Why your Imposter Syndrome is a Good Thing

A counterintuitive look at embracing and channeling imposter syndrome
Why your Imposter Syndrome is a Good Thing
Jake McNeill
June 3, 2021
5 min read
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Even Oscar-Winning Geniuses suffer from imposter syndrome

Mario Puzo, author of The Godfather was asked to adapt his books to film.

He found it an unsettling experience as he didn’t know what he was doing. 

This is understandable as he had never written a screenplay before.

Nonetheless, he completed the project. Everyone seemed happy. Especially after the film won two Oscars.

Mario still felt insecure. Imposter syndrome is like that. Wanting to improve his skills he bought a book on screenwriting. 

The lesson in chapter 1? “Study Godfather”

The Research: 

Imposter syndrome? Everyone gets it. 

  • It has the biggest impact on perfectionist high achievers. 
  • The more you achieve the more of an imposter you will feel.
  • It affects women and men equally. 
  • It’s based on the pressure to achieve and was born in your childhood. 
  • Many high achievers were raised in families who alternated between over-praise and criticism.

The Impact Imposter Syndrome has On Creative Careers:

It can limit creativity.

Artists and creators can get 100 comments gushing about their work but they will obsess for days over the one cutting remark from a troll. 

It diminishes confidence.

It stops artists and creatives from taking risks and dilutes their work.

“ Am I good enough?” is the core fear. This manifests into fear of failure, fear of losing status/ fame, and fear of rejection. 

How To Hack It:

Reframing: Imposter Syndrome is misunderstood. 

It’s a good thing. 

It means you’re out of your comfort zone. Nothing of any significance was ever achieved in a comfort zone!

If you’re not feeling it then you’re coasting. 

To live a life worth living and die without the most common regrets you must push yourself and create outside your comfort zone. 

That means feeling you’re an imposter. It’s just the way it works.

The best way to overcome insecurity is to talk about your insecurity. 

Most of the insecurity comes from you trying to hide your insecurity — or the shame of feeling it. 

Know that every high-achieving creator feels the same. It’s not just you. 

Our inner monologue is not us. It’s our egos trying to keep us in our comfort zones in order to protect our feelings. 

That’s nice but it means we don’t achieve anything either!

We have to use metacognition. WTF is that? It’s thinking about your thinking.

Question your self-talk. “ Is that really true?” Give yourself examples of times you have succeeded in similar circumstances.

Create a success reel in your head of all your achievements and replay this when you feel your self-talk is sabotaging you.

Your sabotaging self-talk is always BS or grossly exaggerated versions of the truth.

A bit about me

I help maverick artists and creatives stand out in crowded markets, crush the creative blocks that hold them back, and build engaged audiences

Every creative rebel’s worst enemy?

Creative mediocrity: Being bland. Staying in our lane. Creating in our comfort zone and following the crowds.

The Goal? To create authentic work that matters. Take creative risks, avoid creative burnout, and making a racket in saturated markets.

I’m a former multi-platinum artist manager who got burnt out and became a creative blogger, coach, and consultant.

I’ve challenged myself to write 50 articles in 50 working days. 15 down, 35 to go.

Find out more information on my website or connect on my LinkedIn

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