“Kings and Philosophers shit, and so do ladies” – Michel de Montaigne

Impostor syndrome, we all feel it.  Like we shouldn’t be doing what we’re doing.  Like we gate-crashed the party and we lack the grace, intelligence, skills and general ability of everybody else in the room.  You look at others and wonder how they do it.  Just how is it that they can command the room the way they do or explain that complex theory in a way that everybody else can understand so easily.  Of course, there is no such thing as a person who doesn’t feel nerves or the threat of being seen as foolish, inadequate or a failure.

Think you can’t? Your right.  Think you can…. yup, you’re right.

Our internal narrative or the stories we tell ourselves, play such a huge part in what we allow ourselves to make of the opportunities life presents.  How often have you told yourself you can’t do something, only to then make the leap and find a way to work through the challenge?  To then come out of the other end stronger, more confident and better equipped to take on the next one?

As ever,  Alain De Botton and the good people at The School of Life can help us all understand a little better that in basic ways we’re all the same and that literally everybody is winging it at some point.  The quote at the top of the page from Michel de Montaigne (who was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance) of course also serves as a rather straight-talking anecdote.

The practice of acknowledging and then choosing to adapt to Impostor Syndrome ultimately centers around telling ourselves better stories.  Stories that enable us to make that leap more often. Think you can’t? Your right.  Think you can…. yup, you’re right.



Posted by Steven Thomas

Fan of great ideas and (especially) the people that make them work. Steven is the creator of CurveFinder exploring subjects like collaboration, leadership, creative endeavour and personal development. He's spent over two decades working in the UK media industry holding various senior business and creative leadership roles, most recently with a focus on Digital Transformation and Start-ups. Accomplished coach and mentor. Seth Godin's altMBA Alumni. Lives in Edinburgh with his wife and young family. Always in the kitchen at parties.

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