What is Imposter Syndrome? (And 5 Ways to Overcome it.)

Hey there! <Crickets Chirping>

Are you still out there? <More Crickets>

Seriously, I’m here…and I’m ready to write.

After two years of not writing anything more complicated than an email, I’m back at the computer, writing a little bit every day. I’ll be finishing a story this month and I’ll share those details with you soon.

In the mean time, I wanted to chat about Imposter Syndrome. It was something I dealt with and know many authors (and other people, in general) frequently face. It was one of the issues that made me give up my favorite past-time for over two years.

As writers, we all know that feeling of doubt that can creep up on us from time to time. You know the one – the feeling that you’re not really a “real” writer, that you’re just pretending to be one and any minute now, someone is going to figure out that you have no idea what you’re doing. That you’re not good enough, a fraud, and you don’t belong.

Welcome to the world of imposter syndrome, my friends. It’s a place where even the most successful authors can find themselves from time to time, wondering if they’re really cut out for this whole writing thing. For me, my struggle was triggered by a few bad reviews, seeing the success of other authors who have way less books/experience than me, and my own lack of sales.

I tried to ignore those triggers and continue to write, but every time I sat down at my laptop, I was met with a blank screen and a whole lot of self-doubt. I felt like it was my duty to stop writing because the world didn’t need another mediocre book on the shelves.

So, I took a break. I stopped blogging, stopped writing stories, and stopped touching base with my readers. I figured it was time to close this chapter of my writing “career” and do something different. And I found other things to do. I started walking more. I improved my cooking skills. And I traveled quite a bit. I loved all these things.

But time heals all wounds, right?

I have many hobbies, but writing is more than that. Crafting a story is my passion. And it’s more than just writing a story, I love sharing my creations with readers. So, after two long years, I’m writing again. I overcame that little voice in my head that told me I wasn’t good enough. Sure, it’s still there, but at the moment, I ignore it. I don’t care what it’s telling me.

It feels great to be writing again, and I’m excited to share my thoughts and stories with all of you in 2023. I may have taken a break, but I’m back and ready to tackle this whole writing thing head on.

So, here’s to getting back into the swing of things and never giving up on your passions.

Cheers!

Are you facing imposter syndrome? Whether it’s writing, starting a new job, or just being a good parent, here are some tips.

  1. Remember that everyone has moments of doubt. Even the most successful writers (workers, parents, etc) have moments where they wonder if they’re good enough. It’s completely normal to feel this way, so don’t beat yourself up about it. I think acknowledging that I had imposters syndrome was the first step in helping me overcome it.
  2. Celebrate your accomplishments. Whenever you accomplish something – whether it’s finishing a chapter, getting a positive review, or making a solitary sale – take a moment to celebrate and remind yourself of all the hard work you’ve put in. This can be difficult, especially for perfectionists who seek out the negatives to find ways to improve themselves or their crafts. Sometimes jotting down your daily wins in a journal or on your phone helps keep the good in perspective.
  3. Seek out supportive communities. Surround yourself with people who will lift you up and remind you of your strengths. Whether it’s a writing group or just a group of friends who are always there to listen and offer encouragement, these supportive relationships can make a huge difference in helping you combat imposter syndrome. If a community is not good for your mental health, leave it. Don’t listen. I had to do this with those Facebook groups that celebrate success because my brain couldn’t stop comparing myself to other people. Yes, I know their situations were different, but it’s how I was wired.
  4. Practice self-care. Take a break. Imposter syndrome can be especially tough when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out. Make sure to take breaks, get enough sleep, and take care of yourself both mentally and physically. I defiantly had burn out in addition to imposter syndrome. I should have seen it coming, trying to publish a book every month because that’s what other successful authors told me. Well, that might work for them, but it didn’t work for me. If I would have done more self-care and took things slower, I think I would have avoided burn out.
  5. Remember that perfection is unattainable. Can you write the perfect book? Raise the perfect child? Who determines what perfection is? Do your best and move on. Don’t dwell on the unattainable.

So, if you’re like me, feeling like an imposter, trying to fit in somewhere, take a deep breath and remember that you’re not alone. We all have moments of doubt.

Keep writing, keep pushing through, and remember to celebrate accomplishments along the way.

We got this!

And by the way, imposter syndrome seems to always be in the back of my mind, hiding and waiting for the perfect time to jump out and surprise me. Even with the positivity of this blog post, the self-doubt is real and will always be there lurking. If you’re like me, I just wanted to say that you’re not alone.

–Joy

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