Have you ever accomplished something and then immediately felt guilty for your achievement? Or been praised for your accomplishment and then felt like you had tricked the world into giving you praise, when there is no way that YOU, of all people, could deserve it?
That is the work of impostor syndrome, something that I, along with many creative people, suffer from. It is our way of letting self-doubt pierce our confidence. It is the excuse for not accepting our greatness. My video below says it all, or at least all of my thoughts on the matter. The bottom line is simple:
What is causing the thought that we don’t deserve to be successful, and how can we stop it?
What do you love about yourself?
How can you be that person even more?
Share with me your experience with impostor syndrome below!
Paulo Carvalho - Hello Brooke!
Another great post that left me speechless! And I understand perfectly well what you say. To tell the truth I not like to talk about me very much. Perhaps because of this syndrome, that I’ve never heard! I confess! I think what I like best about me, it’s this simple way of living every moment I live. This simplicity that makes me believe in people and allows me to create bonds of friendship easily. I’m not a person who closes the door to people who I just met. And although sometimes of having people who disappoint me, I prefer to continue to believe. As for the “Why not?” It was exactly this question I asked myself when I started my current project. 🙂 XOXO
Nikki Mulkern - Hi Brooke,
This post again came at such an amazing time. I have made so many changes, but this week I made two huge ones!! One was that I would create art and fine art portraits full time, I have still been photographing family sessions still and once my last one is done in Oct, than I will no longer be offering those style of sessions, which was a huge moment for me because I literally felt like an impostor doing something that I no longer wanted to do, because I am a people pleaser.
It’s hard for me to answer what do I love about myself? I think I give back a lot, but it feels weird to say that. How can you be that person even more? This was the other decision I had made this week. For the past 5 years I have a certain amount of mini session fundraisers that I do and I donate all the proceeds to The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada in my Mom’s name ( She passed away June 5th 2011 of a brain tumour ) I have decided this will be my last year of doing them, and it was such a hard decision to make, but I wanted more time to do something more for others. When my Mom passed away one of the first things I created, even before the fundraising mini sessions, was the R.M.K Session ( that was what I used to call it ) which is something so very near and dear to my heart, but because of my workload, I was unable to keep up with it. I wanted to bring it back, and I decided to do just that, it’s called the Renate Kebbert Memorial Session. When my Mom was sick, I only took a few photographs and they were of her and my boys, none of me and her and none at the hospital where I was savoring every moment I had with her, and that is one of my Biggest Regrets, that I didn’t just photograph her, the details of her face, her hands, my family members with her, the good the bad and the ugly of it all!! It might sound strange, but I would give anything to have all those moments and memories that I could look at whenever I wanted to! So that made me realize that I need to offer this again to those that are going through the same things that my Mom went through, and that I went through. It’s a free session for others that are themselves or have a family member that is critical/terminally ill. I feel like this can help others through a very difficult time and maybe help them heal, or at least that is my hope. Ok, sorry this is so long winded but your post really got to me today!!
You are as amazing as always!! xoxo
Fit BMX - You sound like a beautiful person. (Hug)
To me you should always do what makes YOU happy, that is what makes a life great. 🙂
Cristina L Baker - I feel this way a lot. Especially being a jack of all trades. I just posted a blog today with a similar message of “why not?!” Always a great reminder. Thanks Brooke! Excited for the convention in September.
Scott Ungerecht - Hi, Brooke!
I loved watching your video and listening to you talk about impostor syndrome. What I love most about myself are my natural skills as a photographer and a photo artist. I love how I can transform or create my digital photo paintings by using my pictures or by using royalty-free stock photos I find on the Internet.
I also love how kind, warm, generous, understanding and gifted I am in a wide variety of things, from creative writing and photography to creating original music in my mind and playing it successfully on my electronic keyboard at home.
I’m also an amateur filmmaker, too. In fact, I just mailed a letter this morning to the Department of the Army’s Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, Western Region (OCPA-West), which is the entertainment industry’s direct liaison to the United States Army. Its primary purpose is to assist film, television, video and video game professionals in all matters relating to the United States Army.
In my letter, I wrote about my interest in creating a real-life documentary film about the hardships injured Army recruits must face and overcome while recuperating from an accidental physical injury sustained during basic combat training.
I want to show the public specifically how injured recruits demonstrate the Seven Army Values to help them overcome mental and physical challenges so they can return to basic combat training and eventually graduate as a soldier.
As far as I know, there are no civilian filmmakers who have created a real-life documentary on this subject, and I want to be the first to do it. My motivation in creating this documentary is not about earning profit but to tell a compelling factual story about injured Army recruits overcoming their injuries, and what it takes for them to do so in a basic combat training environment.
I also believe I am the best qualified civilian to interview Army personnel and recruits and to create and direct my documentary film. I have 12 years of experience as a photographer in the private sector, and I have prior first-hand knowledge and expertise in the Army as a formerly injured recruit serving at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri from March 10 -September 20, 2005. I’m also an honorably discharged veteran.
So, I’m challenging myself to be more of the person I am today by taking a bold risk to see if the Army will allow an amateur filmmaker like me to create a real-life documentary about a subject that has never been filmed before in a basic combat training environment. I’ll keep you posted and let you know what happens.
Sergio Anguiano - I like being able to trust myself recently and I want to continue learning to trust myself by going on adventures of whatever magnitude and shake off the fear of getting out of my comfort zone.
Fit BMX - I never realized that I do this until you posted this Brook’s.
I really haven’t had to much of this problem with my photography, because I really don’t show it to many people, but I do this with my woodcarvings all the time. I will spend a month carving a figuring, and then when someone says how great it looks, I instantly think it isn’t good enough, that I could do better. I have finished a carving and then have my family tell me it looks great, and I think it is so poorly done, that I have thrown the carving into the woodburner went back to the bench and started over.
Also when I help others just to be kind, and if someone says how good it is of me to have done that, then I suddenly feel like I am only helping so people will compliment me.
When I get this out into the open it seems really dumb! LOL
Thank you for making me confront this! (Hug) 🙂
Brad - Thank you, Brooke. Powerful message that I really needed to hear right now.
I just finished up a book for Amherst Media – I struggled the entire time with the voices in my head telling me that I was fooling myself thinking anyone cared what I had to say – that there are better experts out there.
I fought through it, but it has drained me.
Jean-Marie Sánchez - Thank you so much. I’ve been feeling like this basically all my life. Struggling with with trying to be ok with compliments and praise while feeling like I don’t deserve them and feeling like a freak thinking that I’m the only one feeling like this. It’s exhausting but hearing about it from you has made me open my eyes. Thank you