Have no fear: overcoming self doubt. In which Anne Veck discusses imposter syndrome and how to manage it.
Thank you to Professional Hairdresser for featuring this article.
Despite being a multi award-winning hairdresser and founder of successful sustainability initiative, Salon RE:Source, Anne Veck is all too familiar with ‘imposter syndrome’. Like many of us, she is constantly battling with those creeping feelings of self-doubt paired with the fear of being exposed as ‘a fraud.’
Sound familiar? ‘I think at some point we all self-sabotage’ says Anne. ‘For instance, we’ve all referred to ourselves as “just a hairdresser”, when we are so much more than that implies! I want you to start tackling these feelings of self-doubt, in turn allowing you to realise your full potential and go after your dreams – with confidence!’ Anne’s ‘Have No Fear’ manifesto is about focusing on small and simple changes that can impact the future, encouraging a positive mindset that eliminates thoughts of failure or inadequacy.
‘A few years back, I was approached by a big brand to deliver education on curly and coily hair. Despite having worked in salons and on shoots with textured hair many times, as well as having won awards for my Afro work, I turned the job down due to not feeling ‘good enough’ to work with such a prestigious company. I used to suffer hugely with imposter syndrome, but I have now learnt ways to manage it. I hope my experience will be helpful to others experiencing similar feelings of self-doubt.’
Anne first spoke out on the subject for International Women’s Day back in March, expanding on her thoughts for the hairdressing audience ‘I can’t believe I’m alone as a female hairdresser feeling this way!’. ‘Have No Fear’ asks stylists to examine the way they think about themselves, deploying tactics to help reverse negative thoughts and move towards a more positive way of living.
‘Mindset is everything’ reveals Anne. ‘It will affect everything you do in your life – your career, your homelife, your relationships. It will affect how other people perceive you and whether you can or can’t do something.’
‘If you don’t believe in yourself, you are limiting what you can achieve’ says Anne. ‘It’s restrictive; subconsciously you will be looking for any sign to prove yourself right and say to yourself, “I told you so!”’ Anne explains that growing older has helped her to stop ‘torturing’ herself and to understand that it’s ok to not be an expert in everything. ‘Every skill can be learnt, but how good you become at it depends on how much you believe you can do it.’
Here, Anne shares eight simple steps we can all take in a bid to increase our self-confidence:
Recognise imposter feelings when they emerge. Awareness is the first step to change, so ensure you track these thoughts: what are they and when do they occur?
Question your thoughts. Are they rational? Does it make sense to see yourself as a fraud, given everything that you know?
Break the silence. I now talk about these feelings much more openly, it’s made me realise that I’m not alone in experiencing self-doubt.
Concentrate on the positive. Be a ‘Yes Person’, embrace challenges and see them as an opportunity to grow.
Forgive your mistakes. When I get something wrong, I try not to beat myself up too much and instead try to learn something from the experience.
Stop comparing yourself to others. The best way to do this is to regulate your use of social media, these platforms can often make your feelings of being a fraud worse.
Rewrite the rules and decide on the script. No matter how much you feel like you don’t belong, don’t let that stop you from pursuing your goals. Keep going and refuse to be stopped.
Don’t let the past define you for the rest of your life. When I was thirteen, a teacher told me that I would never speak English properly. If I had believed him, I certainly would not have achieved all that I have today.
‘When I launched Anne Veck Education, I heard that little voice saying, “There are plenty of people already doing education and they’re much at it better than you!” But I stopped and rationalised, I have years of experience and I’m still getting shortlisted for awards, so I must be doing something right! I decided to ignore the little voice and just go for it – and I’m so pleased I did!’
Find out more at https://www.anneveckhair.com/education/ or follow Anne on Instagram @anneveckeducation