I’ve been putting off talking about this and have probably hit backspace more times than I care to admit. So much so that even my blinking cursor is giving me that “are we doing this or what?” look.
So what’s causing this latest bout of writer’s block?
Well, it’s made up of two parts:
Imposter’s Syndrome + trying to fit it into a niche = a devastating blow to my creativity.
If you haven’t heard of Imposter’s Syndrome, what is, is a stealer of joy, a killer of dreams and a ruiner of creativity.
Oddly it’s high achievers most likely to suffer from this debilitating mindset.
Saying this again for the people in the back:
Its high achievers most likely to suffer from Imposters Syndrome. (Not the superficial, not the actual imposters).
So if you are suffering, know you’re actually doing waay better than you know. (note to self) and…. you’re not alone.
According to a review article published by the International Journal of Behavioural Science, their study found that a whopping 70% of adults have suffered with feelings associated with Imposters Syndrome at some point in their life.
Feelings range from perfectionism to believing they do not deserve their success and any minute now…. they’ll be outed….
as a fraud.
So what is responsible for my cursory moonwalk aka writer’s block? Well, like for billions around the globe a pandemic probably hasn’t helped.
But even a new job or promotion can set off feelings associated with Imposter’s Syndrome.
Then there’s overconsumption of content, resulting in “analysis paralysis”.
On a dally, our tiny brains are saturated with instructions from people on pixelated screens to:
“No, try that…”
“Wait, what the hell are you doing?”
And don’t even get me started on the negative nellies that poke their beaks in.
Emboldened by channels and archaic systems, chiming in at every stroke with snide unhelpful remarks.
Before you know it… BOOOOOOOM you’re striving to attain a Jesus-like level of perfectionism that doesn’t even exist (at least for us mere mortals).
But in the negative nellies and naysayers defence…
They’ve kind of been invited to piss on your parade.
And I don’t just mean the billions of strangers on social media you’ve invited to give an opinion (that’s a whole other post!) I’m talking about the loudest one of all…
Your Inner Critic!
In the past year, Miss Inner Critic has grown in confidence, stealing my joy and holding my creativity to ransom.
Seriously, she needs to be silenced and put back in her place.
Logically speaking, perfectionism is messed up.
How can you expect to learn from your mistakes, if you’re never given the freedom to make any?
But in reality behind the scenes (or keyboard as is the case here), perfectionism has often had me gripped in an exhausting cycle.
Endless hours poring over a simple task. Perfecting or abandoning my work of art suddenly or going into a blind panic, each and every time I hit “send” or “publish”…
This is another reason I felt even more compelled to continue with writing (and publishing) this post
If nothing changes, nothing changes. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to keep getting what you’re getting. You want change, make some.”
So here I am… imperfect and published!
Psychology Today says: “for people suffering from Imposters Syndrome, they feel as if they are undeserving of their achievements and success”.
And that they don’t fit in.
Is it any wonder then, that women and minorities tend to suffer from Imposter’s Syndrome more than other groups?
So here’s what I did…
I sat with Miss Inner Critic, giving her the floor, letting her shoot off her mouth as she so often does.
Only this time, I listened intently, paying attention to all my thoughts and feelings. It’s been a while since I had a cackle at some of the absurd things inner critics can say.
This time I was armed.
Coming for her with all the achievements and success I have accomplished already in my
L I F E T I M E.
If you have ever experienced Imposter’s Syndrome, you’ll know that we can become caught up with either seeking validation from others or worse…
And I am sure you don’t need me to say:
a.) comparison steals your joy and in any case is
b.) never on a level playing field
In our comparisons, we fail to count our blessings.
Never mind the many obstacles we had to overcome to get from where we started… to where we are right now in our personal growth journey.
You know what:
even if little Miss Inner Critic is right on every score for all the things she criticises me on. (let us humour her for a moment longer)
IF all her bs claims of me being outed or ousted for being imperfect.
I will be okay.
So next on my rant hit-list is this whole: fitting in with the niche. (What??!)
Niche is another topic I have 10000000% overdosed on.
Aside from the pronunciation, which for me reopens the tomato V tomato and potato V po-tato debate, the verdict is out on this one.
One definition I saw and admittedly sounded like velvet to my ears as a blogger is that any niche should be about helping others.
And I hope in some sort of befuddled imperfect way this post helps
(it has helped me at least with attaining “flow”)
Have you heard of flow? It’s (another) psychological term that refers to that magical place that exists when you’re “in the zone”
Your level of skill + fun are equally matched. Time stands still. But most importantly whilst you’re flow – ing you feel happy, like goofy happy.
This is where I imagine the Beyonce’s, Whitney’s and Mariah’s of this world go when they get into that part of the song. (the part of the song that gives you goosebumps)
Gives meaning to: do what makes you feel happy!
Have you ever experienced feelings of Imposter’s Syndrome?