How to move through Imposter Syndrome & Comparison-itis

Imposter syndrome as an artist and small business owner

Hey lovely ones,
I hope your all doing well.

I recently came across a post in an Indie Biz Community group I am part of. It was from a woman who was feeling called to really step into being an illustrator. The thing that was wobbling her was this notion of being self taught illustrator/creative somehow meant that she wasn’t a “real” illustrator. 

The community is incredible and everyone rallied round with beautiful comments of support. Many of us are self taught creatives and shared our journey of learning how to own the titles we give ourselves within our businesses.

It inspired me to share a bit about my journey and reflections on imposter syndrome and comparison-itis, which lets face it we have all experienced at some point. 

Finding Stillness by Jules @Kamala_Creations

When you start a business and as your side hustle grows you will probably find that you will start showing your little business in the sphere of social media. Social media is an incredible tool for sharing your work and Social Media Marketing is a huge part of many small business owner’s marketing strategies (check me out with my fancy terminology don’t I sound all professional! haha). It takes a lot of work alongside the pieces you create to create content for the many different channels you can promote your work through. 

When I started my adventure into self discovery I remember shedding layers and finding the courage to step outside of my comfort zone and share my work. It can be an incredibly vulnerable thing to share your work with the world as a creative. You often put your heart and soul into your creations and the process can be quite personal, so putting it out there for all to see can make you feel quite in the spotlight. 

When you start your different social media channels you are stating yourself as an artist or illustrator or whatever it is that you do.  Giving ourselves these titles can be quite a huge step. 

As someone who is completely self taught in illustrating, graphic design (bar some experience from high school) it felt like I couldn’t really call myself these things as I wasn’t formally trained. To be honest I don’t believe that you need a degree to give ourselves these titles. I know many people who have spent years committed to their practice and because of that they are incredible artists. Studying these subjects is an extremely helpful process and we will be taught techniques and be able to explore different styles but really it comes down to practice. With the internet at our fingertips we can literally find anything we want to learn on places like YouTube or through artists who are offering online classes and courses.  

The thing is it’s not always an easy ride. Putting ourselves out there on the internet and showing our faces can be quite a process. Self doubt can kick in and we can start feeling like a bit of an imposter against all the other people we see with their slick ass branding and on point content. The thing is even the best art techniques and training won’t help you outrun confidence issues. It’s a struggle that many creatives will come up against. Your confidence issues can cause you to question yourself even more if you see likes and follows on social media pages as a validation point for how worthy and good we feel about your work. And trust me I have been there too. 

The thing is imposter syndrome isn’t based on reality. It’s based on a perception we have and our mental mind chatter. It’s your mind running with fear and going wild of negative thoughts and self doubt. 

As creatives (and humans in general) looking after our mental and emotional wellbeing should be a top priority. I am a big believer in living life to its fullest and equipping our emotional wellbeing toolkit with practices to help us move through emotions rather than holding onto them.

Before I go into some tools you can use to help move through imposter syndrome I need to address the issue of comparisonitis. Something that you will most likely be feeling alongside imposter syndrome. 

There’s no way that being on social media as a small business owner or creative hasn’t made you compare yourself to other people who look like they’re doing “better” than you. People who maybe have more followers or likes and comments than you. Or maybe you think your work is rubbish in comparison to theirs. 

So what can you do to shift imposter syndrome and comparisonitis?

The first thing I will say about comparisonitis is stop judging your level of experience against another person’s level. You have no idea what background or journey that person has been on and it’s more than likely that they compare themselves against other people too! 

Be inspired by other artists. Something I have learnt with comparisonitis is that as soon as you notice your mood drop, a negative thought or a judgement come into your head then you need to stop scrolling on social media. When you look at peoples work look at it for inspiration not as a judgement piece to drag yourself down. What can you learn from that person’s work, are there elements that you would like to incorporate into your own work?

Here are 3 ways you can shift imposter syndrome:

Change your space.Step away from your work, take a break and do something different. Go for a walk, put your favourite music on and dance. Shifting your space is incredibly important when we go into a negative emotional state. Our energy gets stagnant and we end up in this loop of self doubt and dullness. Anytime I feel in a funk and hear the inner critic enter my mind I stop. 

Use Emotional Clearing. This is an incredible tool I use regularly for shifting emotions. Emotional Clearing is a method of using kinesiology and muscle testing to clear emotions from our body. Dane Thomas is the creator of this incredible modality and has trained hundreds of people to become Spiral Practitioners who use this method of emotional clearing. He has created a free video series explaining how to use emotional clearing and has also written a book on it called Clear Your Shit which goes into all the different clears you can do. I highly recommend getting on the videos and reading the book as it is an incredibly powerful tool. 


You can do emotional clearing on a variety of things from statement clears like “I’m Okay with feeling like an imposter in my work” and “I’m not okay with feeling like an imposter in my work”. It’s important when you do a statement clear you clear both sides, being okay and not being okay. 

Become a risk taker. Fear is a natural human instinct it tells you to stand back from the cliffe edge or run from danger. It is trying to keep you safe. We have to really work on ourselves in our fear state to be able to shift it. 

The thing is fear can propel us into incredible opportunities. The problem is when it keep you from doing the things you really want to do. You know, those things that would make your art and business level up. 

Being safe isn’t always the best place to be. The fear that we have when imposter syndrome kicks in is not fear for our safety it’s actually a fear of failure. We don’t want to leave our little bubble of comfort and be seen failing in front of others. 

To get past fear we have to become more acquainted with the idea that failure isn’t the end of the world. 

So take those risks and put your work out there. Not for anyone else but yourself. Use putting it out there as a way to document it for yourself. 

