Are you tired of feeling like a fraud? You’re not alone!
Nearly 70% of bloggers have felt like an imposter at one point or another, somewhere in their blogging journey.
They may ask themselves, who am I to give advice to my audience, who am I to tell them what they need to do to accomplish, x, y, and z, I’m not an expert.
Many people experience impostor syndrome, which is the feeling that you’re not qualified or talented even to teach people through your written word.
There are many things you can do to overcome your doubts and start improving your blogging confidence.
In this post, we’ll discuss what impostor syndrome is, why it affects so many people, and how to overcome it.
We’ll also cover, advice from experienced bloggers that’ll show you how to overcome imposter syndrome once and for all.
Let’s get started!
Most of us, at some point in our lives, have experienced times when we’re overwhelmed with uncertainty and doubt.
If you’re feeling like your accomplishments aren’t warranted despite the amount of effort and preparation you put into them, it could be a sign of Imposter Syndrome.
For those struggling with Imposter Syndrome, it can be a difficult feat to accept that they’re competent and well deserving of their accomplishments.
Rather than feeling proud of their accomplishments, they’re too busy feeling guilty, with the belief that others may discover that they do not deserve to be in such a position.
This feeling can leave the person in a constant state of unease, many times overwhelmed by fear.
When I first started blogging, my own insecurities got in the way of me achieving the success I wanted.
These thoughts and insecurities made me truly feel like a fraud!
I came to a point in my life where I made the decision, to go BIG or GO HOME. Meaning, that I decided that I needed to ignore my negative thoughts and believe in myself and push through it.
What is imposter syndrome?
The phrase “imposter syndrome” was first used by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978, named after the phenomenon that many people experience of feeling like a fraud or an impostor.
In a nutshell, the imposter term refers to people whose accomplishments did not give them a sense of self-assurance, resulting in feelings of insecurity and a lack of self-confidence.
Many times, people that suffer from impostor syndrome will often accomplish whatever they’re doing, well above average, but they still doubt their abilities.
Some of these people that have accomplished success will have a tendency to credit their achievements to luck, rather than consider the truth, that they’re truly talented and have above-average capabilities.
Despite their success, those affected by Imposter Syndrome will remain unconvinced that they’ve earned the recognition or rewards that come with it.
Allowing this fear of failure, will hold you back and prevent you from reaching your full potential as both a blogger and an individual.
Once you start removing the negative thoughts and slowly start overcoming imposter syndrome, you’ll start to recognize and appreciate your true capabilities.
You are probably asking yourself, how do you do that?
How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome and Build Confidence
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re dealing with imposter syndrome, similar to many other issues that people deal with, getting rid of it is going to take some time and a lot of effort.
Modifying the way you think is going to take time, along with a certain amount of effort and commitment.
Below, you’ll find tips that will help you improve your confidence and self-assurance in both your professional and personal life.
10 Solid Tips to Help Overcome Imposter Syndrome
Let’s start with a negative thought that crosses many people’s minds as a blogger.
1. Being Scrutinized as a Writer and What to Do About It
As a blogger, one of our biggest fears is that someone is going to critique our work and tell us it’s crap.
Sad, but true, but there are many people out there that won’t think twice about telling a blogger that their work is shit. It happened to me from a jerk that left a negative comment, telling me to quit, that my writing sucked.
Do you know what helped with this Asshat that left a comment?
Others saw this guy’s bullshit comment and decided to leave a comment on my behalf, supporting my blog post with positive feedback, while telling this guy to eat shit!
Sorry for my negative words, I get riled up when someone puts another person down, and that includes me.
I tried to look at it as, this guy is having a bad day and I was in his path!
Here’s something that may help!
Similar to how lots of bloggers will teach, including me; when it comes to writing, write your article as if you’re talking with your best friend over coffee.
Would your best friend put you down, and tell you that your writing sucks, as this one guy did?
I guess depending on the type of friends you have, one of them might. But, a true friend will be supportive, if anything, give helpful advice, not tell you that your writing sucks.
