I have discovered a way to defeat my imposter syndrome. I don’t know that it will help you, but I’m willing to share my three lessons I’ve learned throughout my process.
You see, for years, I’ve been a writer. I have loved being a writer. Often, though, I have felt like an imposter. A fraud. I felt like someone would find out I’m not a “real writer” and I would be kicked out of the writing groups I’m in.
No, that wouldn’t happen, but that’s actually irrelevant here. The fact is that was how I felt. And we all know feelings aren’t always logical, so since that’s how I felt, that’s how it would be. Right? Fortunately, wrong.
Over the past few years, I’ve gotten more into the crochet side of my creative business. As I have done that, I’ve even become more interested in the distancing aspect. I’ve shared some of those designs here.
This blog has actually demonstrated that growth and change. I went from a general blog to a creativity blog to a writing blog back t a creativity blog and now to a crochet blog. It has had several different incarnations. That is a good thing. It means I’m not stagnating and neither is my blog.
3 Lessons for Dealing with Imposter Syndrome
In a nutshell, the three lessons I’m talking about are:
- Claim your title.
- Give yourself permission to do what you do.
- Make sure you are in alignment with your goals.
Let’s talk about each of those a little more. (Each one could actually be a blog post in itself, but I won’t get into that here.) Considering the fact that I have a crochet-centric focus, that will be where my examples come from. Otherwise, I’d be using generic examples that won’t help anyone.
1. Claim Your Title
What is it you do? Or, what is it you want to do?
Claim it. I’m serious. Say it out loud and claim the title for yourself. There is power in claiming who you are. Saying it will give you a sense of power and send imposter syndrome on its way.
When I was in college, I was reading a magazine before my next class started. I was sitting in the floor in the hallway outside the classroom. (Another class was still in session.) A classmate approached and noticed what I was reading. (Writers Digest.) She asked, “Oh. Are you a writer?”
I hesitated. I had never claimed the title “writer” for myself. But I said, “Yes.”
“Cool.” And that was the end of it.
Something inside of me had shifted with that short conversation. I had given myself permission to claim the title and say it out loud. It freed me to be who I am. “Writer” will always be part of me.
When I started getting more into crochet, I knew I had to give myself that same permission in order to make the mindset adjustments I needed. This time, it was easier to claim the title since I already knew what I needed to do.
2. Give Yourself Permission to Do What You Do
I already touched on this a little bit in talking about claiming your title. Claiming it gives you permission to call yourself by that title. I am a Crochet Designer and Blogger. That is my title. I am also a Writer, which is partly implied by the Blogger title, but there’s more to it than that.
At any rate, I have a permission slip here for you to sign, if you want. It says that you have permission to call yourself a Maker/Blogger/Writer/whatever your title may be so you can do the things you need to do.
If possible, print it out and sign it. Put it somewhere you will see it frequently until you no longer you have consciously give yourself permission. This is yet another way to send imposter syndrome on its way.
3. Make Sure You Are in Alignment with Your Goals
If giving yourself permission is the most important part of this, making sure you are in alignment with your goals is the second most important.
If you have claimed the title of Crochet Maker but you are holding on to your Teacher goals, you’re not in alignment. You need to reevaluate your goals and make some changes. As long as you are. holding on to your previous goals, imposter syndrome will follow you everywhere you go and will make you get in your own way every time you turn around.
In my case, I had actually started changing my goals before I claimed the title. But even that caused me to be out of alignment. I had to look at what I was doing and figure out where the disconnect was. I had the permission. I had the goals. What was it I didn’t have? Claiming the title got me into the alignment I needed.
It’s All Interconnected
I tell you that to emphasize that it’s all interconnected. These lessons are not steps. They all depend on each other. When any one of them is not done, imposter syndrome can come back in. It will make you slow down and cause you to question what you are doing and why you’re doing it when you “aren’t qualified.”
Remind yourself that you are qualified. Go through the three lessons and see which one is out of sync. Maybe it’s more than one. Maybe you’re evolving and need to claim another title. That’s okay. It’s even expected. If you don’t change, you stagnate. That’s not a good thing and that’s fertile ground for imposter syndrome to take root and bloom. Left unchecked, you’ll have a lot of work to do to move past it.
Been there, done that. I traded in the t-shirt for a crochet hook and some yarn.
Have you claimed your title? Leave a comment and claim it.