On Pretending to Be a Grown Up When You Really Don’t Know What You’re Doing…

Have you ever felt like everyone around you knows exactly what they’re doing, and you seem to be the only one blundering about blindly with little to no clue of what you’re actually doing? Me too. All the time actually.

But here’s the thing: I’m under the deep suspicion that in fact no one knows what they’re actually doing. We’re all just making it up as we walk along the path we think we’re supposed to take. Isn’t that scary? Or maybe it isn’t scary. Perhaps this is just life the way it’s supposed to be! If we adopt this assumption, then life is a series of improvisational performances upon which we build a path through time – each choice forming a brick on the road to somewhere. Some of us might have a better idea of where that somewhere is, but still their future is as unclear as our own.

How do I apply this to my own life? Right now, I’m actively making sure I believe in my knowledge and experience professionally. My old boss once told me that I needed to speak up more because I often had more knowledge than most at the table about certain topics – I just like listening more than jumping into the fray.After thinking about this for some time, I realized that although my initial internal reaction to this (shock and disbelief that I actually know what I’m talking about) might have some truth, I don’t know where I fall on the spectrum with everyone else. There’s got to be at least one thing I know more about than anyone else in the room. That’s all it takes.

So I suppose in the end, my point is that you’re okay. Keep making it up as you go – you’re not alone and you’re doing just fine. Don’t take yourself or others too seriously. And have faith that you are capable of meaningful contributions, no matter what your calling or profession.



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