If you think your victories are random, afraid of exposure, and do not take praise seriously, you are likely dealing with imposter syndrome. Don’t despair! The good news is that you can and should deal with an annoying inner critic with simple and regular exercises. Besides, you can pay for essays and resolve the creative block. Professional writers can write an entire piece for you.
The five causes of this phenomenon and ways to overcome it
For a long time, I lived in fear. I wrote plays and scripts, came to meetings with directors and producers, led lectures and workshops – and all the time I was afraid. I was afraid of being exposed. I was waiting for someone to finally raise their hand from the audience, look me in the eye, and say, “I know all about you. You’re an impostor. You don’t belong here.”
As time passed, no one ever raised their hand, but the fear did not go away and soon began to hinder my work, especially on those occasions when I needed to be self-confident: during negotiations with producers and theater directors, during discussions and text editing. Producers were deftly knocking down the fee by manipulating my fear and arguing that I did not yet have a filmography; editors corrected the text as they wanted and wrote remarks in humiliating capslock with a dozen exclamation marks; theater directors offered to stage the play for nothing because I was a young playwright and generally should be glad that they paid attention to me. I silently accepted and agreed to everything, glad that at least I wasn’t being driven out of my neck and expecting that as soon as I had more experience and a filmography, everything would change.
Filmography appeared, and there was more experience and more productions, but did anything change? Of course not. Because it’s not about experience or the number of credits, it’s about me, or rather, the inner voice that keeps whispering that I am not worthy of my victories and people will soon find out about it. This voice has a name – “impostor syndrome” and it can and should be fought, which is what I started to do, and now with the help of tried-and-true ways I help others.
How do you diagnose impostor syndrome in yourself? There are several of the most striking manifestations:
You think your victories are random or you don’t think of them as victories at all.
Impostor syndrome prevents you from accepting your successes regardless of their scale and importance, it is like corrosion that covers all your achievements and makes you deny your contributions and their significance.
Did your story get published? That’s so great!
Imposter syndrome: “It was a coincidence. And the magazine as a whole isn’t very good, it’s not like printing a book.”
Did your book get printed? That’s an incredible achievement, a lot of writers can only dream about that.
Another example: “Well, the publishing house is not the largest, and secondly, the circulation of three thousand copies – ugh, not the circulation, no one will read you.
And now a major publisher is interested in you? Congratulations!
Impostor syndrome: “There must be some mistake, they confused your manuscript with someone else’s.”
Are you in a meeting with readers? Enjoy interacting with them!
“Now they’re finally going to tell me to my face that I’m mediocre. They didn’t? You got away with it this time, but next time…”
They call you up and tell you that you’re getting the Nobel Prize for Literature?!
“What kind of stupid joke is this?! Don’t call here again!”
What to do?
For starters, praise yourself for any achievement, even if your inner impostor thinks the achievement is worthless and petty. Praise yourself, even if instead of exercising you stretched out in bed twice or wrote one word instead of your intended thousand digits a day.
You’re doing great. Do you hear that? Repeat after me, “I’m good!” Listen to your inner impostor – is he chuckling in response to your “I’m good”? Then repeat it ten more times.
You’re afraid of being exposed.
You pretend to be a cool professional all the time, but you know that you’re really not and that soon, very soon it will be exposed, literally at this meeting with your boss/producer/editor/readers. And if it didn’t happen at this meeting, it will happen at the next one.
What to do?
If the impostor is more afraid of being exposed than anything else in the world, then you have to expose him! Acknowledge its existence, acknowledge and accept your fear, and remember that the voice of the impostor is not your voice. You can do a very helpful assignment: write a post on the page about your impostor syndrome and list five accomplishments in the last 3 months that you are proud of. The post can be open to all or just one or a few friends, you can write a message to a friend instead of a post, the important fact is that you are no longer hiding your imposter, you talk about him, and therefore his voice is not so scary anymore. This article is also another step in exposing my impostor syndrome, which, thankfully, is speaking out less and less frequently.
You do not take praise seriously.
Your suffering, doubt-ridden soul desperately craves a kind word, but when you are finally praised, you think the praise is undeserved. They tell you that you write well, and at that moment you think, “Yes, of course, you say that so as not to offend me. Once on my birthday, after a congratulatory toast from a senior colleague listing my successes, I ran away crying into the bathroom because I was ashamed of myself and the fact that people don’t know how disgusting and talentless I am.
What to do?
Listen to a compliment or praise and say, “Thank you, very nice.” Do not make excuses: “Oh, I wrote this dialogue in ten minutes, it was nothing” or “Everyone can do this.
Thank you. Very nice.
You don’t take criticism very well.
It’s paradoxical, but when someone criticizes you, thereby confirming your darkest thoughts about yourself, your first reaction is not agreement, but violent protest. It’s a defensive reaction – someone has exposed you and you, like a criminal, desperately attack back. It is only later, when you are alone with yourself, that you scroll through your opponent’s words over and over again and bitterly admit that he was telling the truth. Instead of trying to figure out whether there was something useful in the criticism, whether he was right, whether he is even competent, you blame yourself for not hiding well enough.
What to do?
Ideally, listen to the helpful comments and don’t think about the hurtful comments. In practice, this usually doesn’t work, so at first try to protect yourself from traumatic criticism altogether: don’t send a text to a friend if you know he’s formulating his comments in a hurtful way, even if he’s a cool expert, don’t post it on sites where angry commenters immediately come running.
You’re waiting to go from caterpillar to butterfly, but in the meantime, you’re missing out on important life events
You’re not writing a novel, because you’re not worthy to do it yet, but you’ll take these courses and get into a writing group, where you’ll be accepted, and then yes. And you turn down tempting offers because you don’t think you’re ready, but if you were offered it in a year or two…
What do you do?
If you want to write a novel or an essay but don’t know how to do it, find a course right now and sign up. And if you’ve already taken a dozen such courses, stop procrastinating – go to essay writing service reddit and get to work. There is no perfect self and there never will be. There will always be just you.