3 Ways to Beat Impostor Syndrome

Saturday, April 13, 2019

I struggle with impostor syndrome.

On this blog, I work hard to be positive and provide helpful tips for writers. I desire to have an air of expertise to convey authority on the subjects I’m speaking about. Because of this need, I don’t talk about my writing insecurities often, but I deeply struggle with impostor syndrome.

Impostor syndrome is when you feel like you are deceiving others because your work isn’t good enough, which will lead to you being exposed. Impostor syndrome can cause writer's block, never finishing a story, not writing what you want, and so much more. Funny enough, writers are often plagued with this “syndrome.”

I believe it has something to do with the fact that a lot of a writer’s work is done alone with little outside validation. Until a writer finally gets their big break in a publishing deal or a healthy amount of self-publishing sales, nothing is there to tell them their work is “good enough.” It’s understandable then why the negative voice in your head can convince you that you’re an impostor since you have no “proof” of your credentials.

I struggle with impostor syndrome every time I write a blog post this blog offering writing tips. I want to share the knowledge that I have acquired through my education and experience, but it’s a struggle for me because I don’t feel like an expert. I constantly have a voice in my head telling me I’m not good enough because I haven’t “officially” published anything. I have been working on my self-growth in 2019, so I can decrease my negative self-talk and stop impostor syndrome from running my writing life. Impostor syndrome has caused me to stop writing so many books and also not submit essays that I worked hard on in fear of rejection. To take back control of my writing life, I’m committing to change in order to avoid impostor syndrome.

Here are the three ways I’m trying to beat my own impostor syndrome:

1. Fake it Until You Make It

Last week, I posted a raw Instagram caption talking about how I struggle with impostor syndrome. In this post, I asked my followers how they dealt with their impostor syndrome. The two best comments I received basically said, “Fake it until you make it.” Their advice was to keep writing no matter what and you will eventually forget about feeling like an impostor.

You aren’t necessarily “faking” it, but if you feel can’t shake feeling like a fraud, this is a great solution. If you keep writing, you will eventually convince yourself that you’ve “made it.” Even if you don’t, you will still have words on the page.

2. Find Your Writers Tribe

Finding a writer’s group for me has been essential. I recently joined Briana Morgan’s Discord server. It has been so nice communicating with people who are doing the same thing as me and who are having the same struggles. Fellow writer friends can give you the validation you need in your darkest moments and make you feel like less of a fraud. Since writing is a lonely hobby, it is nice to engage with others. Personally, feeling lonely is what make makes my impostor syndrome worse because being alone makes me want to compare myself to other writers. This begins the circle of feeling inadequate and like an impostor. By having a tribe, I can voice my insecurities to them and avoid comparison because I have a supportive group.

3. Retrain the Negative Voice in Your Brain

A writer friend told me, “Most people that feel like imposters aren’t really impostors. If you were a true impostor, you wouldn’t think about it.” When I feel like an imposter, I know it is my own negative self-talk. I’ve been working hard to retrain the negative voice in my brain, but it’s a difficult journey.

If you can tell yourself that you are enough every day and work to retrain your negative self-talk, eventually you will stop believing that you are an imposter. At the end of the day the only thing making you an “impostor” and hold you back is the voice in your head. We have to learn to quiet this voice, in order to make true change.

Impostor syndrome can get the best of all of us, but if we keep working, I know we will continue to make great content without letting our insecurities hold us back. If you want to know even more about imposter syndrome, one of my favorite blogs, Well-Storied, has a helpful article here. For more help on self-care, which can help you stop your negative self-talk, try my 5 easy ways to practice self-care here.

How do you combat impostor syndrome?

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