5 effective ways to combat IS

Five effective ways to treat ‘imposter syndrome’ as a creative

Published by Michè Edwards

The infamous imposter syndrome has been a nasty cause for concern as it eats away at many creatives and their potential. Imposter syndrome explained on health website Very Well Mind refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. 

What does this syndrome look like? 

Characteristics may look like:

  • Self-doubt
  • Basing your success to external factors
  • Belittling your performance
  • Fear that you won’t live up to expectations
  • Overachieving 
  • Sabotaging your own success
  • Setting very challenging goals and feeling disappointed when you fall short

To put it simply if you’ve ever posed statements as “Oh no, I’m not a real artist” or “No, that doesn’t count” then you’ve probably got imposter fever. 

Five effective ways to treat imposter syndrome

We list the effective ways on how to really kick imposter syndrome to the curve and not be burdened by your creative talents.

Identify as what you are

If you paint you’re an artist, if you write you’re a writer, if you dance you’re a dancer. Don’t be afraid to identify with these creative labels. Many with Imposter syndrome think that only after achieving a certain level of excellence or degree are they good enough. By giving yourself a title you’re acknowledging the creative stage you’re currently in and it will boost your confidence tremendously. Start by introducing yourself to people in your title. 

Share what you’re proud of

Often times, creatives feel the need to downplay the great work they’re proud of. It is encouraged to celebrate that victory by sharing the final product of what you’ve worked on with friends and family. It puts all creative power back into your hands, making you realize that you don’t need approval from others but only from yourself. 

Accept that you’re not perfect

For some this is the most challenging as perfectionists. Try to understand that you’re human and bound to make mistakes. Accepting the fact that you can not do and be the best at everything relieves a lot of stress and pressure you put on yourself.

Talk about it with others

Releasing your thoughts is always a good way to relieve stress but also turns into introspection as you notice your thinking patterns around the issue. Talk to friends and family that you trust. When you talk about it you could effectively note what you’re feeling, why and how you can help yourself going forward. 

Get a creative accountability partner

Celeste Scott on a The Good Trade article about Imposter syndrome, suggests that having a creative accountability partner is quite effective on the creative journey. She’s found a partner who’s creative avenues are similar to hers. That way you share ideas, losses and wins with someone who is on a similar journey to yours who feels some of the same feelings just as much as you do.