The two most common insecurities writers have are "I'm not good enough" and "I'm not ready".
And do you know what "I'm not good enough" and "I'm not ready" when combined tend to develop into? Impostor syndrome.
Impostor syndrome...also known as that hideous feeling that you don't actually deserve your success, you aren't as good as others, and that one day people will "find you out" or "expose" you for not knowing as much as you portrayed you did.
What impostor syndrome does is it makes us worry that we're not good enough right now, as we are. As if the knowledge we've gained throughout our lives isn't worth enough, and that there has to be more, more, more.
I disagree with that, and I think we could all use a little more self-compassion.
This is how you overcome these insecurities, and all it takes is five simple but powerful affirmations.
1. “This is my legacy.”
I don't want to wake up at 73 years old and realise that I never got around to doing what I truly wanted in life because I spent most of the time preparing instead of actually living.
Do you? Where does it end?
You've got to draw the line somewhere if you're ever going to get started.
Once you've dedicated your life to something you can learn along the way. It might not give you a qualification or title, but it gives you the best chance of becoming who you want to become.
2. "Life is short."
If you're feeling called to create, it's because you're meant to do it. The sooner you realise this, the better.
You don't get advanced notice when it's time for the final curtain call of your life, so don't waste time or make the show boring by dedicating the first half an hour with random umming and ahhing.
3. "There are people out there who need me right now."
Your true fans are out there in the world, and they won't sit around waiting for you.
There will always be something you can do to make yourself appear more capable, experienced or qualified, but nothing will excite your true fans more than helping them with what you've got right now.
4. "I must share my knowledge."
Whether you have just one fan or one hundred thousand, you must share your knowledge.
I've never regretting creating a piece of work, no matter how terrible it was when it first came out. The act of creating something and putting it out there isn't just for your fans, but it is also for you. As you share, you grow.
5. "Nobody cares about all the things I DON'T have."
The value you provide is worth so much more than your writing qualifications.
Has anyone actually interrogated you on your writing qualifications? Told you that you weren't good enough, or not "allowed" to do what you do? It really doesn’t happen all that often, but despite that, it’s one of the main things writers worry about (see: impostor syndrome).
The fact of the matter is that most people are not dedicated to taking you down - if they don't like your stuff they'll generally just move on to someone better suited to them, so it's nothing you really need to worry about. No one is lurking in the shadows, waiting to "out" you. And if by some weird reason they are, they are in need of a qualification in being a better person. For every one person that might doubt you, there are hundreds that will actually really appreciate what you do.
A person's qualifications are almost never what make me like a person, personally. As long as they can tell me something I didn't know before, they have a place in my life - and I promise that your tribe have the same attitude towards you.
A final note: you are perfect exactly as you are right now. You are enough, always have been... and I hope this post has reinforced that to you.
Stephanie Lennox is an award-winning author, keynote speaker, holistic writing coach and wellness advocate. She’s also the founder of The Authorship Program®, a 12-week immersive experience that helps writers conquer fear in their creative lives. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please share this post: