What is impostor syndrome and how do I tackle it?
As artists we often might find ourselves questioning not only our worth but whether what we do is worth anything. Impostor syndrome is common through the artistic communities and it wears different masks. Below we’ll offer a quick breakdown of the types of impostor syndrome that exist as well as how to tackle them.
Let’s start with recognizing the types of impostor syndrome. If you are a perfectionist, someone setting incredibly high standards of themselves, expecting the best every day, you may be suffering from this syndrome. If you are experiencing feeling like a fraud among your peers and as a result keep pushing yourself to the limits to measure up, you may be suffering from this syndrome. If you are a person used to excelling without much effort, used to being the smart/genius one of the group who feels ashamed when not getting something right from the get-go, you may be also suffering from this syndrome.
If you are someone who is overly independent to the point where the thought of asking someone else for help fills you with dread, you may also be suffering from this syndrome. Last but not least, if you are an expert in a field but believe you will never know enough and are therefore afraid of being exposed as a fraud, you too may be suffering from this syndrome.
Recognizing yourself in any of these yet? Here’s some ideas for tackling it:
- Understand that perfection is unreachable and that mistakes are a natural part of the process. Think of them as stepping stones in your growth process rather than obstacles blocking you from achieving perfection.
- Don’t take constructive criticism personally. The reality is that you cannot please everyone in your life but you do have to live with yourself every day. Think about what makes YOU happy and start living for your own approval.
- Try to think less in black and white and more in grey tones. We are all a work in progress after all.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help and share your knowledge with others!
- Instead of working on increasing your skill set all day every day limit it to a need basis.