Pretty soon everyone is going to figure out I know nothing about blogger outreach, that I’ve just been making it up…for years. Bloggers are going to realise I can’t help them, and brands are going to run a mile. Pretty soon, everyone is going to know the truth.
Have you heard of Impostor Syndrome? It’s when you feel like a fraud and that you are not as smart and experienced (nor deserving) as people think, and that pretty soon people going to find this out!
Apparently the term was coined in the 1980s and is something that a truck-load of women struggle with. Huh?
If you’ve ever thought something like “one of these days people are going to figure out that I have no idea what I am talking about” then you are not alone. I am raising my hand & waving the flag – this is something that plagues me.
In fact as I did a bit of research on this topic I discovered that Impostor Syndrome is often found among high-achieving, successful women. There is great irony in the fact that this discovery led me to wonder if I really do have impostor syndrome. To suggest that I do, might also be to suggest that I am a high achieving, successful woman!! Oh my goodness, am I faking my impostor syndrome?!?! (It would be hilarious if it weren’t so ridiculous!)
The thing about Impostor Syndrome is that it can stop you from doing the stuff you love, not to mention the very things you are do well. It can stop you innovating and creating. Instead of putting yourself out there, you hold back.
What to do when you struggle with Impostor Syndrome?
I don’t have it all figured out and I feel like this on a fairly regular basis, BUT this is how I deal with it:
- Remember my accomplishments. Much like ‘mind over matter’, I go through the things that I have and am achieving with my work and force myself to acknowledge them. Concrete, tangible accomplishments.
- Revisit client testimonials that remind me and provide proof that I know what I am doing (and that what I am doing works).
- Having a trusted group of friends and business confidants who I meet with in person and who do a combination of saying supportive things while also metaphorically smacking some sense into me.
- Ride it out. Impostor syndrome has become something of an unwanted companion who likes to pop in uninvited at regular intervals. Now that I’m onto her, I am also aware that she will leave. In the meantime, I need to make sure I don’t give credence to her voice. I am personally not good at getting to this step until I’ve been through the first three stages…whatever works for you.
- Once I’ve done all this, then I find it’s great to go an be helpful. Putting what I know into practice, and encouraging and helping someone else in the process is a simple way to remind myself that my work is not about me, but about the people it helps.
I can’t tell you how to deal with this unwanted visitor, should she also lurk around your place. What I can do is name it….and, as scary as writing this post is, in the process of naming this beast I hope to disentangle myself from its stranglehold..
Perhaps this is something you’ve been known to struggle with as well? Tell me and we can have our own little therapy party!