We’ve all been there ladies and gentleman. You spend hours upon hours working on something, painstakingly mulling over every single color, stroke, and shape. Sweating bullets trying to get that perfect shot, or digging through what seems like galaxy’s of code to find out why your image is half a millimeter to the left. After all is said and done, you ask yourself that dreadful question…”Is it even good enough?”. There’s no sicker feeling than debating with yourself that what you’ve spent so much time into isn’t up to your own standards, let alone others. You begin to convince yourself that it’s been done before, that there’s nothing you can do in order to make it unique. We’re here to qualm your fears, and most importantly, tell you that you’re not alone. We’re your therapists now. Shhhh, hush now. No talking.
So what is it? Exactly as it sounds funnily enough. Impostor Syndrome revolves around the concept that you convince yourself that you’ll be exposed for what you doing as “fake”, or a fraud. Confidence begins to fall, self-esteem starts to drop, and an overall resentment for the very things you loved created can begin to creep in. There may be some that read this consider it a small thought, nothing that a mindset change can fix, however it’s so much more. Many creatives can relate to having an assumption that others will call them on their work, or “out” them. Regardless of just how talented an individual may be, it can happen. There’s no quick fix either, but there are absolutely some steps that creatives can make to ensure they don’t fall into a hole of self-doubt. There’s no room to worry about that friends, you have fantastic visions to realize.
Oh you dirty minded dog you. In terms of your work, expose as much as you possibly can to others. Tomorrow is a graveyard for fantastic ideas, a place where creative expression goes to die. There’s no possible way to showcase just what you can do if you’re living in the future. For some, the hardest part can be to get going, but whether it’s a website or mobile app design, if you’ve made the effort to start, you absolutely have the effort to end it. One of the most beautiful things about completing a project, whether or not you love it or hate it, is the fact that you did indeed finish it.
Feedback. Love It or Hate it, GET IT.
One of the best ways to tackle the fear of receiving feedback is, believe it or not, DROWNING in it. Caveats are there however, and it’s important to take note of them. First of all, it’s incredibly important to know who to get feedback from. Asking your friend who works at the local construction site may not be the best person to get feedback from regarding the look and feel of your fitness themed UI design, at least not primarily. You want the opinion of those with experience, those with enough knowledge within the field you’re in that can form an educated opinion on where your work succeeds and where it doesn’t. Save the opinions of outsiders for the testing phase, because by the time that phase rolls around, chances are what others are seeing is a product you’re happy to showcase.
Another factor in feedback, like it or not, is don’t be a baby about it. Harsh? absolutely, but entirely truthful. Take web design for example. Your entire career revolves around creating content that others deem reliable and satisfactory. If you weren’t interested in others opinions on your work, then you chose the wrong path to begin with. As creatives, we have to accept that what we do will be subject to scrutiny, and it’s incredibly important to differentiate personal bias and constructive criticism. So the next time somebody tells you the colors are terrible, instead of convincing yourself they’re not, ask them why. Reflect on your work, rather than dwell on it. When you have the right group critiquing your work, there is nothing but positives to come out of it. People are there to help you, not bring you down or expose your work, and the sooner you understand the difference between the two, it’s a beautiful thing.
Love Yourself. Obnoxiously.
You’re incredible. The things you’re creating, the achievements that you’re racking up are fantastic, and it shouldn’t take an internet post to remind you of such. For starters, take a day out of your busy schedule, pull up some old projects, and reflect. Look at your work not as something you created, but as something another person has, and begin to point out the very things you love about it. Make a list if you have to, and you’d be amazed by just how quickly that list can grow. Confidence is a trait that many have built-in, but others have to fight for, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Clients, whoever they may be, love the fact that the person they are hiring is not just confident they’re the right fit for the job, but confidence in their ability to create it.
Love what you do. If you’re not at that point yet, it can be a bumpy right, but you can get there, and the only obstacle left is the one between your ears. Let us know if you’ve ever come across something similar, and what you did to BUMP THAT FUNK. And remember, if you’re struggling to get going, just shut your mouth, pull your socks up, down a coffee, and Make It.