Imposter Syndrome: Pushing Through Self-Doubt and Comfort Zones

You know that exciting project or job you want to start but are putting off until the 'right time', until you feel prepared and 100% ready? Here's the truth - you may never feel ready, and there will never be a 'right time'.

Because in our ever-evolving world, there is no such thing as the 'right time'. It simply doesn't exist. Holding back and waiting for the 'right time' only means we will never start. You probably clicked onto this looking for an answer to know when you will feel ready to start or what criteria you must meet before you are ready and confident in yourself. I can't answer that, but I can tell you why you might be feeling this way.

The defining factor of imposter syndrome is the constant self-doubt. Imposter syndrome "reflects a belief that you’re an inadequate and incompetent failure despite evidence that indicates you’re skilled and quite successful." (source)

It can cause the voices in our heads that tell us we're not good enough, that we shouldn't bother trying because we'll probably fail and that we are not ready to start that new project outside our comfort zone. Read to the end for links for more detail on imposter syndrome.

These photos were part of the first outfit shoot I've done in a long while meaning my confidence at the start was lacking. Who am I to model? But I pushed through and I'm happy with the photos you see here. I then doubted that I would be able to write valuable content alongside the images, which is what this post is now about.

I'm currently reading Originals by Adam Grant; a book about the concept of originality and original ideas (and much more). Part of the book states that geniuses or artists we admire often produce massive volumes of work, with only a few masterpieces or genuine successes we remember them for.

I have decided just to post these images now and not wait any longer for the 'right time' or the perfect thought or message to come to me - because I understand those don't exist. I will never feel 100% ready if I continue to hold myself up to unrealistic standards of perfection and doubt my voice. And I will never succeed in anything if I don't start anything. You can't be a Picasso if you don't pick up the paintbrush. You can't be a Mozart if you don't sit down at the piano.

So here are the photos, perhaps symbolic as I'm wearing my first ever leopard print garment. I didn't think I was confident enough to pull off leopard print - I didn't think I was ready. But, I pushed through and I did it, didn't I? Luckily I am happy with the outcome and have worn it multiple times since this shoot.

Outfit details: top from Daisy Street at ASOS, bra from Ann Summers, jeans from Topshop, scrunchie by me, belt borrowed from mother, heels from ASOS + rose gold Adidas Superstars

You may never feel ready. You will never be 100% ready because you can't be ready for the unknown. When reaching outwith your comfort zone, the unknown is just that - unknown. There is no right or wrong. But you don't need to feel ready to just start. Stop procrastinating and just take the first step. The feeling once you see the results of starting is definitely worth pushing past the fear.

For the past couple of weeks, 'email for freelance gigs' has been on the top of my to-do list. And every day I have put it off, saying I'm not quite ready and I still need to do x, y and z before I can send out those emails. But I'm sick of doubting myself any longer. I know I have the ability to gain a freelance client. And what I also know is there is definitely no chance of that happening if I don't actually send the emails.

You know what else has been pissing me off? Me again. I made a scrunchie a few weeks ago (see photo above), and had a plan to sell some as a side hustle at least while I'm off university for summer. Another item on my to do list has been to bring down an old sewing machine from our attic to see if it works. Literally about a 30 second walk up and down the stairs - and I still haven't done it. Because I am scared of failure and am doubting myself. It sounds so silly when you type it out, but I know we all go through this fear of failure, the fear we are not good enough to accomplish our goals. Instead, we settle with the safe, within our comfort zone. How many happy tales or success stories come from our comfort zones?

So although I don't feel ready to send those emails, and although I'm scared to get the sewing machine down incase my scrunchie project dies a painful death, I'm going to give my self-doubt and imposter syndrome the middle finger and do it anyway. Yes, I may not do as well as I'd hoped but then again I may achieve even more than I expected. The point is I'll never know unless I try. I'll never know unless I start.

What imposter syndrome situation are you going through right now? Do you relate to any of the 5 types identified by The Muse below?

I am planning to touch on imposter syndrome more, but here are some useful links for now:

Outfit details: top from Daisy Street at ASOS, bra from Ann Summers, jeans from Topshop, scrunchie by me, belt borrowed from mother, heels from ASOS + rose gold Adidas Superstars

Post a Comment

Latest Instagrams

© Copperpink | Edinburgh based lifestyle blog by Mairi Lowe. Design by Fearne.