Imposter syndrome is the psychological pattern in which an individual doubt their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.
It’s been over a year since I wrote a blog post. I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying, “A lot can happen in a year.” True indeed.
In addition to finishing up the sequel, I was embarking on a new endeavor. I completed a couple of coaching courses where I obtained certifications as a Life Coach Practitioner and Master Sexpert.
Yes, all of this.
As much as I wanted to get my writing projects underway and moving, I found it difficult to follow through with completing tasks to get me there. Procrastinating happens to be one of them reasons why. The other is that I’m a perfectionist.
From not being able to come up with the right content to not making time to write, I do everything else that keep me from finishing tasks. Speaking of time, forget about getting writing projects or other business-related tasks completed before the deadline. It’s because I’m too busy perfecting work that’s already done. I was letting the monkey in my brain get the best of me.
I’m sure some of you can relate.
Perfectionists are typically stressed out and suffer from anxiety in getting the best work done. In the pursuit of putting out the best work, I ended up second guessing my skills. I downplayed them and did an injustice – compared myself to other writers.
I know, I know, you can’t focus on your progress if you’re worried about somebody else. However, I was beating myself up for not doing the very thing I knew I was capable of. I sat down many of nights staring at a blank screen without a clue as to what I wanted to say. The ideas that used to flow were now garbled up inside of my head. I couldn’t clear my mind to form a complete thought. If I did get anything out, I found myself re-reading the words, hung up on if my thoughts made sense in getting my point across. I even dealt with uncooperative characters. How could I possibly finish this damn sequel if they won’t play fair? As a result, I sank into believing it would be yet another year of unfinished projects.
Granted, I’m aware the longer you take to pursue your goals, the likelihood of seeing them to fruition becomes far more challenging. Eventually, the ideas are abandoned, and time passes without accomplishing anything that will move you closer to your goals. I knew I’d been away from it too long.
I am forever grateful for the moment I came across a webinar in the Author Transformation Alliance that proved to be more than just impactful.
As I searched for a course that would help me get through another bout of writer’s block, “Imposter Syndrome” caught my attention. The words resonated loud.
If you aren’t aware of what it means, let me tell you. It’s the psychological pattern in which an individual doubt their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. That’s right. In addition to being a perfectionist, I had to admit I suffered from Imposter Syndrome as well. You can only imagine the torture I’ve been putting myself through. It had to stop.
And finally, it did.
The presenter suggested the audience take a test that would rate their level of Imposter Syndrome. The results weren’t surprising. I was suffering from a severe case. However, there was relief in knowing others like the late and great author, Maya Angelou also dealt with bouts of Imposter Syndrome. I was shocked by this because how could she doubt the level of her talent? Nevertheless, she said it, “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”
What inspired me most was she didn’t allow it to stop her from sharing her gifts with the rest of us. We never saw Ms. Angelou as a fraud, but rather one of the most influential people in the world.
It was relieving to know there was hope for me to do the same. I spent time addressing the limiting beliefs that also hindered my progress. I reached out to fellow authors to share my issues. We addressed the areas for improvement. I also teamed up with a business coach who helped with ways to overcome Imposter Syndrome.
In that time, we developed ways to improve my time management and ensure time was spent wisely. I used breathing techniques that helped when frustration settled in. I started doing 25-minute writing sprints. Those sprints improved my daily word count. It forced me to sit in front of my laptop and guess what? These thoughts began to flow. I began reading every day. I even started journaling again. More importantly, I was kind to myself. I forgave myself when I didn’t meet my writing goals for the day. I gave myself a hug on those days I felt like a failure. It was okay and natural for me to feel this way, but not to stay in the emotion.
A huge thanks goes to author, Nils Salzgeber and his book, Stop Procrastinating. By incorporating some of his “Try This” techniques, I am getting up earlier, exercising, eating healthier, and more importantly no longer procrastinating as I used to.
I was reminded of how important it is to just write. The moment you sit down in front with a blank sheet of paper and allow your thoughts to flow, you’re a writer. The art of becoming the best writer happens when you work at your craft daily. I read where it’s important to write every single day, even if it’s a paragraph. It is ideal to have short term attainable milestones that lead up to the final goal. In doing this the chances of getting more done and making it a habit are higher.
I’m excited as I back into the writing lab. Letting my wildest ideas and thoughts come to life is exhilarating. Knowing my readers will once again be able to share in this, fuels the energy I need to do just that.