Imposter Syndrome: How to Deal With Feeling Like Your Leatherwork Isn’t Good Enough to Sell
If you’re reading this and thinking, “what the heck is imposter syndrome??”, here is how it is defined by Psychology Today.
Imposter syndrome is the psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud and I would be willing to bet, that you’ve experienced this feeling of being a fraud, of not being good enough or of not having leathergoods that are worthy of selling at some point or other.
This imposter syndrome might have led you to think to yourself, “who am I to start a leather business?”
This is a major barrier to entry to some leathercrafters who think they’re leathergoods are not good enough to sell.
While I strongly believe that there is a market for everyone and every product, if you’re not confident in your leathergoods, your customer is going to sniff that out a mile away. And when your customer can sense that you don’t see the value in your work, they’re not going to see it either.
So let’s address the quality of your leathergoods first because if it really is a problem with the quality of your work, then we can work on that. But if your work is good and it’s a confidence issue, we can talk about why you’re experiencing the imposter syndrome and feeling like your leatherwork is not good enough.
If you feel like your leatherwork isn’t good enough, I want to ask you a few questions about your work…
Are you using the right tools and quality materials when creating your leathergoods?
Are there ways that you Improve your leatherworking techniques either by taking a class or practicing more?
Can you simplify the design of the leathergood that you’re trying to create in order to improve the quality of your stitching or design?
Now if you’re using the right tools and quality materials, if your technique is good and your design and leathergood gets the applause and praise from everyone that you show, then your feeling of your work not being good enough is totally due to imposter syndrome, which is a mindset issue for you. No matter how good your work actually is, you just can’t get past feeling like a fraud trying to start a leather business.
It’s important to know that imposter syndrome is totally normal and most everyone has experienced it at one point or another, but the thing is, it’s not something that ever goes away. Instead of trying to make these feelings of not being good enough go away, we have to learn ways to deal with it when it creeps up into your mind and paralyzes you with fear to make the next move and move your business forward.
Here are 5 ways to deal with imposter syndrome and feeling like your leatherwork isn’t good enough to sell.
1 | Stop Measuring Yourself Against an Imaginary Bar
There is no standard for entry. There is not one at the gate saying, nope not good enough yet. Try again.
It’s all made up, but sometimes we see other more successful people selling their leathergoods and that’s where we set the bar. And so of course we feel like we’re an imposter. But this is not true. You set your own bar.
The thing that we forget is, is that those people did not get to that point of success overnight. They worked at it and their work when they first started was not perfect right out of the gate.
2 | Stop Focusing On Yourself and Instead How You Can Help
Fraudy feelings come into play when you feel like you might be judged by your work, or are concerned with thoughts of “what will they think of me”. Instead of focusing on you and what they’ll think of you, focus on how your work can help someone or provide genuine value.
This is one that I often work on. Sometimes I get nervous to talk to my community live or say certain things and then I stop myself and think, “stop thinking about yourself and think about your customer that could be helping.
Even if it’s just one person that you’re helping… it’s hard to feel like a fraud or imposter when you’re genuinely helping someone else.
3 | Create a Nice File
What the heck is a nice file? Anytime you get good positive feedback on social media, in an email or anywhere else online, take a screenshot of it and put it in your “nice file” on your computer.
When you’re feeling like you’re not goo enough refer back to all of the praise and kind words that you’ve received from your community.
I have use a google doc as my “nice file” and everytime someone writes a testimonial for Lucrative Leathercraft or says something nice on one of my blog posts, I drop that comment in the google doc.
It might seem kinda silly, but having concrete social proof that you can reference from people who appreciate your work, can be enough to pull you right out of your imposter syndrome and allow you to move on in your leather business.
4 | Identify Imposter Syndrome When It’s Happening
Sometimes just acknowledging that it’s happening, that it’s normal and that it will probably never fully go away makes it less important and less of an issue.
Instead of trying to argue with the fraudy feelings, say “hello imposter syndrome, I see you, but today i’m going to do xyz anyways and see what happens”.
5 | Be Yourself
Don’t try to be someone else, be real and be yourself. Trying to be someone else or the person that you think you have to be to be successful leather business owner, will definitely give you imposter syndrome feelings.
I remember when I first started leather beast. I was trying to mimic all of the other bloggers and experts online. I thought I needed to have to have a cute office background in my videos, or that I needed to stop saying “um” all of the time, or I need to be super enthusiastic all of the time.
But really this just made me in authentic, and I think if there’s one thing an audience can sense, someone online who is not being real or authentic.
Someone trying to be something that they’re not. So I’ve stopped doing this, little by little, and I feel much better about how I come across in my videos. But it’s not because they’re perfect (far from it!), it’s because i’m being me and i’m being real.
The next time you’re experiencing imposter syndrome and feeling like your work isn’t good enough, I want you to honestly ask yourself, is this really about the quality of my work or is this a mindset issue. It it really is about the quality of your work, go and do whatever you need to do to improve it. It might be better quality material or taking a class to improve your technique. And if the quality of your work is actually good and you get good feedback then use 1 of these 5 tips for dealing with your imposter syndrome so you can get on with the important work of running your successful leather business. You can do it!