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When Imposter Syndrome Kicks In

Written by Samantha King

entrepreneurs and burnout

Last year was a big year for me. It was full of change and growth in my business that, up until this point, I had only dreamed about. But with all of the wonderful things happening, I felt like a fraud. Yup, I said that – a fraud.

As an Accountability Coach, I work with my clients to help them stay focused and intentional in their business. The first activities we work through together are meant to give them the tools they need in order to:

  1. Laser focus in on what they want out of their business, thereby allowing them to
  2. Identify what their business will and will not do, so that
  3. They can begin saying YES or NO with intention to the many things that pop up and can keep us from staying focused when we need too.

You see, last year I was given the opportunities to see many of my dreams realized, and, while they were all opportunities that had passed the ‘What my business does and doesn’t do’ Test, and they aligned with my life goals, I forgot the second set of activities I work with my clients on: getting real about my schedule.

My clients are busy, multipassionate Mompreneurs that dream big, but have limited time to work on realizing those dreams. Between building their fempire, raising their kiddos and everything else that us women have vying for our time, the need to be intentional, focused and real about their schedules is paramount.

It’s okay to be a dreamer (and I say dream big), but, as business owners, we also have to be doers. Thus, we have to know the time we have available to work on and accomplish the dreams and goals we have, block off and protect the time we need to do that, and then set realistic deadlines accordingly so we aren’t just setting ourselves up for defeat. This is what getting real about your schedule truly means.

Samantha King quoteI keep this sign on my desk each day to remind myself of where I once was; and that’s where I was falling short. I found myself burnt out and reliving the nausea that accompanied my ulcer as a teenager, mixed in with the anxiety from my postpartum depression that I thought I had kicked to the curb earlier that year. I should’ve been looking at both of these things in the rear view mirror, and yet here I was… NOT. That’s when the feelings of fraud set in, and, let me tell you, they didn’t help. In addition to feeling like a complete fraud, I was light headed, sick to my stomach and scared to leave my house. I felt guilty that I had let people down. I felt like a complete failure for not being able to juggle it all and burning out.






And I allowed myself to go through the process of truly feeling those feelings. I allowed them to wash over me and soak in, deep to my core. If there’s one thing I learned from going through postpartum depression, it’s that you have to feel the feelings head on. You can’t avoid them; only go through them. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to pick up the pieces and move forward…so that’s what I did.

Slowly, with the support of those closest to me, medication and time, I began to feel more and more like myself again. But it wasn’t easy. I am a self-professed recovering workaholic, and, in order to get better, I needed to step back and say NO to wonderful opportunities for my business. I had to clear my schedule to give myself the time it was going to take. It meant risking letting people down in order to heal so I could be there for them in the future.

It WAS NOT easy.

But it forced me to slow down. It made me take a hard look at my schedule vs. my goals. I had to accept that there had been a big shift in my personal life that caused a big shift in my business (funny how that works out), and I had to adjust my deadlines and rejig my plans to accommodate for that shift.

I GOT REAL about my new schedule. I finally started taking that big shift into consideration. Gone were the days of glorifying being busy. I stopped lying to myself about whether or not I was juggling everything with balance and ease. I started saying NO, so I could say YES.

And I know I am not the only one who faces these feelings and situations on repeating cycles. The reality is that we as women have a tendency to take on more and more, in an effort to have it all. For some of us, it works and that’s amazing (seriously, if this is you, I commend you and stand in awe. Please teach me).

But for some of us it just leaves us feeling guilty and battling the self-destructive symptoms that come with Imposter Syndrome. And if that’s you, I want you to know that it’s me too. You’re not alone. There are more of us. And I am a safe person to reach out to. No judgment.

Samantha King is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Barrie, Ontario. She is a Business Consultant and Mastermind Facilitator with Fempire Builders, where the core purpose is to support the growing number of women entering the world of entrepreneurship by creating a community of women who empower and support each other through mastermind groups, education and mentorship as we all build the lives of our dreams while creating the work/life balance we crave. To learn more about Samantha’s journey through postpartum depression, read her chapter in the #1 International Bestselling book, The Sisterhood Folios: Live Out Loud. Get it here:


A version of this article was previously published on the Fempire Builders website.

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