Makers Monday - Fending Off Imposter Syndrome

In today's Makers Monday we talk about what imposter syndrome is, why it happens, how to get rid of it, and how to know when you're ready to sell your art.


link to earrings from Macaela Made on Etsy



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Transcript (auto generated, please excuse any errors)

Good morning everyone or afternoon if you’re on the East Coast, today's Makers Monday is all about imposter syndrome--what it is, how to say "goodbye" and how to "fake it till you make it" so. Yeah, welcome! I am excited to see you here. Oh my God. So many fun people here! Welcome!


So imposter syndrome this, I feel like this is one of those buzzwords that we hear a lot. So...What is it? Basically if you don't know, it's something that you feel like you are an imposter or you're a kind of fake like you don't belong, everybody around you knows what they're doing and you're just there somehow by mistake. So if you felt this, you are not alone. This is something that's very common. Yeah. And I know I've definitely felt it and I didn't really realize it had a name. So if that's what you're feeling, sometimes it helps when you have a name to say to call something [stumbling over words] I need more coffee this morning. 


So I feel like in my journey of  imposter syndrome I feel as though when I was teaching and things like that, there were definitely times that I didn't know what I was doing, but I never really felt the Imposter syndrome as much as I did when I became an artist and started calling myself an artist. It's like I felt like I had the formal teaching training and went to a good teaching school. I had done my homework. I had done all the things but then when I moved into the art world, I had never, I mean, like, you know, I did art class in middle school or whatever but I've never done it professionally. I'd never had aspirations to do it professionally.  I was like, "oh my God. What am I doing?" Like, "who am I to call myself an artist?"


I even remember, I had just finalized my business license and we were going around the circle. This is like right before, COVID hit, and we're going around the circle telling people what we did. I was leading a parents group and you know everybody saying their job and I was like, “oh yeah, I'm a stay-at-home mom and I am doing this volunteer thing.” It's like no!!! I mean, not that there's anything wrong with that but like that wasn't what I was doing. I had just started a business so it was, it just felt really weird. I feel like I'm only now becoming comfortable calling myself an artist. 


So imposter syndrome, it's a thing. And today we are going totalk about some ways that we can work around it because we won't let it stand in our way! So, yeah When you get started with something, everything is new and uncomfortable, right? Like there is never going to be something that you started you were like -- "You know what? I'm actually amazing at this!" Like everything is going to have its growing pains. It's these uncomfortable feelings whenever you start a new job. I know a bunch of my friends have started new jobs and it's COVID and they're going into work for the first time now. And they're going to have to go to the office. So even that, they're like "I don't even know where to put my coat" or whatever those are all really uncomfortable feelings. 


So something that helps me a lot when dealing with this is that I I try to acknowledge that it's part of the learning process. Like this is a normal feeling and if you can just say "okay, I'm  feeling uncomfortable" I feel like I don't know what's going on. You can just kind of say okay, "I see that I hear you but I trust in myself to know that I am good at learning how to figure things out." Think of all the things that felt really weird  and uncomfortable in the beginning and now you're like, "oh yeah, that old thing" So, if you'd like to share in the comments too, times when you felt imposter syndrome, or what you've done to help you get through it, I would love to like, share that with the group too! So this is not just me talking on my soapbox. So just acknowledging that this is legitimate--It's part of the learning process is really great. Like this is normal.


Another thing you can do is try to look at the positive, right? Like every situation, you can find something like you can find some spin on it. You could be a spin doctor and figure out a way that it sounds advantageous. So, I had a friend from high school and she didn't like, she was just kind of trying to find herself and figure things out and she didn't like really, I don't know if you looked it like what she was doing on a resume. You be like, "what the heck are you doing?" But the way that she would explain it to people when we would meet people going out for drinks or whatever it was like, "girl, you've got it going on." So it was all about how she made it sound to other people.


I've definitely done this a lot like--in my last post I talked a lot about body image and when sometimes you just got to keep telling yourself that narrative until you believe it, like maybe you got laid off or something with COVID. Like, right now, it's hard and it sucks, but it has given you the opportunity to start and venture forward on your creative business. And so looking at it as an opportunity, even if it doesn't feel like that, and calling it an opportunity and kind of structuring your narrative in that way--maybe it can help you believe it as you continue to go through and get better and better until you're like yeah "you know what? I had that opportunity."


Like I had a terrible ankle break accident and I was like “this is the best thing that happened to me, I had to move out of New York--had to quit my job had to do all this really crummy stuff, but it ended up being an opportunity because I could go back to Ohio kind of settle myself, I met my husband. Like it just became an opportunity because I gave it that permission. So I know it’s easier said than done. For sure. It doesn't always feel that way at the moment.


