accepting you're worthy and acknowledging your value

July 24th marks the one year anniversary of in a sequoia. To mark the occasion, I'm sharing the hows, whys and whats behind this business with intention every Friday leading up to the big event. Today I talk about my biggest struggle in the business world: accepting I am a part of the business world and that I belong there.

If you're in the Vancouver area, be sure to celebrate in person at Growing Taller.

The lesson of building my business that I plan on sharing with you now is a lesson I still struggle with every day. And I know I'm not alone. Roughly 99.9% of all my clients struggle with the same feelings. It's so common, academic psychology has a name for it: imposter syndrome.

What it ultimately boils down to is feeling unworthy. Of being something. Of doing something. Of having something. In my case, I felt like I was playing pretend. I've mentioned this a bit before in the post on how I became a coach, but it went deeper than that. I felt unworthy of being an entrepreneur. A business woman. A life-coach. All of it. Those titles felt untrue to who I was and what I was doing. Which is completely false.

The effects of imposter syndrome are catastrophic. Many of my clients struggle with the idea of charging others for their services because of imposter syndrome. Others, myself included, when faced with the hard facts of needing money to survive this world, undercharge. When networking and meeting others, we blow off our accomplishments like they are no big deal. We're the extreme opposite of bragging when we need to place ourselves between the two extremes. We undervalue our roles in conversation. We are embarrassed or feel awkward talking about it. We aren't clear in our explanations of "what is it that [we] do?". This type of conversation doesn't lead to success. It hurts your brand, hard.

I know all of this. From a PR standpoint, I know the way I talked about in a sequoia undersold it and gave the impression that it was a hobby. I know that my rates are really low for my field. But knowledge has yet to significantly change my actions, one year later.

Look at me. I'm 23 years old. I started this before I even graduated university. To the outside world and to myself, only proteges start a business in this situation. I'm no protege. I'm a bumbly, scared girl.

At least, this is what the voices in my head say.

This may have been (and still is) the hardest lesson in growing my business: accepting that I am growing a business. Owning my titles and being proud of them. Finding confidence and clarity to speak of them. Acknowledging that I bring value to the world and I am worthy of success. Because I am. And so are you.

Megan te Boekhorst