I read about this last night. Is this a 'thing'? Everything is a 'thing' nowadays, so I'm not sure whether I accept it as a real condition or write it off as pseudoscience. I think someone coined the term because most functioning adults can raise their hand and claim they suffer from Impostor Syndrome. It just makes sense to give it a name, because it's so common.
Of course, I am like many functioning adults and as of last night I joined the ranks. More or less, it was a sudden realisation accompanied with an internal, "Oh my god. Oh my god. Is this a thing? Do I have impostor syndrome?"
It came at an excellent time too. I was sitting at my dining table, trying to chunk through a stack of work due this week and I was thinking to myself that it was all bad. The designs were boring, the websites were pretty standard and the shortcuts I was taking were mounting. One thing you should know about me - I do not like any of my work. None of it. At all. Ever.
It makes it very difficult if someone sends any sort of praise my way. It is absolutely certain that one day, I'm going to actually reply and let them know I think it's awful and that they're just being kind (because secretly, deep down, I'm pretty sure they hate it too). The solution is not however, to keep working until I'm satisfied. I tried. It doesn't happen. It leads to weeks and weeks of re-designs, new ideas, more re-designs and me hating everything about the project or job.
The biggest complex is when you try really hard at something random. And someone gives you a compliment and you accept it, internally and externally. You sit smugly thinking you're the shit, and it pretty much boosts your ego for a whole week and a half.
So when you reflect on the on 99% of the time you feel like an impostor, you pretty much come to the conclusion you didn't try hard enough (because when you try hard, invest your time you feel competent).
I think I'm not emotionally invested in my design work anymore. Which is a good thing. If I took everything to heart I wouldn't survive. I pluck ideas out of my skull and someone knocks it back I don't worry. I've seen designers have melt downs over criticism and it kills them. But I think that's why I feel like an impostor. I don't love design. I just function on the tricks and techniques you learn which gets me through 99.9% of clients.
What a messed up way to think.