That feeling you get when you’re doing well, achieving and everything is working out, but somehow you feel like a fraud. You tell yourself over and over,
“I’ll never be good enough”
It’s called imposter syndrome and it makes us feel insecure as hell.
It leaves us feeling as though we’re not worthy of our success, that somehow we haven’t earned it. We feel that no-one is interested in what we have to say and any attention we do receive is unwarranted.
So often we have feelings of failure that pop up to ruin our day. It stops us from sharing our ideas and applying for opportunities that deep down we know we’re capable of.
I’ve been struggling with this recently. I’m being commissioned and published regularly in magazines and on websites. I have some long term contracts do curate social media feeds. I’m writing a bloody book. Sounds super awesome right? But I can’t seem to enjoy it. When I first started out as a freelance writer, I celebrated every little win. Now though, I can’t seem to. I have this feeling of dread that I’ll be found out as a fraud, and it’ll all come crashing down.
So how can we deal with this feeling?
The first thing I do is to talk about it. I’ll sit down with my partner and get it all out of my system. It doesn’t mean I need a response, or supportive words. Sometimes just verbalising the feelings is enough.
If you suffer from imposter syndrome, it probably means you’re a bit of a perfectionist. Learning to let go of perfectionism, and everything being just right all the time, can leave you feeling more contented with your work.
It’s important to realise that it’s inevitable that we will make mistakes. You can’t go through life without making them. What’s important is that we learn from the mistakes we make.
I like to look at things logically. I might feel a certain way, like I’m a bad writer. I’ll look at this objectively and logically. “Have I been told this?” “Where’s the evidence?” “Why would my work be published if it wasn’t good enough?”
What I’ve also learnt as I’ve got older, is many of us are just making it up as we go along. I thought by my 30’s I’d be this in control wonder woman who had all the answers. I was very, very wrong! You’d be surprised how many people feel the same way, and don’t really have everything sorted, even if it seems they do!