Imposter Syndrome and Curiosity
Recently, I was talking with a friend about imposter syndrome and making career pivots. We explored a lot of different angles and examples of this topic.
I’m not big on the term “superpower” to describe our core strengths, but I’m warming up to it.
During our conversation, I came to realize that one of my core strengths or “superpowers” is actually not knowing what I’m doing. At least the feeling of not knowing what I’m doing or the feeling of not knowing enough.
One thing I know about myself is that I’m extremely curious and love learning. This leads me to think about things I want to explore and possible career pivots. It’s how I’m able to add career capital to my experience and skill portfolio.
I hear a lot of talk about Imposter Syndrome. Shockingly, from business leaders who we think have everything figured out.
I believe this Imposter Syndrome comes from a false sense of external expectations. Expectations that you should know everything about anything, especially when it comes to the team you’re leading or those at the company you founded.
We’re constantly comparing ourselves to others who project a sense of having everything under control and having an answer for everything. The reality is they don’t.
Social media platforms like LinkedIn further perpetuate this sense of FOMO and feelings of inadequacy and of self-doubt. People are putting their ‘best foot forward’ and trying to impress others in a channel like that. Most people don’t embrace their vulnerability and the actual gift of realizing they don’t know everything.
Yep, you heard that right. I called it a gift.
Think about the times you thought you knew everything there was to know about something. Were you open to learning from others? Were you still seeking out resources to learn more?
Probably not. That’s a blindspot and a trap.
When you can give yourself permission to embrace the unknown. Permission to seek answers and expertise. You will become stronger and more valuable than the person you’re falsely comparing yourself to at this moment.
You’re being honest. They’re lying to everyone.
It’s time to provide yourself with a place of love, especially self-love. To quote something I’ve heard Seth Godin say numerous times, it’s time to “dance with the fear.” Take it on and embrace it. Use it to your advantage to become better.
The fact you realize that you don’t have all of the answers is a gift. Accept it. Embrace it. Love it. Run with it.
Be humble. Remain curious. Most of all, don’t take yourself so damn seriously.