How I deal with Impostor Syndrome
When I talked about impostor syndrome with friends, I realized that everybody struggle more or less with a lack of confidence.
It seems that the impostor syndrome has different profiles depending on the personality traits we have. As a perfectionist my syndrome implies that I can never feel completely satisfied about my progress or when I reached a goal because I'll always put the barre higher.
Other impostor syndromes come from constantly comparing ourselves with others (hello Instagram !), seeking external validation in order to feel valuable, judging success on our natural abilities instead of efforts, being afraid to ask for help, or thinking that we can't succeed if we don't have the right training. No matter which category you fall into, studies suggest that 70% of people experience impostor syndrome at some point in their lives !
This past year I have learned to tame my inner impostor syndrome's voice by learning some tricks and going through survival mode while living abroad. I had to really face my lack of confidence in order to be able to put myself out there again and build a new network. Now I can see that these things really helped me to build strength and knock down my fears :
Finding my tribe
I tend to struggle with self-confidence when I'm surrounded by people who have really different lives, work and values than me. When I explain my work and the way I live I often feel misunderstood and judged. I can feel like a failure or an outsider. When I moved to London I didn't know anybody. I had to start my social life from scratch. This made me be more aware of the people I let in and who I wanted to be surrounded with. Being able to talk about my fears made me realized that I was not the only one in this situation and being together helped me overcoming them. Finding the right meet ups, organizations or workshops is a good way to surround yourself with like-minded people.
These past year I learned that one of my personality trait is to find joy in reaching goals. Understanding that made me realized that I didn't have to wait for other people to give me the opportunity to do so. I started running and building a routine to reach my goal. I never enjoyed running before but seeing my progress made me love the process. Of course I never really reached my goal cause I'm a perfectionist who put the barre way too high but looking back to where I started make me feel more confident in my abilities to overcome pain and difficulties. I'm not telling you to start running but I do believe that setting up a goal and building a routine toward it is a good way to start trusting yourself.
I don't think I'm anybody's mentor yet cause I still have so much to learn (oops is it my IS voice here ?) but starting this blog really helped me to build confidence. It took me a while to understand exactly the purpose of doing it because I never aspired to be a professional blogger, I just wanted to write and have my own little space on the internet. However talking about my work process, my struggles and the things I have learned made me realize that I'm actually not a fraud ! Writing about what I have done is probably the best way to build more self-confidence while sharing with other creatives and maybe helping some people along the way. I believe anybody has something to teach so don't be afraid to talk about the things you do !
Embracing the feeling
No one really knows what they are doing. Look at Instagram : we are all faking it ! Every time I start working on a new project it seems to feel like a first time again. Now I know that it is also a good thing because I don't trick myself into reproducing techniques I have done in the past. I try to embrace this unknown feeling on every new projects so I can build a new process designed for this project - which makes me be way more adaptable. The more I work and the more I enjoy working with people who allow themselves to ask for help and don't feel powerless when a problem arises because they are able to find solutions they never though of before. Embracing the fact that I don't know everything has really helped me become more creative.
So find your tribe, do things, talk about your stuffs but remember that you can't control everything and no one really knows what they are doing. Also almost everybody struggles with a lack of confidence so it's actually a good thing if you do too cause you can have empathy and talk about your struggle together !