Robin Carberry wearing a hat and leaning against a wall in downtown Raleigh, NC

The Secret to Overcoming Shiny Object Syndrome

How do you overcome Shiny Object Syndrome?

Let’s begin by talking about what Shiny Object Syndrome is and how it might pop up in your world.

Entrepreneur Magazine defines Shiny Object Syndrome this way

It’s called shiny object syndrome because it’s the entrepreneurial equivalent of a small child chasing after shiny objects. Once they get there and see what the object is, they immediately lose interest and start chasing the next thing. For entrepreneurs, rather than literal shiny objects, SBOs may be business objectives, marketing strategies, clients or even other business ventures.

I take that definition a bit further. 

Shiny Object Syndrome means you constantly chase after the newest, greatest thing. 

Whether it’s a course or a tool or a certification or a strategy, there’s always some bright and shiny distraction out there for you to chase.

But here’s the key – and it’s where I disagree with Entrepreneur.

Claire Huxtable gif sating "excuse me?"

It’s not that you lose interest once you have the object. It’s that you are looking at each shiny object as THE answer or solution you’ve been seeking.

So I really believe that Shiny Object Syndrome is actually Imposter Syndrome in disguise. I know that’s a little controversial, but stick with me for a minute while I connect the dots for you….

I’ll start by defining Imposter Syndrome. Next, I’ll explain why Shiny Object Syndrome actually is Imposter Syndrome all dressed up to fool you. Finally, I’ll tell you how to overcome Shiny Object Syndrome AND Imposter Syndrome so you can make beautiful things happen in your life and your business.

First, let’s talk a bit about Imposter Syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome is that voice inside your head that says you aren’t good enough.

You don’t know enough, and you clearly are not an expert! 

Imposter Syndrome goes even further. When you think about taking a risk or even taking a small step forward, Imposter Syndrome is right there waiting for you. She whispers in your ear, “be careful, don’t say anything… or they’ll know you’re a fraud.”

Imposter Syndrome isn’t fake news, nor is it new. Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes did an in-depth analysis of imposter syndrome in high-achieving women back in 1978.

And in case we needed reminding – which we don’t, Beth Andrix Monaghan’s article on Thrive Global shows us it isn’t going anywhere. 

We definitely aren’t alone when we hear Imposter Syndrome’s voice, which is important for us to understand and recognize. Most people – not just women – struggle with some version of Imposter Syndrome, no matter how successful they are.

So if you are feeling that it’s just you, know that I battle Ms. Imposter Syndrome, too. And so do all the people on this list in Entrepreneur.

Why Shiny Object Syndrome actually is Imposter syndrome

Constantly chasing the shiny object isn’t just about fascination with the latest and the greatest. It comes from a place where you don’t believe you are enough.

You believe everyone else surely has more knowledge, more information, more expertise than you do. And they all say they are experts, that their new thing is exactly what you need to transform your world.

In some cases, they are right. I’m not saying that they’re trying to mislead you. The problem arises when Ms. Imposter Syndrome sits on your shoulder and fills your head with reasons for you to stay in the box labeled “safe” while you keep accumulating courses and certifications.

And that means you stay in that place where you don’t believe in YOU. 

You don’t apply for the job.

You don’t submit a proposal for the project.

You don’t answer questions in groups… when you know the answer!

And you keep chasing shiny objects in the hope that you’ll finally feel like an expert.

The bad news… no one can hand you the magic wand that is going to transform your life or your business. There’s no Cinderella moments here.

As amazing as some courses and other shiny objects are, they don’t make the difference.

You are the difference-maker. And that’s really good news!

One of the hardest things for us to do is to stop comparing ourselves to everyone else and believe in us.

I talk about this all the time. You don’t get to this point in life without having a huge pile of skills. In fact, I’m willing to bet right now that you have talents and abilities that you aren’t even aware of and haven’t really tapped into yet.

Not sure how to sort out those skills and abilities? I can help.

Check out my course Your License to Shine™ and learn how to leverage your current skills and knowledge into new opportunities you’ll love, and get a step-by-step action plan to make it happen RIGHT NOW!

Your License To Shine course shown on multiple devices
Click here to learn more about Your License to Shine™

In addition, you know more than 97% of your potential clients. They need the knowledge that’s rolling around in your head right now. 

It’s easy for us to discount what we know. I hear the same thing from my clients over and over “oh, everyone knows that already. Why would I talk about that? That’s so boring!” And it’s just not true! That’s Imposter Syndrome talking.

How do you overcome Shiny Object Syndrome and Imposter Syndrome? 

Here’s where you  begin. Stop collecting, magpies. Start taking risks and doing!

I’m throwing down a challenge, dear reader. Right now. Today. Pick something you are going to reach for… something that stretches you and feels a little uncomfortable. Here are some ideas:

A new project
A pitch for a speaking engagement, podcast, or article
Cold outreach to potential clients
A collaboration with someone you admire
A speaking engagement

Next, tell someone you plan to do it…

Finally, do it! 

I developed the Permission+Priority Blueprint to help my clients work through mindset blocks.

I’ll share here how you can use this Blueprint to help you whenever you are tempted by Shiny Object Syndrome or blocked by Imposter Syndrome.

You start by giving yourself Permission to kick Shiny Object Syndrome and Imposter Syndrome to the curb. Say the following to yourself (out loud – I promise, it does make a difference):

First, I give myself permission to believe that I am enough right now.

Second, I give myself permission to believe that I have the skills and knowledge to reach for more.

Third, thank you very much, Ms. Imposter Syndrome. I appreciate your concern, but I have this, and I am doing it!

Cool – well done! Next comes your Priority. Decide what the highest priority is in your life and in your business. 

Some examples: my highest priority business-wise right now is finding clients or breaking the feast/famine cycle, or developing my own info product or course.

Then remind yourself that the shiny object is nothing more than a distraction. And distractions DO NOT move you forward while focusing on your priority DOES.

That’s the Permission+Priority Blueprint! And you can apply it each and every time Shiny Object Syndrome and Imposter Syndrome sashay into your life.

Check out the Gen X GPS™ for more tips on creating a life you love!