dana mook, image consultant, personal stylist, charlottesville virginia

We’ve heard the term “imposter syndrome” a lot in recent years. We as women are starting to understand how the intimidation we feel – especially in the workplace (but also at times in social situations) – can impose self-limiting beliefs and prevent us from finding the success we could experience.

So what IS imposter syndrome? It’s the feeling like you don’t belong – that despite your uniqueness, your experience, your qualifications, you don’t feel like you deserve to be in the great place that you are. Sometimes that’s due to a lack of confidence. Other times, it’s because we may be confused about who are are NOW, versus who we USED to be.

I know I’ve had some serious struggles with this in the past. Here’s my method for beating imposter syndrome, in three steps:

1. Love yourself. When you really, truly love yourself, you are no longer dependent upon the opinions of others. You’re less likely to be overtaken by judgment.

Now, don’t image consultants usually tell you that people are constantly judging your appearance and the first impressions you make? Yes, and as a consultant, I used to operate heavily on that philosophy.

And these things are true, to a degree. Because let’s face it, we’re all human. We are going to look at others and have some opinions on how they look, dress, and carry themselves.

But here’s the thing: when you really OWN your looks, body, wardrobe, and your entire SELF, not only will your confidence shine through, but you’re also more likely to take care of yourself and show others that self-love that makes you SHINE. It ALL starts from a place of love and self-care. We have to learn this in order to make POWERFUL, LASTING changes and improvements in our lives.

Not sure where to start with loving yourself? Start with the mantra, “I AM ENOUGH.” Repeat this to yourself when you wake up first thing in the morning, and as the last thing you say to yourself at night. Repeat it whenever you are faced with a dilemma or stress of any kind. This is an excellent way to usher self-love into your life.

2. Get in touch with your TRUE self. We often go through changes in our lives that can impact our tastes, preferences, and sometimes our personalities in a BIG way. For example, you may have gone through a change such as career shift, having a baby, or gaining or losing weight.

Or perhaps on a more profound level, change happened because of a period of self-discovery or self-growth.

Whatever the case may be, your clothing needs and preferences likely changed along the way!

So, how do you figure out what kind of style you really love and feel like YOURSELF in? Start by journaling! Write down several adjectives that would describe your personality.

Now, think about how that could carry over into your clothing. Can you look at an item from your wardrobe and truly say that it fits the same descriptors you wrote down about yourself? If not, perhaps it’s time for a change! Because when the ways that we show ourselves to the world align with our TRUE selves, the more confidence we feel, and the less likely we are to feel like imposters.

(Psst – I am soon releasing a FREE guide that will help you conquer your style personality. It provides clear guidance and pro tips on how to OWN your style, which you can use to begin clearing clutter from your closet, put together outfits with ease, and stop wasting so much money on clothes you never wear. Subscribe to my email list to stay updated on this freebie’s release!)


3. Stop with the comparison game. Imposter syndrome often happens when we compare ourselves to others. We think, “That person has {more experience, more credentials, better looks, better body, fill in the blank…}” These impose limiting beliefs on us that make us feel as if we have to be ALL THE THINGS before we can experience any kind of success.

But think about it: the world would be a pretty boring place if we were all exactly the same. Go back to that place of self-love! What makes YOU unique? What’s your story? I bet if you started to think about your personal journey, you’d find a lot of value in your own unique experience.

My Personal Battle with Imposter Syndrome

To be quite honest here, imposter syndrome almost made me quit image consulting. I’d already taken a hiatus to go on maternity leave, and then had my battle with Lyme Disease. To say I was drained is an understatement!

But even when I started feeling better, I felt a sense of loss, like I was no longer the confident, well-dressed woman I used to be.

I felt like I was in a slump, thinking, “Who am I kidding? Is anyone really going to listen to what I have to say? Do I really LOOK like an image consultant?” And truth be told, I have days where I am overwhelmed as a mom and totally slumming it in my sweats. #sorrynotsorry.

BUT, because of the dedication I have in loving myself, and knowing who I really am (I’ve spent a LOT of time on this process), I am OWNING my personality, my story, and no longer concerning myself with whether I look like all the other stylists out there.

I have had so many wonderful experiences styling my clients and helping them find their own true selves, and I stay true to myself in the process. Everything I’ve been through has made me stronger, and more empathetic to those who have experienced big changes and struggles.

I am enough. (Remember your new mantra! It’s mine, too.)

I encourage you to journal a bit about your personal story and how you can use it to feel confidence in yourself, and perhaps even inspire others!

Loving this post? Subscribe to my email list to get the latest posts when they happen. AND, get access to my ultimate Style Personality guide, coming soon. It’s free for subscribers!

Drop a comment below to tell me how this post resonates with YOU, or share with a friend who you think could use this right now!

In truth and style,

Dana