We know we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others, but we still do it. The good news is that if you’re worried that you don’t measure up to the people around you, that’s probably a pretty good indication that you’re on the right path.
Picture: Alan Levine
As productivity blog 99u points out, imposter syndrome can make anyone feel like they’re not really measuring up. The more successful you are, the more talented people you surround yourself with, and the less you feel like you really deserve to be part of the cool kid’s club. But that instinct is good. It means you’re aware of yourself, those around you, and your skill set. It’s when you think you’re awesome and don’t need to improve that you get into trouble:
The genuinely untalented, meanwhile, probably have no idea that they’re no good — because they’re too untalented to realise it. (This is the “Dunning-Kruger effect,” inspired by the tale of an incompetent bank robber who thought rubbing lemon juice on his face would make him invisible on security cameras.) In short: if you’re worried you don’t measure up, that could well be a sign that you do.
We all know someone who isn’t as talented as they think they are. Sometimes that blind confidence can help, but it will be a huge hindrance once you reach a challenge that’s beyond your skill set. Being self aware and humble enough to recognise the talent in others around you can help you improve. It’s when you think you’re more awesome than everyone else that you start to have a problem.