How to Banish Imposter Syndrome as a Blogger

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How to Banish Imposter Syndrome as a Blogger

Imposter Syndrome (noun): The feeling that you are a fraud, not good enough, and why should anyone listen to you?

This week, I gave my very first live workshop (aka webinar, but I prefer “live workshop” because so many webinars are super sleazy). It was about 5 steps to making money from your blog.

If you want to get into my awesomely supportive Facebook group for bloggers, and be notified about live workshops click here to sign up!

And when I was sitting down to plan it, I came down with a major case of Imposter Syndrome.

Some of the thoughts running through my head included:

I’m not making tons of money from my blog, so why should anyone listen to me?
My blog traffic numbers aren’t big enough for me to be considered an expert. What if people just roll their eyes when I tell them how many people are reading my blog?
Who am I to tell bloggers what to do, when I haven’t even reached the success of [INSERT SUCCESSFUL BLOGGER’S NAME HERE]?

Luckily, I have an awesome BFF who helps me feel better in times like these, so I called her.

We chatted about random things for a few minutes, and then I said, “Danielle (yes, my BFF’s name is almost the same as mine. And my husband’s name is Daniel. But I digress…) I am feeling scared about this workshop on Wednesday. Why should anyone listen to me? I haven’t reached the traffic numbers of the super successful bloggers. Tell me that I can do this.”

She paused for a minute, and then said, “I think you’re feeling nervous because your workshop topic is different from what your area of strength is. You help bloggers find their voice. As long as you refocus your workshop on that topic, and keep coming back to it, you’ll be great.”

Once I focused more on identifying bloggers’ “superpowers” and less on the idea of “I made it and so can you,” I felt a lot better.

Also, having my ugly fears out in the open made them seem less real.

I was able to move forward and give a really great workshop.

Imposter Syndrome is very real. Especially for bloggers.

How many times have you sat down to write a blog post, and thought, Who am I to say I’m an expert on this topic? Why should anyone listen to me? There’s someone way better than I am at this.?

Yeah. Me too. And here’s what I’ve found helps to get past it.

1. Just pretend that you are good enough.

The most damaging thing about Imposter Syndrome is that it can stop you in your tracks.

Luckily for me, I had over 200 people signed up to watch my workshop, so I had to follow through and do it, even if I was scared.

But if you don’t have anyone else depending on you to write a blog post (and most bloggers don’t, in the beginning), Imposter Syndrome can prevent you from writing that post. Or even stop you from starting your blog in the first place.

What if, instead of letting yourself spiral down into that self-doubt, you thought, Maybe I am good enough. I might as well try and see what happens.

Just going forward, despite feelings of self-doubt, does a lot to make those feelings go away.

2. Realize it’s not about you.

Yes, people care about who you are and your credentials and all that, but really, they care more about themselves and how you make them feel.

If you make people feel empowered and less alone, they will benefit from your blog posts.

It doesn’t matter if you made your DIY pegboard and it came out crooked, as long as you help your readers understand how you did it and feel empowered to make their own because of it.

It doesn’t matter if your kids got bored in the middle of your homeschool lesson and started poking each other, as long as you give your readers some creative ideas and let them know that they’re not the only ones with squirmy kids.

It doesn’t matter if you miss a few days of running and then write a blog post on how to start a running habit, because your readers probably miss a lot of days, too.

It’s better to be real than to be perfect. If you do come across as perfect, it will just make other people feel inadequate. So embrace your imperfections, because they will make other people feel like they’re not alone.

3. Get aligned with your superpowers.

In my story about my workshop, I needed to reconnect with my big WHY, with my superpower.

By getting back to your areas of strength, and NOT trying to be like everyone else, you will banish your Imposter Syndrome.

The main reason that I’ve been able to quickly build my audience for this blog is because I threw out my need to do what other people were doing.

But here’s a secret: I still struggle with owning my voice.

I still have to remind myself it’s okay to write and to run my business in my own way. When I do, everything falls into place. But when I try to imitate what others are doing, that Imposter Syndrome attacks hard core.

Getting aligned with your superpowers means looking at your strengths and celebrating them. It means embracing your uniqueness and throwing out your need to “fit in.”

