Updated: Aug 14, 2018
I'm the first to admit, one of my biggest barriers has to be self-belief. The technical term for what I'm talking about is Impostor Syndrome.
Defined by Wiki as " Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud". The term was coined in 1978 by clinical psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes. Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be. While early research focused on the prevalence among high-achieving women, impostor syndrome has been found to affect both men and women, in roughly equal numbers. "
Basically speaking it's the internal feeling of being inadequate at your chosen skill, I'll use myself as an example; Getting my Professional Photography qualification came with huge anxiety and fear of actually practicing my newly learnt skill, having to approach situations which are socially against the norm, walking around in public pointing a camera lens in peoples faces took some getting used to. But then publishing my work to be judged by the public was another barrier of fear I had to overcome, and now, having photographed some of the World's
leading music artists, athletes and celebrities, I still suffer from the thoughts of not being worthy of the title "Professional Photographer".
This holds you back in many ways, unhealthy thoughts or unjustified opinions of yourself ultimately stopped me from doing the job I absolutely loved, I did 4x seasons of meets & greets with high profile people, I had to overcome social anxiety to a level of being able to confidently interview these people and not make an utter fool of myself.
There are many different types of Impostor Syndrome, i believe it's not really about exploring them all to find if/where you fit in, but instead compile a list of barriers which you might think may be affecting your work performance. Maybe you schedule in meetings but then lose the desire to actually go, maybe you freeze in certain circumstances, or maybe your feelings of inadequacy just stop you in your tracks to becoming something greater than you are now.
Hopes & Dreams often suffer for many reasons, but since learning of this common 'syndrome' I've been able to find better ways of dealing with those natural feelings.
1. Compile that list: name everything you
want and what you need to do to get there, then why you think you're not doing them.
2. Practise your craft, practise makes perfect, and once your ready send demos/drafts to your closest friends for opinions before unleashing your work on the world, it'll build you up to my next point.
3. Publish yourself, throw yourself into marketing in a way some people call "Faking it until you make it", not at all because you actually are, but because you are the only person that can build yourself up to a state of co
mfortable-ness in order to succeed, no one else.
4. Get out there, Plugging and networking is by far the best way to get known for all the right reasons, and you can use the opportunity to really sell yourself, your brand and your products or services. Face to face value really is much more important than portfolios and CV's in this day and age.