The other day I was working on a logo for my design and digital marketing business. I finally got the nerve up to make a Facebook page ( that I still haven’t shared with anyone), and start 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 offer the opportunity 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 are communicating that I want them to. Even as my skills get stronger, I still feel like I’m not good enough at anything to be getting paid to do it. While this isn’t true, 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. I find that my voice is constantly in flux and I don’t know what exactly I want to write about. 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 really 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, and that 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 stronger 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 always growing. They teach me to fail fast and examine my failures in order 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 it 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.