Written by Smol Fish
Do you ever find yourself downplaying your achievements or constantly questioning your own abilities? That niggling feeling of not quite being enough can be incredibly isolating – but is immensely relatable. Persistent self-doubt in spite of our achievements is something that Borloo/Perth-based indie-rock outfit Smol Fish dive deep into with their new melancholic single ‘Conditionally.’
The West Coast sweethearts sat down to share their first hand experiences and tips on how they overcome imposter syndrome.
1. I once read a post that offered the solution of replacing imposter syndrome with “brilliant conman syndrome”. If it’s too hard to convince yourself that you are not a fraud, why not embrace your fraudulence? Take the stance that you are an evil genius who has intentionally mastered the art of tricking people to like you and your work. Get drunk off the power! Claim all the good feedback and results that come your way with no sense of guilt! Although I have never truly believed that I am an evil genius, sometimes imagining that I am one has made me laugh enough to ease the anxiety that comes with imposter syndrome. And I think in a roundabout way, this approach sheds some light on how silly imposter syndrome can be sometimes. How could anybody but an evil mastermind be able to trick the world into believing they are amazing at what they do?
2. I navigate imposter syndrome by sharing everything I make with my sweet friends and family. Having an internal dialogue that tells you your work is not quite good enough creates a painful cycle of introspection. I have found that sharing snippets of my creative process brings me outside of my head and allows for more grace in celebrating my achievements. I acknowledge that seeking validation isn’t always the best way to deal with these thoughts, but, in the short-term it can help encourage you to complete projects and in the long-term you will have banked up an array of encouragement to think back on when you need to self-motivate.
3. I remember someone once told me that our limitations can be the thing that sets us apart and helps us to create something truly authentic. I think this attitude is something I go back to when I’m feeling like I don’t quite belong in a situation. Just because others may seem more qualified or more intelligent doesn’t mean that my perspective and my ideas are not valuable. Be honest with yourself about who you are and remember that you bring something unique to every situation. Everyone is just a person and they are excellent always.
4. Being a woman in a male-dominated industry, both in my 9-5 and music, is tough, and I think that there’s an unfair expectation that as women we must experience imposter syndrome. While many people do, not all of us actually feel this way (some misogynistic undertones there). Personally, I’m fortunate not to experience imposter syndrome but I think this is because I have a supportive community of other women in both the band and my workplace, where we all do belong despite the lack of diversity. I embrace my girlie silliness ala Elle Woods and I constantly make mistakes without caring what others think, it’s a really valuable way for me to learn and grow, and nobody can mock me when it’s intentional!
5. As a band, we have created a unique environment where outside pressures are cast aside and, instead, fun and friendship are of utmost importance. There are no imposters when we are all so god damn proud of each other! We have found that the best way to cheer each other on through the tough times is by embracing our silly side. It never hurts to have a laugh with a friend and feel like a child again. We focus on creating a safe space where we know we can get a little silly but also talk through the hard stuff. A problem shared is a problem halved (quartered even).
Stream their new single, Conditionally below and keep up with the band on Instagram.