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7 ways to overcome imposter syndrome as a content creator

Natella Zadeh
Natella Zadeh Author
7 ways to overcome imposter syndrome as a content creator
Digital marketing tips Feb 18, 2022

Are you struggling to overcome imposter syndrome? Do you often find yourself questioning your capacity and worth in groups? Calm down. We will help you to keep those feeling away from you.

Within near three years of blogging, we wrote hundreds of articles around social media, digital marketing, and WordPress SEO to effectively deliver results. Some of these blogs may or may not appeal to your content production needs.

But today’s topic concerns everybody’s work and personal attitudes. I believe we all have experienced the feeling of inadequacy or insufficiency in times of positive results. In psychology, this sort of mentality is called imposter syndrome. Today, we will talk about the causes of imposter syndrome and tips to overcome imposter syndrome everywhere.

What is imposter syndrome?

what is imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome, also called perceived fraudulence is a feeling insecure and doubtful about achievements. Rather than disorder or illness, it is described as chronic feelings of inadequacy and fraud despite objective success.

Those who suffer from this, believe that their accomplishments come from good luck not by hard work. This often leaves them feeling of feeling fraudulent, underserved, and overwhelmed by gaining attention and accolades for accomplishments.

As content creators, we sometimes find ourselves lost down the road. Too much research, comparison, endless yearning to be at the top unawarely deteriorates our mental health and energy.

We came to an age where overcoming imposter syndrome has become an integral part of our creative process. The more we are craving for being creative and special, the harder imposter syndrome hits us in the face.

In the time of syndrome, you find yourself asking: What am I doing here? I don’t belong here. It happens as a fight between your self-perception and how others perceive you. The worst thing is the majority of the people who suffer from this are not aware of this term thus struggle more to cope with that.

While good thing is that it is common to the majority of the world population. A recent study found that 80% of people experience imposter syndrome at least one episode of imposter syndrome in their lifetime. And the figure includes the most successful entrepreneurs, musicians, marketers, artists, pretty much everyone that we find gifted and special.

What are the causes of imposter syndrome? 

Like other psychological patterns, there is not a single cause of imposter syndrome. Imposter thinking is developed from different factors such as gender bias, minority groups, family dynamics, environment, personal attitudes.

In fact, actual abilities and achievements do not count in the development imposter mentality.

Parenting and childhood environment 

Family perception of success and enforced perfectionism on children seeds insecurity. May time this enforcement does not easily leave the individual’s mind. The common traits in family dynamics include:

Overprotective parenting
Sharp criticized mistakes
Comparison with other children in your age
Perfectionism to do the best

Apart from family dynamics, that might also be related to success in early childhood. You may not face challenges during the initial stages of education or work experience. However, when you move to higher school or challenging work environments you may find yourself struggling. This can leave outlasting impact in further stages of life.   

Culture

Different cultures value and define success differently. What is not tolerated in one group, country, or business may be accepted in another.

Personality traits

personal traits to overcome imposter syndrome

Imposter mentality may not be directly related to the outside conditions. There are certain personality traits that trigger imposter syndrome. Perfectionist tendencies, low self-confidence to successfully accomplish tasks, or desire to get approval can be rooted in the self.

How to overcome imposter syndrome

1. Identify it 

The first and foremost way of overcoming imposter syndrome is acknowledging it. Understanding that feeling not OK with yourself is OK and common. Identifying your feelings and bringing them into the light will lead to finding practical ways to overcome imposter syndrome.

Changing a negative mentality can be done alone or collaboratively. If you prefer the latter, talk to a trusted friend or professional in this field about your distress. But if you prefer to overcome imposter syndrome alone, ask yourself these questions:

Do you frequently compare yourself to others?
Are you afraid of taking on new roles or responsibilities?
Do you feel ashamed about your accomplishments?
Do you think that you are dependent on others’ approval?

If Yes, you may be experiencing imposter syndrome, which is totally normal. You have done the first step to overcome it.

2. Separate facts from feelings

We struggle with failure more in mind than in reality. Uncontrolled feelings are the power bank of self-criticism. And a practical way to stop them to take your life is by confronting them with facts.

Notes and facts are tangible assets of your accomplishments. To prepare your mind for upcoming sessions, save files on your achievements, people’s gratitude, or KPIs of your tasks. Whenever your mind tingles your mind with annoying questions bring your notes to the table.

3. Set realistic goals

As with professional life, setting realistic goals saves you from sinking in negative thoughts. Set goals based on resources, conditions, your ability to accomplish them on time.

