Ever suffer from Impostor Syndrome? This is the feeling that no matter what external results you see, no matter how “expert” you become, you constantly doubt your own authority and ability.
It’s funny, because the people I know who have the worst time with it are often the ones who are the best qualified. (While Impostor Syndrome classically hits more women than men, I have to say that I know an awful lot of smart men who struggle with it as well.)
In small doses, Impostor Syndrome pushes us to keep working on our skills. To keep stretching, to fill in the gaps, and to focus almost obsessively on improving ourselves. In moderation, it keeps us honest and makes us better.
But it quickly goes from being motivating to being a force that keeps people stuck. Stuck in their businesses or careers, stuck accepting their own distorted self-image, while less-qualified people leapfrog past them.
I’ve been there. And it’s just a hideous drag.