Mindset & Psychology

Impostor Syndrome and Copywriters: 3 Practical Ways to Cope

Impostor syndrome and copywriters

As a copywriter, I have experienced major impostor syndrome. The amount of anxiety I’ve been feeling has been ridiculous. It has been estimated that nearly 70% of individuals will experience signs and symptoms of impostor phenomenon at least once in their life. For me, the anxiety of copywriting has been overwhelming.

Impostor syndrome can be defined as a pervasive feeling of self-doubt and inadequacy, despite having the qualifications and accomplishments. This can lead to feelings of unhappiness and can even prevent individuals from reaching their full potential in the workplace.

For copywriters, impostor syndrome can be particularly damaging. The ability to create compelling and persuasive written content is essential for success in this field, but self-doubt can erode confidence and hinder performance. In this article, we will explore the problem of impostor syndrome in copywriters and discuss ways to overcome it.

How does imposter syndrome come about?

Copywriters who experience impostor syndrome may encounter a number of challenges in their work. One common situation is the difficulty of adjusting to marketing writing as opposed to straight-up informing. This can be particularly challenging for those who come from a journalism background, where the focus is on providing factual information rather than persuading the reader.

Another situation that can be difficult for copywriters experiencing impostor syndrome is entering a new industry and trying to learn all the jargon. This can be overwhelming, especially if the copywriter feels like they don’t have the necessary knowledge or ability to succeed in their new field.

Impostor syndrome can also manifest physically, with symptoms such as sweaty palms and tense muscles. Some individuals may even find themselves crying after work due to the stress and anxiety of feeling like an impostor.

For older or more experienced copywriters, impostor syndrome can be particularly isolating. The feeling of not having achieved the recognition or rewards that one feels they deserve can be demoralizing, and can make the workplace feel lonely.

Finally, some copywriters may feel undeserving of their salary, especially if they are shocked by the amount they are earning compared to others in their field. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and impostor syndrome.

Three ways copywriters have, and can, overcome the imposter syndrome

Balance your anxiety with truth

One way to balance the feelings of imposter syndrome is to remind yourself that not everyone you meet in your professional career will be competent at their job. In fact, it’s estimated that about half of the people you will encounter in your professional life will be completely incompetent at what they do. So, what’s the need to beat yourself up?

Another aspect of reality is that there are some senior copywriters who are terrible at their job. This can be difficult to accept, especially if you feel like you have to measure up to these individuals in order to succeed. But the truth is that not everyone who has been in the industry for a long time is necessarily good at their job.

At the same time, try not to get too hard on yourself. Imposter syndrome can be a powerful and persistent force, but it’s important to remember that it’s a common and normal part of the human experience. Everyone experiences moments of doubt and insecurity, and it’s okay to admit that you’re struggling.

Another reality that can help combat impostor syndrome is the fact that we all deal with it, no matter what our salary is or what our experience is. Imposter syndrome is a common experience, and even the most successful and accomplished individuals can struggle with feelings of self-doubt.

Finally, it’s important to understand that the people who suffer through the absolute worst cases of impostor syndrome are often the most incredibly talented writers. It’s the confident writers who are heaving around the dog shit. This means that if you’re experiencing impostor syndrome, it’s likely that you have the talent and ability to succeed, even if it doesn’t always feel that way. Overall, understanding reality as it is can help individuals overcome their imposter syndrome and build confidence in their abilities.

Remember, imposter syndrome is a common and normal part of the human experience. By acknowledging your feelings, reframing your thinking, seeking feedback, celebrating your successes, and seeking support, you can overcome imposter syndrome and build confidence in your abilities as a copywriter.

Get Strategic with Your Craft

Copywriters can overcome their impostor syndrome by honing their craft. One way to do this is to focus on getting good at their craft as quickly as possible. This can involve taking on as many opportunities as possible, whether that is through internships, freelance work, or entry-level positions. By gaining experience and building a portfolio, copywriters can develop their skills and become more confident in their abilities.

Another way to overcome impostor syndrome is to offer multiple versions of copy to clients. This can include a “safe” option that meets the client’s expectations, as well as more creative and bold versions that showcase the copywriter’s unique style and voice. By offering a range of options, copywriters can demonstrate their professionalism and creativity, and give clients a sense of ownership over the final product.

Additionally, copywriters can seek feedback and support from their manager or mentor. By setting up regular check-ins and asking for a complete brief, copywriters can ensure that they are on the right track and avoid producing work that misses the mark.

Finally, the key to overcoming impostor syndrome is to simply write as much as possible and educate yourself on the market. Even if your first few assignments come back with a lot of red ink, don’t get discouraged. By continuing to practice and improve, you can build your skills and confidence and overcome impostor syndrome.

See How You Would Treat a Junior

To overcome impostor syndrome, it can be helpful to get perspective by considering how you would see a junior in your position. For example, as an employer, you would likely believe in the person’s talent and potential, and would want to give them adequate time to get up to speed. You would also be willing to support them in any way you can, and would not want them to leave because they assume they are not good enough. Additionally, you would likely have spent a lot of time hiring them and would have confidence in their ability to do a good job.

This perspective can help to remind you that your impostor syndrome is a natural part of the learning and growth process, and is not a reflection of your talent or worth. It can also help you to see the value and potential that your employer sees in you, and to believe in your own abilities.

Additionally, by considering how you would support a junior in your position, you can also identify ways that you can offer yourself the same support and encouragement. This could involve seeking out learning opportunities, seeking feedback from your employer or colleagues, or setting aside time to reflect on your progress and accomplishments.

Overall, getting perspective on how you would see a junior in your position can help to alleviate the feelings of impostor syndrome and build confidence in your abilities.

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