It’s frustrating, right?
You have a bunch of knowledge, but there’s a constant feeling in the back of your head that you’re not the best in your niche.
The frustration nags at you, and the anxiety of always looking up the ladder only to see an ever-growing crowd above is draining out all your energy. It’s like running a race where the finish line keeps moving.
I hear you. I’ve been trapped in the “trying to be the best” syndrome for YEARS.
And let me tell you this: it’s nothing else than a sophisticated lie.
Let’s see how I’ve overcome it (so that you can too).
Here’s why you feel like a bloody imposter
This one sounds completely stupid.
But I found that those who have people who are the most legit are also the most doubtful about themselves.
Ever feel like a fraud in your own field?
You’re not alone. That imposter syndrome hits hardest when you’re right in the thick of becoming a true authority. It’s a twisted badge of honor. You’ve accumulated so much expertise that now you see how much more there is to learn.
The sharper your insight, the larger the gaps may seem.
It’s not a sign that you’re failing; it’s only evidence that you’re deeply invested in your craft.
Think of it as leveling up in a game. Each stage brings new challenges, and you might feel unprepared. But remember, you reached this level for a reason. Every doubt is a reminder of the depth of your understanding, not a lack of it.
So when that familiar whisper of self-doubt creeps in, recognize it for what it is: a sign that you’re playing in the big leagues.
A little bit of mindfulness can work wonders: Take action by cataloging your wins. Write them down. This tangible reminder of your accomplishments will silence that nagging voice.
Feeling like an imposter means you’re exactly where you need to be.
Most creators are metric dummies
When you aim to be the best, you’re chasing a ghost.
Whose voice are you listening to when you’re striving to be number one? The best, according to whom? The best, based on what? It’s a subjective race with no finish line.
Imagine you’re writing articles. You see someone with more views. You think they’re the best. But that’s how you think about it. Reality differs.
Next time you feel that gut-wrenching feeling, think about three things:
Think about time. But what if they spend all day writing and neglect other areas in their lives? Heck, how do you know who’s really enjoying life at the end?
Now, think about money. Some people might spend lots of money to make their stuff look cool, but maybe you can use what you have and still make something awesome. It’s like showing up to a costume party. Some buy expensive costumes, but sometimes the homemade ones are way cooler because you made it yourself.
Then there’s what makes you happy. If you love writing and it makes you smile, that’s great! Someone else might write to sell a lot, but maybe they’re not having fun. It’s like playing a game because you love it, not just to win a prize.
This chase is like trying to climb a ladder that’s leaning against the wrong wall. You could reach the top only to find you’re not where you want to be. The so-called ‘best’ is often just a reflection of popular opinion, not a measure of true value or impact.
I don’t give a damn about my follower count. Even though those vanity numbers flatter my stupid ego.
After being in the content creation area for a decade, let me tell you this: It’s not always the one with the most followers who has the most profound impact (or makes the most money).
Being the best means keeping you constantly looking over your shoulder, wondering who’s catching up.
It’s exhausting. It’s a recipe for anxiety, for constantly measuring yourself against others’ standards. And that’s NOT why I’m creating content on the internet. I bet you’re in the same situation.
Instead, strive to achieve your goals. Not goals imposed by your niche or by other gurus.
As an example, my goal is NOT to build my one-person business to X millions. Instead, it’s about creating meaningful work that I enjoy, which impacts, and makes me stop worrying about money.
A whole different ballgame.
The internet is a mental-illness factory
Chasing the title of “the best” is like running on a treadmill that’s always speeding up.
You’re working up a sweat and going nowhere fast. It’s not long before you’re out of breath, frustrated, and looking at the next person’s speed, wondering why you can’t keep up.
There will always be someone with more followers, slicker videos, or money. When you tie your worth to being better than them, you’re setting yourself up for a fall. It’s a game of perpetual catch-up where the rules are made up and the points don’t matter.
Run your race. That’s something no one else can compete with.
If you can’t be the best, what should you strive for instead?
Jump off the “best” hamster wheel now.
The key isn’t to outdo everyone; it’s to be different. Why? Because being different is something you can achieve right now. It doesn’t have a leaderboard.
Take my early days on Medium, for example. I followed the big names to learn how to grow. I was trying to mimic searching for cool photos on Unsplash. But it was a huge time suck, and I hated it.
Then, a light bulb moment: use icons.
Simple, distinct, and quick to find. My articles started to stand out with just a unique icon against a stark background. No, they weren’t the flashiest. But they were unmistakably me.
When your content pops up, you want your audience to recognize that it’s you without even seeing your name. That’s the power of being different. It’s like having a secret handshake with your readers.
But you could apply this to many other things:
– in your way of writing emails,
– in your way of formatting your articles,
– in the way you’re creating your YouTube thumbnails…
As they say: “Learn the rules to break them.”
Forget what I just said
Pushing brakes: Not all rules are meant to be broken!
It’s tempting to throw caution to the wind and ignore all the guidelines. But remember, some rules are like traffic lights; they keep things running smoothly.
Be different, but don’t ignore the basics.
For writing: A catchy headline is like a door handle – if it’s not there, no one’s going to open the door to your content.
And typos? It’s the polish on your shoes. It doesn’t make the outfit, but it sure as heck can break it.
You can play with the format and be quirky with your voice, but you can’t ignore the foundations.
Stick to the essentials. Bend the rest.
Master your mental game
Creating content is mental kung-fu.
It requires you to be strong and get punched in the face several times until you finally get somewhere.
The way you succeed is simple: Stop trying to be the best. Simply be different.