I’ve been watching a bunch of superhero shows recently, specifically Heroes, and Daredevil. And what sticks out is that superheroes are often misunderstood by the larger society. But the people who love them REALLY love them.

So don’t try to take on someone else’s superpower. Cultivate your own.

Feeling like an imposter? Tap into your blogging superpowers.Click To Tweet

4. Ask yourself, “Is this true?”

Often, our minds come up with a lot of crap that has nothing to do with reality.

And then, instead of challenging ourselves, and thinking, What a load of #$@!, we start to believe our own lies.

After I gave my workshop, I had 8 new people sign up for my blogging membership site, Have Your Cupcake. I had a bunch of people tell me it inspired them.

Was it perfect? No.

But did people get a lot out of it? Yes.

And no one commented telling me that I was a fraud.

If you are feeling like an imposter, write your negative thoughts down, or call a friend, like I did. Get them out into the open.

And then question them. Ask, Is this true? Or is this just my fear?

Imposter Syndrome is only as strong as you let it be.

5. Realize that you are not alone and that Imposter Syndrome is totally normal.

Last year, I went to a conference called Pioneer Nation in Portland, Oregon.

It was the first conference I had ever been to, and I was nervous. I could barely sleep the night before.

At the conference, I felt super awkward and shy. There were all of these successful business owners there. Who was I to “pretend” that I belonged? But eventually, I found my groove and connected with some great people.

After the conference, a bunch of people wrote blog posts about their experiences, explaining that they had felt like imposters until they jumped in and talked to people. I wished I could go back and do it over again, knowing that I was surrounded by people feeling the same exact way I was.

This summer, I went to BlogHer. But this time, instead of feeling like a lone imposter, I thought about how many of the people there were probably feeling nervous and alone. I was able to just go with the flow and enjoy myself.

If you are feeling like an imposter, realize that 99.9% of people feel the exact same way at times. And that it’s the people who refuse to give the Imposter Syndrome power who get to their goals.

The next time you come down with a bad case of Imposter Syndrome:

  1. Pretend that you are good enough.
  2. Realize it’s not about you.
  3. Get aligned with your superpowers.
  4. Ask, Is this true?
  5. Know that you’re not alone, and it’s only as powerful as you let it be.

How to Banish Imposter Syndrome as a Blogger

Next month, I am doing another live workshop, on 9 Ways to Write Like a Pro.

This time, I’m going to go in with my superpower fully activated. And when those feelings of inadequacy come up (like I know they will), I’m going to reread this blog post and give myself a kick in the butt.

If you want to get into my awesomely supportive Facebook group for bloggers, and be notified about live workshops click here to sign up!

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  • You must be reading my mind, because this is exactly what I’m suffering from right now. I mean, there is no physical proof that I have marketed books, (they aren’t even on sell any more) so why should anyone listen to me about it? A nightmare 🙁

    • Daniela Uslan

      Aww Tina, I am sorry you are feeling that way. I hope this post made you feel less alone!

  • Kaitlyn Alory

    Daniela, your workshop was 100% worth the time investment of being there. I don’t usually watch videos/lives because my husband and kids are always around. But, your broadcast was filled to the brim with love, encouragement, and tips on finding your voice. Honestly, the first time you said It I didn’t know what you meant or how that was relevant…. At all. Now I understand you couldn’t be more right.

    Thank you for being real. Thank you for being you. Thank You for teaching me in cupcakes and thank you for caring about all of your bloggers and giving personal attention to every single one.

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, Kaitlyn! Thank YOU for being you. Bloggers like you keep me going!

  • sue

    Daniela I loved your workshop and the courses have given me so much confidence. I can’t wait for the next one to start! I think you wrote this post about me as it is exactly how I feel. It makes me feel better to know that even professionals and inspirational people like yourself experience self doubt. Thank you for always being so supportive and helpful you always go way beyond what is expected.

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, Sue! I am so glad that my courses have given you confidence. You are inspirational to me, as well!

  • G2W

    Thank you Daniela. Just what I needed to hear!

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, Gigi! I appreciate the comment.

  • Straight Talking Ginger: Cat P

    Great blog and great insights. Particularly like the point about ‘it’s not about you’. That is so true. As long as you are coming from a place of ‘how can I provide value or help the people who are tuned in’ it bumps the imposter character out the way. Thanks for sharing your experience Daniela.