So [from the comments] Jess says, “mindset and perspective, or reframing is so good. Yes!” Totally great!  


The next thing is fake it till you make it. So I used to do, I mean, I know this is a common phrase but I used to do tap dancing classes and stuff because I thought I was going to be on Broadway, turns out I'm a terrible dancer!!!  But my dad who sang and performed a lot in his youth, he was always like, just fake it till you make it as long as you got your jazz hands and a smile-- nobody has to be looking at your feet. So you can bet I hammed it up.


So, you know, that same kind of idea just until you feel like you're there.  As long as you are, just you know, have the right energy--sometimes it can distract people from the part you don't know, the part that you're still learning. Also, we don't need to necessarily distract people from the fact that we're still learning, right? I think because we're expected to be perfect we're so expected to know everything is a big part of why I want to share these Makers Mondays is because like I'm not perfect and I don't know everything and I want to share these like struggles and journeys with you because it's not realistic to have everything be perfect all the time. It's just not life, right? So, I think, you know, if you want to join me in that effort to make things be a little bit more transparent, I think that's a really valuable part of your journey and process. 


So let's see. What else do I have on my list...okay we've faked it 'til we've maked it....that is not grammatically correct.  You're not always going to feel confident that's just the way of life. Some days we wake up and we're like damnnnn, sometimes we wake up and feel like we look like a sack of potatoes! So sometimes, when I'm feeling those good moments, I like to think of the things that I do do well, and if you want to write it down, you know, even better. Tack that little baby up on a Post-It note and remind yourself how awesome you are--the good things. Like, I love my hair, I love the way that my office looks. I think I am really good at adding texture to watercolor detail, whatever, whatever your things are. I make a mean PB&J sandwich. Whatever your things are, Whatever makes you feel good about yourself, just do it, write it down. So that when you're feeling crummy, you can look at that list and say like that is true. "Who's that gal doing all those good things?!?!" and it's like Oh yeah it's you!!!  


And Annie from Sweet Annie's Baked Goods Who makes very cute cookies. says "I struggle with this a lot because I haven't done cookies super long. But now that I'm not teaching, I found myself with this great opportunity but I feel like I should have something as a backup." Yeah. I totally feel you on this one, Annie! So that feeling like you need to have something to be like "oh yeah I'm trying this thing out but like don't worry I've got it covered" right? Like if people ask you like "I'm not just throwing caution to the wind" right, like but maybe that's okay.  I mean your cookies are super adorable and I mean I think it depends but I feel like for me, I know I'm not very good at like half-assing things. I got to put my whole ass on the line and unless I'm like giving it my, you know, Classic 150% attention. It's hard to fully jump in and commit, right? So I totally feel you. Wanting that peace for saying okay I got this in myself. I'm going to do this. I've got faith in myself but then also having that safety backup thing. 


so I don't know maybe think about...something that I've worked with a coach...she's parenting coach but I was kind of seeing her more like postpartum life. What am I doing? And she talked about asking is that list for you, so is that backup option for you? So that you feel like you have a safety net?  And I think that is like, totally legit, but if it's for other people like to make your mom feel better or your friends to not be like, “what the heck is she doing?” Like, I think that if that's very important to you. That's okay, right? There's nothing wrong with that but I do think this is something to kind of do a little bit of the deep dive and say is this really for me and my family? You know? So yeah. Don't hesitate girl! Jump in! 


All right. You're not always going to feel confident.  Write a list of why you rock, you can look that when you’re feeling down. Sometimes I just like to slap some lipstick on and play some Lizzo so you know, whatever works to get you feeling good. Yeah. And for me something else that really helped was taking anxiety medication. So, you know, like I, when I was starting this journey, oh, I think I shared with you guys pretty openly. I had postpartum depression and realized I'd probably been struggling with anxiety like my whole life and I started getting on medication. to help get through the postpartum stuff and it really helped and it allowed me to cut the noise out and focus in on what was really important to me. So I know it's not for everybody, but if that's something that you've been experiencing and you want to talk about it, like I'm I'm definitely open. It's been a game-changer for me.


So yeah, those are my quick tips--think of it as part of part of the learning process, think about it like what are the opportunities instead of why all the reasons it is not going to work, make a list of why you're awesome and look at it when you’re feeling down.  And lipstick and Lizzo the classic combination. Yeah so those are kind of my big like let's kick it to the curb tips. 


