Imposter syndrome, according to healthline.com, “involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience, and accomplishments.” I know that I have experienced imposter syndrome on high levels.
I guess I will start with my credentials. I am a class away from completing a Master’s degree in Communications & Media Studies, and I have made all A’s through this process. I have two undergraduate degrees – one in political science and the other in history. I have been writing for over ten years, and I completed a design boot camp.
Even with all of these accomplishments, I still struggle to feel as though I am good enough or worthy. I experience intense feelings of self-doubt. Sometimes this rolls over into feelings of anxiety.
For example, the other day, I worked on a logo for my design and digital marketing business. I finally got the nerve to make a Facebook page ( that I still haven’t shared with anyone) and started wireframing for the business website.
I enjoy design and marketing for a lot of the same reasons I love writing. It’s all storytelling. Each draft and version offers you the opportunity to make the viewer’s/ reader’s/ user’s journey engaging. They provide a chance to make their days a little more beautiful or a little simpler.
The more design projects I work on, the easier it is to get my ideas out, test those ideas, and see if they communicate what I want them to. Even as my skills get more robust, I still feel like I’m not good enough at anything to be getting paid to do it. While this is patently false, my fear of failure often leads to freezing or excepting less than what I have earned—just being happy to be in the room rather than acknowledging that I have something to offer to the conversation.
I’ve had this blog for over a decade. I often neglect it( and that is changing). I find that my voice is constantly in flux, and I don’t know what exactly I want to write. I know that I love to write. I have journals, and I live for writing a thesis. My journey as a writer led me to a place where I can bang out a draft quickly and have enough time for two rounds of editing. (Screen readers are lifesavers!) And YET, I still ask myself, why would anyone pay me to do work that I love.
Imposter syndrome can stand in the way of going after goals and dreams. A bit of this has to do with our culture and the masks of perfection that we hide behind to avoid criticism. We have been conditioned to believe that we have to be perfect from the start, which causes us to miss opportunities to grow and learn.
I’ve become okay with sharing half-baked ideas, and I have learned to love a good critique. It makes you stronger. It makes your work better.
I know my community won’t let me fall on my face. They sit with me on zoom calls for an hour to help me fix my portfolio. They help me develop more substantial papers and blogs by pointing me to resources that support the points I am trying to make. They remind me that I have to get my time management skills together. They show me how we are always learning. We are constantly growing. They teach me to fail fast and examine my failures to begin again. Honestly, even strangers on the internet will give you tips to grow you.
So, why feel like an imposter? The lesson I have learned in the last two years is that NO ONE KNOWS EVERYTHING. No one is self-made. Everyone has a community. The cure for imposter syndrome is relying on your team. We all have different skills and strengths. When we support each other and build each other up, we can conquer the world.
Comment Below and share the ways you are combating your imposter syndrome.
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