How to Stop Feeling Like a Fraud
Today I wanted to chat about something that affects a lot of bloggers and creative entrepreneurs: imposter syndrome. For those of you who haven’t heard that term before, you’re probably thinking something along the lines of Criminal Minds or something (I know I was the first time I heard the phrase “imposter syndrome”).
However, imposter syndrome is that feeling you get that you don’t belong wherever you are. That you don’t have a right to be doing the things you’re doing or feeling the things you’re feeling.
I know that it occurs a lot in bloggers and creative entrepreneurs; my theory is because our modern society has told us that the only way to success is a 40-hour-a-week soul sucking day job. So, when we start doing well on our own accord, from our own creativity and ingenuity, we start feeling guilty, like we cheated the system.
I know I felt like that a lot this year. There are plenty of days that I still do feel this way. As I prepare to launch new courses and info-products, as I switch my blog focus to creative entrepreneurship and branding and design, all these thoughts keep resurfacing.
“Who am I to tell these people this?” “I’m not qualified to teach anyone anything!” “Why should anyone listen to me?”
Sound familiar? Well, I’m here to tell you this: you own your life and your experiences. You have a right to tell your story, to share your successes and failures and tips and anything else you might want to share.
Everyone has a unique experience; it’s true in the world of blogging, and in the world as a whole. That’s why you’re qualified to teach people things about blogging or pie-making or digital scrapbooking or parenting. Even though it may seem like there’s hundreds of better, bigger, more qualified, and more successful people out there doing the same thing you are – you still have your own voice and your own experiences to offer. And chances are, that’s why your readers are already following you. They like your voice and your unique perspective.
You have every right to create and share things with the world. I think we’d all be better if everyone did! Even if 200 people created a blog post with the exact same title and idea, you’d still have 200 completely unique and different blog posts, because no two people have had exactly the same experience.
The people in the blogging world that come across as "Pros" or "Experts" didn't just happen overnight - these people took risks, silenced the voices in their heads, and put themselves out there. They grew and evolved and learned from their mistakes, and that's how they became experts in their fields.
You don't have to wait until you're a "blogging expert" to start writing tutorial posts, sharing your monthly income, or selling e-courses and info-products. In fact, you shouldn't wait until then. For one, because "expert" is an incredibly subjective term that can mean a million different things to people. But also because, in my opinion, the best way to become a so-called expert in something is to teach others about it. This may seem counterproductive, but trust me, you have the know-how, and once you begin writing everything down for a course or webinar, you'll realize exactly how much you really do know.
So, I'll leave you with this quote from the beautiful and talented and hilarious
Leslie Knope Amy Poehler:
“Great people do things before they're ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you're afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that- that's what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that's really special and if you're not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.”