When you start out blogging, you often do so for fun – or even to make a little money. But, what happens as your site grows and people turn to you as an expert in your field?
Your articles are great, and your readers love reading them. You know the topic well, but then, it happens. Suddenly, you start having doubts. When you push the limits of your knowledge, you begin to question things. You may start thinking:
Why would people ask me?
What makes you know this topic more than anyone else?
Why do you feel that someone should listen to what you have to say?
If you feel this way, you are not alone. There is a name for the feelings you have.
It is called Imposter Syndrome.
HOW TO OVERCOME IMPOSTER SYNDROME
What is Imposter Syndrome?
In a nutshell, imposter syndrome happens when you feel that you are not smart enough about a given topic and that people might be buying into say. Even though you have incredible success, you still worry that you are not good enough.
Those who suffer from imposter syndrome deal with deep feelings of self-doubt that can negate any feelings of success. You think that you are faking it and fear that someone is going to find out. You will be outed as a fraud.
If this is how you feel, know that you are not alone. I suffer from imposter syndrome myself. Even though I know what I am talking about, there is the fear that someone will know more and that I someone will call me a fraud or a fake. It has held me back from actually trying to do new things.
Or, at least, it used to.
Why do you feel this way?
Most people have these feelings due to a fear of humility. When you have knowledge and expertise that has come rather quickly, you wonder if you know this topic as well as you thought.
This can become an even more significant issue when you add a price to your knowledge. If you put together a printable, book, or even a course, you instantly become vulnerable. Now, people are paying for your expertise and advice, and your feelings of inadequacy tend to rise even higher.
This happened to me.
I have been running PennyPinchinMom.com for more than eight years. It has been an easy site to run because I know the topic well – saving money and living a frugal life. It just all came naturally to me because I lived it. Even now, when I write an article, I fear that it will not be good enough. I worry that it won’t tell anyone anything that is new or they don’t already know. It will come across that I don’t know the topic.
Knowing your topic has nothing to do with this feeling. It just that fear that you are not good enough. Your information is not as good helpful as someone else’s.
Can you overcome it?
As much as I wish it were possible, there is no simple way to overcome this feeling. It takes a lot of hard work and allowing yourself to know you are good at what you do and that the information you share on your blog will help someone – whether free or a paid option.
Here are some ways that you can try to overcome your imposter syndrome feelings.
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
Allow yourself to know that you play a role in your success. The truth is that you would not be successful if it weren’t for you. After all, you put together the thoughts and ideas in writing. You created the course. You did that – no one else. Just saying “yes” to your ideas was the first step on the road to success.
Make sure you always provide value. We’ve all probably paid for something and afterward felt it was a total waste of our money. That is where you must make sure you don’t allow that to happen.
No matter what you sell, be it a book, a course — whatever — make sure that you review it before releasing it. Ensure that it has the value you would personally expect if you were paying for it. Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes ensures that your product has value.
Stop comparing yourself to others. This is the one with which I struggle. It is so simple to compare yourself to someone else. “They have more followers, so they must know more than me.” “Their site looks so clean compared to mine, so it means they are more knowledgeable.” The list goes on and on.
The truth is that you are different and are at a different point in your blogging journey. You can’t compare yourself to anyone — except where you were yesterday.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” quote=”Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” theme=”style1″]
Someone will always have a more significant following, make more money, or have better luck than you do. There is no getting around that. Instead, focus on where you are today and don’t let someone else get in the way of your success.
Know that mistakes are OK. None of us are perfect. Even the person you most admire in the blogging world makes mistakes. Heck – I make more than my fair share of them daily! But you know what, I own them. And, I don’t shy away from them. Instead, I allow my mistakes to help me learn to do better the next time.
Mistakes help you better understand your weaknesses, so you can improve and become even better.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable. This is a tough one. When you become vulnerable, you are putting yourself out there. You open yourself up to criticism and feedback. That, my friend, is terrifying.
However, when you do this, your readers and fans often feel it. They can tell you are honest, and you are just being yourself. That is often more appealing than someone who posts cookie-cutter content. They want to know you. They want to understand and relate to you.
Know that holding back prevents you from going forward. You probably know where you want to go with your business. Or, if not 100% sure, perhaps some dreams and goals. If you don’t – stop now and write them down.
Now that you’ve done that, understand that your fears can prevent you from becoming successful. For me, that was fear of starting this site and even developing courses or other content that I can sell. Once I overcame these fears, the ideas began to flow.
It started with a course. That is now leading to a book (coming out soon). I’ve got another course I am writing for this page and am creating printables.
My fear held me back for more than seven years. Seven years. Look at what I missed out on during that time!!
Don’t allow your fear to prevent you from moving forward.
Understand that no one is the one expert. The truth is that none of us truly knows what we are doing. Sure, we have experiences and ideas that we draw upon, but that doesn’t mean that one person is the end-all of that topic.
Don’t fall for credentials. When it comes to the title expert, the truth is this — that is a self-appointed title. Think about it, who comes up and tells someone that they are the expert in any given field? No one.
Don’t get caught up in titles. They can hold you back. You don’t have to call yourself an expert to share what you know.
Allow yourself to change and grow. Look at where you were three years ago. Do you have the same knowledge now that you did back then? Probably not. The chances are that you know more.
Growth propels you forward. The more you learn about your topic, the more you can share. This is when you experience growth.
Just be yourself. No one is more you than you. Right? That means if you feel that you an imposter, does that mean you are lying about the subject matter you share? You aren’t lying to anyone; you are just being yourself.
[clickToTweet tweet=”No one is more you than you.” quote=”No one is more you than you.” theme=”style1″]
Realize that you are going to make mistakes. But, the good news is that you will find a way to learn from them and become stronger. When you do that, you will begin to feel less and less like an imposter, and that will lead you to fantastic success.