Impostor Syndrome and How to Beat Its Dumb Stupid Face

You’re stuck because you feel like a fraud. It’s as if everyone can see through your disguise. This is impostor syndrome. Impostor syndrome is your past self holding on for dear life.

Your past self is you without experience. Your future self is you with experience.

When your past self is trying to convince you that you’re not that good, it’s right. Half right. Yes, you’re not that good. Yet. Yes, you don’t have any experience doing this. Yet.

And yet, many stuck creatives let their actions be guided by their past self.

Your past self and your future self are guides.

The past self wants you to stay put. What’s gotten into you? There’s no need to get all excited over these ideas. Let somebody else take the wheel. They’ve got better ideas. They’re better with words. See that guy over there? His last name is Wordsworth. You’ve got no chance against a guy whose last name is Wordsworth.

When we’re looking forward to today’s work, the past self wants us to look around. The past self wants us to look anywhere but here. Anywhere but this empty canvas.

The future self can’t stand to see you stay put. Come on, let’s go, you’ve got things to create. You have the time, resources, ideas, perspective, support. Let’s take a small step today. One chapter of your book. One paragraph of your essay. One gill of the salmon. Great, you’re doing it. You’re writing. You’re sketching and carving and reiterating. What was that guy’s name again? Wormsmith? I don’t remember. Doesn’t matter. I’ve got work to do.

To the creative guided by the future self, every reason to not move forward is nothing but a robocall. The past self picks up these calls. Yes, hi, what? I’m not as good as they say? Alright, thanks for letting me know.

The future self lets these messages go straight to voicemail. You have 99 unheard messages. To hear your messages, press 1.

I put together a bunch of ideas about creativity in a digital book. You can buy it, for whatever price you want, on Gumroad by clicking here.

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