When you first start working for yourself you may find a very annoying little thing called imposter syndrome starts to set in.
You might feel like you can’t take jobs on because your work isn’t good enough yet and you might disappoint the client.
You go to start marketing yourself, building a website, a portfolio, etc., and suddenly come to the realisation that everything you have ever done is TERRIBLE and no-one is going to work with you.
Or you might hop on to social media to take a look at the most recent work of some of your favourite creatives and decide there and then that your work will never look like theirs and you should just quit before you end up disappointed.
Imposter syndrome was first coined by psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes in 1978. It refers to those who fear that they haven’t truly earned their success and are afraid of being exposed as a fraud.
If you hadn’t heard of it before now I honestly have no idea how because it’s been ALL OVER the internet recently.
Anyhow, I’m here to give you some tips on how to overcome this way of thinking, and start living life the way you want to.
Tip number one.
Know that absolutely EVERYONE experiences this. Yes. Everyone. Even your favourite creatives and celebrities, have, will, or do have these same feelings from time to time. So I’m sorry to break it to you, but you’re really not special on this one.
Tip number two.
Say yes to every opportunity. Now I understand there are some things you shouldn’t say yes to. But you know what I’m getting at here. I’ll give you an example. When I was lucky enough to get my first professional, paid freelance job. It was a videography job, and though I have done videography in university and got pretty good feedback on it, I was still SO SCARED of the client hating the work. Despite this, I did it anyway. The logic being that if I never take videography jobs because of this fear, I’ll never get practice and I’ll never improve. So I took the risk, I took the job, got paid and the client loved it.
Tip number three.
Say yes to you. Say yes to the possibility that you are capable of amazing things, and that you can do what it is you want to do. Say yes to the fact that it’s going to be hard and it’s going to take a long time to get there, so long in fact that you’ll probably never feel like you’re there, and you shouldn’t because as humans we should always be striving to improve and learn.
And here’s a bonus tip for you.
Stop searching for inspiration. Now by all means head to exhibitions and galleries, new places and try new things. What I mean by this tip is kind of better expressed in one of my favourite quotes by John Cleese “We don’t know where we get our ideas from. What we do know is that we don’t get them from our laptops.”
If boredom helps us be more creative, then social media is the enemy. In healthy doses I’m not knocking social media, but the truth is most of us don’t use it in healthy doses. We scroll for hours searching for… something, and most of the time we don’t even know what. We’re looking for ideas, or inspiration, or motivation, or happiness – and instead we find comparison, self-doubt and sadness. So turn off the screen, and just go do. Whatever it is you want to do just start and I can almost guarantee that one little push will be all you need to get going.