How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome as a Freelance 3D Designer

 |  SelfCAD University

6 Main Ways For Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as a Freelance 3D Designer

Underestimating your own expertise, doubting your abilities, feeling like a fraud, and believing you're going to fail no matter what, are some of the symptoms of imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome refers to an internal experience of believing that you're not as competent as others perceive you to be. It's common in many professions, but especially evident in creative careers such as 3D designing and modeling.

If you're suffering from imposter syndrome then fear can affect your working ability - you'll not feel confident in your work, you can lose your clients, and will not be able to market your services and land new clients.

So, it's really important that you overcome this fear so you can focus on getting new clients, and work on improving your 3D designing skills.

Every disease has a treatment and, likewise, every fear and problem has a solution. Imposter syndrome is not a permanent fear, you can overcome this fear by following some expert advice. There are some ways to overcome imposter syndrome as a freelance 3D designer, and in this article we will provide you with top 6 ways to overcome imposter syndrome.

So, if you're struggling with imposter syndrome and really want to overcome this fear, stay on this article and read it fully.

  1. Change Your Negative Thoughts
  2. Connect with Other Freelancers
  3. Get Constructive Feedback
  4. Give Yourself a Break
  5. Be a Mentor
  6. If You Can’t Trust Yourself, Try Trusting Others For a While.

1. Change Your Negative Thoughts

Imposter syndrome overcoming

Image Source:

Imposter syndrome isn't based on reality. It's just the negative thoughts that are revolving in your mind that feed off self doubt, uncertainty, and make you underestimate your own expertise.

If you want to overcome imposter syndrome, the first thing you should do is to stop thinking negatively, and try to remove all negative thoughts from your mind. The best way to remove negative thoughts from your mind is to stop overthinking.

You might not have gotten any feedback that says your skills are bad and that you provide a very bad service or your 3D designs are unimaginative and non-efficient. But, in your mind you think that you're not as good as everyone else, and that’s how the process of imposter syndrome plays out in your mind.

So, work on giving up bad habits and stop comparing yourself to others. Everybody has different skills and expertise. Maybe you're not good at a particular thing but there may be a skill at which you're superior to others. Comparison is the root of negative thoughts, you can't master a skill by just comparing yourself with others.

You can try reading some books, such as:

  • The power of positive thinking
  • How to stop worrying and start living
  • Mindset: the new psychology of success
  • The undefeated mind
  • The magic of believing, etc.

2. Connect with Other Freelancers

overcoming imposter syndrome

Image Source: FlexJobs

Freelancing is lonely work. We have to do all the work by ourselves because we usually don't have co-workers with whom we can share our work or talk about the work. As a freelance 3D designer, all day you have to create designs and models by yourself, and you don't get to connect with anyone else.

This lonely process is one of the main reasons for imposter syndrome because you start to think negatively in your free time, and start doubting your abilities. When you see a successful person who is doing a government/private job in a big organization, you feel that you're not valuable because you don't work in the office or because you don't have a degree.

To overcome this situation, you can connect with other freelancers and share your problem with them. When you talk about imposter syndrome, you'll find that most of them have already felt the same way at some stage of their life.

You can connect with freelancers on LinkedIn or any other social media platform. If you aren't using LinkedIn, I suggest you start using it because you can connect with many professional freelancers through it.

3. Get Constructive Feedback

Overome imposter syndrome

Image Source:

Feedback is one of the essential ways to overcome imposter syndrome. When you get feedback from a respected, experienced person, you feel confident and become more motivated.

When you suffer from imposter syndrome, your confidence becomes low and you start to think of yourself as a loser. But, when you get constructive feedback from a professional, what you really get is validation from somebody who is able to recognize your skills and show trust in your work.

When you get such feedback, you get to know about your weakness and strength. When you know your weak point, you can then try to fix it and can become a better version of yourself.

When you do freelancing and blogging, you connect with many professionals in your field and get advice from them. You’re making a huge mistakeIf if you're not connecting with other freelancers. You should try as much as possible to connect with other freelancers.

Get in touch with somebody who is an expert in your field and try to meet them for a coffee or lunch. If you're not able to meet in person then you can try to talk to him/her over the phone. Hearing from someone else will tell you what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong.

You will get advice from a person who is already doing well in the industry. So, you can get some great advice, and instead of doubting yourself, you'll start focusing on your work and skills.

