Jan 3, 2022

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5 ways Imposter Syndrome Shows Up & How To Beat It 


a flatlay image over a white background of a hand holding a bottle of developer pours into a color bowl with some products, to the right is a small color brush. Text overlay reads "a hairstylist's guide to beating imposter syndrome"

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embarrassment is a huge motivation, in both directions

Have you ever felt like an imposter in your business?

I’ve got an uneasy topic: the 5 ways imposter syndrome shows up.

Keep reading and you’ll walk away with knowing how to:

  1. Diminish that feeling of doubt

  2. Identify your trigger clients

  3. Relieve the pressure and know your enough

You’ll know that you are enough as you are right now, that you deserve good things and are great at what you do!

P.S I have something very exciting in the works and I am spilling the beans… The Build Your Business Bootcamp is coming up at the end of January! The Build Your Business Bootcamp is a 5-day FREE challenge to help you attract clients you love, set boundaries, get organized and set your prices properly. I will be personally guiding you through all the good stuff. You in? Join the FREE challenge Facebook group RIGHT HERE. (Don’t be like me and say you’ll do it later, cause you’ll forget, so go ahead and request to join right now.) I won’t be opening the group until mid-January but this will ensure you’re in when we start. This is gonna be SO good!

I’m no stranger to imposter syndrome. Maybe you’ve heard about my biggest hair disaster and how it kept me playing small for almost an entire year? Let’s not even begin to talk about how long I told myself I was “just” a hairstylist. 

Yup, I’ve doubted my abilities a LOT over my two decades in the industry. What blew my mind was learning that feeling like a fraud in your career is a lot more common than anyone talks about. 

And I’ve got a feeling, friend, that if you’re reading this, you’re feeling those doubts creeping up too. You’re in the right place, by the way, I’ve gotchu. I’m going to be dishing out…

The 5 Ways Imposter Syndrome Shows Up (And How to Kick it to the Curb)

#1: Fearing Rejection

You’re so scared that people won’t like you if you grow, or change, or are seen differently than you currently are so you say ‘yes’ to everyone and everything. 

In many ways fearing rejection is similar to fearing success. 

It can seem weird to say that people are scared of success, I remember rolling my eyes the first time I heard that. It wasn’t until I read “You Are a Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero that I started to understand it. 

We see people become successful and then change for the negative and we’re scared that’s going to happen to us. 

More often than not, people let that fear guide them and they end up sacrificing their hopes, dreams and even career goals for the sake of their client’s happiness.

Don’t let the fear of rejection stop you from focusing on how you can build a long-term, sustainable business. 

#2: Keeping Toxic Clients

You don’t believe that you deserve trust and respect from others so you continue to let people take advantage of you and disrespect you in your business. 

I did this for years and I thought it was just the way that it had to be. 

I want to remind you that toxic clients don’t necessarily mean “bad people”, it just means they’re not right for you and your business. It’s okay to not be for everyone!

I don’t want you to operate your business out of fear of rejection, believing that you don’t deserve the trust or respect from others. If you do, you’re just going to continue to sit there wishing things were different. I want you to take the reins and take control. 

You need to step out of that internal conversation you’re having with your imposter syndrome and know that you’re going to be okay. 

I had a conversation with Nick in 2019 when I doubled my prices. I was so scared that all my clients were going to leave me. 

After Nick reminded me that even if all my clients leave I could still rebuild and even if all of the new clients didn’t want to pay my prices I could just go back to my old prices, I realized that I wasn’t scared of clients leaving, I was actually scared of embarrassment. 

I now go into things with a different mindset. I remind myself that I’m going to do my best and put my full effort in and even if it all goes wrong, the worst-case scenario is I go back to where I was and start over. 

Ultimately, there might be a little embarrassment and a bruised ego, but nothing that can’t be overcome. 

#3: Sacrificing Your Boundaries 

How often have you bent over backwards for a client? Pushed yourself to burnout to make someone else happy? How often have you sacrificed your boundaries to make someone else happy because you believe their needs are greater than yours?

Imposter syndrome will often tell you that if you don’t accommodate your client they’re going to go somewhere else. 

As if your talent, your skill, the experience you create have nothing to do with why a client has sat in your chair.

#4: Trying To Do It All

Are you feeling pressured to be everything to everybody because you, just as you are, doesn’t feel like enough?

I’ve so been there. You’re scared to ask for help because you don’t want to be a burden on other people.

I want to remind you that capability vs capacity are two very different things. We, as creative entrepreneurs, are often very multifaceted people and we enjoy variety. We enjoy switching things up so we think “oh, I can do that”. In the end, it’s not whether we’re capable, it’s that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all yourself. 

You don’t need to pride yourself in doing it all. 

You could be spending 6 hours doing something that would take a professional 2 hours to do. And then you could be spending those 6 hours focusing on something that you love. 

I want you to ask yourself where’s one small place that you can have someone come in and do it for you?

#5: Waiting for Permission

This happens when you think that other people deserve it better than you do and that someone will someday come and tell you that it’s your turn. 

I remember when I started wanting to educate on hair techniques. I had learned hair painting and I had people asking me to teach. I taught a couple of people here and there and they told me that I was really good at teaching and should host classes. I scoffed at them because I didn’t think I was allowed to teach. 

I spent so much time thinking I had to be perfect before I could become an educator. It was an incredibly eye-opening experience when I realized I didn’t have to wait for permission from anyone. 

And there you have it, these are the 5 ways that imposter syndrome holds you back. 

I want you to take a moment and ask yourself what little voice is coming up. Usually it’s disguised as a cautionary voice and it’s not always easy to detect. Imposter syndrome can be incredibly sneaky. 

You’ve got this, friend!

I hope this has inspired you and given you a bit more confidence that you are 100% capable. I know you’re a talented beauty professional who’s made for huge things. Next time that imposter syndrome shows up, you can quickly show it the door. 

I want you to know you’re not alone in struggling with imposter syndrome, shoot me a DM over on Instagram @dawnbradleyhair and let me know you came from the blog. I seriously love hearing from you. 

Until next time!

Let’s be besties?

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I am just a small-town, Canadian gal from the prairies who teaches thousands of creatives around the globe how to earn 6-figures stress-free!

Hey, I’m Dawn!

“Rock Your Business” Course Creator, Host of “The Anxious Creative” Podcast. Named by Salon Magazine as Canada’s #1 women of influence.

Get to know me! :-)

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