They Might Find Out

Ever get the feeling that you are an impostor? You put on a calm game face for others but inside you fear that you do not have what it takes to succeed and that you’ll be found out. You imagine all the bad things that would happen to you “if they find out how unskilled you really are”: being ridiculed, rejected, or fired.

You can relax: it’s a common situation for otherwise supremely competent people. And it’s a fixable one. Here are the 3 steps.

First, notice what’s going on. When you are feeling like an impostor, you are focused on yourself, your ostensible lack of important talents, and your fears about what might go wrong. You divert all that mental energy away from applying your (very real) talents to the work at hand. A bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, see?

Second, the fix is to do what Mark Silver calls turning the camera. You’ve had the camera (your attention) turned toward yourself. Turn the camera, instead, to focus on the people around you, their needs, wants, and desires. Ask yourself, “How can I help them hit a home run?” It will be a win for you, too: turning the camera is wonderfully freeing.

Third, the very fact that you are reading this and breathing means that you have important talents. And chances are you are undervaluing yours. With the camera turned toward others’ situations, see what needs to be done. Then do whatever you can to help.

What you have to offer is unique to you and sorely needed in our world. If you can set aside your sense of being an impostor, you can let these talents shine and do their work. And then they will find out…how very helpful, capable, and all-around-valuable you are.

In your corner,


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