Dear Designer, We need you

We’ve all been there. Even as I’m writing this I see it’s ugly head poking around the corner to say “You don’t know what you’re doing. Who are you to write about this?”. Thank you imposter syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome has been around for a good while. A long while. But let’s be real here. At the heart of Imposter Syndrome is an issue of pride. We are afraid of what people will think if we put ourselves out there. It’s a form of what Stephen Pressfield calls “the resistance” in his book The War of Art. Anytime we attempt to take a step towards something of meaning or our “higher calling”, we will feel the resistance. This isn’t something we need to work at getting rid of but rather embrace and use to our advantage.

Imposter Syndrome is a compass, not a roadblock.

Think about it. When is the last time you had the thought “who do you think you are?” when you go to binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix or “accidentally” eat that family size bag of potato chips? But when it comes to applying for that job, working on the mock-up, or submitting your work to the client, doubt and fear begin to set up camp. This is good news. Why? Because you’re headed in the right direction.

Not convinced? Let’s take a look at it from another angle.

What’s between the superhero and saving the entire city? The bad guy. There is always something of value behind the bad guy. Imposter Syndrome reveals that there is something of value. The value here is the work you will create and how many people it will impact. What happens if you don’t pursue the job, speak up at the next design meeting, attend the conference, write your case study?

Somebody in need is waiting on the other side of your courage.

You are better than you think you are. You are more capable than you think. Let imposter syndrome guide you and become your compass. You’ve got this.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and how you’ve embraced Imposter Syndrome. Let’s start a conversation!

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