Do you ever just feel like you’re not good enough even at something you’ve been succeeding at countless times? Do you have that voice whispering in your ear time and again, saying you’re a fraud and it won’t be long until everyone finds out? That voice is imposter syndrome. It will have you talking negatively about yourself, thinking your achievements are no big deal and constantly comparing yourself to others.
I pay a lot of attention to the smallest mistakes I make and beat myself up about them. I start thinking that maybe the mistakes are a sign that I wasn’t cut out for this and that I should just quit.
Over time I have learnt to be kind to myself and re-frame my thoughts when self-doubt chews at me. Instead of saying, ‘I’ll never be good at this!’, I say, ‘I may not be so good yet but I’ll get better with practice.’ Focusing on progress rather than perfection has helped me a great deal. I’ve started to celebrate every single win, big or small and being proud of every step in the direction of my goals.
I collaborated with some of my favorite bloggers to share how they deal with imposter syndrome and hopefully you’ll be inspired to overcome self-doubt, the fear of not being good enough and show up for yourself.
I asked them this question: How do you deal with imposter syndrome?
Evelyn is an author, interior decorator and lifestyle blogger.
I have always wanted to write and share my thoughts but I was also very afraid of what people might think about my work. Was I relevant? Was my work notable? Was my vocabulary good enough? Were people going to call me an “author” in that contemptuous manner? While I focused my thoughts and energy on these questions, I lost the joy that I got from writing.
I asked myself, ‘are you truly putting your best work in that season out?’
That became my guiding question to dealing with imposter syndrome. It mattered very little what anyone had to think about my work because I was confident that I had truly done the best I could to my ability.
“It starts with your mind. When that thought crosses your mind, you’re a fraud, you’re not qualified to be where you are etc. That’s when you bring your mind muscle to the table by stating some facts to yourself.”
Are you the best person for the job? Are you giving your task 100%? Are you adding value?
When you’re honest with yourself, it gets easier to beat that imposter syndrome trying to rear its ugly head during your big moments. Show up for yourself and everyone you’re representing by doing your research. Anticipate the questions that come with your job or status and have your answers ready. Although many of us tend to feel sorry for ourselves (am guilty of that too), I believe that if you’re in a position/place/job that you’ve worked so hard to earn, you owe it to yourself to bring your excellent A game.
Fiona is a digital creator and natural hair enthusiast.
How do I deal? I made friends with her. My Imposter Syndrome, I mean. A strategy I picked up from the multi talented Kemiyondo Coutinho.
I named her Nalu. Acknowledging her helped me come to terms with the fact that she is not going anywhere. For as long as we are human, we will face self doubt now and then.
“And in those moments, I listen and say, “Nalu, I hear you but I’m going to need you to take a seat way over there so I can get to work”
I used to fight with it and try to fix it into a box far away. That just made for major suppression. Acknowledgement. That’s how I deal.
Tanya is a health and lifestyle blogger who shares public health stories and promotes positive living.
“Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite the evident success”. I read that in an article from Harvard Business Review. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like I didn’t belong, especially when it comes to the blogging world. I remember when I first started blogging, my goal was to get one person to read my blog or even like and comment. When that happened, I was happy because I knew I was reaching someone. As time went on, I realized I was comparing myself to other bloggers, bloggers who had more followers than me or who seemed to be part of the elite crew.
Despite seeing growth on my blog form views to followers and even engagement, I still doubted myself, and I did not acknowledge my accomplishments. I started putting pressure on myself to put out content often and not caring about the quality of the content; I’ve realized quality is better than quantity. I was under enormous pressure and stress to “keep up with the Joneses”. With that I lost some motivation to blog. I did not feel like blogging or interacting with my readers. I had to pull myself together and go back to the reason why I started my blog, and what my goal was in the beginning, and that was to have at least one person read my blog. Of course the goal is to have people from all parts of the world read my blog, but it was not my focus anymore.
“I had to go back to why I was passionate about putting out content that I loved, which will, in turn, make my readers love my blog. I quickly adapted that mentality again and I have seen more growth, and I have seen the results of believing in myself and believing in the content I put out. Believing in the content you put out is a major key.”
It is easy to feel like you don’t belong, or you get intimidated by others, but be sure to celebrate your success, whether big or small. Focus on getting one person to read your blog and make a lasting impression on that reader.
Patsy is a millennial money coach and digital content creator empowering young people to financial freedom.
I’ll be 100% real and say I still face imposter syndrome every day as I create content for the blog, my YouTube channel and across my social media pages. One thing I learnt from Kemiyondo is to name the Imposter syndrome. I sit down and understand where she’s coming from; maybe she’s coming from a place of safety or protection. I share with her that everything that’s great is on the other side of fear. Most of my imposter syndrome is heavily rooted in fear, especially fear of rejection. But naming her, as Kemiyondo shared, has really helped me. I sit her down and we have a heart to heart conversation.
