Dealing With Impostor Syndrome

Categories Balance, Ireland, Life Tips, Lifestyle, Travel, Travelling, Uncategorized15 Comments
Dealing With Impostor Syndrome

Have you ever heard of impostor syndrome?

It is defined on Google as.. ‘Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”‘

So why am I writing about it?

I hate this feeling – but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in feeling it. The worst part about it is it’s transferable across every part of your life. I run a website for my job and I constantly feel like I don’t know enough about SEO, eCommerce, the best way to engage customers online – but I mean, I must be doing something right if I’m still running it right?

Kilbaha
Beach at Kilbaha

My travelling is another factor that contributes to this feeling. I always have people come up to me who I haven’t seen in a while say they have seen my Instagram and I’m always away or doing something. Because of this I actually feel guilty if I spend a weekend at home sitting on my couch. There is this constant feeling of pressure to get up and go somewhere to the point that my calendar is always jam packed. How could I not be an impostor when I have a travel blog but I’m not travelling or doing anything?

Even creating this blog has made me feel that way on more than one occasion. When switching my site over to a self hosted site I thought to myself ‘who am I fooling thinking I will be able to even do this?’. Low and behold a few hours later I had everything set up and was good as new. Why did I feel the need to doubt myself? For some reason I felt like I shouldn’t know how to make changes to a website or customize it to suit my needs but I had no reason to ever believe it was something I couldn’t do.

The Wild Wayfarer Website
The website I made with my own, bare hands!

I’m not sure why we feel this impending feeling of never being good enough at what we are doing. Is social media to blame or is it just something that is ingrained in ourselves to feel this way? I admire the confident people out there who feel good enough in everything they do. School, work, hobbies – I always felt, and still feel like I’m just blagging my way through it all. With seven trips under my belt already this year, another three trips in the pipeline, three festivals, multiple concerts and more hotel breaks within Ireland than ever – I would love to be reminded as to why I feel like I don’t ‘deserve’ to have a travel blog?!

What can I do to stop it?

I’ve decided that every day I’m going to write down three things I think I’m good at, or that I have accomplished in that day in the hopes of getting rid of this impostor syndrome once and for all. You are the captain of your own life, and all that jazz! I don’t know if it will even help but it is definitely a start. I’m sick of not feeling like I’m good enough at what I’m doing and I refuse to let it continue

Have you ever felt this way about something in your life? Like you were only pretending to know what you are doing? If so, why?

 

15 thoughts on “Dealing With Impostor Syndrome

  1. Thank you for sharing such an honest post, Emily. I literally just posted on Instagram about this feeling. I think it’s because we compare ourselves to other people – but also because we like to curate our experiences so they look nice online. Obviously! Nobody wants to read about us in PJs, a messy bun and acne cream on! But just cut yourself a break and remember you’re inspiring people and living life to the fullest! Mwah xxx

  2. I did not know about this term. Thanks for bringing to my attention. But I usually say that I blog for myself more than anyone else as I want to capture all those thoughts those moments and feel happy and proud about it when it helps someone. So I think if one stresses himself/herself with this, then probably is not the best way in my opinion.

  3. I could really identify with this post! I often think that all the other travel bloggers I come across know exactly what they’re doing and I am the one that doesn’t! However, I’m sure that isn’t really the case. As long as we are passionate and genuine about what we are doing then we don’t need to know or do it all – and we can all learn from each other as we go 🙂

  4. I can totally relate to this, but don’t let other people’s comments get you down! If you enjoy what you’re doing, keep on doing it.. you are not an imposter if you are true to yourself and live your life how you want to

  5. I think we all have this feeling at one time or another. What I have come to realize is that you define the way you want to run your blog / business / life. It may look in one way to the outside world but only you know the reality of what is going on. For example, I run a travel blog but I work full time. That doesn’t make me less of a traveler or disqualifies me to run such a site (even though some may think that is the case). I see myself as a person who is trying to experience new things and learn. I do not need to go far or spend tons of money to have a meaningful experience. That is the message I am trying to pass on and I am trying to connect with an audience which values the same.

    1. Thank you for that comment! It is definitely something I needed to hear! I too work full time and I get itchy feet when I haven’t left the country in a month but realistically I’m doing as much as I can for the time being! I love your thought process around it all 🙂

  6. This is such an important topic, thank you for writing about it! I’m certainly very familiar with the impostor syndrome – in fact, I think that it’s particularly common among young woman. And, as you describe, people can suffer from it on more than domain – I’ve had similar thoughts as a student, as a blogger, when I was working as a journalist, now that I’m working in academia… For instance, I’ve noticed that while I and many of my female colleagues were referring to ourselves as PhD “students”, many of the guys at the same level were calling themselves PhD “researchers”. I’m now reminding myself to try and use the latter as often as possible. Small steps, right?

    1. It’s crazy how we put ourselves down or make our achievements sound like less than they are. Sometimes you are nearly afraid it will come across as if you are boasting or bragging so you play it all down instead – which shouldn’t have to be the case! Small steps lead to big wins 🙂

  7. Yep – for social ability. Because everyone seems to know what to do, whereas I feel like I’m just faking it. But I don’t really feel it for objectively measurable things or ‘deserve’ questions. The same reason why I need more time with social situations, is responsible for giving me a degree of immunity against peer pressure. A lot of those thoughts (“who am I to believe I could etc etc”) come from believing your validation comes from others, i.e. need for peer approval.

  8. I can totally relate, I read Sheryl Sandbergs book Lean In earlier this year and I first came across the words “Imposter syndrome”, apparently although both men and women have this it’s far more common in women. It’s such a fascinating concept to explore and I love your take on how your going to approach it!

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