4. Give Yourself a Break

overcoming imposter syndrome

Image Source:

Freelancing is not an easy thing. You need to take a break from time to time. We often regard freelancing as easy work, and we try to go on and on. Sometimes we fear that we will lose clients if we don't do it consistently, and that getting new clients will be difficult.

But, remember health is wealth. If you're overwhelmed with imposter syndrome and you have no way left to fix it, you should step back and take a break because a break is very important in this situation.

Impostor syndrome often causes freelancers to overwork to try and prove themselves. As you know, when freelancers suffer from imposter syndrome they feel demotivated, and they think that by working day and night, they can improve their skill set, and their work efficiency will increase.

Yes, by working overnight, freelancers can improve their skill set but pressure will also increase and it will worsen the entire situation. So, learn to listen to yourself, rest, and re-evaluate your goals.

Give yourself some time, watch some movies (if you like) or go on a vacation, and spend some time with friends and family.

During this break, you can also work on improving your skills. You can try new 3D designing tools such as SelfCAD that can help you improve on your efficiency. SelfCAD is an easy-to-use, powerful, and affordable tool. A beginner can also use this tool with full efficiency because the interface of the tool is beginner-friendly.

5. Be a Mentor

Imposter syndrome can make you feel you're at the bottom, and that every other person is more experienced and talented than you. But, you're not inexperienced or untalented. You have skills that most people are still learning.

Even if you're new in the freelancing field, you can give advice to beginners who know very little about freelancing. Maybe you've made some mistakes at the beginning of your career, but from every mistake you learn a new thing, and you can give advice to beginners so they don't make the same mistakes you made when you started out.

Remember, every expert has an expert they ask for advice, and that expert has a mentor or a role model of their own. The whole process is like a circle. So, you can be an expert to someone—someone they like to get advice from.

When you give advice to beginners, you hardly feel demotivated, because you know you're superior to many other people, and this process can help you to overcome imposter syndrome.

Many people don't connect with other professional freelancers, and when they have any doubt or query they ask on Quora, YouTube (comment section), Reddit, and every other social media platform.

Whenever you see such questions on social media, answer them briefly, and try to solve their problems. Once, I saw a question on YouTube and I answered it very briefly. The person who asked the question was very impressed with my answer and he sent a connection request to me on all the social media platforms.

As I have told you, most people with creative work experience imposter syndrome and I was also one of them. But, after helping people, I feel confident and motivated. I have written more than 100 answers on Quora so that I can help more people. Most of the people are connected with me on LinkedIn, and they come to me for advice whenever they have any problem.

Another way to be a mentor is by preparing interactive tutorials using the SelfCAD software and sharing it with others. Unlike youtube videos and long boring guides, the interactive tutorials feature allows you to record and share your 3D Modeling steps. This feature records your action  steps on the software. You can also manually add other details and instructions. Once done, you can either share your tutorial using a link or you can publish it on the Interactive tutorial page of SelfCAD for others to see your designs. Seeing others benefit from your tutorials will help boost your confidence and you will also have your name on the internet as an expert in 3D designing. Check out the video below to learn how the interactive tutorial works (Embed this video:

So, you can also become a mentor by just helping other people. This is one of the best ways to overcome imposter syndrome as a freelance 3D designer.

6. If You Can’t Trust Yourself, Try Trusting Others For a While

If the situation arises when you don't trust yourself, then try trusting others who have helped you reach your current position, and to those people who have taken help from you in any work or in any area of their life.

If you believe yourself to be a fraud or if you think you don't have the ability to do any kind of work, it means you believe that all the people who helped you get to where you are today are wrong.

They see nothing in you and your artwork, they were lying to you about trusting you. The people that gave you time despite their busy schedule, and have helped you sell your 3D artwork pieces.

You're telling me that they all made the same mistake?

No, they didn't make a mistake, they saw something valuable in you and that's why they believe in you and your work. So, if you can't trust yourself, trust them, and show some respect to their choice and belief.


Enjoy powerful modeling, rendering, and 3D printing tools without the steep learning curve.

Try SelfCAD

Need to learn 3D Modeling? Get started with . interactive tutorials

Was this blog post interesting or helpful?

SelfCAD is an online CAD and 3D design software

It uses the latest JavaScript features. Please pick a newer browser. Examples are listen below.