The last two emails were pretty out there.
This one will be more normal.
Day 28 of the ‘30 Ways To Play With Your Imposter Syndrome’ Challenge.
FYI: If you’re not sure what a superannuation fund is, it’s basically what Australians call a pension fund.
Here we go.
Sometimes a loss of confidence means you’ve improved.
Mum’s horror find in 17yo’s mail
“When Alyson Gearing returned from an overseas trip to a pile of unopened mail for her daughter, what she found inside horrified her.
“Two-and-a-half years ago, the Newcastle mum created an account for 17-year-old Emma with the family superannuation fund, Mine Super. The high school student was finishing her HSCs and had just started a casual job earning around $80 a week.
“Thinking she was doing the right thing, Ms Gearing deposited $200 and later another $1000 in the account to kickstart her daughter’s super balance. Less than a year later, the money had gone backwards.
“‘It was, “Oh my gosh, where’s it all gone?”‘ the 57-year-old said.”
“A superannuation statement covering 2016 and 2017 shows how Emma’s meagre super balance was whittled down via fees and insurance premiums, virtually from the moment the account was opened.
“The initial deposit of $200 was hit with $52 in ‘administration fees’ between September and February. That’s when the insurance premiums of nearly $80 a month started — $24.92 for total death and disability insurance, $53.91 for income protection.”
It’s weird how you can work so hard, and feel like you’ve ended up with LESS than before.
That’s one way imposter syndrome can get you.
You keep gaining accomplishments, experience, skills etc…
Each is a deposit into your confidence account.
But each deposit gets whittled away by your imposter syndrome.
Your imposter syndrome keeps reducing the value.
Even when the size of your successes gets bigger, your imposter syndrome cuts out a bigger chunk of it.
And like Emma’s superannuation account, your confidence barely grows.
It’s a bit like the Dunning-Kruger effect.
In psychology, it’s when low competence people overestimate their abilities, and high competence underestimate their abilities.
Low competence people: They think they are better than they actually are. They don’t know what they don’t know.
High competence people: They think they are worse than they actually are. They are too aware of what they don’t know.
As you keep growing in achievement, does your imposter syndrome grow too?
Are you more aware of ways you can fail?
Do you find more ways to explain away your successes?
Do you feel more and more that your success depends on luck?
Do you feel more uncertain that you’ll succeed at your next project?
Take that as a sign you’re getting better.
That you understand your field of expertise more and more.
That you understand nuances.
As well as the factors that affect success.
And the more you understand how things can go wrong, the more foresight you have.
With that foresight, you can prepare for problems better.
As well as eventually figure out which problems are worth worrying about, and which aren’t.
In other words: Your fears rise in quality.
Your fears become more educated, and better able to focus you on things that matter.
I’ve been through all those stages myself working as a professional musician.
And while fears might undermine my confidence sometimes, what I’ve found is that…
A lack of confidence doesn’t mean incompetence.
Sometimes it means you’re understanding things more.
That you’re seeing the bigger picture.
Maybe you feel daunted, or uncertain by it.
But the important thing is NOT how uncertain or unconfident you feel.
Sometimes it’s important to just accept those feelings as part of the process.
And then get back to work.
Sure, I have fears about each project exposing me as a fraud.
But those thoughts and fears can be useful.
Since they are based on previous experiences, they can be a guide about what I should work on.
And even if my fears grow larger as I learn more, and succeed more…
… I hope they can get more useful too.
When I get to the stage where my fears are helpful…
… they stop being dead weights that drag me down.
Instead they become supportive friends that always keep it real for me.
They become guides to success that give high-quality advice.
And great companions I can trust.
So after all that, let me ask you a weird question:
As you succeed more…
… if you don’t have confidence in yourself…
… do you at least have confidence in your fears?
Lucus “make my fears awesome” Allerton
Screenshot proof below:
(You’ll see it only if you have images enabled.)
Taken 2018-11-28 at 10.35.36 am