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Combating Imposture Syndrome While Creating Training Resources

Published 22 days ago



Creating online courses is a fascinating experience, and it feels great when you design an online course. As an expert, you put all your efforts into giving your 100 percent to share your knowledge and experience with the world. And you hope that it will be successful. Creating online courses is an incredible affair, but it's also an intimidating venture. Sometimes you feel that you’re not good enough to do it. And you may fail miserably if you do it. 

Does it touch a chord? If so, then this is called imposture syndrome, and you might be suffering from it. It's very common to feel nervous when you start something new, but for instructional designers, it can be very draining.  

Imposture syndrome can show up in many ways, usually in emotions like insecurity and self-doubt. It can also lead you to delay things and go for perfectionism. You will find it difficult to accept compliments and keep comparing yourself to others. These feelings block you from continuing with your creative endeavors with confidence. 

Symptoms of Imposture Syndrome: 

Imposter Syndrome

Most learning development professionals and instructional designers are likely to go through feelings of imposture. It's perfectly fine; you must know that imposture syndrome is normal and common. Let's shed some light on the symptoms to look out for: 

  • Fear of failure and self-doubt. 

  • Thinking that you are not capable when mistakes happen. 

  • Always bothered and going for perfection. 

If you are familiar with these thoughts, then it's possible that you may be influenced by imposture syndrome. 

Now let's look for some common causes of imposture syndrome for online course creators.  

Prevalent Causes of Imposture Syndrome for Online Course Designers

Imposter Syndrome

Success Anxiety

It's not always the fear of failure that blocks you, but success phobia. Course designers know how hard they must work to make their courses effective; there is always the challenge of coming up with novel solutions and meeting clients' expectations. And this fear can also lead to imposture syndrome in even the most experienced instructional designers.  

Thinking My Design is Not Engaging

No matter how seasoned a designer you are, you always think that your design is not engaging every time you finish a course. The reason for this is that many designers in the past have been blamed for designing fully informative and instructional dull courses that send the learners packing. This creates a bit of insecurity and leaves you feeling like impostures. 

Pressure of Keeping-up with New Trends

Imposter Syndrome

Not all designers are brave enough to try something new. Most prefer to stick to run-of-the-mill solutions. However, clients expect eLearning designers to come up with unique ideas for every course. And there is always this pressure to keep up with the industry’s trends, latest technologies, and learner preferences that come up every day. And these things usually cause imposture syndrome in course designers. Nevertheless, it's not easy to take the less traveled route, as there is a chance of getting lost. In simple words, a unique design may turn out to be a blunder. 


Every designer wants their creation to be the best, and that's a good thing too. Still, going for perfection can delay things, and there will be second guesses, particularly when you think about how others will see your course. Thus, causing self-doubt and a lack of confidence. 

Strategies for Combating Imposture Syndrome as an Instructional Designer 

It's not easy to gather yourself and think about your next move when you get choked up by imposture syndrome and all the doubts that are associated with it. But don't worry; by being determined, focused, and getting help from experts, you'll have the tools to combat it for good. Don't let it stop you; conquer this issue and design a course that can make an impact.

Imposter Syndrome

Let's look at some strategies to overcome this issue: 

Own Your Feelings: 

The first thing you must do is understand your feelings and see from where they are coming. Identify the feelings of self-doubt and concern as imposture syndrome. Accept that these feelings are not helpful. When you know that you must deal with this, you can take appropriate steps to overcome it in an effective way. 

Be Yourself and Exhibit Your Knowledge: 

A quote by William Shakespeare, “If we are true to ourselves, we cannot be false to anyone,” is perfect advice, particularly when trying to conquer the imposture syndrome. No matter which diplomas you have or how much experience you have, just be authentic about your skillset as an instructional designer. You will do better in life with this attitude. 

Relatable Backup Helps

When you have articulable backup and assessable support, it helps a lot. Making good use of the pre and post-training measures for documenting progress can improve the accuracy of your instructions. Let subject-matter experts complete your training and analyze it. This will enhance your instruction’s effectiveness. There is a difference between a new contract and a hard pass, you must know both and express it, as it can make a difference. This will help in displaying your significance when you deal with uncertainty or imposture syndrome.  

Think About Your Previous Success: 

positive reinforcement plays a big role when combating imposture syndrome. Keep reminding yourself about the success you’ve had in the past, no matter how big or small. Try to take some time out every day to appreciate the things that you’ve achieved in your journey as an instructional designer. This will boost your confidence and bring back to mind that you are capable enough and can design effective courses. 

Imposter Syndrome

Track Your Improvement: 

See how much time you take to complete a particular task or project. Try to keep track of this and any advancements over time. These results will provide you with enough affirmation that you are moving forward and becoming competent in your job. This can be immensely powerful.  

Resort to Your Friends: 

Friends and colleagues can be of great help. Whenever you feel like you are down and persuaded by doubts, consult them. Sometimes all you need is a little encouragement to combat these fears. 

Imposter Syndrome

In e-learning, when you go for perfection, things can be delayed. Knowing that flaws are part of the learning journey can relieve your tension. It's all about sharing your experiences and making learning easy by passing on intellect. It's not about knowing everything perfectly. 

The Instructional design needs to impart techniques for creating the most potent training material for distinct learners. The focus is crucial because it means the learners obtain instruction, particularly in a relevant form, which allows them to be cognizant of the topics being taught. 

best elearning team

So, as a course designer, you must be focused and not allow any questions to manifest in the planning phases. 


Summing Up: 

Imposture syndrome can be a serious obstacle while creating eLearning courses. However. It doesn't have to be. Just take good care of yourself, and you must understand the patterns and recognize when negative thoughts are coming in. This way, you will be in control of your feelings and can progress with persistence. Never forget that your expertise is authorized, and you have all the skills to design an incredible course. Your self-assurance is the key to conquering imposture syndrome. 


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