How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome and Start Blogging Confidently
“Why would someone read what I wrote?”
“I’m not good enough.”
“They’re going to think that I’m a fraud.”
Does any of this sound familiar?
The truth is that most of us have had thoughts of uncertainty and self-doubt at some point in our lives. But if you’re experiencing feelings of unworthiness regardless of any achievements, your knowledge on the subject, hard work, or planning, then you’re more than likely experiencing Impostor Syndrome.
People who experience this condition frequently feel like fraudsters, despite the fact that they truly are qualified to speak on the topic. Rather than confidently helping people, they are more concerned that they have deceived them into believing they are good enough. This leaves the person in a constant terror of being “exposed.”
When I first started blogging I let my chronic self-doubt get in the way of my own success.
I thought my content wasn’t good enough.
I thought my featured images weren’t good enough.
I even thought that my themes weren’t good enough.
I would have the guts to create an about me page, but then a week later I’d take it down because I didn’t think I was good enough to have an about me page.
IT WAS RIDICULOUS!
It wasn’t until I decided that if I wanted to create a successful blog, I was going to have to ignore those self-defeating thoughts and do it anyways.
Researchers estimate that up to 70% of people experience imposter syndrome at some point in their lives. But that doesn’t mean the feeling is any less harmful to a person’s self-esteem or professional advancement. Especially in an area like blogging, where an air of mastery and competence is the key to communicating your point effectively and building up an audience of followers.
The next time you’re experiencing negative thoughts or anything similar when it comes to your writing, remember that there are healthy and constructive methods to deal with these thoughts so that you can move forward. Here are six of my best tips to overcome impostor syndrome so that you can start blogging with confidence.
What is impostor syndrome?
Impostor syndrome is a term coined by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978. This term can be applied to individuals who have feelings of self doubt or low confidence despite the fact that they’ve achieved success in their field. People with impostor syndrome will doubt themselves even though what they are doing is usually above average. They will secretly fear that their success is due to “luck” or being in the right place at the right time, rather than actual competence.
For example, Susan was working as a graphic designer for an advertising agency when she was assigned a logo design project that required her to create 10 different designs of a new logo. Overwhelmed by the task at hand and the potential of making a mistake, she told her boss “I’m not sure if I can do this, but I’ll give it my best shot.”
Susan is experiencing impostor syndrome because even though she felt that she was totally qualified to perform the task, she doubted her ability to do a good job.
Why is overcoming impostor syndrome important?
Regardless of what people with Impostor Syndrome accomplish, they still don’t feel that they deserve the praise or rewards that come their way. This can keep you from achieving your full potential as a writer and as a person. Overcoming impostor syndrome allows you to see your abilities in a different light. It shows that you are capable of achieving more than you think, which can then lead to success in other areas.
For example, Tammy was working as a lab technician when she attended an all-day conference for science writers at her university. One of the speakers, a well-known science author, was talking about creating articles. Tammy raised her hand and asked a question that had been on her mind for a long time. She said “I have been writing science articles for my lab newsletter for years, but I feel as though they are boring and need more work. I’ve always thought that I was not smart enough to be a science writer, so is what I’m writing good enough?”
The speaker gave Tammy some really great advice and told her she had talent as a writer. Overcome with disbelief, Tammy said “But how do you know that my articles are any good? You might just be saying that because you’re trying to make me feel better about my writing. I don’t really believe that what I write is good enough for a magazine or blog.”
The speaker told Tammy that her subject matter knowledge was great, her articles were well-written, and she shouldn’t be so judgmental of her work. Overcoming impostor syndrome requires a lot of self-reflection and the ability to admit that you’re not as bad as you think you are. Over time Tammy was able to develop more confidence in her writing and eventually started blogging for several science websites.
How to start blogging more confidently
Overcoming these insecurities requires real work. Changing one’s thought process takes time and a lot of effort, but over time, implementing the tips below can lead to increased confidence in both, your personal and professional life.
18 Steps to overcoming impostor syndrome
Step 1. Overcome the fear of being scrutinized
One of the biggest fears that you may have as a writer is that your work will be judged by others. Overcoming this fear allows you to create better posts because you aren’t worried about what others are thinking. Over time, this fear lessens and you become more confident in your writing abilities.
Countless bloggers have been through similar experiences, but have still managed to achieve great things despite their insecurities.
Step 2. Overcome perfectionism
Another fear that many writers have is that they will spend too much time trying to create the perfect post and it will never be finished. Overcoming this fear allows you to keep working on your posts even though you don’t think they are good enough yet because eventually they will be finished. Over time, this fear lessens and you become more confident in your work.
While perfectionism can be beneficial in some situations, it can also be a huge productivity block. Moreover, it turns out that it can also be a key barrier to overcoming impostor syndrome.
Impostor syndrome affects many high achievers, people who hold themselves to extremely high standards and are dedicated to doing their highest quality work and being the greatest at what they do.
