Impostor Syndrome: Feeling like a fraud. That you don't deserve anything you've worked for and that everyone will see you for what you are.
I feel like this all the time.
I didn't go to school for writing. (I wanted to be a doctor.) I don't have a fancy publisher that picked me (and even if I did, I would worry that it was a mistake.) I know that a lot of luck went into my success as an author.
How do you deal with this feeling?
- Acknowledge it and put it into perspective. I feel like an impostor because I don't have fancy credentials. But, that doesn't mean that I'm not good at things. A person doesn't need fancy credentials to be successful.
- Reframe how you talk to yourself. The only difference between someone who experiences impostor syndrome and someone who does not is how they respond to what's happening to them. You are as good as you tell yourself you are.
- Talk to friends and coworkers. Odds are, they feel the same. It helps to know you aren't alone in this feeling. Plus, they will tell you the truth of if you are an impostor or not.
This is something that a lot of people struggle with. I see other authors doing better or posting on social media about their latest release and I feel like I'm not doing enough. Like I'm not earning my position as an author.
Even writing this blog, I question my own credentials. I've been writing and publishing romance novels for seven years. I've made enough money doing it to support my family, yet somehow, I feel like I'm just getting by on luck.
It doesn't help when I have a book that fails. If anything, that just solidifies how much I don't know what I'm doing. That I got here purely on luck.
Logically, I know that isn't true. When I talk to other authors and we share knowledge, I know that isn't true. I know a lot about what I'm doing. That doesn't mean that I don't have a ton to learn, but I'm not a newbie either.
Impostor syndrome is hard. It never goes away. It's always whispering in the corners of the room, hinting that there is a fraud.
The only way to get through it is to keep going. Keep learning. Keep trying. Keep talking.