Imposter syndrome getting to you? 😥

The holiday season, this feeling is stronger!

Neil Armstrong experienced imposter syndrome.

Let that sink in. 🤯

Neil Gaiman spent time with Neil Armstrong at a gathering of artists and scientists, writers and discoverers of things, and thought at some point, they'd realize Gaiman had done nothing worthy of being there.

Here's what changed his mind. 👇

Imposter syndrome, unfortunately, gets the best of us, and no creator escapes this gruesome feeling.

According to PR Newswire, about 65% of professionals face imposter syndrome. What am I doing here, or am I good enough for this, is a question that haunts several minds. I'm not an outlier when it comes to this syndrome.

So, I spoke to some creators to understand how they deal with it — and to hear their stories.

What’s Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is when you experience self-doubt and think you don't deserve the good stuff that happens to you. Healthline says it involves unfounded feelings of self-doubt and incompetence.

What Creators Have to Say

Nikita Ferrao, a writer with about 10 years of experience says, “It makes you feel like your accomplishments, the stuff you have worked on — sometimes for years to achieve — are not yours at all. It’s been a decade of writing, and even today, I feel I'm not good enough to apply for a higher role in my field.”

Kody, who runs a newsletter called Habit Examples, says, "When I first launched my newsletter, I didn’t want my friends or family to know for fear of them judging me or thinking it was dumb. I thought if I failed, they wouldn’t know. But if I succeeded, they’d only know after I had a large following, and they’d be more likely to respect me.”

Kody further adds, “When you’re brand new in starting a new venture, you assume everyone else is lightyears ahead of you. In reality, most successful people we know are still figuring things out. If they do know exactly what they’re doing 100% of the time, it means they’ve stopped learning and progressing, and they’re probably not a good role model for that reason. Truly successful people are always learning, which means they’re always still figuring it out — just like you. The only difference is they’re a few steps ahead. Just like YOU are a few steps ahead of others — and that’s all that matters.”

Imposter Syndrome & Gender Dynamics

A KPMG survey (2022) suggests that about 75% of female professionals experience imposter syndrome at some point in their careers. Here’s what Trust Radius Women In Tech report (2020) states 👇

When asked Nikita if gender influences imposter syndrome, she says, "To some extent, yes. People focus more on male accomplishments than women's, which leads to a lack of recognition. I've been on the receiving end of this treatment since college, and this gets to you. On instances when I had the opportunity to talk about my books and career as a creator, something stopped me. My inner voice says I haven’t achieved a level of success yet to share my journey as a creator."

Is There Hope?

Of course. Always.

Don't take it lightly when we say actually say some of the best creators and actors of our time experience imposter syndrome. Matt Higgins, a shark and an author wrote in his blog, "I once read about Tom Hanks battling imposter syndrome. How is that even possible? Forest Gump! Saving Private Ryan! But when I became a Shark, I understood.”

Read the entire post. 👇

Nikita says, "While I battle with imposter syndrome on the inside, I’m happy I don’t let certain stuff get to me. I believe creators should have some form of written appreciation stuck to their wall or table. I maintain printouts of good reviews and appreciation I receive — when I cannot write, I read them and go on.”

When Kody realized this fear wasn't helping him, he ripped the band-aid off and texted his friends and family to share his newsletter.

He says, "It turns out pretty much everyone I told was super excited for me, and a few of them helped me hit my first 100 subscribers and have been great supporters. I appreciate them immensely. Occasionally when I meet someone new, I catch myself underplaying my newsletter as no big deal. I practice explaining what it is and who I help so that it comes out naturally when situations arise. Some of those times have led to people subscribing to my newsletter.”

So what helps to deal with this syndrome? I guess a support system and knowing who's advice to take. But you know what helps more? Knowing you aren't alone — and that this syndrome creeps up when you least expect it. Like everything else, it passes. It's a part of every creator's journey.

That’s it for this week! We’ll be back with another story next Tuesday. 👋🏼

While you're at it, check out our new stuff on YouTube and Instagram.

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