When You Think You Are An Impostor, You Are On The Right Track
Have you ever felt like you shouldn’t be doing something because you felt under-qualified, yet circumstances made it so you are doing it?
In the words of the great King Ragnar Lothbrok:
“I never asked for power. Power is only given to those who are prepared to lower themselves to pick it up” — Ragnar Lothbrok
Ragnar was a farmer who become an earl, who became a king, who become a legend. He never asked to be king.
In his mind, he was always a farmer.
There are a few times in my life when I felt like I was acting something I was not. Intentionally or not.
I always saw myself as an introvert. In high school, I was far from a popular kid. I wasn’t an unpopular kid either. I was one of the forgotten ones. I bet not half the people remember me there. It was a very small school. 80 people finished the last grade that year.
In my mind, I am still that kid.
But I don’t act like it. People would never believe me. I’ve somehow became way more social in the past 6 months. I did many things an introvert would probably never do:
- I’ve been leading outings to dinner and other activities;
- I’ve been giving talks and telling stories;
- I’ve been motivating people to go beyond their perceived capacities;
- I talk to strangers on planes, buses, etc.;
- I started a fitness squad at the co-working space;
- I grew my company to 8 people in a year;
- I even celebrated Christmas last year with a total stranger I met while waiting for a bus ride.
And with every of these little things, I reflect back on who I am, in my mind, and I don’t get it.
That’s not me. I’m an impostor. I’m just a regular, long-forgotten, introvert kid. Why are people listening to me? Why are people asking me for advice?
Like Ragnar, I never asked for it. I never aimed to do these things.
Circumstances made it so people saw a different perspective of me. The more people saw me that way, the more I acted that way, until I became it. Without realizing it.
In her TED talk, Amy Cuddy touches on the subject. She said:
“Fake it ‘till you become it” — Amy Cuddy
This couldn’t speak to me more. I don’t like the word “fake” because it feels like a lie to me, so I prefer: “Act it ‘till you become it”.
Leonardo Di Caprio said:
“Every next level of your life will demand a different you.” — Leonardo DiCaprio
Actors do it all the time. They become who they play. For better or worse.
How To Apply This
Picture who you want to be.
It doesn’t have to be a real person. It can be a set of skills and qualities you want to acquire. Or things you want to remove from your life, like a bad habit.
Then act like that person. That vision. Act consistently.
Deconstruct the behaviours, starting from the end.
How did that person get there? No one gets somewhere from luck only. Trace the steps. Be precise.
Act it out. Every step of the way.
Without you realizing it, you will become it.
People will realize before you. Read the signs.
When you act it out, consciously or not, you train your brain to be what you act. You will feel like you’re cheating, lying to people you are acting to.
When you feel that way, that’s when you’re on the right track. Before you know it, you’ll become it.
Think like an actor. Play a role. Become that role.
You can do this!
Thanks for reading! :)
If you liked this story, feel free to clap a few times (up to 50 times, though that’s pretty insane now, is it not?). Follow me or my company for more similar stories!