blog image

Thoughts on Impostor Syndrome

January 05, 20236 min read

Defined, Impostor syndrome is "a psychological occurrence in which an individual doubts their skills…"

This definition is, of course, a crock of horseshat.

I mean, to call feelings of self-doubt a "syndrome," is absurd. Unless you're a sociopath, you have feelings of self-doubt. To call it a "syndrome," is unhelpful. It makes people think self-doubt is a disorder unique to them. In reality, those who have self-doubt are some of the most non-disordered people out there. Self-doubt signals that you care about what you're putting out into the world.

I'm writing about this right now because I've spoken to quite a few Antinetters who tell me the thing holding them back from publishing their work stems from "impostor syndrome."

This is important to address because I see such a huge opportunity out there right now for creators. Because of the internet, you can make a HUGE impact——even in the smallest, most crazy-looking niche out there. (Exhibit A, yours truly, who has created a movement around a fricken' analog notebox system!)…

Anyway, a core part of reaching your audience and creating a lifestyle where you get to read, think, take notes and create something in a field you love——while also making a hell of a living——is reliant on one thing: hitting the publish button. That is, you need to publish your piece of writing, your email, a YouTube video, a book, or even a Tweet (I guess). And you need to push past "impostor syndrome" to do it.

But even after you hit the publish button, feelings of "impostor syndrome" start to creep in.

I mean, I myself, Scott P. Scheper, the analog knowledge revolutionary who has created a movement around writing and developing knowledge the old way (by hand) knows nothing of such a thing as impostor syndrome. I grew out of impostor syndrome after I made a few million at twenty-eight while sipping rum in the Virgin Islands.

I'm kidding, of course. (Not about the Virgin Islands part and being a young rich douchebag, I'm kidding about not getting impostor syndrome). Side note: Thank God I like blowing my money on expensive lime-green sports cars. Otherwise, I wouldn't be writing to you!

Anyway, I'll be honest. I'll tell you about the last time I got "impostor syndrome"…

Let me think… Hmmm…

Oh yes, I remember… The last time I got impostor syndrome was… um, on freaking Monday! No joke.

You see, I shipped out the first issue of The Scott Scheper Letter last week, and I also had an issue sent to my home. I did this because I personally wanted to get the same exact experience as my subscribers.

The newsletter arrived at my home via USPS Priority Mail on a cloudy Saturday afternoon right as my (tolerant) fiancé and I were about to leave for Temecula, California to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Anyway, as I tore open the packaging, I was mostly impressed, but also a little underwhelmed. You see, I micromanaged every part of this physical monthly newsletter. The typesetting, style, margins, and everything. My goal was to have it capture the magic and feel of the best old school physical monthly newsletters out there.

For the most part, I believed it achieved such. However, there were a few things I had gripes about.

First off, I told the printing house that I wanted high-quality paper like so-and-so's newsletter. However, when the newsletter arrived the paper was pretty basic b-word! WTF! I was irritated. I don't care what it costs. I want my people to have the very best paper. It's not that noticeable, but it's noticeable to me. And for the future issues, I'm going to make damn sure the paper quality is the finest. And by that I mean, thicker than your typical printing paper.

Second, I asked the printing house to use a three-hole punch and create holes in the issue so that my subscribers can store each issue in a binder. I guess they had too much coffee that day because these instructions were completely ignored. Squirrel! Idiots. Gripes… Not a huge problem, but still very annoying to me.

Third, and finally, on Monday I received an email from someone who wanted to cancel their subscription because "they couldn't possibly keep up with all the content." They said they absolutely loved the value it contained ("for what it's worth").

This one really kicked my "impostor syndrome" into gear. I thought to myself, Oh crap! I need to email all my Scott Scheper Letter subscribers asap and tell them that the first issue (which is twenty-four pages) is longer and more jam-packed than most issues!

I felt the need to apologize for the twenty-four pages of high-quality content that I put my heart and soul into (and wrote out by hand!).

Granted, there's a valid reason to feel this way. Old-school classic newsletters ranged from eight to twelve pages in length. Mine was twenty-four pages. My goal is to aim for sixteen to twenty pages. But with this first issue, I wanted to go out with a bang.

The bottom line: I began to feel self-doubt start to creep up. And I literally opened up a blank page in my Ulysses writing app to work on an email to pre-empt any perceived issues with it.

But before doing this, I took a step back, I gathered my thoughts, and decided to wait. I noticed my monkey mind creating a story about the self-perceived inadequacies of the issue. I decided to hold off and wait. If there were additional cancellations due to the newsletter being too long (and jam-packed with good stuff), then I'd address it then.

I exercised self-control, and trusted in myself. Within an hour a new email arrived——it was sent to a private email address I set up for my subscribers. I did this so their email would be labeled in red and bumped to the top of my email list. Soon one email came in, and then another, and then another, and another!

Emails started pouring in from people who got the first issue. People were loving it!

I'm still getting these emails (as I don't expect everyone to have read the entire thing yet), and man——it's feeling great.

In fact, I just got an email three hours ago from a long-time Antinetter (you've definitely seen him in the Antinet reddit, on YouTube, and even in Dan Allosso's book club). He wrote to me these words: "I love the letter already more than your book and YouTube channel combined."

I guess that's a compliment…?

(I'm kidding, it is).

I hope this story illustrates how "impostor syndrome" affects ALL OF US——even yours truly.

Impostor syndrome doesn't just refer to the fear of publishing, it refers to the fear of post-publishing! By that I mean, the fear we get after we put our work out in the world.

If I can impart a bit of advice before I close, if you have a fear of publishing, take action. Just start writing. "Motion over meditation," as the late great Gary Halbert used to say.

However, the exact opposite advice stands true if you suffer from the fear of post-publishing (i.e., you publish something and start experiencing impostor syndrome about it). When encountering this experience, the right route is "Meditation over motion."

Hopefully this helps, and as my subscribers now know… The Only Right Answer Is Test!

Warm regards,

And stay crispy, my friend.

Scott P. Scheper

"A Man Who Is About to Help Tons of People Quit Their Job in 2023 and Spend Their Days Doing The Intellectual Work They Love"

Scott P. Scheper

Back to Blog

If you enjoyed this piece

Then get the work of art I'm most proud of——my labor of love——the thing I invest my heart and soul into every month——my physical monthly newsletter, The Scott Scheper Letter.

Pick up a free 30-day trial here:

I donate five percent of all profits to causes that support literacy.

I am a man on a mission to create an army of independent writers, creators, and thinkers who make a killer living doing what they love.



  • ​+1 (949) 835-5125

  • 30021 Tomas St, Suite 300, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

  • Mon. - Fri. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. PT


© 2023, Scheper Research, LLC

All Rights Not Not Reserved.