Numerous have been the occasions that I left the office for the day to find myself thinking about how, one day, everyone will realize that I’m not good enough. This being an isolated case would not worry anyone, but the truth is, I’m not by far the only one with this problem.
Over the years, I’ve gathered many memories of various co-workers and me sitting in the pub talking about how we were going to get fired. “No, you won’t, I will, like, man, think about it” would be what we repeated to each other time after time, like complete dummies.
Did we have a solid foundation for that thinking? No. It was our insecurities arising day after day. Most of us were excellent at our jobs, maybe because we were so worried about losing them that we pushed ourselves further than ever before.
I remember the day someone told me about the Imposter Syndrome. I was shocked, as it described very well what my mind was doing to me.
So what is this so-called Imposter Syndrome? Is it another mental health issue that I need to worry about? Let’s start with a definition for it:
“Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud.”
Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve all they have achieved.
Individuals with impostorism incorrectly attribute their success to luck, or interpret it as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent than they perceive themselves to be.” - Wikipedia
This description fitted me like a glove. I was relieved, but at the same time, I felt like I had another issue to solve.
Before we continue to the part where I explain how I managed to overcome it, here are a few articles with recommendations and further explanations:
Now for the useful part. How did I manage to fight an art-related imposter syndrome?
Understanding that this impostorism can be reduced to suffering from a heavy form of self underestimation was key to building my confidence back.
Something that worked extremely well was speaking with my leads, senior artists in the company, and essentially every person who could tell me what they liked and disliked about me.
My main chain of thought here was that at some point, they were going to realize I wasn’t really that good at my job, so I took notes.
My questions weren’t simple tho. Am I a good artist is not something that will help you here. You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses and work heavily in perfecting them.
If you have a to-do list of the things you need to work on from a personal and professional perspective and sync up once in a while, this is an easy insecurity to smash.
Something else that you might want to do, but always in a healthy way, is to compare yourself to others you admire. I’m not talking about jealousy, but a realistic assessment of your skills vs. your co-workers.
While working on it, you might still experience anxiety coming from this. A lead of mine once told me that a person can only do so much in a day. I explained a lot of resources like this one on this article I wrote a few weeks ago:
As you might have gathered from all the previous comments on this topic, one alone can’t recover easily. We need other people’s input. We need to learn to be objective again.
Chances are, many of your co-workers have something similar to this. You can look for them and sit down to discuss this issue. Ask them for that list of advantages and disadvantages of working with you, and give them the same honest feedback.
There’s nothing worse for an Imposter Syndrome than speaking with people who aren’t honest with you and afraid to tell you the truth, even if it hurts.
I kept this article quite short for a reason. I want you to finish it early and find this message.
If you are suffering from this and don’t have anyone to speak to, drop me a line, join our discord, and talk to the other members. All together, we will be able to help.
Thank you for reading, and have a great day!