Creating and running an online presence takes a certain amount of guts - putting yourself out there on the internet for the world to see is a scary task!
Whatever stage you're at with your website, it's unlikely that you've got where you are without bumping into a few fraudulent feelings along the way:
Why would anyone want to read what I've got to say? Why bother when someone else is doing a much better job than me? Who the hell do I think I am?
This voice can creep in when we least expect it forcing the most seasoned content creator to retreat from their keyboard and hide under the duvet.
If this wasn't bad enough, fraudulent feelings are generally more pronounced amongst women. Anne Friedman explains that this is due to women having 'internalised messages about their lack of qualification.'
If listened to, this pesky voice can prevent you from creating an online space that you love. Today I will be sharing a few tips to help you make sure that this doesn't happen:
Fraudulent feelings = fear NOT truth
The first step to tackling these fraudulent feelings is simply reminding yourself that there doesn't have to be any truth to them.
This might sound painfully obvious but you'll find it's easier said than done. Regardless of how many empowering quotes you scroll through on Pinterest, it's easy to feel that whatever lies your brain throws at you that day must be true.
We know that everyone has a voice worth listening to but somehow we're still convinced that we're the exception to the rule. When these kind of thoughts arise don't let them win - call them out for the BS that they are!
What are your triggers?
Avoiding these feelings altogether is impossible, but if you've found that you're crippled by them on a regular basis it's time to take a look at the triggers.
Keep a notebook at hand this week and note down when your fraudulent feelings strike. This way, at the end of the week it might be easier to pin point exactly what triggers these doubts for you.
For example, you might find that after you've flicked through that website with the zillions of followers and beautiful photos you fell uninspired to work on your own blog. What's the point in trying when someone's doing it so much better than me? Similarly, if you feel like a fraud every time you discuss your online space with that friend that just doesn't get 'that weird blogging thing you do', avoid conversations like these altogether.
Find your proof
I've found that the best way to tackle fraudulent feelings it to sit down and find proof that you're not really as crappy as you're feeling that day. This might include taking the time to read through the lovely comments left on your site or even that piece of content you're really proud of.
Try creating a scrapbook of all the little things that you're really proud of. If you're feeling really adventurous you could print things out and create a physical copy. If like me, you're too lazy to do this, simply creating a Word Document will work just as well.
Each time someone leaves you an especially thoughtful comment, you hit a milestone, or get offered an exciting opportunity, add it to the the list. Not only is this a lovely keepsake but this way you will always have a really encouraging resource to turn to when the fraudulent feelings hit.
Network with other content creators
Networking with other creative is a great way to kill fraudulent feelings especially if you find that they are sometimes caused by interacting with friends/ family who don't quite understand what you're up to.
I've found that 9 times out of 10 other content creators have experiences exactly the same doubts and are able to offer great advice and encouragment.
Use fraudulent feelings to your advantage
As unhelpful as these feelings can be they're usually a good sign that you're pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to do something big, scary and exciting.
In fact, Freidman suggests that these fraudulent feelings are 'most often found among extremely talented and capable individuals' - good news huh?