7 Ways to Deal with Imposter Syndrome

Do you ever feel like an incompetent failure whose successes have been a fluke? Do you fear that your inadequacy will be revealed at any moment?

I do. Whenever the feeling hits, I resort to one of these failsafe methods.

7 Ways to Deal with Imposter Syndrome

  • Make it stare at my last finished project. (“Take a good look. I SAID LOOK AT IT.”)
  • Take it for a run. (It often grows tired and lags behind.)
  • Challenge it to a dance off. (We’re both bad dancers, but Imposter Syndrome’s worse.)
  • Sign it up for the SpaceX mission to Mars. (Of course I believe the rumors. And as a bonus, I can watch the launch from my front yard.)
  • Read aloud from Moby Dick. (The chapter on whales puts it to sleep.)
  • Punch it in the face. (Right hook.)
  • Banish it with coffee. (Effective and enjoyable.)

This morning I’ve opted for the coffee.

In all honesty, I’m not certain that Imposter Syndrome is the right term for what I’ve been feeling these days. It’s more like a languid torpor brought on by the sneaking suspicion that this project will never actually end.

I know it’s a lie, but at the moment, it feels true; and whenever it’s time to work, I just want to recline on my purple plush chaise lounge with a bottle of smelling salts like a damsel in a Victorian novel. (Also, I want a purple plush chaise lounge. But who doesn’t?)

Have you found helpful ways of dealing with Imposter Syndrome? How do you motivate yourself to keep going when you feel overwhelmed by challenging work? Please share in the comments below.

Happy Monday, everyone! May your coffee be stronger than your uncertainty.


Surprise! It’s a hot summer GIVEAWAY!

Contest Details:

Duration: Enter by July 31, 2018.

Prizes: 5 winners will take their pick of 1 free book from among Ruth’s currently published books. Winners will be announced on August 1, 2018, via e-mail and will have 5 days to make their selections and claim their prizes.

Check out my (3)

Bonuses: There will be small, regular bonuses in contest-related e-mails (so watch for those!), but the really exciting news is that two of the top five winners will also receive a bonus hand-stamped aluminum bookmark from Whimsical Words Studio, inscribed with a quote from The Proper Care and Feeding of Singles: “Friends know the patterns of our souls.”


See below for details on how to enter and–most importantly–how to win.

Important note: Our e-mail filters love us and want to keep us safe, but they don’t always know what’s best for us. After you enter, immediately check that contest-related e-mails aren’t being filtered into your spam folders. I’d hate for you to miss out on the prize announcement, bonuses, and special post-contest surprises. There are definitely lots of treats in store for everyone who enters, and I don’t want anyone to miss out.

Click HERE to enter

and reveal your first bonus!

4 Reasons to Persevere in Running Even if You’re Bad at It

When I first started running a few years ago, I was really bad at it. Even now, I’m still only mediocre. Yet I persevere. I have four good reasons for doing so.

Reason 1: It’s a Quick Calorie Burn

This is the main reason why I took up running in the first place. As a writer who spends a fair amount of time in a computer chair, I need regular exercise. Running is quick, effective, and a cheap alternative to the gym, since the streets don’t charge me monthly fees to run them.

Reason 2: No One Punches Me in the Face

Before I took up running, I trained in boxing and kickboxing. Our coach eventually moved out of state, however. The class disbanded, I stopped sparring, and working out now no longer involves the danger of dropping my guard and walking directly into someone’s glove. I can say with some confidence that even a bad run beats getting punched in the face.

Reason 3: I Don’t Have to Be Good 

I’m not out to impress anybody, bring home trophies, or even beat my own personal records. In short, I’m not in it to win it. My goal with every race, every run, and every training session is the same.

“You don’t have to be good,” I tell myself. “You just have to finish.”

The funny thing is, though, I am getting better; but it’s not because I’m pushing myself or following some slick training program. I keep showing up, and the consistency pays off.

Reason 4: The Struggle Is Worth It

Running is difficult. Everything about it is a struggle. In the end, however, it’s worth it.

I feel the same way about my writing. It’s a struggle from beginning to end, and none of those daily writing sessions feel important or impressive. I keep showing up at the keyboard, day in and day out. I plonk down on my computer chair, open a manuscript, and give myself my daily pep talk.

“You don’t have to be good. You just have to finish.”

And, eventually, I do.


Training sessions and first drafts don’t have to be impressive to prove effective. They just have to be done!

Is there something you’ve been wanting to try but have been too intimidated or too afraid to start? Share in the comments below. Is there something you’ve finally started that you’d been putting off? Tell us all about it so that we can cheer you on.

You also may enjoy seeing how I worked some boxing and kickboxing exploits into my debut novel, Collapsible: A Novel of Friendship, Broken Bones, Coffee, Shenanigans, and the Occasional Murder.

Happy Monday, everybody! May your coffee be stronger than your yawns.