Imposter syndrome is a common feeling among many individuals, but especially among artists & creatives. Creative Imposter syndrome is that little voice in your head that makes you doubt your abilities, questioning your worth and success. This feeling can be paralyzing and hold you back from achieving your full potential, and additionally, turn into creative ruts & fear of failing.
I’ve felt imposter syndrome firsthand in my career, especially back when I first opened my business & began sharing my art with the world. Ya wanna know what though? Even all these years later, imposter syndrome still creeps in makes me doubt myself. Luckily, I’ve found some ways to help that dreaded voice, and I’m here to share them with you. We all deserve to be creative, and we all deserve to feel proud of our creations; so here are my 5 tips to decrease your self-doubt and finally beat creative imposter syndrome.
1.Use social media as Inspiration, not comparison
We live in a world where social media is a part of our everyday lives and we’re constantly exposed to amazing talent out there. It truly is incredible to see how much talent fills this world, however, if you’re viewing that talent as comparison, imposter syndrome is likely to take over. One way I recommend you overcome that doubt, is to use social media as inspiration, not comparison. Remember, every single person has their own path, our journey, and especially their own art expression. Your journey and someone else’s are truly not comparable. Social media is only 1/4th of someone’s story, and there is so much left unsaid. So, by comparing your creativity with someone else’s, you are neglecting so many unknown facts. The better way to approach social media is to find inspiration in your scrolling. Refrain your thought process to “wow, that is amazing. I would love to try something like that,” instead of “wow.. that’s amazing. I’ll never be that.” It is a giant world, and there is so much space for all sorts of art – someone else’s success does not negate your own.
2. Practice Daily Affirmations
As cliche as daily affirmations sounds, it truly does work. Imposter syndrome makes us doubt ourselves, right? Well the only way to reverse that doubt and quiet that negative voice In our head, is to replace it with a supportive one. I personally like to display my affirmations and quotes somewhere where I can see them every single day, especially because I’m an out of sight out of mind kinda gal. 😉 Here are some of the affirmations & quotes I have posted around my home and office
- “I can, I will”
- “I am worthy”
- “My art is an expression of my own creativity, and that is not comparible”
- “There is no such thing as perfect”
- “Inspiration, not comparison”
Do you struggle with speaking kindly to yourself? Me too, friend. I talk about reframing my inner dialogue on my podcast, Passion & Potential. Check out episode 14 “How to Love Yourself and Change Your Inner Voice” if you’d like some tips and encouragement on this topic!
3. Cancel out creative imposter syndrome by writing a list of your successes (both big and small!)
Make a list of all your strengths and all your accomplishments – both big and small! It’s easy to feel like an imposter when we’re constantly focusing on the negative – the things we aren’t or the things we haven’t done. Instead, focus on the things you have done. Really acknowledge all of your growth, and how much you’ve overcome and accomplished. Anytime you’re questioning if you’re an imposter, grab your journal and make this list. Stop the thoughts in the moment and give yourself that gentle reminder that you’re doing pretty dang great.
4. Remind yourself everyone “fails”, and no one is perfect
Perfectionism – the root of all self-love in my humble opinion. (Totally speaking from experience as a perfectionist in recovery lolol.) Imposter syndrome makes us think we have to be perfect in order to be “successful”. But here’s the thing, no one is perfect, and everybody fails. You could probably google the top artists or even entrepreneurs, and I guarantee you they will have many “failure” stories. It’s just a part of life, and honestly a part of growth. If you do not fail, that means you have not tried. So just remember, no one is perfect, failing is just trying, and there’s no such thing as perfect art.
5. Surround yourself with support
This one might seem a bit tough if you don’t have supportive people in your life, or even just have people who understand your artist struggles. But I will say, it’s crucial to have support. If you’re surrounded by people who doubt you, that doubt is only going to fuel your imposter syndrome. The negative voice in your head is now not only yours, but also your loved ones. If you find it difficult to create boundaries with people who do not support you, I recommend giving this podcast episode a listen. And if you’re like me, and you’ve found yourself struggling to make friends as an adult, especially creative ones, go give this blog article a read. I give tips on finding support, even when you’re a lonely artist.
Final Thoughts on Creative Imposter Syndrome
Remember, overcoming imposter syndrome is a process and it takes time. Changing your inner dialogue does not happen overnight. But I promise you, with these tips and small baby step every day, you’ll get to a place of believing in yourself and reaching your full potential.
If these tips helped you, let me know in the comments or share this with a friend! You are one step closer to being the confident and ambitious artist that you are!
Thanks for reading, and of course, remember to stop and look at the sky!
Sincerely, your artsy friend that is rooting for you,
Arastasia Rolain – Traveling Mural Artist, Art Educator, & Creative Entrepreneur