Get Over Imposter Syndrome to Reach Your Creative Goals

Do you ever suffer from imposter syndrome?

 

If you aren’t familiar with the term, Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines imposter syndrome as: a psychological condition that is characterized by persistent doubt concerning one's abilities or accomplishments accompanied by the fear of being exposed as a fraud despite evidence of one's ongoing success.

 

If you’re recognizing yourself in that definition, it’s totally okay. More people than not experience imposter syndrome in their lives, including people like Serena Williams and Albert Einstein. It definitely shows up for me when I least have time for it. I suspect imposter syndrome is rampant among creatives


As an author/illustrator and an entrepreneur, Arree Chung has also gone the rounds with it over the years, so he made a YouTube video to help you get over it imposter syndrome. In the following video, Arree shares five mindshift elements that he wishes he had earlier in his journey.

Tip #1: Start with Intention and with the End in Mind

As Arree explains in the video, you want to visualize who you want to be and what you want to be doing. And then do the work that will get you where you want to be. Getting really clear on what you want will help you “bring it to life.”

A lot of people never take the time to visualize and draw or journal about who they want to be, and that lack of focus and clarity can keep them from achieving their goals.

Tip #2: Recognize the Gap and the Dip

It’s important to recognize that there’s going to be a gap between where you want to be and where you are now. You’re working to close that gap, but in the meantime, imposter syndrome may show up. Remember that the gap is normal. Don’t let it keep you from chasing your dreams or doing the work you want to do. 

It’s okay to make mistakes. For those of you who watched PBS, do you remember what Ms. Frizzle said about making mistakes?

 

“Take chances! Make mistakes! And get messy!”

 

And I love the following quote from Neil Gaiman:

The dip that Arree references is the time you spend in this uncomfortable phase. If you can push through this uncomfortable dip, you’ll get to see the gap closing. Just get started. And once you’ve started, keep doing the work. Stick with it. Arree said that he thinks it takes three-four years to really get started, and ten years for mastery. Having realistic expectations helps.

Tip #3: Be-Do-Have

  1. Be the person that you know you are. Being that future person who already knows what they’re doing and has confidence can help you move forward. Imagine what you would do if you were there already. Be that person now!
  2. Do everything you imagine yourself doing as that person. Act as though you have everything you need now, because really, you can do that with a mindset shift, and this will help you manifest what you need.
  3. Have the results you want. Instead of focusing on what you lack in the beginning, focus on being who you need to be to manifest what you want.

Tip #4: Study From the Masters and Get a Mentor

Arree shared a quote from Tony Robbins: “Success leaves clues.” If you’re willing to study what the masters did to be successful, you’re going to learn a lot. At Storyteller Academy, we recommend doing Master Studies of the kinds of books you want to create. And we provide story coaching and mentorship with award-winning authors and illustrators. Learning from people who already know what they’re doing can be a shortcut in any field.

Tip #5: Teach

When you teach others, you learn so much from the experience. When you have to break down your process and explain it to students, it makes you examine what you’re doing in a whole new way. Besides, watching your students grow and succeed feels great! 

You don’t have to be an expert right now. I really enjoy hearing how a person went from point A to point B. Don’t you? If you’re willing to share your journey and be vulnerable about the tough parts and the bits that brought you joy, that’s valuable. 

If imposter syndrome is a challenge for you, you’re not alone. Try using these five mindset elements to get over it and be the person you want to be.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Myrna Foster
Myrna Foster

Myrna Foster writes and edits content for Storyteller Academy and the WriteRiders Newsletter for SCBWI Nevada. She has spent a lot of time teaching and coaching children, including five years as a preschool teacher. She's also worked as a journalist, and Highlights High Five has published six of her poems.

5 thoughts on “Get Over Imposter Syndrome to Reach Your Creative Goals”

  1. This was just what I needed today. I have friends in my local SCBWI who also benefit from this. Thank you so much for STA, Arree, and thanks Arree and Myrna for your continued encouragement!

  2. Excellent tips…thanks, Arree! I'm unintentionally working on #5 since I was invited to teach. I always thought I had nothing to share, but I will keep in mind what Arree said about people enjoying learning about your process.

  3. I’m feeling Happy now…happy to begin this journey!
    From finding myself to Sharing myself!
    Perfect timing.

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