The problem is, perfectionism exacerbates your sense of inadequacy. When you feel like a fake, it’s typically because you’re comparing yourself to an unattainable or unrealistic “ideal” outcome. I used to think that my blog posts had to look like the work of an accomplished writer that has spent many years practicing their craft.
This is why you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. Do you, and make that work.
If you’re struggling to write articles for your blog, take a look at any blog post from the very successful blogger and the queen of printables, Sarah Titus. Sarah’s writing style is not that of a journalist from the Huffington Post, rather a style that is more down-to-earth. I find that her free-flowing blog posts are a more pleasant read since it is written more conversationally.
So stop thinking that your writing has to be perfect. The most important part is that your blog posts are helping people in some way. If you are creating content that helps people, that’s good enough for now.
Not only is it impossible to execute everything flawlessly, but pushing yourself to that level might be detrimental. When first starting out, all you have to ask yourself is, “Is it good enough for now?”
You can always go back later and improve your article, your email opt-in, your email sequence, etc.
Step 3. Overcome self-doubt
Another effective way of overcoming negative self-talk is to overcome self-doubt. Chances are, you have nothing to lose by trying. Overcoming impostor syndrome will probably involve taking some risks that may be frightening, but it’s entirely up to you whether or not to try them. This is why it’s important to remind yourself that success isn’t risky, failure is.
If you’re not willing to try something new, then you’ll never succeed at anything. Overcoming your fears and trying something new will help you become more confident in your blogging ability. In turn, this will lead to bigger and better things for your blog!
The only thing holding you back from becoming a successful blogger is you. Overcome impostor syndrome, and watch your blogging career take off!
Step 4. Overcome the fear that others are better than you
Many bloggers that struggle with impostor syndrome compare their work to that of other bloggers, which can quickly lead to feelings of inadequacy. Instead of comparing your work to others, try comparing it against your previous work.
This serves two purposes:
- Focusing your attention away from other bloggers’ work helps alleviate the feeling of needing to be as good as they are. The truth is, most successful bloggers already have years of experience under their belt so it’s not fair to compare yourself to them.
- By comparing your current content to your earlier pieces of work, you will likely notice just how much improvement and progress you’re actually making.
You can learn how to compare your work on a post-by-post basis instead of trying to find ways in which you think you’re worse than other writers. Over time, this fear lessens and you become more confident in your work.
Remember, doubt is removed by taking action. And the best way to increase your blogging confidence is by taking massive action.
Step 5. Overcome the belief that other people’s opinions are better than your own
Many writers set out to write posts because other people tell them they should be writing about a specific topic or for a specific website. Overcoming this belief allows you to focus more on your own interests and what you want to write about instead of trying to please other people. Over time, this belief lessens and you become more confident in your work.
Related posts to read:
- 11 Reasons Why No One Reads Your Blog (+ Actionable Advice!)
- Writing Tips for Bloggers Who Want to Become Better Writers
Step 6. Overcome the fear that you don’t have enough time
Many writers struggle with finding enough time to complete their work and assume they don’t have what it takes to keep blogging. Overcoming this fear allows you to focus more on creating high-quality posts instead of worrying about how much time is left in the day. Over time, this fear lessens and you become more confident in your work.
Step 7. Develop a growth mindset
A growth mindset is a belief that your abilities and skills can be developed through dedication, hard work, and consistent effort. Overcoming impostor syndrome might seem like an ongoing battle at times, but it’s really just a matter of time before you start to see success. Overcoming impostor syndrome is a marathon, not a sprint.
Step 8. Join a blogging community
No one should have to suffer alone. You will be more able to deal with your impostor syndrome if you share your views and experiences with someone else. I suggest that you share these thoughts with a mentor or fellow bloggers whose opinions you both value and trust.
You can do this by participating in discussions on forums, joining Facebook groups, blogging MeetUp groups, etc.
Good mentors are open about the challenges they’ve had and the mistakes they’ve made in their careers, and you could discover that they have some helpful anecdotes or suggestions for dealing with your current situation.
Step 9. Accept and incorporate Impostor Syndrome
It’s quite tricky to totally overcome impostor syndrome, especially if you’ve had it for a long time. However, the fact that extremely successful people feel this way despite their achievements shows that it can be a lifelong affliction.
That’s why, rather than banishing your impostor syndrome entirely, the ideal approach is to understand it in order to prevent it from hindering your advancement.
Step 10. Keep track of your accomplishments and honestly evaluate them
One of the most difficult things to understand when you feel like an impostor is how much of a part you have in your own accomplishments. You may attribute your success to chance or the efforts of others, while in reality, your own efforts, knowledge, and preparedness played the lion’s share in the equation.
So here’s a tip: Keep note of your victories to show yourself that you’re doing just fine.