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks Cat! I try to remember that if I am helping just one person, it’s worth it to keep doing what I’m doing.

      • Straight Talking Ginger: Cat P

        You are helping loads of people…fantastic!

  • Hi Daniela, Great post and I love your honesty. I go through phases with my imposter syndrome, sometimes I am completely confident in my abilities, knowledge and experience and there is no stopping me, and sometimes I wonder how I managed to get away with faking for so long! But I know now that when I feel like a fake, it will pass.

    Take care x

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks Jane! I go through phases as well…I’m glad this post resonated with you!

  • Eileen Murphy Kelly

    I can totally relate and I appreciate the advice. Well done ! Thank you for sharing

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks Eileen! I appreciate your comment.

  • Really great post Daniela!

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, Cara! I appreciate the comment!

  • Really love this post Daniela. I particularly like number 4. “Is it true?”. We so often have these beliefs about the world and ourselves that are simply… not true!! Thank you.

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, Murielle. I am glad that you enjoyed the post!

  • Thank you so much. This is so what I needed to read right now. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are amazing, don’t forget that./love Ida

    • Daniela Uslan

      You’re welcome, and thanks so much Ida! You are amazing too!

  • Sarah Schira

    I think very few people are actually comfortable calling themselves experts. On the other hand, almost everyone can comfortably say that they are bringing their experience and passion to the table. The longer I live, the more I realize how labels confine us. ‘Expert’ or ‘housewife’ or ‘middle-aged’ or ‘blogger’ – they’re all words that describe, but they can also feel like they have policed boundaries about who gets in and how you have to behave once you’re in.

    We’re all the only – and therefore best – version of ourselves. We bring something special to the table, even if it’s just the questions we ask.

    • Daniela Uslan

      I love your last line, Sarah – our questions themselves bring something special to the table.

  • Connie Gomez

    I love this! I am experiencing right now with hosting my first ever networking event! I have made notes from this post and will totally overcome this fear!! Thank you for the advice!

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks, Connie! Go you for hosting your first networking event! I am sure it will be great!

  • Awesome insight!! I am actually just listening to Michael Hyatt’s Platform University and several of this guests talk about this. We should NOT feel like this! We all have a place in this large blogging world.

    • Daniela Uslan

      I will have to check that out. I definitely think it’s something we all struggle with!

  • Kyleigh Wegener

    Great tips and reminders. I especially liked the reminder that yes your readers care about you and what you have to say, but most importantly they are reading our blogs because the topic is important to them personally. I will save this for the days when I don’t feel like I have an right to write as an expert.

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks Kyleigh! I am glad you enjoyed the post.

  • Bree

    I have to bookmark this post and re-read it every time I feel this way. It happens a lot, and even though I know better, I still need to be reminded. Thank you for writing and sharing this post!

    • Daniela Uslan

      Bree, I needed to reread this post today, lol. Imposter Syndrome seems to be a recurrent illness…

  • So much goodness here!! I especially appreciated the reference to knowing and using your superpowers. That’s what makes us special and unique and will result in authentic connections ever time! Great post. 🙂

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks for your comment, Shaina! I totally agree.

  • Katy Ipock

    I experience “imposter syndrome” on a daily basis, and not just with my blog either. This advice applies to all of it! This was exactly what I needed to hear today. <3

    • Daniela Uslan

      Thanks Katy! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I hope it helped.

  • Daniela Uslan

    Thanks Athena! I am glad to know I’m not alone. It’s true that our accomplishments can’t keep us from feeling Imposter Syndrome!

  • Daniela Uslan

    That’s true, Bryce! Thanks for the reminder.

  • Daniela Uslan

    Sheena, go forth and publish! You will be glad you did!

  • This just SPEAKS to me. Thank you for this post, I will come back to it when the imposter syndrome brings me down (every day lol)

  • I am so happy I found this post! I just started blogging and have a SERIOUS case of imposter syndrome – and it is SUCH a relief to know not only that I’m not alone, but that successful bloggers also feel that way sometimes. Reading this (and the comments) was incredibly comforting. Thank you 🙂