How to Fight Imposter Syndrome
One of the biggest challenges for writers isn't finding clients. It isn't perfecting a sentence. It isn't even getting paid what you're owed. The greatest challenge that holds you back in almost every area of your freelance writing business is imposter syndrome.
You know what I'm talking about.
Some days you just feel like you're pretending to be a professional writer. It doesn't matter how much success you've had or how hard you work, you still feel like a fraud. Imposter syndrome is common for creative types.
It’s even a problem for the magnificent AOC:
I get struck with it at least once a week, even though I've been running my business for 20 years. My stomach starts to ache. My head feels fuzzy. A tiny voice says, "Hey, they're going to find out you're just a big faker. You're going to lose everything."
There's no justification to feel this way, I know, deep down.
On days like this I know I need to push through, because clients aren't going to wait for me to feel good about myself, right?
Here's how I do it.
First, you need to step away from the blank Word document for a few minutes. Walk around in your yard. Go for a jog. Pull some weeds. Scrub your bathtub. Dance around to a favorite jam. Anything that will get your blood pumping for a few minutes is a good idea. Happy chemicals will start to flow and your anxiety will lessen.
Get Hyped on Yourself
This is kind-of embarrassing, but I keep a three-ring binder full of good reviews, awards and emails from happy clients. After 20 years, it's pretty huge. When I feel really off, I just thumb through to remind myself that people do enjoy my writing and I'm not a fraud.
Don't have any accolades yet? Take out your trusty notebook and write down what you're good at and why. Also, write down any accomplishments you've made in your career. Even if it's just a published article or a client contract, that's a big deal!
Another way to boost your confidence is to get out of your pajamas and dress up for work, even if you're just heading to the recliner with your laptop. Dressing up can make you feel like a professional. Be sure to take some selfies!
Want more tips for becoming a successful freelance writer? Grab a copy of my book: