Getting Honest About Imposter Syndrome

February 7, 2022

Getting Honest About Imposter Syndrome is written in white text on a raspberry and blue background with a photo of Christi smiling at the camera next to the title.

I’ve taken a little bit of a break from the podcast, and the truth is it’s only been myself that’s holding me back. The Imposter Syndrome is real. The last two years were difficult. I’m sure many of you can relate. Let me tell you what’s been going on behind the scenes of Christi Johnson Creative.

This post is about Imposter Syndrome. Intrigued? Keep reading.

In late 2018, my husband and I moved to California for his new job. This meant leaving my photography and piano teaching business behind. I don’t take my job lightly, and I wasn’t sure how long we would stay in California. I decided not to pursue photography or piano teaching in California.

Instead, I decided to shift my focus to something I could do from home and something I could take anywhere even if we moved. So, in April of 2019 I launched my Private Photo Editing Business. It was actually a great success. I booked 16 clients in the first 5 months.

When busy season rolled around, I realized that I didn’t want to spend 12 hours a day behind a desk during busy season. I wanted more flexibility.

The Year of Pivoting in Business

Then, of course, 2020 happened. January + February are slow seasons anyway, and then come March my clients (photographers) weren’t able to work. Which meant I didn’t have any work. I think I made $500 the first 6 months of 2020.

I wanted flexibilty and I got it. 🙂 Of course, that wasn’t the way I’d planned it.

Somewhere around April 2020 I decided to pursue content creation, course creation, and try my hand in the Education space. It hasn’t really worked out yet.

November 2020 brought us back to our home state of SC. My husband was still working from home. It didn’t make sense to spend thousands of dollars on rent to just work from home.

Starting in June 2021 I took an extended break from the podcast and from promoting my courses. My excuse was that I was focusing on the 8 editing clients I still had and that I wanted to spend time with family.

Feeling Like a Failure

The truth is, I’ve felt like a failure for the last 2 years, so I ended up throwing in the towel mentally. It’s imposter syndrome that’s kept me away.

I know that I’m not alone in feeling this way, but I continue to compare myself to others. I feel like I don’t deserve to be heard.

Honesty In Social Media

The question I want to explore is: what if we were honest with each other? What if when someone asked how we were we actually told them?

What if we actually told people how much we struggle with imposter syndrome?

I want to see this create ripple effects in social media. I don’t enjoy showing up on social media because there’s so much pressure to be perfect. There’s pressure to have your act together. Pressure to do something encouraging or entertaining. I am afraid that if I show up as my authentic self then I’ll be rejected or people won’t like it.

Authenticity Leads to Connection

A few months ago a lady in my neighborhood knocked on my door to tell me she was organizing a neighborhood yard sale. I asked for her name and realized she’s the first person whose name I know in my neighborhood. We’ve lived in the same neighborhood for a full year, plus we lived there for 9 months before moving to California.

The only reason I don’t know more people is because I don’t connect with them. Why is that?

You know how when you see something in a hallway you do that awkward thing where you look down and don’t make eye contact with them for as long as possible? What if we actually looked them in the eye and said “Hi! How are you?” What are we so scared of?

WHen I see authenticity on social media, it makes me want to listen. But for some reason I can’t do that myself. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe not all of us are meant to do that on social media.

You Don’t Have to Be On Social Media

Maybe the key is embracing the fact that I don’t like social media. I show up authentically in my in-person relationships. If you know me, you know that I’m an open book. Maybe that’s all it takes. I just tell myself that in order to grow my business I have to be on social media. But is that really true?

I don’t think so. I think there are a million ways to grow your business without ever stepping onto social media. It’s my hope to share some of thse with you on the podcast.

Let’s go out there and make connections.

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