How to beat imposter syndrome

Do you sometimes feel like you’re not good enough? Like someone’s going to realise you’re not a master at drawing or your unable to come up with amazing ideas all the time? You’re not alone, imposter syndrome ((link to definition)) has reported to have affected at least 70% of people at one point in their life. Even the most accomplished on artists experience imposter syndrome sometimes. ((link comic))

It’s is unavoidable if you put yourself out there. I used to think I was good at dealing with the fear of judgement, whether it was personal or professional I would be able bounce back after a low period. But lately, I don’t feel so resilient. I’ve become overly precious over my creative work. I find it uncomfortable sharing my work with others, like a wriggling worm inside my stomach. It’s become easier the more I share it online but there are still times I will go through the motions.

But all is not lost! There are definitely ways to beat imposter syndrome and start feeling a little more self-assured.

Some ways I cope when I feel like a fraud

  1. Reflect on why you’re feeling this way (was it something someone said, have you been scrolling Instagram for hours or did you not get the job you thought you were a shoe in for?)
  2. Start to break down why. Sometimes its not you, it can be the mood of an art director at the time to reject you. The job you really wanted, well maybe there was a candidate with work more relevant to the brief.
  3. Sit with your feelings for a little while and consider if feeling this way is helpful
  4. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  5. Talk with friends, loved ones or mentors about how you feel. It can really help put a better perspective on your doubts.

Imposter syndrome isn’t always such a terrible thing. Sometimes you might have come on because something needs to be improved. Maybe your style of work is getting stale or your influences show up too obviously in your work. Consider it as a sign that you need to make a change.

Doubt it perfectly normal and its OK to feel it from time to time. Of course if this is something that you feel on the regular, it might be time to consider something like conselling to better understand why your feeling this way.

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