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Last night I read a really intriguing article about Imposter Syndrome. It really got me thinking of how I view myself in the blogging world and what I could do to change that view. What really surprised me was the amount of people that reportedly suffer from Imposter Syndrome. At first, it was thought that it was something that mostly affected women, but now thinking is that it affects around 40% of high achieving people. So, nearly half of successful people don’t think they belong where they are, I thought it was just me!
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter Syndrome is where you don’t believe that you are as good as the people around you think you are. The feeling that you will be found out and seen as a fraud is so overwhelming You don’t think you belong where you are. This obviously causes some major anxiety and can lead to perfectionism in some. Even when you do well, you put it down to luck, not that you could actually do the task/job.
How does it affect my blogging and life?
This is me pretty much all the time. For as long as I can remember I have had a low opinion of myself and my abilities. I talk myself out of things and create situations in my head that will never happen. I know a part of this is down to my depression and I’m working on trying to have a more positive mindset. But I still don’t feel I belong in the blogging world.
Of course, I do the stupid thing of comparing my blog to others. I see people who have been blogging for a lot shorter time than I have making a success of themselves. I just think “you could do that if you weren’t so clueless” (or words to that effect). When I talk to people in groups etc about blogging, my blog, where I want to go, I make myself sound upbeat. I have written posts about how much I want to succeed and make my blog a business. But the truth is, I don’t believe it, I don’t think I have the skills to do it.
Last week, one of the lovely ladies at one of the craft groups I go to was asking me about my blog. As always I downplayed it. She replied “Oh, you’re a journalist, how exciting!” and instantly I said, “no, I just write a few bits here and there, nothing important.” Straight away she asked me why I put myself down like that. I tried to make a joke about it to cover it up. Again she asked me why. When I said that I’ve always done it because I don’t think I am good enough, I was told I need to stop being so hard on myself.
How to deal with Imposter Syndrome
Reading that article and talking to my friend has really made me see that I need to have more faith in myself and not beat myself up about things I can’t control. So, how can I do this?
There are ways for me and others to fight through this. Talking to someone about how you are feeling can be a great relief. If these things are bottled up for too long they can take over your life. Something I’ve learned from having depression and anxiety is that talking to people helps to see how irrational your thinking is. It is just a relief to let it all out. If you don’t feel like talking to someone, write a letter to yourself as if you were talking to a friend. This will help release the pent up feelings and will make you see the good qualities you have.
Another way to help is to have a good think about your abilities. Write down the things that you have accomplished in your life and what you are good at and compare it to what you believe about yourself. Visually seeing the difference between what you think and what actually is might actually surprise you.
It is important that you stop comparing yourself to others. I know personally that this is easier said than done, but it will help massively. You are not someone else, you’re your own person and your skills are just as good, if not better than those you compare yourself to.
Refuse to let how you are feeling hold you back from reaching for your goals. Sometimes it pays to be stubborn and not give in. Just think how good it will feel when you reach that goal, let that feeling be the one that you follow.
I am taking baby steps with all of this. I know trying to do too much at once won’t help me. But I am determined to reach my blogging goals. It may take me longer than some others, but I WILL get there. I have a great plan to Level up my blog, so, I am going to be an imposter no more!
Do you ever feel like an imposter at times? If so, how do you deal with it?
Take care everyone.
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