Was yesterday’s email underwhelming or strangely zen?
It was an experiment I’m not sure of.
An experiment of letting go to see what happens.
It was outside my comfort zone. Yet I was content. I don’t regret it.
Whether it was successful however, is another matter.
Day 27 of the ‘30 Ways To Play With Your Imposter Syndrome’ Challenge.
Four more to go!
Not confident in putting together something yourself? Learn from how other people use your skills to put something together themselves.
Outrage at ‘stupid’ $17 sandwich
“When you order a sandwich you have a pretty good idea of what to expect: two pieces of bread with some filling in-between.
This is probably what one customer thought they would get when they ordered a ham sandwich from a Sydney cafe but what was set down on the table was completely different.
Reddit user MiloXF uploaded a photo of the ‘sandwich’ their cousin ordered, showing a completely deconstructed meal served in two cardboard boxes.
Instead of being presented with a regular sandwich the customer was presented with all the ingredients and expected to put it together themselves.
On one side there were two slices of bread and some butter, while on there other there was ham and various salad items.
The meal was topped off with a bowl of mustard and a gherkin.
Not only did they have to assemble the sandwich themselves, the deconstructed meal cost them $17 dollars.”
Do you force others to construct your value?
Are you so afraid of making your own sandwich, you just hand over the ingredients and ask someone else to do the rest?
Right now, sandwich = something of value.
And the ingredients = your skills, achievements, successes, experiences, knowledge, training, qualifications etc.
Perhaps you’ve got a whole bunch of fantastic ingredients.
You agree they are fantastic ingredients.
But maybe when you’re asked to make an amazing sandwich out of them…
… you don’t.
Maybe you claim you’re no chef, and you start to talk down the ingredients too.
Imposter syndrome can be your fear you haven’t got what it takes to make a great sandwich.
(I’ve decided to overdo this food metaphor. It’s fun.)
You might see the value in each individual accomplishment (ie ingredient) of yours…
But you might not believe in your ability to put it all together.
You might not believe the sandwich you create will be any good.
So what do you do? You get better at judging and making sandwiches.
Let me drop the sandwich metaphor (mostly), after the following point:
I’m sure there really are some people who enjoy paying $17 to get just the ingredients.
And then make a sandwich themselves.
Likewise, there are people who are willing to pay money to get the ingredients that you provide.
Perhaps they see certain skills you’ve picked up, or experiences you have…
… and they want to use that as ingredients in something THEY create.
You can learn from these people.
That was the case with my piano skills.
After I got my music degree, I wasn’t really sure what my skills were good for.
What I could put them towards.
I didn’t believe I had what it takes to carve my own musical path from there.
(Fun fact: After finishing my music degree, I applied for a job at Hungry Jacks. I got a rejection email about a year later. Which is kinda hilarious.)
But despite my own uncertainty, more and more people kept paying me for my skills.
And I paid attention to what they used my skills towards, and how they combined it with other things.
Just like a cook figures out new combinations from ingredients…
… I’ve been getting a better idea of what I can put together with my skills.
For example, when I accompany musicians on piano, they aren’t just paying me to play notes.
They are employing me for things like my personality, perspectives, musical skill, reliability, experience, and communication skills.
And I see how those things combine with their own goals, their own personalities, perspectives, skills, experiences, communication preferences etc.
I’ve seen all these ways people like to use the ingredients of Lucus, and mix it with other things to make something wonderful.
(As well as mediocre things… and not very good things.)
Having seen the different dishes I’ve been a part of… I feel better able to cook one together myself.
Next year I’m going to attempt a solo music show for the first time.
Do I feel confident I’ll succeed? Nope.
But I’m ready to begin putting something together on my own.
Who am I to put this together myself?
That’s what my imposter syndrome asks myself.
But I’ve got to know the ingredients of myself much better over the years, and how those ingredients mix together. As well as how they mix with others.
There’s a certain leap of faith I need for this.
But I’m confident that even if my first combination fails…
And the next…
And the next…
… Eventually I’ll find one recipe (or more) that works.
One that makes something wonderful out of the ingredients I have.
And I hope I can still improve the recipes (and ingredients) from there.
So let me ask…
Even if you’re not confident enough to put something together yourself…
… out of the great ingredients you provide…
… what amazing things have OTHER people used your abilities for?
Does that give you a hint to what YOU could accomplish?
Thinking this way might not cure your imposter syndrome.
But it gives you specifics to understand. It gives you methods you could use to accomplish things.
It gives you ingredients and recipes to follow.
One you can keep refining over time.
And not only contribute to something great, but be able to create something pretty good yourself.
I’ve been really heavy with this food metaphor. Did I overdo it?
I’m not sure whether it was clear enough.
And I’m not sure whether I’ve lost you at this point.
But I hope it entertained you to read at least.
In any case, thanks for humouring another experimental post that’s a bit out there.
Lucus “my name is the bread of this sign-off sandwich” Allerton
Screenshot proof below:
(You’ll see it only if you have images enabled.)
Taken 2018-11-27 at 1.47.15 am