Is feeling like a fraud part of being a creative?

Marie is a friend of mine, but also a very inspiring & empowering lady and she did a conference at Paris Web about our identities on the internet, how to craft it, how to sell ourselves without overdoing it; to be short, it was a very inspiring and beautiful conference and I’ve read the transcript (only available in french through this link) multiple times and every time I had tears in my eyes.

It made me think about being a creative, feeling like an impostor 80% of the time and not feeling like I deserve the praise I get sometimes.

Is Feeling Like A Fraud Part Of Being a Creative ?
One of my artwork + a very inspiring book.

I’m a self-taught web designer & front-end dev. I actually studied English and decided along the way to become a freelancer. I learnt on my own at the age of eleven. After watching Lord of The Rings, I just decided I could not not have a website on the subject, and I also wanted a blog that was not on a platform just like everyone else’s, I just wanted to craft my own. My first blog was named “Kiss Me”, very cheesy name for a eleven-year-old girl’s blog and the first design (I called it layout back then, it was the coolest thing to do!) was on Madonna. I still have the design saved somewhere, I sometime look at it to remember where I come from.

Being an INFP – highly sensitive – self-taught web designer / front-end dev feels like I’m not legitimate in what I do. I over think everything and I doubt of myself every day. I feel like I’m just lucky, lucky to have came that far, lucky to have found a full-time job in Paris, lucky that people like what I create. Am I lucky, or are they just blind? I wonder sometimes.

There’s this one thing I have never did though : I do not compare myself to others, because if I did it would completely overwhelm and crush me. Everyone’s unique and every single one of us have his/her own path and way to do things. Being jealous of someone’s accomplishments is too negative for my own soul. I try as much as possible to be positive, so no, I won’t be jealous of someone’s success or path. I just strive for my own progress.

However, feeling like an utter fraud? Every.single.day. Is this part of being a creative? I know a lot of people who feel that way. Do you sometimes feel like a fraud? Being insecure, feeling like an impostor often drives me crazy. I know I am not the only one, a lot of ‘famous’ people feel that way as well, just like some of my friends or acquaintances.

“Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud.
I can’t possibly live up to what everyone thinks I am.”
— Emma Watson

I’m overwhelmed by the thought of not knowing enough, of not being good enough or talented enough. I know no one’s perfect and I sure am not; but I’m always striving for progress and it’s been tiring these past few weeks. But that strive makes me evolve as a creative and makes me go beyond my abilities. I want to know more, why should it be bad?

Let’s embrace it and just stop over thinking everything. You know what? We’re good enough. We deserve our jobs. We deserve the praise we get. Of course we will often feel as impostors but that feeling makes us want to be better.

Let’s embrace who we are but most importantly, let’s embrace our feelings and let them guide us to become better at what we do.

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4 thoughts on “Is feeling like a fraud part of being a creative?

  1. Interesting article! I’m like you (INFP too here!), I often think what I do is not good enough, no matter how much effort I put into it. I often think someone else will do things better than me, in my job, in my hobbies (like my blog, for example, or in photography) and life in general. I think that’s simply a lack of confidence, making us always doubt about our skills, capacities and qualities, Sometimes it can be exhausting not to believe enough in yourself, but it can also be a good thing because you always want to learn and strive to improve! As I grow up, I learn to believe in myself and my decisions. And I think I am right because I have gained more confidence over the past few years, even though there’s still a long way to go!

    I think you deserve admiration as you are a self-taught professionnal webdesigner, That’s really great and you should be proud about it! :)

    1. Hi dear! Thanks for your comment.I’m glad to know that you gained confidence over the past few years, you deserve it ! It’s exhausting and it’s a journey but we’ll get there and I believe in ourselves. :)

      Have a good sunday!

  2. Merci pour cet article, Candice ! Je suis vraiment heureuse et honorée que ma conf’ t’ait parlé à ce point, même si je sais depuis longtemps qu’on est absolument sur la même longueur d’ondes.

    Pour ce qui est de la police de la fraude… C’est marrant que tu en parles maintenant, car je suis en train de lire l’autobiographie d’Amanda Palmer, où elle parle de ça.

    C’est toujours curieux de voir que les artistes qu’on admire le plus sont les premiers à être concernés par le syndrôme de l’imposteur. C’est bien la preuve que ce n’est pas lié au manque d’expérience, au manque de talent ou quoi ; c’est même tout l’inverse en fait. Les gens vraiment mauvais ne se posent pas toutes ces questions-là.

    D’un côté, c’est sain de remettre de temps en temps en question ce que je l’on fait, de se poser des questions, de réaliser qu’il y a toujours mieux, plus grand, plus intelligent, plus créatif que soi. C’est vraiment la lose de prendre la grosse tête et de penser qu’on est un gros cador qui n’a plus rien à apprendre, ou, même sans ça, d’agir comme un gros cador : en ça, communiquer à titre personnel sur le web est assez compliqué.

    Tu as raison de ne pas te comparer aux autres et de rester positive. L’essentiel, c’est de *faire*, et je dirais même, de faire *beaucoup*. Dans le tas, il y aura forcément quelque chose qui sortira du lot, et puis, c’est important de s’exercer sans arrêt pour mieux maîtriser son médium de prédilection.

    Dans tous les cas, l’excès n’est jamais bon. L’excès de doute, l’excès de modestie, l’excès de confiance en soi… Il faut essayer de trouver un équilibre. C’est ça le plus difficile, selon moi. Un truc qui aide : s’entourer de gens biens et bienveillants, en qui on a totale confiance, et qui peuvent nous soutenir objectivement (mais aussi critiquer ce que l’on fait objectivement).

  3. i think most people do feel like that at some point, if not often. but it’s also important to realise that sometimes praise is deserved and that you’re doing great and should be proud of yourself! anyway, i’ve missed you and your blog while i’ve been away and look forward to going and reading all your previous posts now! :-) xo

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