Imposter Syndrome is something I have been experiencing way before I even understood the definition. Even though it happens in my general life, I wanna speak about how it affects me as a Content Creator and share some tips on how I deal with it. This post was inspired by a recent chat I had with a fellow creator, Tanya on one of her Instagram lives and then for a podcast episode.
Basically, the name says it all, it is when you feel like an imposter. Throwing it back to 2014 when I first started blogging, I never told a single soul about it. I always thought people would question my expertise as a blogger especially since I was not as established as other bloggers. I’d like to say that since then things have changed, but I don’t believe Imposter Syndrome is a one time thing. From my understanding and experiences, it occurs when you’re trying something new, enter into a new environment or fall into the comparison trap.
So, what is Imposter Syndrome?
A psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon remain convinced that they are frauds, and do not deserve all they have achieved.
Let’s rewind for a bit
I have been experiencing Imposter Syndrome long before I knew what it was called. I used to always feel like a fraud waiting for someone to reveal me to the world. I felt it when –
- I started my blog and refused to tell anyone about it
- Writing my bio on my social media pages
- Refusing opportunities because I didn’t think I deserved them
My blog is 6 years old and I still feel a hint of Imposter Syndrome ever so often despite the positive feedback I have received on my posts and insights. The newest struggle was referring to myself as a content creator as opposed to a blogger, whose decision was that to make? I create content for my blog, Youtube channel and Instagram, content that has also been reposted by international brands, so why do I feel a way referring to myself as a content creator?
FORMS OF IMPOSTER SYNDROME
Imposter Syndrome shows up in various ways, let’s talk about them for a bit before I share my tips on how I’ve been dealing with it.
- The Perfectionist: these individuals are never satisfied and always feel that their work could be better. Rather than focus on their strengths, they tend to fixate on any flaws or mistakes.
- The Superwoman/man: because these individuals feel inadequate, they feel compelled to push themselves to work as hard as possible. Measures competence based on how many roles they can both juggle and excel in. Falling short in any role will evoke shame because they feel like they should be able to handle it.
- The Natural Genius: these individuals set extremely lofty goals for themselves, and then feel crushed when they don’t succeed on their first try.
- The Soloist: these people tend to be very individualistic and prefer to work alone. Self-worth often stems from their productivity, so they often reject offers of assistance. They tend to see asking for help as a sign of weakness or incompetence.
- The Expert: these individuals are always trying to learn more and are never satisfied with their level of understanding. Even though they are often highly skilled, they underrate their own expertise. A minor lack of knowledge creates a feeling of failure and shame.
Do you identify with any of these?
TIPS FOR CONTENT CREATORS
As mentioned earlier, I’ve been a content creator for about six years and since then here are a few tips I have learned to better manage my feelings when it comes to imposter syndrome.
Affirmations are something I’ve been using on and off, but I believe that the more you use them and actually believe what they’re saying, the better and more helpful it will be. Unrelated to content creation, but one which I’ve been reminded of lately, is “I am here for a reason”. See below for a list of affirmations for content creators.
Stop Comparing Yourself
Easier said than done and I don’t think we’ll ever stop comparing ourselves to someone else, even if it’s in the slightest of ways. As it relates to content creation, I get envious when I see my fellow creators doing things I’ve wanted to do and I’ve had to reassure myself several times that what’s for me will be for me. The thing is we are all on our own paths and I can’t compare my season 1 to someone else’s season 12. To ensure I’m not sucked into the green eyed monster’s wrath, I’d either reduce my time spent on social media or if it’s drastic I may even mute/unfollow individuals on social platforms. The reason for this is that I don’t want to get trapped in consuming so much of other people’s content, getting envious and not working on my own. It’s hard not wanting to scroll, but it’ll pay off in the end, especially for your mental health.
Changing your Thoughts
Honestly, the majority of our feelings stem from our thoughts. We have a billion of them each day, how are we supposed to control them? I’m sure you’ve heard before how often you’re supposed to think positively and not dwell on negativity. Well, I believe journaling can help with this in order to identify where these thoughts are coming from and how you can begin to change them. Don’t overthink it, just set aside time each day to write how you’re feeling; it can become a part of your morning or night routine. If something specific pops up during the course of the day, take note of it to address it later.
Creating a Win List
A key to help you change your thoughts is a reminder about what you’ve achieved thus far. That’s exactly why you should create a win list. Challenge yourself to keep track of ALL your wins whether weekly or monthly. It doesn’t matter how small they appear to be, it’s worth the recognition.
Tea with Tanya Podcast Feature
I was very nervous about doing this and questioned my expertise on this topic (the imposter speaking) but I still went through with it and I am happy I did. I’ve missed a few opportunities in the past, well it’s time to start saying yes more and showing that voice in my head who’s the boss. Check it out and let me know what you think, also don’t forget to follow/subscribe to Tanya’s Podcast for weekly episodes.
Until Next Time,