Starting out as a freelance writer, I felt like a small child playing pretend. I was placing my writing among the ranks of seasoned writers with more experience under their belt. And as a fresh face on the scene, I felt unworthy to call myself a professional.
According to Psychology Today, "People who struggle with imposter syndrome believe that they are undeserving of their achievements and the high esteem in which they are, in fact, generally held. They feel that they aren’t as competent or intelligent as others might think—and that soon enough, people will discover the truth about them."
Every now and then, I will tackle a project that requires me to step outside of my area of expertise. Recently, I was commissioned to write some product pages for a brand, one of which included an all-natural male enhancement supplement. When I sat down to write, I began to laugh. I was a 26 year old woman, I had absolutely no idea what the hell to write.
The imposter syndrome set in. Was I a real writer if I struggled to step outside my comfort zone? Surely more seasoned professionals didn't have this problem?
After laughing for a good minute over the fact that I had no idea how male enhancement products even worked, I took a moment to regroup. And like most people, I turned to the internet for inspiration.
Thank God for incognito mode.
While I had heard of the little blue pill and knew the basics, I needed to understand the marketing strategies behind them. So while many people were just coming out of church on a beautiful Sunday, I was at home studying male enhancement product websites.
Despite the fact that I kept giggling about the entire situation, my research made me more confident. I had found patterns within the websites that allowed me to write a competent product description for my client. It also allowed me to overcome a challenge and write something outside of my normal wheelhouse.
Imposter syndrome can impact anyone, but can be overcome by taking a deep breath and altering your way of thinking. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are several things you can do to help overcome Imposter Syndrome including:
Separate feelings from facts
Acknowledging your accomplishments
Stop comparing your achievements to others
Talking about your feelings
Imposter syndrome sucks. At some point, we all experience it even though we feel alone when it happens. It is important to remember that we all achieve success at varying rates and that success will appear different to each one of us.