Buckle up girl, its about to get personal.
I’ve been sitting in the corner of the couch going back and forth about what my first ever blog post should be about. For an hour and a half to be exact. You might be quick to assume that it’s because my mind is going blank — your typical creative block. Nope.
In reality I spent the first 20 minutes writing down the titles of 42 unique post titles I’d like to give you soon.
You get the gist. My problem isn’t coming up with ideas, its the hesitation I have about putting my thoughts and experiences out in the open. Yes of course there’s the fear that nobody will like them. Even more than that though is my concern that I won’t provide enough value to you, the reader. So. Much. F*ing. Doubt. And then I thought — I know they’ve been there.
And so we have our first topic — imposter syndrome.
Otherwise known as “I have an idea for a project/content that I love. Wait maybe people won’t like it. Maybe I’m not good enough. Maybe if I spent enough time searching Instagram/Pinterest/Facebook for inspiration I’ll see what other people are doing and come up with a better idea…..their work is so much better than mine…maybe I shouldn’t even bother…” Fast forward a couple months and you’re still putting that idea off. Summed up in a sentence, imposter syndrome is the paralyzing fear of feeling inadequate.
1. Brain dump
This is a tip I wish I understood years and years ago and it applies to any project you’re hesitating on.
First, ask yourself which method you find easiest to dump all of your ideas. Writing them down on paper, sticky notes, typing them up, dry erase board, the notes section of your phone — no method is wrong the idea is to get all of your ideas for the project out quickly without stopping so you won’t get bogged down by wanting them to be perfect.
Now spend 30 minutes letting every single idea you have about the project spill out of you through whichever medium you choose. This sounds easy but trust me when I say it takes practice.
The purpose of this excise is threefold:
2. STOP touching that Pinterest button. Year heard me. I see you. Stop.
Let me know if this sounds familiar. You have a new idea for a piece of content and the first thing you do is search Pinterest and other social media sites for “inspiration.”
Pinterest is an incredible place for all things beautiful and lets face it, it’s also one of the last places on the Internet that is “pure” with hardly any negativity. That’s what makes it so easy to get lost in! A quick search for “modern bohemian branding” and over an hour later you’re still scrolling but feeling more overwhelmed than ever.
Getting stuck in this cycle is toxic to your creativity, authenticity, and honestly, to your mental health. It’s the number one trigger for imposter syndrome! You’re going there with the best of intentions looking for some inspiration because you know the “vibe” you’re looking for but can’t quite visualize it.
It becomes almost addicting as you scroll down because you feel the perfect representation of what you’re looking for is just around the corner. But more often than not once you pull yourself away from it you’re either left feeling like what you’ll create won’t be as good as the others you saw, you’re more confused about what you want than you were to begin with, or perhaps worst of all you leave trying to emulate a design and it leads to copying.
If this is hitting too close to home, hear me out. Give yourself one hour to collect inspiration, but absolutely no more. Pin your hour away, and then stop.
3. Give yourself a hard stop.
This is an easy one for client projects and other to-do’s with a deadline. Personal projects are an entirely different animal though and without giving yourself a hard deadline they often drag on with no end in sight.
Give yourself a deadline that’ll cause you to hustle without being unrealistic. That way you practice making more aggressive deadlines and avoid having a personal project list a mile long because you never finish them.
Tip: Struggle with deadlines? All new and old entrepreneurs do from time to time. Start by making short and attainable to do lists each day. Once you start consistently checking each item off the days list, make your goals loftier.
4. Recite your worth to yourself EVERY DAY.
When it all comes down to it, you’re f*ing incredible, babe. While this blog is directed towards my fellow ladypreneurs and creatives, I speak to ALL of you when I say this.
Take 5 minutes each morning to write down, or state out loud 3 things you accomplished the day prior, 3 things you’re thankful for, and 3 things you love about yourself. — they don’t have to be huge things and you can repeat the same things each day if you can’t come up with knew ones yet.
Here’s an example of what mine might look like tomorrow:
Yesterday I wrote my first blog post FINALLY, I walked my dog even though I didn’t feel well, I made time to spend with my boyfriend even though I had a lot of work to do.
I am kind, I am loyal, I am honest.
Getting into this habit will do wonders for your confidence and mental health. Give it a couple of weeks and you’ll be amazed at how your mindset shifts. Then when you’re feeling imposter syndrome creepin’ up on you, take a breath and reflect on all of the things you love about yourself, everything you’re thankful for, and all of what you’ve accomplished. You’ll realize there’s no need to feel inadequate because you’re capable of anything.
Now go kick ass girl.