Hey you. Yes, you. Do you ever feel like a fraud? Like an imposter? Are you waiting for someone to find you out and tell you don’t belong? Do you think you aren’t smart enough or talented enough to take on whatever you want to do?
If you answered yes, you are not alone. You are experiencing imposter syndrome. The fact is, just about everyone feels like an imposter at some point in their life. There can be any number of triggers. Triggers like a new environment – work or school or a new project like starting a new business or a new writing project can all flame these negative thoughts about your competency.
While it can affect you in any aspect of life, today, let’s focus on how imposter syndrome can affect our writing life. Just like any negative thought can have an impact on you mentally, imposter syndrome can have the same effects.
If you fear you are not good enough, then that can translate into the inability to write at all. You may stress over whether anyone will read what you wrote. And when people do read it, will they like it. When imposter syndrome kicks in, you may question will people finally see you are not as good as they thought? Imposter syndrome may cause you to become paralyzed at the sight of blank pages, and you never start, or you start, but it isn’t quite right. So, you start over again and again and never finish. Writer’s block, the idea that it has to be perfect, or the sheer fear of blank pages are all kryptonite to a writer.
But rest assured, imposter syndrome can be suppressed and hopefully overcome imposter syndrome. It will take some work and won’t happen instantly. But by changing your mindset, you can free yourself of this destructive thinking and get your writing life on track.
Here are a few tips to help you combat imposter syndrome.
- Start and end the day with affirmations. Yes! Speak positivity over your life. What you say about yourself, you start to believe.
Think about what it truly is that is holding you back. I recently heard a writer ask if she was too old to start a blog. She admittedly this has been holding her back. The answer is H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICK NO!!!! You have to get out of that limiting thought pattern and instead see that your age has brought you valuable life experience that someone needs to hear. Readers, young and older, can benefit from what you have lived.
So, start your day by saying, “I’m wise and have experienced so much and have a wealth of knowledge to impart.”
- Clap for yourself. Know that not everyone is going to be a fan. But you will find your cheering squad. Somebody will get you and your writing. Until then, clap for yourself.
- Take stock of your accomplishments. Celebrate the small wins and the big ones. Write them down. Pull them out and look over them when you doubt yourself. You will see you are pretty great!
- Stop comparing yourself to others. It isn’t a competition. Recognize that what’s for them is for them and what’s for you is for you. Focus on getting your writing life where you want it and stop focusing on what others are doing.
- Recognize there is no shame in admitting to suffering from imposter syndrome. You are not alone. Talk to someone you trust – a friend, a therapist, a writing buddy. Many writers who suffer or have suffered from imposter syndrome can share what they do to combat these feelings.
How do you combat imposter syndrome? Share in the comments.
~Until Next Time