Overcoming Imposter Syndrome for Creatives

Overcoming imposter syndrome

Alright, babe. It’s that time of year again when we are feeling refreshed and renewed for the year ahead. And I am right there with you! There’s something so inviting about setting new goals to better ourselves. But with setting new goals comes that pesky little monster called “imposter syndrome”. Odds are, you know exactly what I’m talking about. With the new year already started, I want to give some encouragement on overcoming imposter syndrome for creatives. Because you deserve to know your worth today and everyday this year. 

Defining Imposter Syndrome

If you’re not familiar with imposter syndrome, let’s head to the oracle (Google) to see what it has to say. 

definition of imposter syndrome

Okay, that’s a big one to unpack, unless you’ve also experienced it. Imposter syndrome is a thought within our minds that causes us to doubt ourselves. It causes a perpetual fear deep within that we are frauds, not worthy of success. And if this sounds dark, it’s because it is.

Imposter syndrome is like a big monster looming over your before each opportunity, award, or achievement. For creatives especially, it is a big monster that halts the last bit of creativity within from rising to its highest potential. It is a demon in itself, that does not deserve the time of day.

Imposter Syndrome and Social Media

One of the biggest ways we are exposed to nasty self-thoughts is through social media. No matter how much success you’ve had from Instagram, TikTok, or Pinterest, that little monster still finds a way to breed doubt within yourself. But can I tell you the positive side of this? Social media is 100% just a highlight reel of someone’s life. 

Let’s take an extreme case as an example. On Instagram, we are only shown the highlight of Kim Kardashian’s life. We aren’t seeing her talk about her divorce, her postpartum struggles, or her mental health. We are only seeing her fashion, her perfect children, her taking the world by storm. 

Can we really blame anyone though from only posting the highlights of their life? No. Nobody wants to share their struggles and insecurities. But if more people did, I can almost guarantee there would be less imposter syndrome in this world.

My Experience with Imposter Syndrome

Spoiler alert: I’m no exception to experiencing that little monster that is imposter syndrome. As I’m writing this blog, I just hopped out of the shower, my hair is piled up in a towel, my pajamas are back on, and my house is a wreck post-holidays. I’ve gotten better showing up online as my true, authentic self. Sharing more about some difficulties I’ve experienced, but it’s still really freaking tough to be so vulnerable online.  I’ve only recently learned how to somewhat separate myself from the monster, but it hasn’t been easy. 

A while back, I read a book by Rachel Rodgers called “We Should All Be Millionaires”. Rachel dives into imposter syndrome and how it takes a toll on everyone on the daily. Whether you received a raise from your boss and you don’t feel worthy, or my personal favorite: providing a service (photography) for free because you don’t think anyone would pay you $400 for a session. Babe, I HEAR YOU! I have been there. Rachel said a statistic in her book that rocked me to my core: 55% of self-employed women automatically discount their services before the client even ASKS!!! 

It’s literally engrained in us to think that we are not worthy. 

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Knowing what imposter syndrome is is half the battle. Just like any mental or physical illness, you can’t know how to get better if you don’t know what you’re up against. One of the biggest ways to overcome a demon such as imposter syndrome is to recognize each lie it has instilled in you. 

I want to invite you to think about this with me. Would you be willing to pay a contractor $10,000 to reroof your house if all you’ve ever heard from him is that he doesn’t have a lot of experience? Or that he’s not 100% confident in what he’s doing? NO!! 

So why would you expect your clients to put their trust in you if you don’t believe in yourself!? 

Once I started to work through my own imposter syndrome, I realized that I wasn’t only letting myself down; I was letting my clients down. I refuse to let imposter syndrome stop me from showing up fully and authentically for my clients. They deserve someone who is confident, knows her stuff, and will always overdeliver. So do your clients. 

So do you.

3 Steps to Say ‘Goodbye’ to Imposter Syndrome 

  1. Recognize the Problem. Write it down. Circle it. Study it. 
  2. Track your WINS. Keep tabs on each positive you receive from your clients. Screenshot reviews (I do!). When you’re feeling down, look back at those screenshots and remember that others place value in you – and you should, too! This creates a tangible way to remind yourself of your worthiness. 
  3. Create + Cultivate a Supportive Community. Anyone else ever had a job that had that one negative coworker who complained 24/7?! Same. Maybe you weren’t in-love with your job, but you really started to hate it as soon as your coworker said more things about it. You started to notice how nit-picky your boss was, how annoying that one customer was. And before you knew it, you hated your job, too. But by creating a supportive community full of others who truly believe in themselves, you will also believe in yourself.

I can sit here telling you that you deserve more than those thoughts in your mind until I’m blue in the face. But I really do want you to believe what I am telling you.
You deserve every inch of happiness.
You are beautifully and wonderfully made by your Creator.
You are the only person out there with your exact DNA, talents, and drive.
You will only exist in this moment.
You are exactly where you’re supposed to be.

Know that I am here cheering you on, lovebug. If you need more encouragement and more love, shoot me a DM (@sierrabrookphotography). I’m always here. And if you happen to need some inspiration to set your soul on fire? BINGE THE BLOG. ’Til next time, lover.


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