Do you feel like a fake?

STOP! This is another way you are self sabotaging yourself. 

Many of you will be able to relate to that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach after being convinced by only your thoughts that at any moment all the people around you are going to figure out what a big faker you are and denounce you like a preacher does the devil.

If you are a regular reader of the blog here then you will have heard many times that our behaviours mirror our thoughts so if you are repeatedly doubting yourself you will continuously feel like you can't do something. Your lack of confidence will shine through all that you do and it is not a feeling that's limited to those who didn't achieve what was expected at school or those that work a thankless, dead end job. Kate Winslett once said,

 

"Sometimes I wake up in the morning before going off to a shoot, and I think, I can't do this. I'm a fraud."

Maybe you can sympathise.

Usually the problem stems from being unable to accept our own successes. This is particularly true for anyone who works in a creative occupation where there's no manager or higher authority to give us official recognition. We have to know how to blow our own trumpets!

For those who aren't in what we understand as a creative career, the issue is still present. Usually it hinders those who are just starting off in a new occupation or new work projects.

The problem is that when you suffer from imposter syndrome, you feel bad whenever you receive praise because you feel like you don't deserve it. And what's worse - whenever you receive criticism you will tend to agree with it.

Living with imposter syndrome is living in fear and denial. It's only a matter of time before it will develop into avoidance of work and that's a big problem.

The first thing you need to do in order to overcome this negative behaviour is to let go of the idea of perfection. Nothing is perfect. Everything that has ever been created has fallen short of perfection. Doesn't that help you feel less like a fraud?

Far too often, we accept ideas and opinions, rather than creating them. Stop soaking up the idea of your work or expertise as a perfect notion and start being proactive. Start focusing on yourself as a producer of things that can be improved over time.

Remember that sculptors begin with just a block of stone and it is only by carefully chipping away at imperfections over a long period of time that their work evolves.

Another useful action to take is to quit, or severely limit, social media interactions. These days everyone purports to live a perfect life. They love to share photos of their holidays, cars, events and "six figure business launches" and it's only natural you begin to question whether or not you provide real value when you see so much of this behaviour around you.

You're not going to stop feeling this way overnight, but by checking in with yourself on a regular basis you can start changing your outlook.

 

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