Taming the Beast

Arm Yourself to Beat Imposter Syndrome

In this final article on imposter syndrome, we’re going to take a deeper look at the psychology behind it and offer a tool kit for healthier thinking. 

Everyone has a mental filter, built from our experiences, our personality, and our environment. It’s this filter that leads us to unknowingly distort our thinking and can negatively affect our sense of self. This then affects the way we think, feel, and behave towards our writing and writing abilities.

Believing

People who experience imposter syndrome are frequently critical thinkers. We judge ourselves too harshly, giving too much weight to our thoughts, and end up believing them to be true. 

We are our own worst enemies and often jump to negative conclusions. We may think our writing isn’t good enough, or that the plot is boring and unoriginal, but remember–just because we think or feel something doesn’t necessarily make it true. Feelings aren’t facts. 

Tackling

One way to tackle (and tame) those critical thoughts is to understand the relationship between our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), this form of therapy takes the stance that our thoughts, feelings, and behavior are all interconnected. Each aspect impacts and influences the outcome of the other. 

As you can see from the image, how you think can negatively skew your perspective and affect your behavior. It can be a challenge that you may never overcome completely, but with the right tool-kit, imposter syndrome can be managed. 

Challenging

You don’t have to let imposter syndrome hold you back. Try to notice when you’re feeling like an imposter, jot down your thoughts and feelings, then notice how it’s impacting your behavior. 

Then try challenging the reality of those thoughts and feelings to reframe them into a positive, healthier way of thinking to inspire the author in you.

Imposter syndrome is a beast. Now that we’ve Named it, and Reframed it, we can work towards taming it. Armed with a better understanding, and a toolkit of tips, we can move forward with our writing more positively and constructively. We won’t be beaten by self-doubt, we’ll harness it to inspire and fuel the writers we are. 

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