Overcoming Imposter Syndrome.
This is a post I have tried to write a couple of times and I’ve found it quite challenging to get my point across. I think it’s because this topic as a whole, isn’t really spoken about that often.
However, as we all know, I’m a bit of an over-sharer. So I’ve decided to go ahead and post it anyway. It might not make perfect sense, I know I ramble quite a bit throughout, but I’m hoping that the basis of what I’m trying to talk about will resonate with some of you out there.
The topic of the blog (as you’ll see from the title) is ‘Imposter Syndrome’. Something I feel as though I’ve been experiencing for a while but more so since moving to London. Before we get into the nitty gritty of it all, I wanted to start by actually explaining what Imposter Syndrome is because before writing this, I did some research.
Let me ask you this:
Have you ever had that overwhelming feeling that you’re ‘faking’ your way through life?
If you have, those feelings could come under an umbrella term known as ‘Imposter Syndrome’ and it happens to almost everyone at some point in their lives – so please know, you are not alone. It also comes with the idea and notion that you have only ‘succeeded’ due to luck not because of your talents, qualifications or abilities.
BEFORE you roll your eyes thinking that Imposter Syndrome is some kind of millennial buzz-term, know that it was actually coined back in the 70’s during a case study of high-achieving women. And whilst it may not be spoken about often, it is a genuine phenomenon that affects millions of successful people every year.
Some of the most common symptoms can include negative self-talk, an obsessive need to constantly check or re-write your work, trying to overcompensate by working more, doing more and finding it difficult to accept compliments or well wishes.
Disclaimer : I’ve experienced more than 3 on that list…
Todays society is completely inundated with success and glamour. And whilst I think it is AMAZING that people are celebrating and sharing their successes, it’s super important to remember that success looks different for everyone. But, we’re human so of course we might fall victim to comparing ourselves to these unattainable high standards. The result? A feeling of personal doubt and bruised self-esteem.
How to handle Imposter Syndrome.
I’ve done A LOT of reading in and around this topic – I’ve actually really gotten back into reading again and one thing I’ve learnt from doing so is that when you begin to understand what Imposter Syndrome is, you can catch it before it starts to fester.
The best thing for it is to remind yourself of your accomplishments no matter how big or small. They are YOUR victories.
I feel like bloggers and content creators might struggle with this a lot and can collectively feel as if they are ‘faking their expertise’ or, at the very least, don’t have anything to write about that is worth sharing. (This is me).
But, think back and remember when you struggled to write your first blog or Instagram post. Well, look at what you’re doing now. You’re writing, sharing and posting and you know what, that is huge.
Think back to when you set your website live and saw people viewing it – again, that is amazing.
Those events are milestones. Be proud of how far you’ve come.
A great way to remind yourself of how well you’re doing, is to talk to other people in your field. When they ask you a question or ask for your advice, quickly offer a response. You’ll be surprised at the wise words coming out of your mouth and you’ll prove to yourself just how much you know.
Share your knowledge with others. Don’t be afraid or shy away from it.
In the same breath, if you don’t know an answer, that is perfectly okay. Being asked a question that might leave you stumped for words is NORMAL and is no cause for panic.
It’s just part of the entrepreneur and creative experience.
So, where does MY Imposter Syndrome fit into all of this?
Well, this is the bit I’ve found tricky to write.
Since moving to London, I’ve become self-employed which is amazing. I have flexibility and am effectively my own boss. But what I haven’t really addressed is what I actually do.
Most of you will know that I have this online platform – my beautiful new blog and my Instagram account. But what else do I do? The answer, quite a bit in the background.
I write guest blogs and newsletters for companies. I help with arranging events and social media marketing, I create content for incredible brands (I still can’t believe I get to say this) BUT, I also work FOR a company. And that company is FLYKICK.
My job? Front-of-house. And you know what, I love it. I work part-time so I can still manage my other roles, but it is the one thing that keeps me grounded, sane and gives me structure. It means I get to be surrounded by people on a daily basis and I am SUCH a people person.
Not only that, but it also gives me headspace from my phone, laptop and emails. It is essentially a mini-break from from social media which trust me, we all need.
Sure, it may not be to everyones taste but that is perfectly okay – it works for me.
The point of ‘admitting’ (I use this word very loosely) this is because I’d never want to mislead anyone or make anyone feel as though they’re not doing enough. I haven’t really addressed it not because I’m embarrassed, but because I fell victim to Imposter Syndrome. I thought that because I ‘had’ to work alongside my other activities, I wasn’t sucessful as a freelancer. I wasn’t doing enough. I was wrong, so wrong.
We all go through times of self-doubt but that does not mean to say we are not who we say we are.
Know that you are YOU—not some imposter trying to pose as you. You have so much to offer your audience and the people in your circle. So keep sharing and keep grinding. Don’t let your own disbelief hold you back.