How to Deal with Imposter Syndrome

How To Deal With Imposter Syndrome

Let’s start with a little story! I’m sure you’ll be able to relate to as an entrepreneur regardless of what you create and sell. Maria, a good friend of mine started a business as a florist about six years ago. She always loved flowers and gardening but really, when she decided to go into business, she knew very little about how to make a business out of her love for flowers. She did however, know the following:

She had a huge capacity to learn.

She had the entrepreneurial mindset needed to develop an idea and find answers.

Part of her business plan involved researching the competition. Knowing their strengths, weaknesses and how she could differentiate herself. She set out to find out everything she needs to know about running a business selling flowers. In her savvy attempt to fully understand her industry, doubt started to creep in. She began to feel like she was getting into an industry that doesn’t really need more competition. She wondered:

She had officially experienced her first encounter with imposter syndrome. The first of oh so many! What happened after was what a lot of us let stop us, permanently. And it stopped her too for a little while. She lost a lot of momentum at a time where it mattered the most. That initial passion for learning and building something from scratch is the most powerful tool you have. What she couldn’t distinguish between at the time was what we all know now as imposter syndrome and she mistook it for inadequacy. Keep reading to see what she did!

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What is Imposter Syndrome, then?

It’s a psychological phenomenon where we doubt our own achievements and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud. It can be a common experience, especially among high-achievers and those in super competitive environments but also amongst creatives, who are putting themselves out there in very personal ways. 

There are many misconceptions about imposter syndrome – like it only effects those who aren’t confident or experienced enough, or if you feel like this, it means your work isn’t good enough. The truth is though that we all feel like this from time to time, and even more as your business will continue to grow. You’ll just get better at identifying it and using it to your strength.

From this day, and forevermore, we’ll likely question everything we will produce. That’s human nature.
I’m here to tell you that that’s ok. This does not diminish your offering; your ability to share beauty, to contribute and bring joy to others with your passion.

The Beginner’s Studio GUIDEBOOK
Florist Small Business Owner

How To Deal With Imposter Syndrome – My 7 Tips

You’ll get better at this with time, I promise! Consider the following when these feelings start to creep in and in no time, you’ll use that self-doubt to grow even more.

1. Instead of focusing on external validation or comparing your work to others, focus on the creative process and the joy of creating. Remember that art is subjective, and everyone has their own unique style and vision. Try to reframe your mindset to focus on your strengths and accomplishments. Remind yourself of the skills and experiences that have brought you to where you are today. This is a so powerful! Regardless of whatever you might feel insecure about in that moment, the feeling does not diminish the tangible quality of what you have built and learnt up to this point. That has value. Don’t confuse doubt with failure. 

And what if we fail? Failure is a natural part of the learning process. Instead of seeing failure as a reflection of your abilities, view it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Use this feeling to challenge your inner critic. When negative thoughts start to creep in, challenge them with evidence. Write down your accomplishments, positive feedback you’ve received, and any other evidence that shows you’re right where you need to be. Proactively seek out opportunities to learn and develop new skills. Taking action can help build confidence and reinforce positive feelings of self-worth. You can also take this opportunity to ask for help. Be okay with knowing that you don’t need to be an expert in everything. Often, an entrepreneur is someone who knows enough about a lot of things, and knows where to reach for expertise and help when they need it.


Recognize that this is very common! We’ve all been there, even those of us who have been doing the same thing for a long time and have become experts in their fields. Use this knowledge to open up, talk to others, normalize the feeling and learn from each other. 


Take a moment and focus on your accomplishments: I do this all the time. Make a list of your achievements and skills, and remind yourself of them regularly. I have mine in my digital planner and it’s the first page I see every day when I start work. Focus on the process, not the outcome. Whenever I’ve rushed through a painting or an idea, trying to create something quickly the imposter syndrome comes in fast! Whenever we’re focused on the end goal, for example to sell, it makes us feel like we’re not in it for the right reasons. So, slow down and do things carefully and enjoy the process to give value to your work.


Challenge your negative thoughts. I know, easier said than done. When you have thoughts like “I’m not good enough” or “I don’t belong here,” challenge them by asking yourself for evidence that supports these thoughts. I dare you! Likely, you won’t come up any or, what you do come up with also can’t be validated. Often, there won’t be any evidence, and you can slowly reframe your thinking to be more positive and constructive.


