I’m a blogger.
I am A BLOG-GER.
I’M. A. blogger?!?
I. am. A. Blogger.
No matter how I say it, it sounds silly. It’s a bit trivial, and I can’t seem to wrap my head around it as an actual fact. I blog. Like, literally, I have a website. I write things, and I post them. That’s the literal definition of a blogger, but I still feel like a fraud. If you can relate to feeling that way about yourself, your work, or your life, you’re probably dealing with your fair share of imposter syndrome too. So, I’m glad that it’s you reading this because you won’t judge me.
In fact, I’m happy that you’re here because I can help. Here are five of my favorite tools that I’ve found incredibly helpful for overcoming imposter syndrome.
How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome:
- Weed out the Noise
- Be honest with yourself.
- Admit your truths
- Use your truths as fuel to persevere.
Before we jump into the details, there’s a chance that you’ve stumbled upon this post, and you have no clue what imposter syndrome is, so let’s back up.
What is Imposter Syndrome:
Well, according to the dictionary, it was initially called the “imposter phenomenon.” It was “understood as a false and sometimes crippling belief that one’s success is the product of luck or fraud rather than skill.” -Merriam Webster
But, I understand it best as a feeling.
What does Imposter Syndrome feel like:
For me, my accomplishments don’t feel real or even reasonable. I’m a blogger, remember?!?
And as I said, it just sounds silly. I feel a lot like that guy from high school with three kids, no job, still trying to be a rapper, or the one who’s 5’4, still holding on to his pro basketball dreams.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I tell myself that this is different, but somewhere else in my mind, I’m telling myself to “get real.” I’m struggling to convince myself that this is a real job. Although, I’m clearly doing it as a job. Hence, the reason you’re here; to read my blog.
Yet, every day I dig deep to push away that gut feeling that I’m not who you think I am and that at any moment, everyone will find out. I felt that way throughout design school, my design career, and even now, as a blogger.
My Struggles with Imposter Syndrome
I graduated from FIDM(The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising). For years I worked in the industry for high profile companies like Perry Ellis on their Laundry by Shelli Segal line. As a Technical Designer, I fit clothes for large retailers such as Macy’s for their Material Girl and Bar III line, Forever 21, Wet Seal, Charlotte Russe, and many more. I owned and ran an online retail store. I’ve written and published a book about fashion styling for the everyday woman, and the list goes on. Clearly, I’ve paid my dues, and still, I feel like an imposter. I was/am still waiting for the other shoe to drop. The daunting moment where everyone else sees that I’m just figuring it out like the rest of the world.
Are you wondering, “Do I have Imposter Syndrome?”. If you read that, and it hit home for you, then the answer is “Yes.”
Welcome to the club!
But remember, there is hope for us!
Using the above tools helped me to train my mind to think differently. I do not have a cure. I have tools that require intentional daily efforts. So, before we move on, I do want to clear something up.
You do not get rid of imposter syndrome:
This post is titled “How I overcame Impostor Syndrome.” Well, that was a little misleading. You don’t “overcome” imposter syndrome; you cope with it. Constantly learning tools to help you become more and more comfortable with your successes, and each day it feels a little less like a dream and a lot more like your reality.
Now that we’re clear on that, here’s how to apply the tools.
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
1. Weed Out the Noise:
The noise is everyone and everything that doesn’t positively serve you—things like doubt, procrastination, fear, ego, naysayers. People like the ones who are continuously asking, “what are you going to do with an Arts Degree?” As if they have to understand the vision for it to work out for you. People like “yourself”; wanting success, but fearing the journey, getting in your own way and self-sabotaging. This is why we have to take a minute to weed through the nonsense. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies. Instead of driving myself crazy, I sift through those daunting thoughts and get rid of the ones that are noise and hold no merit.
Create a Roadmap:
write down your goals/vision and break them down into straightforward, easy-to-do tasks. Then, spread it out over weeks, months, or years. The time frame isn’t important. What’s important is that it’s clear and actionable.
Reimagine the necessary things that can’t be easy, actionable tasks.
How can you break them down? What can you do instead?
Release the things that you don’t have an answer for yet. The irrelevant questions because they don’t apply to your goal/vision, Release, release those too. The doubt because you have a guide. You know exactly where you are and where you need to go.
*Remember that these things can be tangible, emotional, or even mental mindsets.
2. Be Honest With Yourself:
Now that you’ve weeded through the noise and are clear on thoughts that hold value. The ones that mean something to you and that you believe to be true, it’s time to get honest.
Honestly, I don’t “not” feel like a blogger. The truth is, I don’t feel like a successful blogger. So it feels misleading to call me a blogger at all. Often I don’t see myself as successful because I don’t look like what other bloggers look like in success. Unlike other bloggers, I don’t have millions of followers. I don’t have lots of ad revenue (Okay, I don’t have any ad revenue), like the other bloggers. I don’t have big brands racing to do business with me (Yet!…. I’m speaking that part into existence), like the other bloggers, and the list goes on. Not only do I not have them, what if I never get them? I’m scared
Honestly, I’m fearful of all of the unknowns. I’m also clearly playing the comparison game, a game that I will never win because I’m not them; I’m me.
You have to be the one who tells yourself the truth. Compassion is excellent and necessary, but honesty is imperative to coping with imposter syndrome. You have to be able to trust yourself with the hard stuff. Think: what’s real and what’s fake.
Access your thoughts and evaluate them. Dissect your believed truths and unpeel the layers to find the honest truth. Those things are usually coming from pride, insecurities, egos, or fears.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to be honest with yourself
- Is this true or false?
- Why is this true or false?
- Does it matter in the grand scheme of things?
