Over the last two days we’ve been talking about mindset. In some cases negative mindset will prevent you from starting your big project. In other cases negative mindset will sabotage you after you’ve started. Once you have achieved a level of success you may feel like an imposter. You may wonder why you are qualified to do the work or handle that big role. Let’s explore that.
I’m an imposter in my own success:
When this is happening people will wonder why their knowledge is more valuable or interesting than the information that others bring forth. These people feel like they aren’t qualified.
You do realize no one knows what’s happening right? They may seem like they do, but they don’t. Companies through trial and error create processes that from the outside looking in are rock solid institutions. Someone, or a group of people, had to figure all that out. No one certified their process, their product or their thinking as being objectively correct. No one said that McDonalds’ burgers are objectively correct, and that Burger King’s style of burgers were correct or not. People simply bought. These companies made more burgers, and more people bought, and that’s it.
Every institution known to man was created by man. Therefore the rules created by those institutions were created by people. The creators of those rules were not infallible. Arguably they were not very smart at all, though some certainly were. These people simply were put in a position to make the rules. Others followed, and rather than being given a divine knowledge they simply made things work.
Here’s what you have to realize. People big and small, successful, or not, wealthy and poor, all have knowledge and insight that is valuable to someone. Even the destitute homeless person that might have mental health issues has knowledge that is valuable to someone. The difference is how well, or not, you package up your knowledge. It’s about the amount of work you put in to make your particular pile of knowledge valuable to other people. Someone feeling like an imposter will wonder why they are qualified to speak on a topic, get accepted to a particularly high status university, or get chosen to fill a role in a business. They just are, because another humans vetted them. The only justification we need is to be chosen to share our insight from other people. When we are chosen, we have been vetted.
The best CEOs, business executives, federal regulators, sports stars, students and teachers question themselves and their decisions. They don’t have all the answers, but the do use their best knowledge to make the best decision possible. Either they are right or wrong, but they are not imposters.
For businesses the free market chooses your products and services for any number of reasons. Maybe your marketing is better, or your website is nicer, or your prices are lower or your product is better. Remember this. People make decisions with imperfect information. Sales prices aren’t known, or consumers feel more comfortable with one business and not another, or the consumer likes the sales person better at one place. A lot of work partnerships are based on who you are and whether people like you. This holds true especially for high value products. People work with other people that they like.
So, by virtue of your being accepted to the position you have been placed in you are fundamentally justified to be there. There is no objective arbiter, just a set of subjective judges, other people and the rules they set. You won’t know all the answers, but trust and faith has been placed in you by your peers, clients and constituents.