Facing Imposter Syndrome


It is ironic that growth of your business can lead to doubt. As creatives, we are susceptible to fear-driven insercuties. Courage and confidence are necessary in order to thrive. 

Psychologists define Imposter Syndrome as the persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud. That any day soon, the world will point fingers and laugh directly in your face; how could you ever be qualified to do what you do? The fear that everyone knows you're a fraud. One of the most important facts I've come to know about the feelings of Imposter Syndrome-- is that you are not alone. 

These thoughts have the potential to breed debilitating self doubt. Ironically, Imposter Syndrome is known to rear its ugly head with the outpour of success. Suddendly you feel the world is staring at you. At your work. Thinking, "she's not a real artist! He's not a qualified musician! Those photographs aren't even taken by a real photographer!" Years ago, I read a study in college that deemed over 70% of successful people experiencing this syndrome at least once in their lifetime. 

Imposter Syndrome is basically another form of anxiety, created in our own head. Feelings of inadeqaucy and insecurity to prevent us from living beyond fear and achieving greatness. 

In order to overcome these thoughts, I've created a system for myself. I'm hoping that maybe these viewpoints can help and encourage other creatives to face these daunting thoughts. Remind others that you do not need permission. You are competent. You are valued. 

Most importantly, like any trauma or weakness, we have to acknowledge its presence. Welcome it. Stare it in the face and be sure it knows we are facing it. That it will be on its way out.

Showing up in something that cannot be downplayed during these times of uncertainty. Usually, in times of doubt, it's incredibly effortless to throw in the towel and let it swallow us whole. Continue to be unapologically you. Write down the compliments you receive about your work. Remember that people are responding to your work and all that it stands for. Play and perfect your craft. Remind yourself in every way possible that you actually are worthy. You are on this journey because your creativity has gotten you this far. Continue to expose yourself. 

Eliminate these feelings by ceasing to downplay your success. You are growing because people value you. They connect to your creations. Your success has nothing to do with pure luck. 

Talk to others about your fear of "being found out". More often than not, many of us struggle with the same damaging insercutieies and are often nervous to ask for a helping hand. Community is so important. 

As for knowledge, if there is something you feel you lack-- teach yourself. Research it. Study it. Learn it inside and out. Take classes. Visit conferences. Study under a person in your craft. If there is something specific you feel you need to know better, you'll feel so much better working through it and gaining knowledge. Confidence in your craft is so important. Embrace your humbleness. 

Tending to your mental health is so significant, in and outside of creative endeavors. In order to keep growing, to keep reaching others-- we have to rise above it all. Overcome.

And yes, be able to answer, confidently, in saying, "I am an artist."