Imposter Syndrome


So, so far, my goal to post weekly has failed miserably. I’m barely managing to post monthly, and I hope that’s okay for now, because it’s really been weighing on me.

I wanted to discuss something that I’ve been experiencing in trying to plan out the next steps in growing my crochet business. It’s something I think anyone with a tendency toward self-doubt, who has tried to accomplish something big, has probably experienced.

I’m talking about… IMPOSTER SYNDROME. *cue horror movie soundtrack*

Imposter syndrome is described by Wikipedia as “a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.'” In other words, even when you have a talent for something, and even when you are able to do something with that talent, you have this internalized belief that your success is undeserved and you’re really just pretending to be some kind of professional. At least, that’s been my experience so far.

So, here I am, with this idea to start an Etsy shop and sell my finished products, while also learning to design my own patterns, and this… negative voice creeps in.

EXPECTATION (Positive Self-Talk):

REALITY (Imposter Syndrome):

  • “I can do this!”
  • “I’ll just do some research and take the first steps.”
  • “I can learn as I go.”
  • “I make quality products that others will want to buy.”
  • “No one will buy this.”
  • “You’re only going to get overwhelmed and fail/give up.”
  • “Anything you can make has been made before; nothing you have to offer is unique.”
  • “You don’t have REAL talent. You’re only following other makers’ patterns.”

Imposter syndrome makes every step you take toward a goal a battle. For me, obviously, it applies to starting a small craft business. Creating an Instagram account just for my amigurumi? No one will follow you, and you’re pictures aren’t as good as the accounts you follow. Looking into getting a business license? You’re going to screw something up and get into financial/legal trouble. Using others’ patterns to make things I like and gradually build up an inventory? You’re a talentless fraud who can’t design her own patterns.

For me, it’s starting a business. For you, it’s probably something different. Here’s the thing I try to remind myself, though. Even if each step toward that goal is a difficult battle, as long as you take those steps (however long it may take to do so), you’ll ultimately win the war. I apologize for the cheesy analogy, but I do believe it’s true. As long as I push back against that negative imposter syndrome voice in my head, and take the necessary steps anyway, eventually I will prove it wrong.