With imposter syndrome rattling around in your head as if you were playing a pinball game, if you can change your thought process, you’ll start improving on everything else.
When it’s time to write your next blog post, remind yourself that you’re writing to your best friend, and he/she is going to absolutely love your post… now smile!
Something that might help you with this mental picture is to give yourself an Avatar to work with.
If you’re not familiar with an avatar, I explain everything in the blog post, so head there now, it will open an new tab.
This avatar can serve two purposes:
- To help you discover who your target audience is.
- Help you with a mental image for each time you sit down to write, reminding you that you’re writing to your Avatar, your best friend.
Keep in mind that, these tips are here to give you some ways to approach what you do in your everyday life.
Only you can allow these ideas to effectively help you change your way of thinking, so let’s move on to the next tip, turning a negative into a positive.
2. Remove The Need to Be Perfect with Your Writing
Another form of imposter syndrome, that plagues writers, is perfectionism.
I know, you’re saying to yourself, what the heck does writing the perfect blog post have to do with imposter syndrome?
Here’s your answer!
Many writers tweak and hone their blog posts endlessly, trying to get them perfect, because they fear the criticism they’ll receive if they don’t.
I’m guilty of this! I’ll spend way too much time trying to perfect my blog posts as if I’m going to hit Publish in the next 30 minutes.
Removing these thoughts from your mind will help you move through all the fear. And, look at it this way, at least you’ll get your article done.
Perfectionism does have its advantages in certain situations, but it can also, more than often, slow down your productivity.
A thought that comes to mind is the recent blog article I wrote, how to write blog posts faster.
This article was inspired because of my perfectionism problem. I’ve been going to Perfectionism Anonymous, so I’m working on it!
What I wrote in the, “How to write a blog post faster” article is the new method that I approach brand new blog posts.
This gave me the formula to write my articles with greater clarity, structure, and with greater speed, go check it out, it opens a new tab so you can come back here when you’re done.
Following this approach helped me break through my barrier and get the job done. Go check it out!
#3 will be here when you get back!
3. Stop Allowing Self-Doubt to Get In Your Way
A way to overcome self-doubt is to break down the wall of negative thoughts that stand between you and your goals. Easier said than done, right?
That’s what this blog post is all about, to help bloggers remove barriers that are getting in the way of their success. Read On Grasshopper!
Overcoming imposter syndrome and self-doubt is going to involve you being uncomfortable at times.
It will involve you stepping out of your comfort zone and take some risks.
If you know anything about entrepreneurs, you know that they have failed more times than they have succeeded.
The only way entrepreneurs have made it big time in this world is because of the risks they have taken.
If you don’t make the conscious decision to take some risks and step out of your comfort zone, then the chances of success are slim to none.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something new can build your self-confidence and improve your blogging skills, in turn leading to greater chances of success for your blog!
The only obstacle standing in your way to becoming a successful blogger is you!
Don’t let imposter syndrome become a barrier. Approach this fear head-on and watch the popularity of your blog grow to new heights!
4. Are There Bloggers Better Than You?
Of course, there are! Why, is this even a question?
This is like asking if there was ever a better boxer than Mohammad Ali or a greater martial artist than Chuck Norris! Am I giving away my age?
The point I’m trying to make is that yes, there are others better than you, and ME, so what! This is the way the world works.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the best, but be honest with yourself and don’t let it bring you down.
Many bloggers will tell you (including me), not to compare yourself with others, and to run your own race. Be the Best YOU!
Bloggers who experience imposter syndrome have a tendency to compare their writing with others, wondering why others are getting more comments and more traffic to their posts.
This can lead to an inferiority complex and hopelessness, and in some cases, the blogger may quit.
What you may not realize is, your article could actually be 10 times better than your closest competition, but because of the way search engines works, your competition could be getting more attention because Google is sending them more traffic.
Your competitor’s site could be 10 years old and have a thousand blog posts on it, making it more of an authority on whatever subject their article is getting traffic for.
You’re going to have to realize that it takes time for Google to send you traffic, so be patient and keep writing your best articles.
Instead of wondering why your article isn’t better than your competitor’s, because it most likely is, be in competition with yourself and compare it to the last article you wrote.
