One thing I’ve wrestled with my entire life is a sense of inadequacy. It took a few years of reading books to figure out the name of what that is: imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome suggests that the sufferer feels like they do not belong or do not have the capacity to do what they’re doing. Programmers not feeling like they’re smart enough for the job, or athletes feeling like they’ve no chance of winning against a better opposition, etc.
However, having constantly felt that way for years I’ve come to learn that there’s a strength in imposter syndrome. Namely because you’re never taking things for granted and constantly striving to learn, adapt & improve.
Another measure of this is your comfort zone. If you’re smack bang in the middle of a comfort zone, there’s a high chance you’re not feeling imposter syndrome & you’re coasting along. You might actually be doing great as a result. Don’t knock comfort! But, you’re unlikely to be putting yourself out there, taking a risk, challenging yourself & — importantly — learning.
There’s three comfort levels worth outlining here: comfort, discomfort & panic.
Panic is as bad for personal development as comfort because you’re not learning. But unlike comfort, someone in a panic zone is just exploding internally and achieving nothing, if not reversing prior success.
And so, I constantly accept the imposter syndrome & try to stay within a discomfort zone. It means that there’s a better chance that I’m learning, pushing forward and doing something of value!