Listen, it happens to all of us. You work hard to make it somewhere in your chosen field and at some point, you look at yourself like “What the hell am I doing? I’m a fraud!” That is our good friend “impostor Syndrom.” Basically, it’s hard to transition mentally from “Someday, I want to be…” to “I am…” I imagine doctors, lawyers, actors, and rock stars all do the same thing. It all comes down to one thing: self-doubt.
We doubt ourselves because we compare ourselves. Remember that. It’s going to come up again. As a writer, I love my work and the freedom to create, however, sometimes I look at others who’ve achieved success and question my own value. Imposter syndrome pops up to tell you that you’re not a “real writer” like those others. What you have to do is change your mental narrative. I have a bold strategy for this.
How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome
Here’s my simple one-word piece of advice for overcoming impostor syndrome: Dont! What’s that you say? I’m insane? Perhaps. However, I feel like trying to constantly validate yourself as equal to those you set as a benchmark for success is a losing battle. I am a successful writer, but I will never be Stephen King. Maybe you are a business tech person, but you will never be Steve Jobs. Remember what I said? “We doubt ourselves because we compare ourselves.” So what’s the solution?
Beat Impostor Syndrome By Embracing What You Are Not
We spend so damn much time trying to prove to ourselves that we are on par with others that we forget to see who we are. Here’s the workaround. Stop trying to fit into an idea of what you are supposed to be and express what you are. I have a good example. I write high-quality business and marketing content. I also write comic book scripts, poetry, and comedy. Well, can you trust a “professional” marketing writer who also writes comic books and short stories? Can you trust your comedy writing to some business and marketing guy? These are the questions that come up when you try to put yourself or others into a box.
I can easily fall into impostor syndrome when I compare myself to marketing professionals who live for SEO and branding. I can question my creative writing as I’m making a living writing business bios and website content. On the other hand, I can distinguish myself as the writer who can produce a killer ‘about page’ for your website and help you out with a comedy set for open mic night. When you embrace your uniqueness, you no longer feel like an impostor trying to be someone else and become free to be your fully-actualized self. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Michael J. Snow is a writer, marketing professional, and unlicenced comedian. Check out his Fiverr page to see all the neat tricks he can do. Want to collaborate on a writing project? Send an email here.