Don’t go crazy with this competition crap! Simply try to improve on your own efforts, one baby step at a time.
I’ll say it again, run your own race! Be the BEST YOU!
5. Overcome Imposter Syndrome by Developing a Growth Mindset
Developing a growth mindset means that you’re open to the hard work and dedication that will lead to success. This will allow you to expand your skills and capabilities to improve, making the sky the limit.
Having an open and positive attitude towards educating yourself, knowing that the learning will never stop, development of knowledge and experience can be achieved.
Dealing with imposter syndrome can be a lengthy ordeal, but with a substantial amount of patience and perseverance, you’ll eventually see the rewards of your hard work.
Remember this: If you’ve paid attention to some of my writing, you will have heard me say on several occasions that, being successful with blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
Dealing with imposter syndrome is no different!
6. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome Will Take Time
When dealing with imposter syndrome, it’s no small feat to get over it. As mentioned before, it will take some time to move forward one tiny little accomplishment at a time.
Like anything else, there will be good days and bad. One day you’ll feel on top of the world, the next day, you’ll wonder why you deserve to act like a mentor/teacher to your audience.
I’ve been there, done that! To me, imposter syndrome is similar to depression.
Now, because I’m not a doctor, I could be way off here, but I’ve had bouts of low self-esteem and depression before and it seems to parallel this subject of imposter syndrome.
The only difference that I see between the two is that, with imposter syndrome, it’s more of a guilty feeling, because I feel like a fraud wondering why my audience is even listening to me.
Now, don’t take what I’m saying to heart and leave me… pleeeeaaaassseee!
Let’s look at it this way, and it might clear it up. I’ve talked about this before in one of my many blog posts. We all start at zero! What do I mean?
We all have to start somewhere, whether our readers, the quantity of email list subscribers, etc.
Before the first blog was created back in January 1994, nobody knew a thing about blogging or what it even was.
When today’s bloggers started their blog, it didn’t come with a manual teaching the new blogger, everything they need to know.
They only knew what the creators of the blog software, WordPress or the like, that were being passed on to them.
After that, when someone learned something new and wrote about it, someone else read their findings and wrote about it on their blog, simply changing the wording around.
Like the domino’s effect!
Nutshell: they learned about whatever the subject was from someone else, then wrote about what they learned, for their readers.
Does this make them a fraud?
What’s my point? Was that person that wrote about what they learned from another blogger, an imposter?
Why not, they are acting like they knew what they were talking about when all they did was read it through a book or on the Internet and wrote it in their own words.
If we were to look at it from this point of view, everyone would be an imposter.
So, what is the point that I’m bringing to this particular subject?
It’s time to overcome your negative thoughts about being an imposter and keep writing all the genius stuff you do, for your audience.
My gosh, I could end this blog post right here, but this IMPOSTER has more to say!
7. Accept that You’re Not Perfect and Use That to Your Advantage
Like the example I gave you about comparing imposter syndrome with depression; because it’s rattling around in our head, it’s not easy to overcome.
In fact, if a person naturally lacks self-confidence, has low self-esteem, or even self-doubt, any or all of these things are going to dogpile on top of imposter syndrome, making it that much more difficult to overcome.
Removing imposter syndrome altogether is not going to be easy, especially if the previously mentioned negatives have been a part of a person’s life for a long time.
Let’s reference an alcoholic as an example. For an alcoholic, accepting that they are an alcoholic, is the first step.
In reference to imposter syndrome, accepting that you’re not perfect and might have a few things to work on, but the flip of the coin is that you have a voice and a lot to offer your readers. That’s your first step.
Rather than attempting to eliminate imposter syndrome, all at once, the best thing you can do is to realize that these feelings may creep in unexpectedly, so prepare yourself with positive thought to squash those feelings.
How do you overcome these feelings?
If these feelings of inadequacy creep in, remind yourself of my story about the first blogger, and those that copied him.
Also remember that everyone starts at zero, which makes all of us an imposter in one form or another and there’s nothing wrong with that, because it’s all in our head.
