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How Building a Brand Can Help Imposter Syndrome


old fashioned cartoon of a demon holding a mask
image created by Jorde Matthews

Starting a business, starting a podcast, being a therapist - I constantly second guess myself. It is important to me that I’m not just pretending to know what I’m doing, but actually have some knowledge to impart - a skill that makes my time valuable to others. 


Emerging into the world of private practice, I really didn’t know for sure how to set myself apart, but there was one thing I knew I wanted to get right - my logo. I had this vision of simple, clean design that people would look at, immediately recognize as my practice, and have curiosity for my values. It was important to me. I had received advice early on that I didn’t need to hire someone, I could make my own logo. When I tried, my skill of design just didn’t meet my vision. 


I decided this was one area of business that would kind of be one-and-done and decided to invest in a high quality product that would make me stand out from other practices, and make marketing my practice easier. I began investigating graphic designers in my area and stumbled upon Be Someone Design. 


I met with the owner, Jorde Matthews, and he not only understood my concept, but improved on the design and character. The moment I saw my logo, my heart sang! This is me! This is my business! Suddenly all of those feelings I was having that I was a small fish in a big pond, pretending to be like other fish went away. I do have something special to offer! I am a professional! 


Fast forward a few months, Jorde reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in a collaboration. He had created a graphic representing imposter syndrome (the one included at the beginning of this post) and asked if I wanted to talk about how it affects professionals, creatives, humans, etc and what we can do about it. I absolutely wanted to go on a rant about imposter syndrome! However, I was struggling to figure out how a graphic designer and a therapist merged in this space. 


I puzzled over this question for weeks and then asked Jorde if he’d like to be a guest on the podcast. First mistake - I am not the journalistic interviewer I thought I could be. While I knew Jorde and I could have a natural conversation as we have had over several other business details, I was ill prepared for our meeting. I didn’t provide him with much when it came to notes, or what to expect. I told him the “ums” and “uhs” were not important and they would make the conversation sound natural. Second mistake - the previous episodes with Mr. Love and I are actually quite curated. We do prepare show notes, have discussions, debrief. Sheyn is familiar with recording and editing and knows what a pain a bad recording can be in post production (trust me - you save time by getting a better recording than editing a bad one). 


Long story, short, I was so very excited about this episode, but my lack of preparedness left me “uming”, “uhing”, and “like like liking” throughout. It was painful for me to listen back to my own voice, sounding very unprofessional. Talk about imposter syndrome! I hear how scatterbrained I am. I hear the impossibly quick pace of my speech. I cringe the whole way through. 


The saving grace, Jorde. I nearly threw this episode out because I just could not bear the exposure of the way I sound when my energy is high, but I am fidgety and uncertain about my authority in the space. My ego was super active. Fortunately, Jorde had great insight in the discussion. I’m supposed to be the therapist, but I was taking notes from him on this one. In the end, I hope you give this episode a chance and take the time to explore how imposter syndrome shows up for you in your career. I hope there are nuggets of wisdom and validation for your experience. 

In the end, this wasn’t an episode about what you can do about imposter syndrome, it was an episode of imposter syndrome. A sharing of experiences. 


As far as how a brand can help imposter syndrome - when you have a vision of what you want to build and how you want to represent yourself, you can turn exactly that into your brand. Your brand then becomes this reminder of your values as a professional. It is too easy to get distracted by what everyone else is doing. We all want to be like the "cool" kids a little bit, but that isn't going to make you stand out. That isn't going to bring something new and valuable into this world. However, as Jorde says in the episode, you've got to learn how to meet the core criteria of your field in order to be considered a professional. You do have to show up how you say you will show up for your clients and customers. You do have to know what you are talking about, and admit when you don't know have the answers. But we all feel like frauds some days. We are all just doing our best. Building a brand can help inspire you to work toward the dream of who you want to be as a professional, while also looking very professional.


To listen to this episode of the podcast, click here.


If you are interested in exploring more how building a cohesive brand can help you overcome imposter syndrome in your own brand visit besomeonedesign.com.


If you are interested in connecting with me click here to  schedule an appointment today. 


DD Love, MFTC - (970) 852-0687 - dd@ddlovecounseling.com

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