Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Imposter Syndrome: Don't Overshadow Your Own Successes

This past weekend, I spoke on a panel about the Do's and Don'ts of Approaching Shops & Galleries at this year's School House Craft Conference. If you haven't taken a look at the SHC conference and are in the the craft/design business field, I highly recommend taking a look for next year. You would be hard-pressed to find a more supportive and encouraging group of like-minded and genuinely knowledgeable folks to help you along on your journey to small business success.

Part of me always wonders when I speak at these types of conferences, "why the heck do they want to hear me speak? I'm just Andie." Obviously I'm qualified to give these sorts of lectures, but what is it that holds any of us back from believing this fact? That's when I found this article in The Seattle Times, originally from The Washington Post: "Feel Like a Fake? Imposter Syndrome Common at Work."

imposter syndrome from The Seattle Times via The Washington Post on Instagram

"The term, created by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978, refers to the idea that competent people find it hard to believe in their own capabilities or internalize their own accomplishments. They see evidence of their competence as mere luck and sometimes feel they are not actually qualified for the position they hold." -Joyce E.A. Russell, Washington Post

Sound familiar? I definitely start to feel this way sometimes, even though my career on paper would definitely impress myself! It's difficult in this creative field, especially, where others' work is so available to admire on blogs and Pinterest.

So what can we do to avoid these feelings of self doubt in our career field? Read more at the actual article page, but see below for their bulleted points:

• Surround yourself with supporters.
• Get a mentor or coach.
• Be a mentor or coach.
• Stay positive and focus on your accomplishments rather than focusing on everything you don’t know or have to improve upon.
• Set goals and keep track of what you have accomplished.
• Acknowledge your mistakes, but treat them as learning opportunities instead of fatal flaws.
• No one is perfect. Recognize that others do not have everything all figured out.
• Remember that people are not paying that much attention to you.

Have you felt like this in our creative field? In any other areas of life such as motherhood or school?

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