Imposter Syndrome

Image Credit: Pixabay

Last time I was talking about my (lifelong) tendency to procrastinate. I hope I’m doing better (past me is writing this, so I hope future me is doing better). However, I’ve been dealing with a lot of Imposter Syndrome lately.

For those of you unfamiliar with Imposter Syndrome (lucky you!), it is defined as ‘the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.’ (Dictionary.com) Basically, I feel like a fraud and that at any moment, someone will discover that I really have no idea what I’m doing.

It’s the opposite of the Dunning-Kruger effect, which is defined as ‘a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is.’ (Wikipedia.com)

I wonder if there’s any way to trick my brain into switching one out for the other?

Every time I sit down to try and work on designs for my (eventual) store, I am beset by doubts. Nothing seems good enough. That little voice in my head starts whispering about how I’m not trained, I’m a hack, an amateur, a fraud. Then the very next day (or sometimes sooner), I am looking at other people’s work and thinking, pfft, I can do that!

The Imposter Syndrome was so bad that my Cameo, after sitting in the box for two weeks, sat for another two weeks in my office before I actually tried using it. And I only did it then because my husband was busy working on some designs of his own and wanted to use the machine to cut them (he was making vinyl decals).

I nixed him getting to use it before I did, so I finally sat down and tried cutting out some sticker files that I had purchased on Etsy. (That is another failure story, so keep an eye out for that one.) So, I have now used the machine and learned a few things, but I am still suffering from both Imposter Syndrome and my usual procrastination.

Meanwhile, my husband is busy creating designs and cutting out decals in his spare time and has decorated several of our vehicles with them. Le sigh.

How do you deal with procrastination and/or Imposter Syndrome?

4 thoughts on “Imposter Syndrome

  1. Your post reminds me of a book about writing I read called _Writing Without Rules_ by Jeff Somers. Much of the book is about how he is a hack and doesn’t know what he is doing and just half-asses/wings everything, but it often seems to still work out (though not always) as long as he puts in the work … at some point — he procrastinates too.

    As for myself, I deal with procrastination these days by embracing it somewhat and realizing I do my best work or at least my most prolific work as deadlines get close, so long as I don’t let them get too close to where I’m stressing out about it. What has worked pretty well for me is I schedule myself a very small amount of time on a project each day (like 15 minutes) and it is so small that I find I can force myself to actually not procrastinate since it is such a short amount of time and it is on my magic Google Calendar so I have to do it. Then two weeks goes by and I’ve found that I’ve put in over 3 hours on my project. This works best for me with things there is no deadline and whether or not it gets done is of concern only to myself.

    I’ve felt Imposter Syndrome before but I’m one of those people who seems to be pretty good at pushing that voice to one side and moving on, which isn’t very helpful to people where that voice is loud, I guess, where they can’t help but act on it or let it unduly influence them.

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      1. Good luck, I hope it works out! Something else I learned about using that idea is that if it doesn’t work, decrease the amount of time until you find something you can stick with and then do that even if it is only one minute a day. Once you find that it is working, you can optionally increase/decrease the time to find what works for you.

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