Comfortable Being You    

"If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started."

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Does this quote sound like something you've ever said or thought?

"I just look at all these people, and I think, what the heck am I doing here?"

One of the most accomplished and famous men of the 1960s made this statement.  Here's the rest of what he said:

"They've made amazing things. I just went where I was sent."

Surely we’ve all found ourselves in a group where we felt unqualified. The fact that Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, felt this as he stood at the back of an awards ceremony for scientists, artists and inventors proves that fears of our own inadequacy tend to afflict everyone.

Some of the most talented people convince themselves that they'd be seen as the imposter amongst the noble, if only the truth were known. It’s part of what psychologists call "imposter syndrome", and it's a very real problem.

The sad truth is that we identify with this negative paradigm way too often. Most of the time these thoughts aren't true – it’s just the devil in our heads talking. Believe that insidious voice, however, and it will hold you back from achieving your full potential.

Here are three simple strategies for overcoming imposter syndrome.

The first is to understand that you don't need to be the best in something to be a so-called expert. You can contribute value at any skill level.

Second, don’t compare yourself with anyone else. This was where Neil Armstrong went wrong. He compared himself with doctors and artists, saw their great work and felt inadequate. But he failed to realize they probably felt the same way each night as they stared at the moon.

Finally, make learning your lifelong mission. Those who suffer from imposter syndrome wrongly believe that the fortunate few are born with the traits that make them experts or the skills that make them rich. They’ve convinced themselves that they aren't so lucky, and so they don’t belong among the “elite”. It's not true.

Nothing that devil in your head says is true. If you want to succeed, shut him up. Be confident in the knowledge that you’ve done your best, and experience all the joy you deserve from your accomplishments.    

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