DIGITAL & DOWNLOAD

INSTANT ACCESS

You Named It, Now REFRAME It: More Strategies for Tackling Imposter Syndrome

 In last month’s issue, we looked at what imposter syndrome is; now we’ll examine what it might look like, why we have it, and what we can do about it in order to better understand it.

Identifying

Individuals react and respond differently to their experience of imposter syndrome. Researchers found five common types; they are perfectionists, experts, soloists, natural geniuses, or superheroes. Try this quiz to see which one you identify with. What’s interesting is that no matter which type you are, the feelings you’re left with are the same: failure and shame. 

Scientific research suggests other factors that can also influence your likelihood of feeling like an imposter, such as your family upbringing, personality traits, mental wellbeing, and your current environment.

Protecting

[Insert Image – The Feeling Wheel by Gloria Wilcox]

If we look at the Feelings Wheel, first developed in 1982 by Dr. Gloria Willcox, we can see that feelings of self doubt, inadequacy, and overwhelm all stem from the primary emotion of fear. It’s basically that reptilian part of your brain trying to protect you from saber-toothed tigers, or anything your brain perceives as dangerous.  

It’s your brain’s way of keeping you safe. 

But, realistically, writing a novel will not kill you. For indie authors, imposter syndrome might manifest as procrastination, extensive and unnecessary research, or spending a long time editing, or never feeling quite ready to hit that publish button. 

Understanding

Journaling can be a very helpful way of getting to the root cause of your emotions. Perhaps start by noticing when you’re feeling like a fraud and asking questions such as “Where is this coming from?” Just getting your thoughts onto paper is often therapeutic.  

Also, try debunking any negative thoughts by listing your achievements. Imposter syndrome can come from not feeling accomplished enough, so listing all your big (and small) achievements will go a long way to proving to yourself that you are good enough.

Picture of Angela Archer

Angela Archer

Having worked as a mental health nurse for many years, Angela combines her love of words with her love of human psychology to work as a copywriter in the UK. She independently published a novella and novel in 2020 and is currently fending off the lure of shiny new novel ideas to complete the second book in her sci-fi series. When she’s not tinkering with words, she’s usually drinking tea, playing the saxophone (badly), or being mum and wife to her husband and two boys.

Start or Join a Conversation About This Article:

When Writing Means Business, Storytellers Read Indie Author Magazine

Read Indie Annie's Latest Advice:

Dear Indie Annie,

I know it’s important to understand who you’re writing and marketing to, but how do I develop my ideal reader avatar? Every time I try, it feels like I’m limiting myself. Needing to Niche Down Dear Niche,  Oh darling, focusing on your target audience feels as frightening as finalizing a paint palette for your parlor. Why choose when there are so many gorgeous colors to pick from? But defining your ideal reader liberates your creativity

Read More »

Dear Indie Annie,

In the past, I’ve hired editors, cover designers, and even a virtual assistant. Passing off those responsibilities makes sense, but internal formatting always seems so straightforward. At what point is it worth investing in professional formatting services? Frugal Formatter Dear Frugal, Oh my, that moniker sounds like you’re an inhabitant of Middle Earth, but I digress. Formatting your own manuscript seems as simple as building a bookcase from IKEA: just insert tab A into slot

Read More »

Dear Indie Annie,

Despite my best marketing efforts, my backlist just isn’t selling. How do I decide whether to go back to the drawing board and refocus the series or cut my losses and unpublish it?  At a Crossroads Dear Crossroads,  I feel your frustration, love. When a backlist underperforms, it’s like owning a vintage auto that sputters more than it purrs. Do you tune it up or trade it in for a new model? Let’s hash out

Read More »

Follow Us

Weekly Tutorial

Sign up for our Newsletter

We’ll send you our best articles, special offers, and industry updates

Would You Like a Free Issue?

Hello! I’m Indie Annie, and I would love to send you a copy of this month’s issue of Indie Author Magazine. Just join our email list and I’ll drop it in your inbox!