A “Symphony of Your Life” blog with Mark Hardcastle
In case you missed it, here’s Part 1.
Is that what we’re all worried about? Getting “found?”
I felt like that for 4 straight years at the US Air Force Academy. I felt like a great big fake and that any day I would be “found” and shown the door. These days, in the presence of “real” authors, I feel inadequate, despite having won awards for my book and having sold out the first printing. Further, in the presence of “real” speakers I feel like I do not belong in that world. Only recently have I started to get comfortable in front of an audience. And trust me… “comfortable” is a relative term!
So here’s the question. Does that sound like you? Even in the midst of all the “authenticity” that surrounds us, or maybe particularly because of it, how do you feel? Are you afraid of being “found?” Probably so – if you’re normal.
According to Psychology Today Magazine, Imposter Syndrome affects well over half the population (November 2016, “The Fraud Who Isn’t”). And it gives us some insight about why we have it.
Maybe it has something to do with the folks we hang out with. According to the PT article several of the causes speak to our “tribe,” how we interact with them, and the environment where we spend our time.
For instance, the article says that smart folk tend to hang out with other smart folk, particularly at work, which might make one think that everybody is smart, which intellectually we know to be nonsense. But that fact doesn’t make it any more comfortable to see everyone around us as very smart. On the contrary it’s a constant challenge.
The article goes on to say that for many of us compliments have a short half-life, achievements feel unearned, criticism cuts deeply and failures linger. So we feel like imposters. All the time. Regardless of what we actually achieve.
So do you feel like an imposter? Do you find yourself working to be seen as authentic? To actually be authentic? Is the fear rooted in the possibility that we don’t seem to be the person we present? Esse Quam Videri. Yup, my hand’s up. I know, I know. Still…
On a deeper level, could that fear come from an aspiration to be a certain person and a “knowledge” that we are not yet that person, so we shouldn’t present ourselves as such?
Now maybe we’re getting somewhere…
We’ll get to the validity of that thinking in just a sec. But let me offer a little grace right here. Does the idea that we’re not yet fully what we aspire to be mean that we’re being inauthentic or even insincere if we show up to the world as if we were fully formed?
Not if you listen to Joe Sabah, founder of NSA* Colorado. Joe is famous for saying, “You don’t have to be good to start, but you have to start to be good.”
Part 3 will give us some suggestions for getting past this sometimes-crippling fear.
Thanks for reading!
The Symphony of Your Life
*National Speakers Association