Imposter syndrome

Why do many of us experience some degree of imposter syndrome? Why do we feel, somewhere in us, that we are in a role we are not really qualified for?

OUR ONLY INSIDE VIEW IS OF OURSELVES

One answer is that we have an inside view of ourselves and an outside view of others, and most people carefully curate what they show to others. We know about all our own insecurities, mistakes, shortcomings, and so on, and we see a more polished and often one-sided view of others. So we feel we are not quite as good as others.

SENSE OF LACK

Another is that most of us have some sense of lack in us. We feel we are not quite good enough, perhaps not quite lovable, or unloved, or something else. This too feeds into the imposter syndrome.

USE THE TRUTH OF IT

And there is some truth to it.

We can use it to identify areas where our skills could be improved and set out to improve those skills.

We can also use it to find honesty and authenticity around it.

ALWAYS FURTHER TO GO

In the bigger picture, there is always an infinite amount of skills and experience we don’t have, in any one area of life. There is always an infinite amount more to learn. And that’s the same for all of us. We are all in the same boat here.

IN THE CONTEXT OF WHAT WE ARE

There is also some truth to it when we look at what we more fundamentally are. Yes, we are this human self in the world. And more fundamentally, in our own first-person experience, we may find we are something else. We may find we are capacity for our experiences, and what our experiences – of this human self, the wider world, and anything else – happens within and as. If we pretend we most fundamentally are this human self, and a particular set of identities and roles, some part of us will know that something is off. We are a kind of imposter. It’s a pretty universal, ordinary, and understandable kind of imposter, and yet a kind of imposter.

HOW TO EXPLORE THE IMPOSTER SYNDROME

So how do we deal with all this in our life? We can remind ourselves about the difference between the inside and outside view, and that most people experience some insecurity and sense of lack. The imposter syndrome is very common and most of us will experience it one time or another. At our human level, it’s rooted in a sense of lack so we can identify that lack and give it to ourselves. There is some universal truth to it, both at a human level and at the level of what we more fundamentally are.

And there is also the reality that the world, in a sense, needs all of us. We all play a role. We all have a unique perspective and unique experiences, and these may be valuable to others. We don’t need to, and usually cannot, be perfect or the best at what we are doing. We just need to be ourselves, do our best, and be honest about our gifts and shortcomings.

INITIAL NOTES

Imposter syndrome
Inside vs outside view
Sense of lack
Isn’t what we really are, if pretend, then somewhere know that something is off, we are a kind of imposter

…..

INITIAL DRAFT

Why do many of us experience some degree of the imposter syndrome? The feeling that we are in a role we are not really qualified for? 

One answer is that we have an inside view of ourselves and an outside view of others, and most people carefully curate what they show to others. We know about all our own insecurities, mistakes, shortcomings, and so on, and we see a more polished and often one-sided view of others. So we feel we are not quite as good as others. 

Another is that most of us have some sense of lack in us. We feel we are not quite good enough, perhaps not quite lovable, or unloved, or something else. This too feeds into the imposter syndrome. 

And there is some truth to it. We can use it to identify areas where our skills could be improved, and set out to improve those skills. 

In the bigger picture, there is always an infinite amount of skills and experience we don’t have, in any one area of life. There is always an infinte amount more to learn. And that’s the same for all of us. We are all in the same boat here. 

There is also some truth to it when we look at what we more fundamentally are. Yes, we are this human self in the world. And more fundamentally, in our own first-person experience, we may find we are something else. We may find we are capacity for our experiences, and what our experiences – of this human self, the wider world, and anything else – happens within and as. If we pretend we most fundamentally are this human self, and a particular set of identities and roles, some part of us will know that something is off. We are a kind of imposter. It’s a pretty universal, ordinary, and understandable kind of imposter, and yet a kind of imposter. 

So how do we deal with all this in our life? We can remind ourselves about the difference between the inside and outside view, and that most people experience some insecurity and sense of lack. The imposter syndrome is very common and most of us will experience it one time or another. At our human level, it’s rooted in a sense of lack so we can identify that lack and give it to ourselves. There is some universal truth to it, both at a human level and at the levele of what we more fundamentally are. 

And there is also the reality that the world, in a sense, needs all of us. We all play a role. We all have a unique perspective and unique experiences, and these may be valuable to others. We don’t need to, and usually cannot, be perfect or the best at what we are doing. We just need to be ourselves, do our best, and be honest about our gifts and shortcomings.

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