Does it make us bad people, HELL to the NO!
Here’s the next tip to help you along your blogging journey…
8. Join a Support Network (Blogging Group)
No one should take on any kind of negative thoughts or feelings on their own, whether it’s for blogging or everyday life.
On the subject of blogging, everyone should have support, even if it’s just to ask for blogging advice.
I know this may be extreme, but similar to groups like alcohol Anonymous, we all need a support network when something isn’t working or something bothers us.
Don’t deny that it doesn’t bother you. Unless you are doing research for a friend, you wouldn’t be reading this blog post unless you wanted to learn more about how to overcome this.
If you were to join a blogging group, there could be others that feel the same way you do; how am I supposed to teach others when I feel like a fraud?
By being honest with others and maintaining an authentic conversation with someone, you’ll discover that there are others that feel the same way you do.
Joining a blogging group on Facebook or forums is a good idea in general. Joining a mastermind type of group should be one of the things you do as a blogger anyway.
By being a part of a group of like-minded blogging members, you’ll open a whole new chapter in your blogging journey.
These group members are usually other bloggers that have, at one time or another, been through whatever you might be struggling with at the moment.
Having a mentor to help you through the thick and thin will be of great value to your blogging success.
The members are usually very open about the struggles that they’ve come across and love to share their solutions to the problem.
If you have an interest in finding supportive groups I would suggest you start with a quick search on Facebook by typing in the search bar, [your niche] groups.
To find other supportive groups, let Google assist you, that’s what it’s there for.
9. Stop Comparing Yourself with Others
Comparing yourself with others is one of the most common ways people struggle with imposter syndrome.
I’m a good example, I’ve found myself comparing my success, or in some cases the lack there of, with others that have reached a high point, 10 times faster than me. In fact, I’m still working on reaching my goals; it’s a never-ending process.
It’s perfectly natural to compare ourselves with others, and at the same time, it can help motivate us to do better.
The problem is that we can take our comparisons too far, which can lead to negative thoughts, and depression making us feel like a fraud.
The best way to approach this is to focus on your own abilities, rather than those of what others are doing. Focus on your strong points, your skills, and the knowledge that you have.
Celebrate your victories, no matter how small or insignificant you believe they may be.
It’s important to remember what I spoke about before… you’re running your own race, and success will be different for everyone.
What you’re doing is a marathon, not a sprint, whatever you’re doing is going to take some time. Therefore, I can’t stress it enough – it’s important to stay away from comparing yourself to others.
Focus on what your best skills are and don’t allow anyone to stand in your way to achieve success.
10. Learn From Your Mistakes
No one is immune to imposter syndrome, it can creep up on anybody, at any time.
The process to overcome these impostor feelings is like anything else, learn from anything you felt you might have done wrong, so there’s less of a chance of a repeat.
There’s a learning curve to almost everything in life. You can’t expect to be perfect every single time, and you’re going to make mistakes in judgement, it’s all part of your blogging journey.
If your memory is as short-lived as mine, keep a diary of sorts. For us macho men, it’ll be a cold day in hell before we admit that we keep a diary, so don’t ask.
For me, my diary is a Daily To-Do list, which helps me stay on task.
So, from all of your trials and errors during your blogging journey, keep track of what works and what doesn’t and remember why you started in the first place.
Imposter syndrome can be a major roadblock for a blogger. If you don’t step in and take action right away, it will eat at you to the point that you quit.
The most successful bloggers have faced it at one time or another, and use their helpful information like this blog post to overcome it.
Keeping track of your wins, no matter how significant they may be is one way to boost your confidence helping you to remove the self-doubt that can kill success.
Always aiming for continual growth will lead to greater confidence in your own abilities and expertise.
Just remember to use your successes as a positive step towards bigger and better things. Breaking through all the negativity that’s brought on by imposter syndrome could lead to a, leave your 9 to 5, full-time career!
So, the next time your brain goes into overload and starts tapping on your cranium, saying to you, “I’m not good enough,” remind yourself how far you’ve come, and that you can do anything you put your mind to.