you should just jump into the deep end without knowing what you’re doing.
But… BUT you have to be aware and ask yourself: Am I gathering information just to stall?
When you put this out there, you might unlock some key insight into your thoughts.
The feeling of being completely adequate and 100% prepared will never come.
New things will always feel uncomfortable. That’s why they’re called “outside your comfort zone.”
It will feel like it hurts. It’s scary. And you’re naturally going to be hesitant.
Your brain actually goes into a protective mode to help you avoid these uncomfortable feelings. And you might even avoid it all without being aware that you’re doing it.
Again, the amazing thing about being aware of your mindset is, once you realize that you’re in this pattern, you will stop avoiding and overcome it.
If you’re doing a certain behavior or if you’re procrastinating, figure out what’s the feeling behind it. Then, work back and ask, “What was running in my head that made me feel this way?”
You have to stop trying to get more information constantly. Go out there and act.
Recognize and challenge your secret rules
When it comes to impostor syndrome, we have these secret rules that we don’t even realize. They’re always affecting our thoughts and fueling our self-doubt and procrastination.
Impostor Syndrome’s Biggest Secret Rule in: Perfectionism
I see this a lot when I’m trying to teach lawyers to make videos on Facebook or Instagram. The most common things they say are: “What if I make a mistake? What if I say something wrong?”
First of all, you’re doing a video where you talk about what you already talk about in consultations! It’s what you do all day!
And if you do make a mistake? Nothing is forever. People might not even remember it. You can delete it, too, if you want. It’s okay, but it takes one big mental shift:
Challenge everything you’ve been taught to believe.
Start with lessons like the need to be a perfectionist. Our profession of law has trained us that any misstep can lead to disbarment.
You’re a little freaked out just at the thought of doing anything wrong. So not only do you always dot your i’s and cross your t’s, you have this rule of perfectionism and going above and beyond. You can never make a mistake or the world will end.
Break that mindset, now. Mistakes are part of growth. It’s how you evolve, and how progress happens. Mistakes are how you get better.
If you have that personal requirement of perfectionism, you’ll make yourself feel like a terrible entrepreneur just because you sent out a broken link or a video without audio or anything like that. You box yourself in and ensure that the effort will feel like a failure, even if it lands new clients.
That’s an insane way to live.
Make new rules
If you’re avoiding failure, you’re also avoiding success. So, make new rules. Shift in your mindset, and grow. Your homework is tell yourself rules like these and make it easier for you to scale your business:
- I’ll try as many things as I can.
- The more mistakes I make, the more successful I will be.
- I will give myself grace every time I fail.
- Every time I fail, I’ll be excited because that means I’m closer to succeeding.
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