I think I used to be one. But not in the fun Halloween way. Or, the spy way . (Aside- Where does one apply to become a non-killing spy?!!!) I used to think I was ‘faking’ it and everyone else was legitimate. Even when I won medals. The Junior World Championships. I hoped people would not realize I was just doing my thing. I wasn’t special or an expert.
Now I know better.
We are ALL faking it.
and, sometimes we are not…
There actually is a marvelous term for what I’m describing. That feeling of ‘yeah- I’m here but it must be luck, or timing, or the fact I wore my red sweater and ate this for lunch (Add cheese please! )’. You know what I mean? It’s that inability to internalize what we can do. To accept what we have done. It’s called: THE IMPOSTER SYNDROME. Hmpf. That does not sound like spying….
But. It has a function too. To quote from The NYTimes:
“In mild doses, feeling like a fraud also tempers the natural instinct to define one’s own competence in self-serving ways. Researchers have shown in careful studies that people tend to be poor judges of their own performance and often to overrate their abilities. Their opinions about how well they’ve done on a test, or at a job, or in a class are often way off others’ evaluations. They’re confident that they can detect liars (they can’t) and forecast grades (not so well). This native confidence is likely to be functional: in a world of profound uncertainty, self-serving delusion probably helps people to get out of bed and chase their pet projects. But it can be poison when the job calls for expertise and accountability, and the expertise is wanting. “
other simpler words, when we doubt ourselves we allow for ourselves to discover our capabilities and just learn. Feeling fraudulent may keep us from leaping into the HUGE dreams, by instead, through prudent doubt, instilling in us a solid foundation of work for us to build our way expertly there.
“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson