Imposter syndrome can strike the best of us, whether you’re a crafter, entrepreneur, or anything in between. Learn how to combat imposter syndrome with these six easy-to-implement tactics you can use to bolster your confidence and stop imposter syndrome in its tracks.
Hey, y’all! When you’re a crafty person trying to determine if you should become a Craftpreneur, several questions immediately run through your mind. If you look for the common thread, it’s not hard to find because they all stem from doubt. And that doubt comes from imposter syndrome!
Questions may start to flood your mind. Tell me if any of this sounds familiar:
- Will someone buy what I’ve made?
- How will I get people to my shop?
- Can you actually make money from your handmade crafts?
- Does anyone actually succeed in selling handmade products?
- What happens if I get no sales?
- What happens if I get too many sales?
I’ll be completely honest with you…being a Craftpreneur is hard. When you start out, it’s usually a one-crafter show, and you are in charge of the product idea, the making, the promotion, the buying, selling, and shipping – everything!
And as if that’s not enough, to grow your business, you must manage social media, find trade shows, and handle the finances!
But, here’s a little secret: IT CAN ALL BE DONE. You (yes, YOU!) can be a profitable craftpreneur with a five, six, or even a seven-figure business if you know the proper framework and structure that’s needed.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent, internalized fear of being not good enough.
Even if they’re wildly successful and have evidence of their competence, they remain convinced that they do not deserve what they’ve achieved and that it was just a fluke or luck.
I’ve personally experienced imposter syndrome in every business that I’ve built, but now I have the ability to recognize the signs.
I’ve learned to take a step back and realize that the business was built on a proven framework. This allows me to release some of the misplaced “guilt” that comes with being successful!
How To Combat Imposter Syndrome
Now that you know what that weird nagging feeling is, let’s get rid of it! Let’s talk about 6 techniques that I’ve learned through personal experience and that you can implement today to help you defeat imposter syndrome.
1. Change Your Self-Perception
We all know that subtle voice in our head that whispers (or yells) things like “I’m not good enough”, “It was just luck,” or “Anyone can do that.” And we know how it sends us on a spiraling road of self-doubt.
These automatic negative thoughts are the ANTs of our minds! ANTs are automatic negative thoughts. These are subconscious thoughts that most of us don’t notice until they’ve swarmed our minds and taken over!
Unfortunately, when you start to allow the voice to speak louder and you start to repeat that whisper that you’re not good enough, your thoughts begin to reflect that same tone. If you allow negativity in your life, you will start performing in a way that reflects the negative atmosphere and hinders your own growth and career. That hindrance will then start building more into the illusions that you’re failing.
It’s a vicious cycle that needs to be broken.
Instead of thinking, speaking, and allowing those negative thoughts (ANTs) into your life, try and find positive thoughts. Then reinforce them by looking at the things that you’ve accomplished in your hobby, life, or business.
Sounds simple and maybe even stupid, right? But I promise you that it works and is a proven method for how to combat imposter syndrome.
When you start cherishing your own achievements, thanking those around you that are positive, and celebrating your wins, everything feels different. This one simple behavior change will change your attitude, and you’ll soon be able to identify the ANTs in your life and quickly smash them out of your mind, business, and life.
2. Know That You’re Not The Only One With ANTs
No matter how successful someone appears (or the ego that they put forward on social media), we have all experienced imposter syndrome. Everyone feels from time to time like they didn’t deserve something, that it was just luck, or that it’ll be gone in an instant.
Like you, they look around and see all these other people celebrating their wins. Then, they feel like they’re not doing enough, that they’ll never be enough or that they’ll never catch up.
Often leaders hide these feelings because they feel like being vulnerable will lessen their credibility or that admitting that they’ve had these thoughts will validate that they’re a fraud.
3. Own Your Achievements
Listen, it is extremely hard to accept praise for accomplishments when you feel like you didn’t deserve it and you were just the lucky one that day.
Or even worse, the dreaded little phrase that anyone could ‘do exactly what you did’ can make it nearly impossible to accept praise.
Y’all, that’s some serious B.S. that the ANTs are telling you!
Listen, YOU did the task, YOU achieved the win, and YOU completed the task the only way that YOU could have done it. YOU applied your own unique knowledge and skills to the task, and YOU won.
Claim that win. Celebrate it!
Build Your Swipe File
Challenge the ANTs by looking for evidence that proves the negative thoughts and whispers wrong. Start a “swipe” file of all your wins, happy moments, and praises. Each successful moment and win, no matter how big or small, is important and can help you beat imposter syndrome when you start hearing it.
By the way, I’m having imposter syndrome right now, as I write this article. Ironic, right?
Thoughts like “What gives me the right to tell you how to defeat imposter syndrome when I still have it?”, “What if no one reads this?”, and “I should just stop and go make something” keep going through my head.
Yet, I also know that I have positively affected thousands of people, and that isn’t a responsibility that I take lightly. I owe it to myself and to others to write this article – even if it just helps ONE single person.
When you start to hear the ANTs, look at your swipe file and start rattling off your accomplishments. Hearing proof of your own wins and how they have helped someone will help you look at your work as more than just work. And you’ll be able to focus on the impact you’re making in the world.
Also, know that we can’t just accept our wins and that being wrong doesn’t make you fake. Losing is part of the game, and you shouldn’t glorify loss, but don’t let it stop you from your next win either.
4. Know The Value You Provide & Focus On It
It’s extremely hard to listen to the ANTs and to feel discredited when you know the impact that you make on someone’s life. Even if you think that you’re not worthy of someone’s admiration, that isn’t how the person that you helped feels. It’s time to accept other people’s praises about you and your work.
What you consider as one small positive impact on another person’s life could be a moment that changed that person’s life forever.
That positivity could have affected them in several ways beyond the smile you see on their face from receiving your creation or help, and that simple smile should never be taken lightly.
I love hearing how something my team accomplished helped someone, even though, at the time, we usually feel anxious about doing it. I’ve learned that positive lessons in life, no matter how small they seem, somehow come back and can help you through imposter syndrome.
Reflection and knowing your value can help keep you in the right headspace and evict those Automatic Negative Thoughts.
5. Talk To A Positive Influence About It
There’s no shame in having imposter syndrome, as you can tell from this post, you are indeed in good company. From industry leaders to hobbyists, we all experience self-doubt.
However, the difference for most people is their ability to talk about the issue and face it head-on. You don’t have to deal with imposter syndrome alone! Find a group of friends, business besties, and even customers that appreciate you today.
Just talk to someone that you trust. Tell them what you’re feeling, and let them remind you about your swipe file.
Follow my lead, don’t remain alone with your ANTs, and reach out to others around you for help. If personally chatting through social media or in-person with friends or family isn’t enough, you can always find a career counselor or support group online to join.
Exchanging ideas and talking to others in the same space usually help us realize that those imposter syndrome feelings are more common than we think. AND (win-win) sometimes it even spurs creative ideas so you can banish those ANTs and get back to work!
6. Stop Comparing Yourself To THAT Person
Finding other Craftpreneurs online in your same niche may leave you comparing your work to theirs or their success to your own. This comparison quickly leads to the ANTs chattering a little louder!
But y’all, don’t let that comparison make you feel bad about your own work or success. Instead, use their wins and successes to motivate you. Let their wins work as motivation to be better, learn more, and do more yourself.
Lastly, take a minute to congratulate yourself. If you weren’t standing in a scary place, it would mean that you weren’t growing.
Without growth, you’ll never be able to accomplish your dreams and impact the world with your time, creations, and energy. Embrace it and walk through it so you can find even greater success!
7. Let Go Of Perfectionism
Many people who experience imposter syndrome are perfectionists. And, y’all, perfectionism fuels the ANTs.
Besides, your idea of perfection will differ from the next person’s ideas of perfection. So, no matter how you look at it, perfectionism is a losing battle.
Instead, work to release your perfectionistic tendencies and focus your energy on your next task or goal. Done is better than perfect – especially in the world of crafting!
My Own Imposter Syndrome Struggle And How I Combat Imposter Syndrome
Hi, I’m Damon Oates, the owner of a successful seven-figure business, and I have moments of imposter syndrome. I have even had those moments when I was standing on stage in front of hundreds of people that I already knew liked and trusted me. Even then, I still had a moment where I didn’t feel worthy of the achievement.
You are not alone on this journey!
However, knowing that you’re not alone on the journey will make it so much easier to walk the path. I quickly glanced out into the audience and saw people that I knew and remembered their stories. Then I remembered their wins, and I remembered why I was standing there.
In order to achieve great things and meet goals that are important, do things that you’ve never done before. Taking a risk is frightening, even if you’re already successful. But it’s essential.
Fear is fine, just don’t let it block you from being amazing and having your impact on the world!
How To Combat Imposter Syndrome: Action Items
- Start building your swipe file TODAY by leaving a comment below. I want to hear about ONE positive moment in your business that made an impact on someone else’s life.
- Leave a comment below about ONE lie that you’ve told yourself that has hindered your business growth. Remember, the first step in how to combat imposter syndrome is to admit that it’s just imposter syndrome.
PS – If you’ve read this entire blog post and you’re saying, “but I’m not a business,” that’s imposter syndrome. And we both know what comment you need to post. 😉
Here are a couple of questions I often see readers ask about how to combat imposter syndrome. If you have a question but don’t see it answered below, please leave it in the comments!
How do I know if I have imposter syndrome?
Are you experiencing feelings of self-doubt, guilt about your success, that you don’t deserve what you have achieved, or that you can’t live up to other people’s expectations? If so, then you’re dealing with imposter syndrome.
Can you be confident and have imposter syndrome?
Although these two things are opposing forces, it IS possible to have both. Take me, for example. I am a generally confident person and am also confident in my skills and my business.
However, imposter syndrome – that self-doubt – can still crop up for me from time to time. By following the tips I outlined above, I can now combat imposter syndrome and get back to doing what I love and running a successful business.
Do something about the ANTs! If you’re looking for a guide, you can download our workbook below for some quick, actionable wins that can help you defeat imposter syndrome!
Knock Out Your Imposter Syndrome!
I hope today’s post helped you understand why imposter syndrome happens, what it looks/feels like, and how to combat it!
Also, check out these other posts for more Craftpreneur inspiration:
- 5 Sanity-Saving Small Business Shipping Tips
- How To Calculate The Cost Of Goods Sold For Crafting
- 5 Reasons You Need To Hire A Virtual Assistant
- Great Product Photography Tips For Selling On Etsy
As always, feel free to leave us a comment or question below or share this post with a friend. We appreciate getting your feedback and can’t way to provide y’all with more amazing content!
If you need any help with centerpiece-making, bow-making, wreath-making, or crafting in general, be sure to check out more of our tutorials on How to Make Wreaths.
We would love to see your beautiful creations! Please share with us over at the How To Make Wreaths Facebook Group.
Finally, if you’re interested in more info on learning how to make wreaths, where to buy supplies, and being in a community of like-minded crafters, check out our Creative Coaching Subscription Group.
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1. A huge win for me was convincing a follower/group member/friend that she deserved to go to WML as much as anyone else. That I would be there for her! It was a huge moment! One she and I both are incredibly grateful for!!
2. I’m simply not good enough…I’m not an Amy, Damon, Angel, etc. But as a fabulous coach/friend told me, no you’re not, but they’re not Lisa either!! I truly think it’s finally sinking in, and I’m creating faster and better!
Thank you, Damon!!
All I can say. Is thank you Lisa Kellum. You are my rock!!!
The positive thing I did was let my friend sell some of my product on her business page live she does once a week to help her make money for a bill she had and was worring about being able to pay it. That made me so happy that she made enough to cover the bill. I would do it again just to know it helped my dear friend. My biggest problem I tell myself is I’m not good enough and no one likes me or my work. That’s always been a problem of mine ever since my childhood. I… Read more »
Hi Christina, Sorry for your past situation, it’s easy to say leave the past in the past but try not to dwell on it. You helped your friend and that is awesome!!! Keep it up don’t give up, it can only get better. I agree with all of us being family. I’m glad Damon and Parker started this. It’s awesome
1. I was able to help a fellow wreath maker be a part of a very special training event by providing a ride and hotel room. If I had not been able to do this they would have been unable to attend. 2. I’ve felt I am not good enough or am not worthy of success. It seems something or a major obstacle, such as health issues, gets in the way of my success any time I start to gain momentum. It’s happened so often that I’m beginning to believe. I’m determined to never give up. I’ve gotten 2 custom… Read more »
My ANT is telling me I can not create anything different or unique. But if I just “start” on whatever project my mind is telling me to “start”, (seems like the actual “start is always the hardiest) then I truly do. And have so much fun! I am gonna try and not let anticipation anxiety take my joy away! Thank you for this Blog!
(1) Received a viewer message that shared she lost the ‘love’ of making cards, was severely depressed due to loss of husband a few years back, and didn’t have a purpose any longer. The win here was after new viewer watched one of my FB lives, she got inspired to create a card, gave her something fun to focus on, remembering the great life with her husband, and started stepping out of the depressive state. My win, that I made a positive impact on someone’s life, viewer’s win was creating once again and living with purpose. (2) As a male… Read more »
That is an awesome story. At this time I could never do a Facebook live!! At least you tried. Thank you for sharing ?
A big win for me was to stop comparing myself to others. I get great reviews. My customers are who counts, not my competition. I’ve built myself back up through helping others. Others success no longer dictates my own self worth.
But then… nothing is selling, zilch. I introduced some new styles for me and new items. I had really high hopes.i started doing Facebook lives and no one still comes Now I’m back to thinking should I even be doing this if no one likes me or what I make.
Time to talk myself back off the yet again.
Always be yourself, keep going sending good vibes! Keep your lives going invite your facebook friends .
Oh! Yes!! Working for others seems easier until you remembr and think of times when the ANTS were creeping in. Sometimes they won others times they didn’t. It is VERY hard to see for yourself or praise yourself, it just seems so foreign. Or feel self centered or . . . Put any name on it! Damon and Parker, thank you for so many reasons. My first thought is Perserverence. For me it is just one more step towards believing I can do it. Craftprenuer challenged today!
1. A big win for me is having a Facebook follower send a message that she just loves my page. I try to post positive posts and interactive posts. I believe that she looks forward to what I post. It made me smile and feel like I am doing something right.
2.That I’m not good enough and that no one wants what I’m making and my worth. I struggle with keeping up with everything and finding time. I try to take one thing at a time and finish it.
My biggest win was when I donated a wreath I made to the nursing home auction and a lady, who never participated, made sure she went to the auction to win it!
1. A win for me is that I get to help people find a love for wreathmaking when they come into my shop. I also get to connect them to other crafters in the area. Now I have a group of four widows that get together regularly and they met through my classes.
2. I deal with “I’m not good enough” every single day. Even after selling over 40,000 signs.
One of my wins was when one of my Watchers/students told me that people who buy wreaths from her said since learning from me she has really stepped up her game!
I would say to myself “with enough practice, she could get better even without my instruction.”
Actually had several incidents where I impacted someone. One example I made a fireman wreath as a thank you gift for one of our fire departments for allowing an organization I am in to use one of their big rooms for our meetings. After posting it on FB one lady wanted to make one like it. I was so thrilled and complimented! I told her where I got the embellishments and other supplies. She wanted to do the same for the firemen in her town. My work was accepted! Had a friend who was critical of my work even though… Read more »
1. The first wreath I made was for my stepmom after my dad died (for Mother’s Day). She was so excited about it and still today talks about all the people who comment on how pretty it is. It made her feel special. Mission accomplished!
2. Creating an Etsy shop and taking the plunge. But…I did it! Yesterday! Not sure I have the shipping right but I hope so! Now to populate it more.
Congratulations on that! I just took the Etsy plunge a few days ago. It’s scary, but also so exciting (now if I can just figure out how to fill up all of those tag slots!). Best of luck to you, and don’t forget to share your Etsy page so we can visit and support!
Thank you Amber! I have several miscellaneous items I’ve made as well. I’m contemplating listing those but that darn shipping has me afraid to do it. I would like to choose the shipping method myself since it’s free to them but not sure I have it right. Good luck to you as well and congratulations on also taking the plunge!!
I deal with this every single day, if fact today is one of them!
I honestly can’t think of anything to put in my SMILE file-as I call it-I get thank yous all the time but I don’t know of an impact on someone’s life. I don’t know enough to be successful at any thing.
This was harder than I thought.
1.I love when my customers are so pleased with their wreaths they send me pic of it hanging on their doors. You have an opportunity to add a little of joy to someone’s life through your God give talents
2. Your good at what you do but not good enough to have a big business, big enough to allow my husband to retire. You are not organized enough or good at handling money.
Grateful to Damon’s teaching and providing information to gain the confidence and skills I need to move forward! One day at a time!
I have hundreds of dollars of supplies,most which are from Deco Exchange and just cannot get started. I used to craft years ago and I did sell a few designs but that was before social media. I just need to let go of my fear of being unsuccessful. Jan Ouzas
I understand how you feel. I felt that way. Take one step at a time. Before you know it you can’t wait to get up in the morning to get started. You can do it. You will do it ?