Have you heard of imposter syndrome? It is a real thing!
Here are some of the signs you are suffering from it: you feel you’re not good enough, can’t do it, don’t belong there, shouldn’t be there… you feel a fraud, and that people will judge you. In your head you hear people saying, Who is he to be doing that? Who does she think she is?
It’s very common!
I suffered from imposter syndrome when I set up Dernier Publishing (I still struggle with it at times). I was a nobody – a stay-at-home-mum who did a bit of freelance writing. Who was I to set up any company? Or do anything ‘important’?
In the early days, when people asked me what I did, I was embarrassed to admit I had set up my own business – it felt like delusions of grandeur. Who was I to think I could set up a publishing company? I had no background in business, sales or publishing. I had no contacts, no knowledge of how the world of business works – no wonder I felt that imposter syndrome digging in its claws!
But the truth is, the Lord often uses the weak. So be encouraged if you are feeling inadequate right now in regard to your writing!
Here are 5 Imposter Syndrome Beating Ideas:
1. We need to consider what is really true. Did the Lord really say that to you? Do you feel the Lord has called you to write stories for children, to share the good news? If so, write your calling down on a small card and keep it in your purse or wallet. When the doubting voices come in, read it out loud.
2. So you’re not very good? A few writers will be brilliant from the first word they write, but most of us have to learn our craft (have you been through the Write for a Reason Academy?) and get in plenty of practice. You may feel like the new kid on the block, but as long as you are continuing to learn, and keep putting your talent to work, you can tell the imposter voices to leave you alone – you’re on a journey. Everyone has to start somewhere. 🙂
3. Instead of listening to the doubting voices (including your own!), talk to a trusted friend who will encourage you. Ignore everyone else (including the imaginary voices that only exist in your head).
4. People won’t always understand – but in the end it doesn’t matter what other people think or say – what does matter is being obedient to our calling. I am responsible, before God, for myself. You are responsible for you. The important thing is that we are faithful to what we feel we have been called to do, not matter what others think or say.
5. Keep your purpose in mind all the time. Christian children’s books are touching hearts and lives all over the world because I didn’t give in to those imposter syndrome voices. I still get them, and I still don’t give in or give up. I’m tempted to, sometimes! But I haven’t yet.
Imagine what might not get done if YOU give in to those imposter syndrome voices in your head. What stories might not be written? What children might not hear the good news?
But imagine the joy in heaven if your story touches a child, or maybe two or three… or a hundred, or even a thousand… or more? Dare to dream that the Lord could use YOU.
Don’t let imposter syndrome keep you from using your talents.
Bit of a deeper ‘writing tip’ this week, but I hope you have found that helpful.