Let me preface this by saying that I am not a mental health professional by any stretch of the imagination. I can only speak from my own experiences as an artist, and as an individual who suffers from imposter syndrome.
What is imposter syndrome?
This is the fear of being called out as a fraud. The fear of being discovered as someone who isn't really who people think they are. When in fact, you aren't a fraud at all.
For example, I'm afraid to put my art out there. I'm afraid of getting recognition from anyone who may want to hire me, because I don't think I can meet anyone's expectations and therefor will be seen as a fake. Now, this is pretty illogical because I know I have some art skills that are worth something. And yet, this fear can be paralyzing and polarizing.
On one hand, I do believe in myself and my abilities as an artist. On the other, if they ever find out that I still don't know how to draw ankles properly then I will be a laughing stock. Who are they, you ask? It doesn't matter. Just they.
See what I mean? Illogical.
But still, very real to me.
Any time I think about turning my part-time art career into something more sustainable, something full-time that I can dedicate my life to, these looming thoughts overtake my brain.
"What do you have to offer?"
"Your art isn't that special."
"Do you really think people are going to support you on Patreon? They have better things to do with their money."
"You still have so much to learn, how can you call yourself a professional?"
These negative and painful thoughts swirl around my mind, shooting at my heart like a malfunctioning baseball pitching machine in a romcom.
But my need to be an artist is greater than these thoughts. I know this, because I haven't given up yet. Even though it hurts, and these doubts and fears are with me all the time, I still haven't stopped. I can't stop, it's not in me. Giving up on art isn't an option for me.
So I only have one option left: to overcome this.
One way that I'm going to do this is by sharing my feelings, like I am right now, with you. My hope is that, by sharing my thoughts freely, I can free myself of some of these mental chains. I also hope that, if some of you are going through the same thing, you can know that you aren't alone. We are in this together.
Another way I can combat this is to pretend that I'm not a fake. I know this sounds strange, but I think if I just pretend that I'm a person with confidence, with self assurance, and with something to offer the world, then I think I can start defeating this monster.
It's just like the phrase "fake it 'til you make it", right? If kids can pretend to be ghouls and vampires on Halloween, I can pretend to be someone who fully believes in themselves.
My hope is that the more I just push through these doubts and fears, the higher the chance will be that I can prove them wrong. If I try to convince myself that I am deserving of this, that I am worthy. I know people do want my art, I know and feel so grateful for the following I've gained so far. It's not about the numbers, it's not about being famous. It's my own feelings of unworthiness and that for some reason I don't deserve this.
But I know it's not true. So that's why I'm pushing myself in so many ways to prove myself wrong.
I can do this. And so can you.
If you are going through this or something similar, know that you are not alone and that you always have the power to change your circumstances. It's never easy, but it's always worth it.
And finally, I want to thank you so very much for reading my first blog post! Please feel free to share any of your experiences or advice you may have in the comments, I would love to read what you have to say. Have a beautiful and bright day, lovelies!