The Imposter Syndrome: 6 Reminders When You Feel Like A Complete Fraud
Have you ever thought about doing something totally new and exciting?
And you started to get more and more excited about it? You start telling your friends and family this new project you’re about to work on and how you can’t wait to start.
But then, the fears and start pouring in like a heavy rain you weren't expecting.
“Who am I to do this?” “There are so many people out there better at this than me!” “Who do I think I am?!” “People are going to think I’m an imposter, and they’ll call me out on it!” “What if people laugh at me? Judge me? Talk about me behind my back?"
6 things to remember when you're feeling like an imposter:
1. You’re not alone.
Everyone I’ve ever talked to before has felt this way at one time or another. And you know who the people who end up succeeding are? The people who heard these voices of fear and doubt go off in their head and decided to do the scary thing anyway.
Because their passion was better and stronger than their fear. They decided to be brave and task the risk.
It helps to talk to people about this, because you'll start to realize that this happens all the time. And to everyone. Everyone feels like a fraud sometimes. We question ourselves and our abilities. “Who are we to do this?”
Well, who are you not to do this? Why not you? What makes you so unqualified? Trust me, there is someone out there who is doing what you want to be doing who once thought they were unqualified too.
Don’t quit before you start.
2. You will never feel ready or fully prepared.
There will never be a right moment to start something. To try something new. To start your new creative project. To interview someone for your podcast.
Whatever it is, you will never feel ready. You just have to choose to do it. As Nike says, “Just do it.” Don’t overthink it. Don’t try to overanalyze the situation. Don’t take yourself out of the game before you even have a chance to go into it.
You are more ready than you realize.
Don’t let your doubt of “What if I can’t do it?” hold you back. If we all listened to our fears, nothing would ever get done. Nothing new would ever happen, because we would just want to stay in our comfort zones. And nothing ever grows there; we don't grow there.
3. Stop the comparison game, and just be yourself.
It’s easy to look at someone else and get discouraged.
“They’re already so far ahead, how will I ever catch up?"
Well, who in the world said you had to catch up? Or be like them?
What if you were to just be you? (Trying to copy and be like everyone else is completely exhausting by the way.) What if you added in your own personality and unique qualities into the mix?
Copying someone else’s style and personality isn’t going to make you unique or stand out. It isn’t going to make people like you or notice you, because they’ve already seen it before. Put your personality in it. Put more of you in it. The world needs more of that.
Show people who you are. Show them the real you, because if there’s one thing I know, people appreciate honesty and authenticity. Be yourself; it's refreshing when people are themselves.
Also remember there’s no shame in just starting out or being a beginner. Everyone has to start somewhere.
4. Be honest.
Like I said in my last point, people appreciate a little honesty.
Actually, they appreciate a whole lot of honesty, because in the midst of all the social media, everyone has become so caught up in having the perfect filter and getting everything perfect before showing it to anyone. I’ll admit that I’ve spent over an hour trying to upload an Instagram photo before (and I've done this more than once) - trying to pick a filter that looked good, working on the brightness, getting the contrast level just right, etc.
But have you ever seen someone be real on an Instagram photo and just tell the truth and be honest with their audience? Well, people love that. People love it when someone’s just real with them, because it’s relatable. Perfection is not relatable, because perfection does not exist for any of us... regardless of how well we paint the picture.
Let people know how you’re feeling and what you’re going through, and stop trying to make it seem like you have it all together.
Trust me, no one has it all together or all figured out.
If you let people in on your truth, they will let you in on their truth too.
5. If you don’t work your magic, the world is going to miss out.
Yes, there are people already doing what you want to do.
But they’re doing it in their own way. (And so should you.)
The world hasn’t had the chance to see what you’re capable of yet. They haven’t seen or experienced it from you - your perspective, your unique voice, your passion, your talent, and your heart.
All the things that make you who you are.
You have something absolutely amazing to show to the world whether that’s writing, art, pottery, singing, dancing, talking, etc.
Don’t worry about your audience size. When you do something with insane passion and purpose, people will come, because your heart and energy will attract them. People are attracted to people they like and want to support.
Believe in yourself and don't give up.
6. Stop feeding your fear and negative self-talk.
It's contagious and spreads like wildfire.
It’s easy to come up with a list of reasons of why you can’t and shouldn’t. Trust me, it doesn’t take very long.
But it’s certainly not going to get you anyway. And it’s not going to make you feel any better.
So, my advice: Stop doing that to yourself. Stop feeding into your own pain. You deserve better. You deserve to love and believe in yourself. You deserve to love your work and feel proud and brave enough to share it with others so they can enjoy it too.
Because trust me, everyone feels like a fraud sometimes.
Don’t be one of those people who feed into their can’ts and shouldn’ts, because their dreams never come true and they will never see the light of day. Don't get in your own way.
I want you to see your ideas and creations come to life; let them see the light of day.
stay in the game.
You deserve to be here just as much as anyone else.
Hi there! I'm Molly, the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Wholehearted Woman. A storyteller, introvert, self-love advocate, and multi-passionate creative with big dreams and even bigger fears. I help women find their voice, share their stories, and authentically embrace who they are.
You can read more about me and my mission here.