- What can I do to change this narrative if it does matter?
Example of Truths and Falsehoods:
My business isn’t taking off the way I’d like because I don’t have enough time?
The truth is, I’m mismanaging the time that I have.
I need to reprioritize the things that I’m doing to occupy my time.
I’m mismanaging my time, aka I’m procrastinating.
Why am I procrastinating?
Procrastination is a scapegoat.
If I procrastinate, I never get to finish what I’m doing.
If I never finish what I’m doing, I never actually fail.
I’m afraid of failure.
It’s that simple.
3. Admit Your Truths
The first step to any recovery program is Acknowledgement. We’re all familiar with the 12 Step Program and the famous words to its first step; “My name is ….. And I am an alcoholic”. Knowing the truth is very different than admitting it. Now that we’ve been honest with ourselves, it’s time to say it out loud. It’s not enough to keep this little secret to ourselves, tucked away in the back of our minds. It’s easy to ignore when it’s left unsaid.
Being an influencer, a blogger, or outright starting a business from scratch is crazy. Doing something great and being successful is crazy. It’s not typical or traditional, and it’s hard for our brains to understand things that aren’t presented to us in a pretty package. It feels like a pipe dream, but that’s only because…
You know that it is. That’s one of the reasons you’re having these traumatizing thoughts in the first place. It’s not an easy task, and you can’t believe that you’ve somehow accomplished it either, but you have. However, you’ll never be able to live in that if you don’t acknowledge it fully. So, here we are, your Imposters’ Anonymous moment. Admit that what you do is difficult. Admit that everyone isn’t creative, or curious, or fun, or whatever it is that you are uniquely good at. You’ve weeded out the noise, you’ve been honest with yourself so that you’re clear on your truths, now accept them. It’s okay to acknowledge that your skill is a skill that does not come easy to everyone else.
Go ahead, admit it
I dare you!
If you haven’t just yelled out your truth in whatever random place you are occupying, you may not be doing it right.
Listen, your skill may not have come easy to you either. Maybe, you worked hard to get where you are. Maybe, you worked just kind of hard, but you didn’t give up, which brought you a long way. That’s okay. Whatever the “reasoning” is, be honest. Because honesty gives clarity and reduces shame, strip fear of its control over your narrative; love and compassion will begin to replace it.
4. Use your truths as fuel to persevere through imposter syndrome:
Now that you’ve weeded out the noise and you have held onto the things that you know to be true, it’s time to take a little advice from one of the world’s most famous race cars, Cruz Ramirez,
Use it to be scared.
A little “scaredness” is good. It makes you conscious of risk and forces you to continually take inventory of your progress and failures—all crucial things to do with a new business.
Use it to get tough skin. There are nice people in this world, and unfortunately, there are also evil, joy sucking trolls. They will find you! Maybe in the form of a bitter family member. Perhaps, a little voice in the back of your head (also known as your insecurities) that pops up when you feel uncomfortable about someone else’s success, or in the form of an actual internet troll telling you your worst nightmare, “you suck, you should find a new career.” Regardless of who says what or where those words are coming from, you can handle it if you’re honest with yourself.
Because this whole time, you’ve told yourself the truth.
You’ve already accepted that
Decide that you want to do it anyway. Evil words tend to sting more when we either haven’t dealt with their realities or are in the process of dealing with those realities. So, deal with it.
I don’t have all of the answers, but I don’t need to! I have access to a world of information via the internet.
This is hard, and that’s okay. Remind yourself that you have succeeded at hard things before. (Note: We have all by some miracle made it through a world pandemic.)
I am not where I want to be, but I have come a long way. With no prior experience, I built a website from scratch. I have learned how to implement SEO and build a following over the internet.
Imposter syndrome is a mindset, not a reality. Counter every negative with a positive. Improve our thought patterns, and we improve our belief in ourselves, what we can do, and what we have already accomplished.
Deal with the negative criticism, deal with the insecurities, deal with mean spirited people, deal with the IDK’s, and if any of it is true, fix it.
What if this job is a pipe dream? Someone’s done it and made it a reality. Do your research and find out how.
The point is, the success of your business isn’t strictly based on numbers and flow charts. A lot of it is you. It’s the voices in your head that you choose to focus on. Be strong in who you are and what you came to accomplish, and you will not be easily mindfuc*** by imposter syndrome. You are capable. You are deserving. Remember that!
5. Practice not feeling like an imposter
I’m forever telling my son that “practice makes perfect,” the same applies here. Practice telling yourself that what you do is important. Practice telling yourself that your voice matters. Your business and what it offers matter.
Practice telling yourself that it’s okay if you fail. You’re in control, don’t be so stuck on succeeding that you miss the lessons along the journey. The more you practice telling yourself that you are deserving, that you have earned this, that you are talented, the more you say it, the more you will believe it.
Close your eyes.
Take a breath.
Release negativity, self-doubt, lies. Release drama, overworking, overachieving. (weeding out the noise)
Remember, you’re enough. What you have to offer is enough. (Be Honest)
Open your mouth and say the words “I am enough”. (Admit your truths)
Diamond is enough.
Now, take a minute and decide how you, being enough, in your situation, would respond.
Because Diamond is enough, Diamond can start a business without all of the information; she can learn along the way.
Diamond blogs without outside validation and still believes that her voice is essential and needs to be heard.
Since Diamond is enough, Diamond sees a need and pursues it with everything she has.
She is determined, and she succeeds because she is enough.
(Your truths are your fuel)
Finally, put it into action.
My name is Diamond Janae, and I am a blogger.
It’ll never feel real until I can say it with confidence. Now, you try, “speak things that are not as though they were”- – go on, manifest greatness!
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