4. Define the meaning of success for you

Earl Nightingale defined success as the “progressive realization of a worthy ideal”. If you are working towards a worthy end goal and determined to accomplish it, you are successful in every stage of work you do.

But of course, in this case, you need to define the meaning of success in your terms. Once you identify its meaning, visualize how you will drive the situation once it happens. Our actions do not only come from an instant response to current events.

They are the results of experience, thinking patterns, and a well-prepared mind. Envision yourself closing a deal, getting a job interview, hitting the winning goals.

5. Practice failure situation 

As much as we prepare ourselves for positive things. There will always be a failure in the corner. At the end of the day, failure is the cause of new beginnings. Learning how to respond to failure in a healthy way.

Inflicting pain does not make the situation better. Instead, take a close look at reasons for events and research better ways to improve them. Prepare a backup plan to respond in those situations.

6. Stop comparing yourself to others

stop comparing yourself to overcome imposter syndrome

Playing the game of comparison can cut up motivation and self-reliance. If you do not score the same as others you

The only comparison that yields positive results all the time in a comparison with yourself. The comparison with the previous version of you. And the ultimate comparison you with the person you want to become.

Identify the gap between the two of you to better accomplish your goals. Focus on your measures to achieve your goals.

7. Set rewards for your success

We are more inclined to judge or criticize ourselves instead of appreciating ourselves. Human nature is entitled to make mistakes.

What I find common in people we do not give enough or any credit for our accomplishments. As with taking notes for goals and facts, taking notes of achievements are tangible reminders of success.

Make a list of small and large wins or aims you want to achieve and prepare rewards for them. Once you achieve your goals take time to celebrate them. Presenting yourself the deserved kindness and compassion is the final stage of overcoming imposter syndrome.

Own your accomplishments instead of leaning behind “luck” or “help of others”. If you skip this, most probably you will go back to the questions that kill you. Do not forget to save those moments in papers or pictures.

How to overcome imposter syndrome at work?

People who experience imposter syndrome at work often attribute their accomplishments to luck or hard work rather than mentioning their abilities.

How you perceive yourself and transfer that to peers highly impacts their perception of you. Even if they may find your skills sufficient they would still find you inadequate in the work environment.

Above given tips also apply here. Yet there are other ways to overcome imposter syndrome at work. This is involving others in the process. Discuss with your peers or managers about performance and their expectations from you. This is a more data-oriented approach than guesswork.

You may also be wondering how leaders can help employees overcome imposter syndrome?

Well, the first step of helping employees defeat this mentality is to set a fair, transparent, and inclusive work environment. Quick one-on-one meetings are great to seize employee sense.

But to make this on a company level, leaders have to sustain a positive work environment. Ways employers can help to overcome imposter syndrome at work:

Allow employees to be decision-makers
Share failures
Tell them where they stand
Run achievement-based assessments
Give credit when the 
Celebrate success
Create a feedback loop between employees about the work environment

Best books on overcoming imposter syndrome

“ Flow” by  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi introduced the flow phenomenon to highly focus productivity. Flow discusses the essence of happiness and provides solutions to provide flow in life. The author delivers scientific approaches and studies for finding flow. The book talks about social as well as physical and mental factors to find to be in the flow.

“Finding your element” by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica

Through owned experiences and ones of others, authors touch a range of areas to find one element in life. The book discusses the self, perception, happiness, tribes, future goals. The book also gives tools and techniques to discover the depth of your abilities and identify opportunities.

“Atomic habits” by James Clear

Published in 2016, Atomic habits gives simple and easy steps to fix big-looking modern-life issues. Talks about changing behavioral patterns with small steps.

"Yes! You Are Good Enough" by Trish Taylor

A life coach Trish Taylor dedicated a 28-day program to cope with the imposter mentality. The book helps you discover patterns that cause you to believe in false information. She lays down 28 points to do what you want and prioritize yourself. 
Ending notes

Though imposter syndrome is common, everyone’s reasons come from a different combination of causes. It is not either a diagnosis or a medical disorder. It is a thinking pattern in psychology that holds a false belief about our capabilities.

Those who suffer from imposter syndrome develop negative self-talk about the inadequacy of their abilities or fraudulent of their achievements.

If not taken measures at the time, it may reoccur again. As life goes on and you grow, this stigma continues to be part of the self-value. Training your mind and changing your behavior is the most important piece of the puzzle.

Learn how to master your brain to overcome imposter syndrome.

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