Be open and talk about it: Grab a friend, a business colleague, a mentor or reach out to someone you follow and admire on instagram. Ask them how they hope, their tips and try to settle your mind in knowing the feeling does not diminish what you’re offering.

Take care of yourself: Take a break, step away, zoom out. Trying to force something when you’re in a negative headspace will likely limit your creativity, in turn feeding your negative thoughts. Practicing self-care can help you feel more confident and resilient. What do I do? Exercise, deep breathing in nature, cooking / making myself a healthy snack or drink to nourish my mind and body, stress-cleaning (it’s a thing and it helps!!!), or playing a board or card game with my children. 

So, how do we turn it into our superpower?

Whenever we doubt an idea, we create space to ask, inquire and learn. What I mean is that if we were constantly in a state of certainty in what we do, we’d never give ourselves time and space to make things better. For example, we’d never re-read our blog posts to make sure they’re formatted correctly, or make time to ask our friends if they get the message we’re sending with our logo, or if one type of frame is preferred over another. If we get into a habit of stopping when doubt creeps in, we can ask, why? Can this be better? Can I know more on this topic? Is this business idea really a good one? Is there a way I can stand out from the competition instead of trying to replicate?

**Anyone else wake up at night with a brilliant business idea or product, only to discover in the morning that it wasn’t all that great? GUILTY!

Embrace the Mess

Curious what ended up happening with my florist friend? She stopped for about 3 months, scratched the florist idea all together and started to brainstorm what else she could do that she was better equipped to do. In other words, she spun her wheels for those three months. And then came across a great book that was geared towards helping women overcome fear and one of the chapters was about how to transform fear into knowledge. So she sat down with her journal and wrote down every single doubt she felt about her business and answered each one in an honest and tactful way.

DOUBT 1: Who would want to buy from me if they can buy from them?

KNOWLEDGE: I can’t change what others do or have done. And I don’t want to compete. So, what can I offer that would make someone want to buy from me instead of them?

DOUBT 2: Will I ever be as good as them? Is my work good enough

KNOWLEDGE: It it good enough. It’s not perfect, but throw that word out, it won’t serve you. Perfection is not what we’re striving for. Your work has value now, as it is and it will continue to get better. And your doubt or insecurity is a thought, not a fact. It does not diminish the quality or importance.

And she started her business! And is now one of the go-to florists in our hometown for weekly floral deliveries with locally grown flowers and flower workshops for children.

Be Kind To Yourself

I wanted to write this post because it’s important in a sphere where we’re conditioned to compare and idealize a version of our work that is rarely the first, the second or even third attempt… it’s a beautiful mess first, and then reworked many times. Imposter syndrome is part of the process. It’s part of being human and growing a business. It does not mean you need to strive for it, or that you’ve failed because your outcome is different or slower, or looks different. Let’s feel comfortable talking about and learning from each other, even when our insecurities come creeping in. Better together, always! 

Want To Learn More About Starting Your Own Business?

If you’re curious to learn more about how to adapt a business mindset and think like an entrepreneur, and how to turn your hobby into a sustainable business from home, this guide will take you through all the steps – including modules on defining your goals, more on how to deal with imposter syndrome, mindset, goal setting, business planning, equipment branding, finding your customer, photographing your work, resources, building your website, balancing what you love with what sells, learning links, and much more!

You can also read about how to start an art business, here and how to balance what you love with what sells, here to help you get started if you’re an artist looking to start an online business! So many helpful and FREE resources that will without a doubt answer the questions floating around your head.

If you’re new here, I’m Donata Delano. I am the creative owner and artist behind Donata Delano Art. I started The Good Canvas in an effort to build an art community focused on art, creativity and business. Aside from art related tutorials, tips and information occasionally, I also post recipes, crafts and out adventures living abroad in Mexico.

Also, if you’d like to follow along and subscribe to the mailing list to receive more post notifications like this, including special promotions for artwork, collections and freebies, head here and join the list here!

As for my business, as some of you know, I run my art studio out of our home. I have a dedicated room where I paint, package and ship all my artwork to you. If you’re curious about my daily life and how I run my business, I post often about my process, my studio and my work on my instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/donatadelanoart/

You can also follow along on Pinterest, where I pin all things design, decor, crafts style and holiday goodies: https://www.pinterest.ca/donatadelanoart/

Also, if you’d like to follow along and subscribe to the mailing list to receive more post notifications like this, including special promotions for artwork, collections and freebies, head here and join the list below!

Stay Kind,


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