4 years ago, on 5th December 2019, I published the Grow Your Private Practice book.
However, I struggle with seriously bad imposter syndrome. I never produce anything without that mean, evil voice sneering at me, telling me one wants to listen to me and that I’m not good enough in a hundred different ways.
And let's face it, imposter syndrome is a normal thing, we all get it to some level. They say only psychopaths and narcissists don’t have it, so when you look at it like that, it’s pretty reassuring really!
So how did I overcome imposter syndrome and publish my book? And how can YOU stop imposter syndrome from holding you back?
I'll tell you...
Why I wrote the Grow Your Private Practice book
Basically, I had an idea to write a book and I couldn't get it out of my mind.
Yes, I have the Grow Your Private Practice membership to help people attract more clients, but not everyone is ready to take that step.
So writing a book meant I could basically help more people.
And although of course, I’ve made money on the book, which is great, money wasn't the number one driving factor. Actually, I remember smiling when I heard someone suggest I wrote the book just to make money. Trust me, there are many, many ways to make more money a lot more quickly and easily than writing a book!
But writing a book would be a challenge, and I like setting myself challenges.
Anyone that knows me knows I love blogging. Writing is where I can exercise my creativity and it really suits my personality type - I'm a massive introvert, so it suits me down to the ground.
So I had the idea to write a book, and kind of jumped in with both feet!
I knew I needed some help and guidance - writing a book is a big project. Basically, I didn't know where to start!
I knew I could learn from reading books about writing a book, or taking a course, but I also knew that that would take up a lot of time and energy, and I could very easily talk myself out of doing it.
I needed a coach, someone I could talk to, ask questions to, and someone who could guide me - give me some accountability when my procrastination kicked in as it inevitably would.
So I looked for a book coach, and realised I knew one - someone that used to be in a coaching group with me. So I contacted her - Dale Darley - and we started working together.
And boy was I glad to have her, because Dale talked me off the edge so many times!
I remember I was just over halfway through writing when I just wanted to give in, pack it all up and forget about it - but I was in that awkward place where I’d gone too far, just done too much to stop. But Dale gently supported me through that and I carried on.
I started the writing process in the February, and published the book on 5th December. It was a big project.
How imposter syndrome showed up for me while writing the Grow Your Private Practice book
My imposter syndrome often showed up as perfectionism.
I’d write and rewrite passages, swap one word for another, then delete the whole section and start again. I probably wrote the book 3 times over! So I faffed. Do you ever do that? If so, you’ll know how frustrating it is!
That said, this exploration led to some interesting ideas.
Things like having 3 sections in the book:
Part 1: Quickstart: For if you want to get started quickly but you’re on a budget. I show you how to get started when you don't know where to start - website not required.
Part 2: Mindset: Do you have a nagging fear that you're not good enough and feel like a fraud? Take a look at the section on mindset, and see how being in private practice really helps your personal development.
Part 3: Practical: Does the thought of being visible make you feel awkward? Relax, I'll show you how to attract clients in a way that feels right for you, no selling yourself required.
And I adopted some new ideas, like the ‘Seedling Niche’ idea, which is all about easily finding your niche.
So although most of the perfectionism was a total pain, the extra thinking lead to some useful ideas.
How imposter syndrome showed up for me after I published the Grow Your Private Practice book
My imposter syndrome really hit home once the book had been completed.
This took me completely by surprise. I assumed I’d feel proud and accomplished and things would get easier. But rather than celebrate, I just wanted to hide away and cry. I felt vulnerable and exposed.
The thing about a book - and a podcast - is that once it’s been published, it can’t be changed. One of the reasons I love blogging is if I have something to either add or remove I can do it easily.
So any mistakes in my book would be out there for all to see forever. Gulp!
So it was a time of anxiety for me as I waited for the anticipated negative reviews, and to be uncovered as the fraud I am.
Imposter syndrome is the pits!
How authoring a book ultimately reduced my imposter syndrome and boosted my confidence
Ok, imposter syndrome showed up at all steps on the journey, poking me and telling me how rubbish I am.
The important thing to remember through all this is, imposter syndrome is a liar. Sometimes, we can forget this.
Yes, I doubted myself, I felt anxious and I worried about being humiliated and uncovered as a fraud.
But the truth is, I CAN help you grow your practice, and I CAN help you grow your confidence.
Because since I published the book I have received constant reminders of this. And I now have documentary evidence that I’m NOT a fraud.
Ok, it feels weird saying this because it sounds like I’m boasting - and I’m English and we don't do that! But there hasn't been a week go by without receiving a message or email thanking me for the book and telling me how much it helped.
And I’m delighted to say, I’ve only had good reviews on Amazon. At the time of writing this, I’ve had 146 4 and 5 star reviews.
This is mind blowing! To get that feedback, to know people have taken time out of their day to either leave a review or contact me means the absolute world to me.
And this chips at my imposter syndrome, because I now have proof that actually, I’m not a fraud - and that's really powerful.
If you’re a regular reader (or podcast listener), you’ll know that I talk a lot about action being the antidote to fear. So much so, episode 1 of the podcast was ‘Action is the antidote to fear’
And writing a book has been the perfect example of how you have to leave your comfort zone and take action in order to progress.
That fear that I would be laughed at, humiliated and have to slink away filled with shame - it didn't materialise.
And it wont happen to you either. But of course, you wont truly believe that unless you tiptoe out of your comfort zone and prove it to yourself.
Had I allowed imposter syndrome to stop me, I would never have experienced the positive experience this ultimately turned out to be.
My confidence wouldn't have increased, and I wouldn't have had the opportunity to go through this valuable learning experience. All I would have done is stay small. I wouldn't have grown.
I didn't write a book because I was full of confidence and positivity. No, far from it.
I wrote this book DESPITE the imposter syndrome, lack of confidence, doubts, perfectionism, procrastination and fear.
And writing the book helped me to see that guess what? I actually can do this.
So if you have those doubts, take action, because action is the antidote to fear. It’s the thing that will move you forward.
Although writing a book is an amazing project to embark on, you don’t have to go to those lengths in order to overcome your imposter syndrome.
Consider, where has your imposter syndrome been holding you back?
- Writing blogs?
- Going on social media?
- Giving talks?
- Being a guest on a podcast?
Or maybe you DO want to write a book! It’s a great way to reach more people, elevate yourself and yes, bring in some extra money. So make the decision and go for it. And if you need some help and support, have a word with my book coach Dale.
Because it’s time to take action.
So I hope this blog has helped you see how I overcame imposter syndrome and published my book.
And if you don’t have The Grow Your Private Practice book yet, go take a read and see why I talk about ‘I’m just a teenage dirtbag’ by Wheatus!
And if you do, and you found it useful, it would be amazing if you’d go and leave a positive review on Amazon, I’d be extremely grateful.
Have a fabulous week