Invite imposter syndrome to lunch
Everyone above, below, and around you deals with imposter syndrome. Same is true for the people on your team. The folks you make stuff with, the people you manage. The people raising funds to make sure your company’s mission stays afloat, and the people on your earnings calls. Definitely everyone fighting on TV. Everyone writing articles you read and don’t read.
“We didn’t know what the hell we were doing, but you turned out alright.”
–Every parent everywhere.
All the people you respect. Definitely and especially them. We’re all grinding, hoping nobody calls us out by quietly pulling us aside and saying, “Don’t think I don’t know.” The good news is nobody’s calling you out on it. The bad news is that it’s not going away.
What’s cool is that this funny little tension is always changing. If you feel like you’re faking it now, then wait for next year.
For the people you work with directly though, have an intimate 1:1 conversation about where you feel like you don’t belong.
“If it’s alright with you, I’d like to talk together about where we both feel like we’re counterfeits. Because we’re not, but talking about where we think we are says that’s where we need the most validation.”
You can probably say it better.
What a way to create levity. It’s a great way to clear the air too. If things are going rough between you and someone else, exposing vulnerabilities might get you closer to understanding those complicated little motivators that make us all behave with such beautiful lack of rationality sometimes.
Take it away, outside of where you normally spend time with each other. Invite it to the table. By calling it by its name, that awkward third wheel might just spin right off.
It’s just lunch.