I have imposter syndrome. I’ve got it bad. And you’ve probably experienced it too.
Imposter syndrome is the feeling that you’re not good at what you do despite evidence to the contrary. Often, it’s the feeling that it’s just all luck, and that you have no real skill behind it. Perhaps, it’s because you’re being humble. But most of the time, this feeling is caused by self doubt. “I don’t have enough experience for this. Other people are so much better than me, I can’t be an expert. That one time was just luck!”
I’ve been thinking about imposter syndrome a lot lately. I LOVE photography. But, despite any success I’ve had, I never feel like a “real” photographer. I have imposter syndrome. It’s kept me from proactively pitching clients. Starting a business. Buying better equipment that I need. It’s even kept me from asking for a raise or charging fees that I deserve!
I don’t typically write about food photography on the blog. In fact, it took me a lot to even think about writing this post! Imposter syndrome will do that to you. It will get in your way. The best way to combat it? Do the exact opposite of what your brain tells you to do.
So I’m doing it. I will be writing more posts about photography on this blog in 2018. And I hope you’ll hold me to it. Below are the 5 ways I will be trying out to get over my imposter syndrome. Perhaps they’ll help you too.
5 ways To Get Over Imposter Syndrome
Make every day opposite day.
Does your brain tell you that you’re not good enough to do something? Ignore it. Do just the opposite. Think you’re not qualified to write a blog post on food photography? Write a blatant piece about how you’re going to do it and make the Internet hold you accountable.
Me: HEAR ME ROAR.
Treat Yo’ Self.
Associate each little win with something positive.
For example, whenever my photography gets noticed, I treat myself to a new prop (a dish, pitcher, cake stand, etc.) or piece of photography gear. Then, when I use the item, I have a positive association with it. Like, “hey, I got this cake stand because Crate and Barrel wanted to use my picture. I KNOW what I’m doing if they wanted it.”
Positivity beats out negativity. Plus, presents.
Always be learning. Like, seriously.
Take every opportunity to learn something new. The more you hear things you’ve already heard before, the more confirmation you’ll have that you DO, in fact, know what you’re doing.
My goal is to take as many food photography courses possible. Is it repetitive? Sometimes. But the more and more I hear terms and concepts over again, the more convinced I become that I know them. But, actually.
Be a yes man. (Or woman.)
Say yes to every little opportunity that comes your way. Have a friend that needs a new LinkedIn photo? TAKE IT. Your nephew’s first birthday is coming up? BE HIS own personal fairy godmother/cool aunt/ photographer. Be like Nike and just do it.
Surround yourself with cheerleaders.
Not the kind you knew in high school. The real, genuine cheerleaders that already exist in your life. Like your mom. Or your friend from college that will tell you the truth no matter what.
It’s even better if they are acquaintances or strangers. Find your fan base. The random person that comments on your instagram. The coworker that stumbled across your blog and now reads it on the regular. We tend to discredit our loved ones because “they have to say I’m good”. Strangers tend to have more credibility because they don’t HAVE to confirm that you know what you’re doing.
Surround yourself with people that love you and will give you honest feedback. People that will offer constructive criticism and will help you be better. The people that will tell you to stop getting in your own way.
Sometimes all you need is a reminder.
So let’s get to work. I’ll always be a work in progress. But there’s no way I’m letting myself get in my own way again.
I AM a photographer. Even though my own brain doesn’t want to believe it.
Stay tuned for more posts on food photography on the blog (eep!). Do you have your own way to combat imposter syndrome? Let me know how in the comments!! Seriously. I can use all the help I can get.