Create a celebrations box for yourself. As artists and entrepreneurs you have a responsibility to acknowledge and celebrate your own successes. 

Next time you create a piece of work that you’re proud of or you sell a piece of your work write down the accomplishment and how it made you feel. Keep it in a little box so that you can pick yourself back up when you need it. 

So remember that you are worthy, your work is good enough and the great thing is that there is alway’s new things to learn. 

When you find yourself spiraling into self doubt, judgement and comparisonitis, step away. 

Celebrate all the little wins, all the pieces you create, all the sales you make and complements you get about your work. Celebrate it all!

I hope that something through what I have shared with you has landed. 

Wishing you a beautiful day.

All my love,

Jules

Artist Updates // August

creative biz updates

Hello beauties,

How are you all doing? How are we all holding up during the madness that is happening out there in the world?

I thought I would start a little inside my mind series, a series to share with you a snippet into my world as a mother, artist and business owner.

How have I been? I thought I was doing pretty well for the last few months but have definitely experienced waves of down in the dumps periods. Missing baby/toddler groups and connecting with other mums and babies, missing the freedom of being able to explore and adventure on the weekends with my little family.

Overall I think I have been handling it pretty well. The last week or so I have felt in a bit of a blur, unmotivated and every time i sit down to tackle something on my never ending to do list I get all in a funk and become unsure of what to do. It’s safe to say I’m in a bit of a fog at the moment. Which is okay, I know that I will come out of it soon enough I just need some down days.

Being a stay-at-home-work-from-home-mum means that I am ALWAYS on the go. Which is funny because I’m actually really lazy, love a long lie in or just lounging around by myself. Something which has COMPLETELY changed since becoming a mother. I’m realising that its really important for me to have structure in place to know what I’m doing, where I am at etc and also for me to know when to UNPLUG!

Lets be realistic, we have all probably increased our time on social media/technology through out this pandemic as a way of connecting to people and keeping up to date with whats going on. What I have found though is that I am pretty addicted to it, which doesn’t help when my job is literally social media management, VA and graphic design work as my work is all online. It’s something I always dreamed of and I am so grateful that I have the freedom and ability to work in this way. It is also a massive reminder that it is so important to unplug and let go of it all. So much so we are planning a camping trip so that we can get in a field, sleep closer to the earth and unplug. My soul is calling out for it.

I realised when I had my shoes off the other day and was running around the fields with Jasper how grounding it is to go barefoot in nature. If you haven’t heard of earthing go check it out. Its really interesting and does wonders for your physical and emotional well-being.

Tech upgrades and exploring new styles

Recently I have had the opportunity to upgrade all my technology, which has been incredible and I am just landing in the appreciation of how much easier working is now that my tech is up to scratch and running quicker. One of my upgrades has been a graphics tablet both static and portable to allow me to easily digitise my illustrations ready for making into a range of printed products for you lovely lot.

Creatively I am in a bit of an exploration and expansion of trying out new things phase. I’m exploring new styles of art from abstracts and portraits to typography style work. I am in the process of creating a range of greetings cards & uplifting message cards which is exciting. It’s giving me the opportunity to play and explore. I’ve had moments of questioning myself that I’m not sticking to one particular style. But really, that’s not who I am. I need a bit of adventure and play to keep me stimulated and motivated. And also to me creativity is about exploring and playing.

Creating intentional space for your work

An important part of my process in working from home has been to set up a working space for myself. With my old tech I was stuck in one room of the house. I have moved my office and creative space upstairs and I have organised the space. Now everything is easily accessible which feels so effing good!

Sacred Coding- Feminine Mysteries Series by Kamala Creations

One piece of advice I have for anyone who is feeling stuck or unmotivated is to change up your space. Whether that is clearing up, reorganising and de-cluttering shifting up your space is an incredibly cleansing process to help refreshing your energy and the energy of your space. Your literally cleaning out the space by getting rid of the old and bringing in a new freshness to it. It will do wonders for your mental health and managing the daily tasks of life..!

Something that I am excited to share with you about July was that I finally launched my online art class Mandala Magic and my Inner Expansion Mandala Series which you can find here, you can also purchase them as prints or printables via my Etsy shop! It feels so good to have gathered up all that I have learnt in my process of creating mandalas and create my first online class. I feel a diverse range of classes are going to emerge through me as I am so passionate about inspiring people to pick up a pen or a paint brush and reconnect with their creative selves. It does wonders for your well-being and is an incredible way of expressing without words. Areas I am exploring at the moment as I said above with abstracts, portraits and typography as well as art journaling will all be turned into classes for your lovely selves to explore.

Updates on Motherhood

Motherhood is definitely kicking me up the arse. Its incredible the internal learning that comes from becoming a mother. Figuring out just how much I can juggle and hold down with out wobbling and buckling under the pressure. Something I am sure I will continue to try and figure out. My little Jazzybean is 14 months and oh my god what a character he is. His personality is big, cheeky, full of curiosity and is on the go from the moment his eyes open. A learning is this is that I need to create a space each day where he can learn to settle, to sit and rest. I can see that If I don’t help nurture within him the ability to stop and rest it could cause a lot of frustration within him. Which is pretty perfect, because I need to learn that too. Oh how being a mum shows you so much of yourself!

Well I feel like I am all rambled out. So that Is it for this inside my mind entry. If you are curious about my Mandala Magic Online Class or would like to get a beautiful new piece of art for your home go check out my Etsy Shop where I have a range of art prints, printables and even colouring in books! If your on part of my Heartful Art & Wellness Tribe you will receive a free printable colouring page each week!

Sending big love to you all

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