So now let's talk about also one of the big hurdles and imposter syndrome. One of the big questions that people have is, "Okay. So I like doing art, I feel like pretty good at it" or whatever like "I'm ready to sell my art" and then you start to like think I'm going to put it on Etsy or I'm going to make my website or whatever and you're like, "ahhhh! what am I doing?" "I'm not ready!!! I'm not good enough" No, you've got this! 


So, when are you ready to sell your art? I think it can be whenever you darn well, please, it might be something that you're doing at various levels, right? You might be ready to sell it to friends and family or just people who are asking about it. I started with Christmas presents so I was like I guess I was buying my own art to give to friends, whatever. So you’ve got to start somewhere and it's okay if it's in your safe network and then as you build that confidence, you know, you can open up to bigger markets. What's the worst that's going to happen? Maybe people won't buy it, but there's always going to be a market for your art and you just have to find it. And it's not going to be like, hey there! all knocking at your door ready to go when you start. Some ways to kind of find your people are to use like more specific hashtags so instead of being like #cardshop that has a lot of hashtags. Do #punnycardforDad or whatever. Like something #punnyaquaticcards. You'll find your people and it might not be right away and that's okay. And it might not be any of the people around you, right? Like I think when I first started making stuff, I was thinking about all the people around me and honestly my style and what my calling is isn't quite meeting what like my immediate network wants, but I am finding a lot of traction with my other things. Just people who I don't like grab coffee with (I mean who grabs coffee these days but you get it) 


Anyway, Yeah, I think. I think it's just when you're ready. I mean, I don't know, I don't know the answer. You know the answer for you and if you feel like you're ready to put your toes in the water, go for it!  And I think that kind of goes in conjunction with pricing, like, first of all, I am like 100% doing one on pricing I will definitely do one on pricing, but I kind of have been waiting a little bit, so I feel like I have a little bit more under my belt in that department, but I'm always going to advocate for you to bump up your pricing. Like, if you feel like people are really like, “what a good deal”… Put it up, put it up. So if for your first couple ones, like just while you're getting your feet wet and figuring out what your routine is like if you're starting custom work and you want to, you know, maybe your Aunt Rhonda or whatever wants to commission something, as you're figuring out how you're going to do your payment system, what supplies you're going to use, how Your shipping is going to go. Yeah, just a hundred bucks and then move up from there, as you figure out how much TIME it's going to take you, how much your supplies cost, how much shipping cost. Like, I do a bundle pricing for my commissions, and I just know that shipping is going to cost an arm and a leg. So that's part of the price. So I don't have to be like, hey and your shipping is blah blah even though you are paid me for the painting time, but needless to say you’ve gotta start somewhere. You might lose a little bit of money or it might be you know like I don't know if this is right or whatever but something that you're comfortable with until you get comfortable with your process and then as soon as you feel that little bit of comfort, you just hike it up. If you are too comfortable with your pricing, I think you're not pricing high enough. That's just my my subtle subtle plug to shower yourself with gratitude for your worth. 


Anyway, I think I think that's all I have to say on this topic. Does anybody have any questions or comments while I kind of wrap up? You can go ahead and type them in. I just want to hype my earrings. This is not an ad or anything, but I think they’re so cute-they're from Macaela Made  made on Etsy and I'll put a link in my blog so you can see but they're just so cute and I'm obsessed with them. 


So there are Makers Mondays every Monday live at 10 am PST, they won't be LIVE for like 3 months. I'll pre-record them. because we're having a baby, but once we come back it'll be live again. And anybody who is on my Biz Buds newsletter will get a chance to see the topics ahead of time for the ones that I'm pre-recording and you can ask your questions there. So it's like you still get your input. You still get your questions answered. I'm ready for you. So I'll be sending that out in the next couple weeks if you're interested in that. DM, me and I will add you to the list basically. What it is, is Every Monday You get a reminder of what the topic is. You get links to my blog. A lot of times I have awesome little freebies of like, you know, like the worksheets to help you through these topics or checklists to be like, what do I need for my styled shoot blah blah blah All kinds of good stuff.  All my stuff is free right to your inbox. And basically I'm doing it because we need a community, we need a community of fellow creators because this stuff is tough and you shouldn't feel like you're alone. So anyway, that's that!  Thanks for hanging out and playing along and it's been great to see you all and thanks for tuning in. So I'll see you next week, where we'll talk about. I can tell you... we're going to talk about time blocking. [Wooohhhh] It's not spooky. I just am a weird ghost apparently, so we'll talk about it Next time! Bye! 

May 17, 2021 — KATE TALCOTT

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