There are a variety of metrics you may use to monitor your improvements, and the ones you choose will be unique to you. If you’re a blogger, you may keep track of your monthly average page views and compare them to your prior posts to see if they’re increasing. Keep a journal or a piece of paper near and write down nice things others have said to you via Twitter, blog comments, and other social media channels.
Note: Many people experience impostor syndrome simply because they aren’t competent in their field of work yet. There’s a big difference between a lack of confidence and a lack of knowledge. It’s very understandable why someone would feel like an impostor if they’re not too familiar with the subject. If this is likely the main reason for feeling like a fraud, that’s ok too. Everyone starts from the beginning. Just keep learning and taking action.
Related posts to read:
- 16 Quick Tips to Make Your Blog Look More Professional
- Why Bloggers Fail: 10 Mistakes that are Killing your Blog!
- 200 Success Quotes for Bloggers
Step 11. Overcoming imposter syndrome is a process
You’ll go through ups and downs. You might feel confident one day, but the next you may be back to your old ways of thinking. That’s okay! Overcoming impostor syndrome might take some time, but with effort and patience, it will happen. Overcoming this mental block will have a huge impact on your blogging career, so don’t give up!
Step 12. Learn from your mistakes
Overcoming impostor syndrome is a learning process and mistakes will happen — you won’t always get it right the first time. But that’s okay too! It’s all part of the journey to becoming a successful blogger, so learn from your mistakes and remember why you do what you do.
Step 13. Overcoming impostor syndrome is not about success
Success, in and of itself, is not related to overcoming impostor syndrome. Overcoming this mental block isn’t about achieving fame or recognition; it’s about seeing past your doubts and insecurities and making changes in the way you think. Overcoming impostor syndrome will help you remain grounded, and help you focus on what is really important to your blogging. The road to success doesn’t end at the recognition; it starts there.
Step 14. Overcome imposter syndrome with action!
The only way you can overcome impostor syndrome is by taking action. Overcoming this mental block is a process and one that will require a lot of time and dedication. You can’t sit around waiting for your feelings of doubt to disappear before you take action. Overcoming impostor syndrome starts with you!
Step 15. Overcome imposter syndrome by accepting who you are
Overcoming this mental block is really about overcoming the feelings of doubt and questioning your ability, capabilities, self-worth, etc. Overcoming impostor syndrome starts with accepting who you are and why you feel the way that you do.
Step 16. Overcome imposter syndrome by learning from others
Learning from others and seeking out knowledge is a great way to overcome impostor syndrome. Overcoming this mental block will require you to be open, accepting of new information, and willing to learn from your personal experiences and the experiences of others. Overcoming impostor syndrome starts with learning!
Step 17. Recognize that you are not alone
When you’re dealing with impostor syndrome, one of the most encouraging things to remember is how many incredibly successful bloggers, both male and female, young or old, have overcome these feelings of doubt, and established fantastic careers.
In fact, the more success a person experiences, regardless of which blogging stage they are at, the more likely it is they will feel the effects of impostor syndrome. It will be a comfort knowing that you are in great company, and it’s not just you feeling this way.
Anything worth achieving comes with obstacles, struggles, feelings of self-doubt, you name it. Just because you didn’t see someone struggling, doesn’t mean that they didn’t.
Step 18. Relax! You DON’T have to be an expert
To become a successful blogger, you don’t have to have a degree on the topic. You just have to know more than your audience.
This should be a huge relief.
You don’t have to know everything.
Teach what you currently know and help your audience get to the next step in the transformation. And as you continue to learn and grow yourself, you will then have more to teach your audience.
If someone does visit your site that knows more than you do, what’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? They’ll probably just think that your blog is not for them and leave. That’s ok. That isn’t your target audience anyway.
But if someone visits your site that knows LESS than you do, great! Hopefully, they’ll learn something that they didn’t know before.
Frequently Asked Questions
The last thing you need to know about impostor syndrome
If you are struggling with impostor syndrome, I hope this article was helpful for you!
I know it’s not easy stepping out of your comfort zone, but with a little hard work and determination, you can do it. Overcoming impostor syndrome starts in your head, so the first step is to learn how to recognize when you’re feeling like an impostor. The second step is to take action anyways.
Remember, it takes time and commitment, but with the steps outlined above, you too can overcome this self-defeating mindset.
Developing confidence in your blogging can be tough at first, but remember that it is all about baby steps! Overcoming impostor syndrome has been one of my biggest challenges in blogging, but also the most rewarding. Over time, having confidence in yourself becomes natural. So take a deep breath, listen to the inner voice that’s telling you that you were meant to do big things, and start taking action!
If you’ve ever experienced impostor syndrome with your own blog, let others know down below. I think it’s a great way to show other bloggers that are currently struggling to find their own confidence, that they are definitely not alone.
How long did it last? What helped you finally shake off the doubts?
Leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you.