It's hard to be an influencer. You constantly have to be on top of your game, producing great content, cultivating relationships with brands and other influencers, and staying engaged with your followers.
But even when you're putting in all the work kicking butt, it's easy to feel like a fraud, like you're just pretending to know what you're doing. This is called Imposter Syndrome, and it can really hold you back from reaching your full potential.
Luckily, there are ways to deal with imposter syndrome. In this post, we'll take a look at what imposter syndrome is and how you can overcome it. So read on if you want to learn how to silence those inner demons and start succeeding as an influencer!
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Verywell defines Imposter Syndrome as an " internal, psychological experience in which one believes that they are not as competent as others perceive them to be as if they are a fraud."
So basically, Imposter Syndrome feels like you just don't quite measure up to all your success. And that you are somehow deceiving the people around you into believing you are something you are not. Aka, you’re a fake.
Many people in high-performing jobs, or influential platforms (like social media), will experience this feeling at least once in their careers.
They may ask themselves how they ended up where they are. They may feel they are not deserving of their success. They also might be crippled with the fear that it will all come crashing down at the drop of a pin since it’s all “not real.”
How does Imposter Syndrome Show Itself?
Imposter Syndrome can manifest in different ways. There are 5 main forms it will take:
1. The Perfectionist
Perfectionism and Imposter Syndrome are often intertwined. Perfectionists set crazy high goals for themselves. If/when they can't meet them, they suffer major feelings of not measuring up.
2. The Superwoman/Man
Since Imposter Syndrome makes people feel like they are fake phonies; they often assume everyone else around them is the real deal. This can create the thought process that they need to work harder than everyone else. They may overload themselves to the point of jeopardizing relationships and even their mental health.
3. The Natural Genius
People with Imposter Syndrome often feel that they have to be a literal "genius" at everything. They may judge their worthiness or competence on how quickly they can learn something or complete a task. They will likely experience frustration if anything takes them longer than they feel it should in order to complete.
4. The Soloist
When dealing with Imposter Syndrome, people often feel that if they ask for help, they will reveal themselves as a fraud. Obviously, independence is a great trait, but not to the point of toxicity. It is OK to ask for help, and it in no way implies weakness or fakeness.
5. The Expert
Finally, "the expert" measures their self-worth by what/how much they know or can do. Since their inherent belief is that they will never know or be enough, they compensate by trying to know/do it all.
Why is Imposter Syndrome Common in Influencers?
Imposter Syndrome is common in any setting where one person has power or influence.
Influencers, in the name, have influence. Their entire job is based on their platforms, image, and connection with others. They are also often put on a pedestal by thousands of people as an expert in their niche.
At the end of the day, influencers are just people. So it can be easy to feel like a fraud when people look up to you as a leading expert.
Imposter syndrome is also common among influencers as the content creation field is still relatively new, and there is a stigma around earning a good wage through social media.
Many think content creators just lucked out and woke up with 10k followers overnight. We know this is not the case, but it can still leave content creators feeling unworthy or like they do not deserve success.
How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
So, as an influencer, are you doomed to a life of feeling like a fake? Thankfully, not at all. There are many coping mechanisms you can practice to help get through Imposter Syndrome.
Here are five methods we love:
1. Know It’s Common
When we go through something tough, in this case, doubting the entire validity of our career (lol, no big deal), it makes it 10x worse to think that no one understands. Don't fall victim to this way of thinking. It was estimated in 2019 that 80% of professionals would experience Imposter Syndrome at some point in their careers. Likely, this number has risen.
Feeling like you don't know what you're doing is so common it's not even funny. If you are a content creator dealing with Imposter Syndrome, please know you are not alone!!
You have not done something wrong; you are not somehow a freak; you are actually very, very normal. Sit in that knowledge.
2. Separate Facts From Feelings
The next time you feel like a fraud or like you don't deserve the success you worked for, try to separate the facts from your feelings.
If you feel like you don't deserve to be where you are in your influencing career, think about all the facts that prove otherwise, like the hard work you put in to get where you are. Think about all the research, learning, and bettering of yourself you have done to be able to share quality content on your platform.
When we are in a negative thought process, we typically aren't thinking logically, so just taking the time to sort through your thoughts can be super helpful. Whatever your negative speech says to you, separate it into facts and feelings, then only listen to the facts.
3. Recognize Your Accomplishments
This can feel uncomfortable at first, but we want you to consciously recognize every single one of your accomplishments as a content creator! No really. Do it.
Social media influencing takes so much time, commitment, and drive. Any accomplishment, big or small, is worth celebrating, especially if you struggle to see your success's validity.
Consider making a "win list" and write down all of your wins as they come. When you doubt yourself or lack confidence, go back to that "win list" for a mental boost.
4. Stop Comparing
This is a BIG one.
Social media, in general, breeds comparison. We have 24/7 direct access to touched-up and polished highlights of other people's lives. It's nearly impossible to never compare oneself to others on the apps.
As content creators, we're kind of hit with a double whammy. Not only can we compare our lives to other people's lives, but we also can compare our platforms to other creators' platforms.
Especially when dealing with feelings of not being enough or being fake, it's important not to play the comparison game. If you feel like a fake, it's way too easy to look at someone else and think, "wow, they really have it all together; I could never." Just don't go there.
Focus on you. Don't worry about anyone else. If anything, use other people's success as positive motivation. But leave the comparison at the door.
5. Talk To Someone
For someone struggling with Imposter Syndrome, it can be really hard to ask for help, but it is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
You may choose to just talk it through with a friend to process your thoughts out loud. You might decide to see a mental health professional who can give you the right tools and strategies to help you through. We support you in whatever makes the most sense for you in your journey.
Just remember, there is no shame in talking about it!
Imposter syndrome is a common issue for many people. Still, it can be particularly harmful to social media influencers and content creators. When we feel like fakes or undeserving of our success, it's tough to stay focused and tap into our creative brains (both of which are needed to excel as an influencer). Thankfully, you are able to overcome it!
Today we hope you learned some helpful tips for coping with Imposter Syndrome, so you don't have to suffer in silence. Do any of these techniques work for you? We want to know!