Imposter Alert: Words of Encouragement for Self-Doubters

I recently read part of a letter that Tolkien wrote. He had imposter syndrome (the feeling that you’re an imposter, a fake, a fraud. Never good enough, no matter how much success you have under your belt.) What are some good ways to deal with that feeling? I’m seriously asking for myself, because most of the time, I feel clueless, like I’m just making this all up as I go along and that at any moment someone is going to reveal the man behind the curtain and I’ll lose everything.

Here are a few words of comfort for those of us who suffer from this angst:

We are not alone.

I think most people, deep down or on some level, experience this feeling most if not all of the time. Misery loves company, yes, because we know how to support and comfort each other. Reach out to that seemingly cheery writer. They’re probably dying a little inside, too. Hey, if Tolkien doubted himself, and the man was an absolute creative genius, there is hope for us as well.

The battle starts in the mind.

It’s that simple and that horrendously complicated. Remember the train analogy we were taught as kids? The thoughts are the train’s engine car: it pulls along the rest. Next comes the actions, going through the motions, as it were, until the caboose (feelings) follows. I need to watch my thoughts, my self-talk. If I tell myself enough negative things, my actions and feelings will follow.


What are some ways you encourage yourself when you’re feeling like you just aren’t good enough?

Keep your nose in a book,


Bring home the trilogy for Christmas!


How to for sure fail at writing and publishing–a tongue-in-cheek post. Read here.

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