RCCCC: Imposter Syndrome and You

RCCCC time again and today I am going to be talking to you about Wil Wheaton's Panel from Sunday, September 20th @ 11:00 am.

There are quite a few things that I could talk about from his panel, but I think that one aspect of the panel was most important. His discussion of Anxiety & Imposter Syndrome. If you don't know what imposter syndrome is, it is the feeling that you are inadequate even when there is information that proves that feeling to be wrong. It can also be a feeling of chronic self doubt. Wil Wheaton defines it as "The mom's voice from Carrie screaming They're All Going To Laugh At You". 

First I'm going to share with you Cal Tech's breakdown of three ways Imposter Syndrome can be experienced.

  1. Feeling Like a Fake
    Before even reading past the title, I'm sure a lot of you can already empathize with this feeling. This is when you feel like you have somehow deceived your way into a position or a job that you really don't deserve. I know that when I got accepted into graduate school, I legitimately said "It's only a matter of time before they realize the mistake they made". 
  2. Attributing Success to Luck
    Once again, the title really defines this experience. Cal Tech really knows how to title this syndrome's parts. This is when you succeed at something and say something like "I just got lucky." or "This other person deserved it." which could be used as a sort of safety net in case you don't succeed next time.
  3. Discounting Success
    And again, title is self explanatory. This is when you achieve something, but you automatically try to downplay it and say "No big deal." or give excuses as to why you don't deserve the praise. Once again, in school, when I got my Master's Degree, I said "Yeah but it was only a 3.0, I barely got it. It shouldn't count." 

Now I want to share some of Wil Wheaton's thoughts about how to overcome perpetual self doubt and actually go out and create.

Let's get this out of the way. No matter what you're doing, and no matter how good it is, people online are going to shit on it. Do you want to know why? Because there are so many people online, and those people who leave hateful comments about your stuff are fuck sticks. You need to learn to ignore those people because it simply is not important what they think. Do you like what you made? Good! That's all that matters.

That leads into the first piece of Wil's advice that I want to impart on you: "Make something that you love and accept that it's not for everyone." This is the perfect way to find happiness in art. The moment you find your voice, or find your story, or find your instrument, and realize that you love what you're making and want to make it forever, that's happiness. Now, realize that not ever single person out there is going to like it. Chances are the majority of people will not like it because there are 7 billion people out there. You can't appeal to even half of them, so don't try, and don't take it personal when some dick mouth decides to shit on your creation. Joel Watson once said "You make [things], they make comments".

And that is one of the most important things to remember. The people who are online spewing their hate online are typically not creators, they are people who hide behind a screen and talk shit. What they say is not important. When it comes down to it, Dub Dub said "make whatever it is for yourself and hope others come along for the ride" 

Now go out, realize that you kick ass, and make some amazing art! Do it for yourself, and most importantly have some fun while you're doing it!