After I was laid off from my corporate job a few years ago, a former colleague introduced me to a new term: imposter syndrome. It’s when we believe we don’t fit, or that we’re not good enough. Those two words summed up exactly how I had felt for much of my corporate career. I had been plagued with doubt while almost constantly networking and sitting through endless interviews for the next leg up. And it seemed I wasn’t the only one feeling this limiting belief.
It’s normal to have doubts about the new and unknown. Plus, our culture often makes us feel “less than.” But perpetually feeling this way takes a toll on your confidence.
As a writer, I also feel this, as I know many writers do. You worry that you don’t have the skills or the right diploma. You think that there are already so many people writing—what do I have to say? You worry that you don’t have an original idea.
Recently, I was listening to a podcast host interviewing my yoga instructor, Brea Johnson, of Heart and Bones Yoga. She has some great observations about feeling “not good enough”:
“I feel like if anybody feels like an imposter, it means that they really care about what they are doing. They want to make a difference.”
She goes on to discuss trusting your practice, showing up, and doing it your way by introducing the idea of being “confidently vulnerable.” I love this because it puts a positive spin on these doubts and fears. You can minimize the tailspin of worrying that you don’t have original ideas, that you don’t belong in the writerly world.
Get writing. The more you write, the more you will realize that your voice deserves to be heard.
You do you. The world needs more people doing the work. Writing their truth. So what if there are lots of people writing about the topics you want to write about? For example, I’m interested in writing more about health and wellness. There are a TON of people writing about this. But no one else has lived in my shoes, so my perspective is unique. My audience is unique. So is yours. You’ll never know who could be helped and inspired by your words if you don’t put in the work.
Quit worrying about what other people are going to think about your writing. Practice your craft regularly and you will find your voice, and your people. The only thing that will make you an imposter is if you don’t share your stories with the world.
I have many more thoughts on overcoming doubt and finding time to write. If you’d like to learn more, please be in touch.
Try waking up 15 or 30 minutes earlier this week and spend that time writing—write about anything that comes to mind. Just write.
Try carrying an idea notebook around with you and write whenever you have a chance
Practice free writing by picking a writing prompt and timing yourself. Do NOT edit as you go.