Dealing with Self Doubt, Impostor Syndrome & Taking Time for Self Care

Hi everyone! Welcome back to the blog. As you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t been very active on here or over on Instagram lately. First of all, I want to let you know that I am working on my Spring capsule post and I hope to have that up for you soon! But lately I’ve just been feeling a little down and unmotivated, and I wanted to open up and share a little bit about that in today’s article.

I will admit that I don’t share a lot of deeply personal things on my blog or social media; I’m definitely guilty of trying to make things ‘look good’ and scared of being 100% vulnerable. So this is shaky territory for me. I wanted to write this post not to ask for sympathy or reassurance – and I truly hope it doesn’t make me sound ungrateful- but more because this is a creative outlet for me and I want to share this journey that I’m on towards trying to live a simpler and more sustainable life to the fullest and most honest extent possible. It’s not always easy nor is it perfect; some days it’s a struggle and it can be hard to feel like what I’m doing is enough.

Let me explain a little. Over the past two or so years of blogging, I’ve gotten so many nice comments from people which make this all worth it to me. Just to know that I’ve helped someone out there through sharing my own story and experience is what keeps me going. But there is the odd negative comment that comes through, and due to my own tendencies to be anxious and second guess myself, I suppose these hit me a little bit harder than they would a more resilient person. And even when there is no external criticism, I still sometimes wonder why I’m here and sharing this journey. I wanted to help people who were looking to do the same, but there are so many others out there who are more knowledgeable on the topics of fashion and sustainability, and who are doing it better than I am. The impostor syndrome rears its ugly head.

One thing I have really been at odds with myself about and have spoken about a couple times before is the difficulty of striking a balance between being a minimalist and sustainable ‘influencer’ while working with brands and sharing affiliate links. While I never want to encourage someone to purchase something they don’t need, I do want to support better brands over fast and unethical fashion. And the small amount of commissions I do make go into helping keep this blog running such as domain and hosting fees, investing in better lighting/camera equipment, and just compensating for my time in creating content which I can then bring to you for free.

But it does make me doubt myself and wonder whether I am really doing this ‘right’ (if there is even a right way to do it). And if I’m not doing it right, should I really be sharing about it? I know that no one is perfect and this is a process, but being in front of an audience, I put a lot of pressure on myself to always say the right thing, have all the answers, and have the perfect Instagram feed.

Like I said, I just wanted to be honest and sort of share my thoughts and current state of mind right now as I am finding my way on this journey. These are the feelings and emotions that I’ve been struggling with lately, and it feels good to put it out there, open up, and be real and vulnerable for once.

So, as I mentioned I’ve been flying a little low under the radar in the online world for a little while just taking some time to myself and to try and find some peace with all of these things going on in my head. Some of the ways I’ve been practicing self care to try and get me out of this rut are: 1) Writing and journaling. This is a good way for me to let things out, whether through this blog as I’m doing now or in my personal journal.

2) Taking a short digital detox has really been helping as well. I haven’t posted on Instagram in a while and I’m trying not to scroll as much, limiting my comparison to others. Instead I’m just practicing being a part of the slow fashion world, not for anyone else but for myself; remembering why I started this in the first place and what I love about it; and allowing myself to enjoy creating outfits from my wardrobe, thrifting, and sewing/mending my clothing without wondering if I’m doing it right or if it’s ‘good enough’ for me to share with the world.

Something that this all brought to mind for me and may help you too was an idea I got from reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (which you can read my full review on here, if you’re interested). She says when we’re creating, we shouldn’t worry about being too original. Most everything has been done before by someone else, but they haven’t been done yet by you. And when you create something, a part of you goes into that, and that in itself makes it unique. You might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you might be someone’s and they will want to hear it from you. Reminding myself of this has really helped me process a lot of those feelings of self-doubt and the impostor syndrome that I’ve been struggling with.

If you have any thoughts or advice for combating feelings of anxiety, self-doubt, self-criticism, impostor syndrome, etc. please do comment below and share if you feel compelled. I would love to hear your stories as I’m sure others would so we can all learn and grow from them together.

Thank you so much for listening and for being here. I’m truly grateful for all that I have been given in this space, and just want to continue creating content that you enjoy and that might help you on your own perfectly imperfect journey.

Until next time,

Emily Lightly

Featured photo by Ina Soulis on Unsplash

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  • Hello. First of all I apologize as my English is not good and I use Google Translate.
    I love the work you do, I get inspired by the change of closet and make you read your blog from top to bottom almost once and consult articles you wrote if I have any doubts.
    I want to congratulate you and tell you that you inspire me and that surely there are people who may not like what you do but it is what you like and do with all your heart so you have to be aware very calm and be happy with what you do because we were born to be happy.
    I try to be sustainable, have an increasingly minimalist and sustainable wardrobe, live with less and in the end, be happy.

    • Thank you so much for your kind message. I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know! I totally agree with what you’re saying. The journey can be hard sometimes but the point is to find more contentment. <3

  • This is so beautifully written, and I relate so deeply. Thank you for sharing this piece of yourself and your experience. I know first hand it isn’t easy, but it’s so relatable. Sending you all the love in the world – keep doing what you’re doing. You truly radiate such a sense of peace just through your website content alone. It matters – you matter 🙂 x, Cassandra