“I also do affirmations. Every night before bed or when she shows up after I put up my project and it’s not getting the engagement I anticipated, I remind myself why I created; and that’s primarily for me. I am the number one consumer of my content.”
I also remind myself to keep showing up, be limitless and keep putting my best foot forward.
Faith is a radio host and content creator.
Have you ever known something for so long that you mistake it for your identity?
That has been Imposter syndrome for me.
Upon learning that it didn’t belong with my path and now trying to find a way without it hasn’t been the easiest.
I’d convinced myself that invisible was better, safer and where I belong.
Cue in Lecrae’s background.
It manifested in me denying my own achievements, deliberately chasing away opportunities because I felt unworthy or not that qualified.
I am thankful for the realization that I was selling myself short. Having to learn to open up about how my familiarity with rejection and fear had crowded my self awareness and tainted my view of how life should be for me has been a heck of a journey.
“Seeking therapy, acknowledging that there has to be more, learning to love myself more, holding myself accountable with grace and kindness, admitting pain and parting ways with labels assigned to me is opening my eyes to a version of myself that I didn’t think existed.”
Nyonyozi is a digital content creator passionate about self-love.
In my opinion, imposter syndrome is a feeling of inadequacy, self-doubt and under achieving inspire of evidence of achievement. It manifests in self sabotage, not accepting compliments, self doubt, downplaying your performance etc
For me personally, it has exhibited in feeling like I’m a fraud. I sometimes feel like I’m lying to people in spite of knowing that I’m genuine and authentic. There’s a small feeling at the end of the day that judges at me. What will you do when they find out that you’re a failure? They will laugh at you. What if all this content you create goes away? What if they are following you to laugh at you? Can you imagine that?
I’ve personally accepted failure when it comes. It’s okay to fail. I’m okay with failing. I accept it as normalcy and dust myself up and move on.
I affirm myself. I am beautiful. I am bold. I am worthy. I am brilliant. I am enough.
I am unique so I can never compare myself to others. I’m on my personal journey and it’s unique and different.
I intentionally work on myself. I look in the mirror and list my incompetencies.
“I have honest conversations with myself. I call myself out on my inadequacies. I challenge myself to be intentionally better. I work on that with all my energy.”
I make it a point to write down my feelings, my intended projects and the solutions. I write a lot. I make sure I write everything down.
I’m intentionally grateful. I make it a point to be grateful for every little thing. It helps me remember why I started.
Fiona is a health and Lifestyle blogger.
I deal with imposter syndrome in a couple of ways. One is affirmations. I affirm myself out of it. Most times when people reach out to me or I get an opportunity, the first thing is ‘What if you’re not good enough? What if you don’t know what you’re saying? It’s as if the natural response is for us to doubt ourselves. I constantly have to remind myself that, ‘You know what, you got this’. I talk myself where I want to be. I tell myself that I am good, I know what I am doing. I’m doing amazing stuff. I have a lot to bring to the table. And the more I affirm myself in that moment, the more I’m convinced that I’m actually as good as I’ve been portrayed to be.
I have friends who are my support system. We go through this thing together. Something I learnt from Kemiyondo is having a relationship with your imposter syndrome. So we named it Amaro and we talk about her constantly like ‘oh my God, Amaro was coming up on me and trying to do this and that but I was like No, you’re not going to win today.’
Having those conversations and understanding that other people are actually going through this stuff, people that you consider highly qualified look at themselves and think they are not good enough helps me navigate my own imposter syndrome.
The other thing I do is journal. I keep a gratitude journal so I’m constantly writing down things I’m grateful for, including things I’ve done. Going back to my gratitude journal and seeing that there was a time when I thought I was not good enough and it turned out I was actually better than I thought I was gives me a sense of confidence that I’m not an imposter.
“Much as the imposter syndrome keeps creeping in, going back and seeing my wins and stuff I did when I was scared and still came through and won kinda gives me that sense of ‘I know what I’m doing. I belong in this room’.”
I’m also intentional about noticing when it’s imposter syndrome and when I actually have to do the work because i realize that there are times when we focus on imposter syndrome and don’t consider improving ourselves.
Imposter syndrome gives us the perspective of imagining what someone who doubts you sounds like if they are looking at what you’re doing. That helps me put in the work, do my best and put my best foot forward. I personally believe that once I put my best foot forward, God will do the rest. And that has been really liberating for me.
It’s your turn now. Feel free to share what you do when you’re faced with imposter syndrome and what points you’re taking away from these wonderful bloggers.