Nate Punzalan Talks About How He Overcame Impostor Syndrome

Nate Punzalan Talks About How He Overcame Impostor Syndrome


During the pandemic, Nate Punzalan slowly stepped away in the realm of content creation and was forced to confront his struggle with impostor syndrome in silence

Local vlogger Nate Punzalan is one of the early content producers who began making videos for YouTube in the year 2017. He has made different kinds of creative content, like documenting funny and spontaneous trips with his family, which sometimes include his sister, Janina Vela. Nate is also well-known for his motivational videos and inspiring vlogs documenting his daily life, but during the pandemic, he suddenly went on a hiatus. He has openly discussed his struggles with burnout and how it forced him to take a break from content creation. Now, he is finally back. 

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His peaks and valleys as a content creator

Nate Punzalan with his siblings

Nate shared that back in 2017, he did not consider content creation as a serious career path. He just started to produce content, together with his sister Janina Vela, to have fun. His only goal at the time was to express his creativity and put out a positive message online. “The funny thing is, the more popular you get, the more that you lose all of those things,” he mentioned. Instead of focusing on his creative output, he got slowly intimidated by numbers and compared himself to other people. Nate said that the period he had been making motivational videos seemed as if he was not really living the life he preached. “I lost sight of the fun, I lost sight of doing it for me, and I lost sight of the creative expression,” he added. 

Nate Punzalan with his girlfriend

When asked about his proudest achievement, he expressed that once you reach a certain level of burnout, all the numbers and recognition fade away, and you start to treasure the individuals who still support you even if you stop creating content. He said that it is not wrong to celebrate external validations like amassing a large number of followers or winning several awards, but his previous experiences had him come to recognize the importance of being an inspiration to those closest to him.

Understanding his impostor syndrome

Nate Punzalan

Nate said that he had doubts about his ability as a content creator even before the pandemic, but it was greatly magnified during the lockdown, and he began to experience what may be considered as impostor syndrome. He explained that the condition is a psychological phenomenon in which a person has a persistent sense of self-doubt and an internalized worry of being exposed as a fraud, in which one stops attributing achievement to one’s own efforts and instead, attributes it to other external circumstances. “That’s what I’ve always thought about myself, as a person, internally, inherently—I don’t have a value,” Nate admitted. 

The content creator added that he really broke down when asked what he did when he felt and recognized that he could be suffering from impostor syndrome. Nate underlined the importance of taking the first step toward resolving the issue, which is to acknowledge it. You have to come to terms with the fact that your way of thinking is unhealthy and prevents you from appreciating the significance of your job and the worth you possess as a person. 

Nate Punzalan with his girlfriend

Your second option is to talk to someone you trust within your support system. In order to begin seeing himself in a more positive light, Nate sought advice from a variety of individuals, including his mentor, pastor, wife, family, and friends.

Third is self-care. “If you can take care of others in such a caring and loving way, why can’t you do that to yourself?” Nate mentioned. He discussed how returning to formerly enjoyable activities such as basketball and video games, as well as making occasional online purchases, helped him steadily create a positive outlook and rekindle motivation to get back on track.

Nate Punzalan

Last but not least, self-reflection. Nate said it’s important to take time to reflect on what’s occurring in your life to ensure that your insights do not only go to your head, but also reverberate throughout your heart.

His renewed purpose

“In a healthy way, I saw value in my work again.” 

Nate is finally back in the world of content creation, particularly in podcasting. With his newest podcast Impostors, he aims to produce authentic conversations with people he looks up to. He has been talking to a variety of individuals and asking them to talk about times in their lives when they felt like a fraud or impostor. In one of his episodes, Nate had a conversation with vlogger Jericho Arceo, who he regards as a role model. They talked about the trials that tested Jericho’s faith and how he overcame them.

Nate Punzalan

Nate mentioned how there is an unsaid rule that men should constantly project themselves as bold and powerful, but it is time to normalize talks where men can openly express themselves and their frustrations, even if it dabbles on their mental wellbeing.

Photos from NATE PUNZALAN (via Instagram)

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