I’M AN IMPOSTER
Todd Dewett | August 23, 2021
Imposter syndrome is a popular idea because nearly everyone – overachiever or not – can relate. You put on our game face each day, but sometimes wonder when everyone will realize you’re a fraud. Some of us experience this a lot, some of us rarely, but most of us feel it at some point.
I am a normal person in many regards. I can be socially awkward. I’m insecure, yet I have a big ego. It all confuses me sometimes, so I often find myself hiding behind the things I can hide behind: my degrees, courses, books, fans, and supporters, etc.
I hide behind my “Dr. Dewett” mask. It’s a persona I’ve created for my career. Dr. D is cool, confident, and amazing with words. People love him. He can write well, sling words from the stage like a superhero, and effortlessly coach a person back from the edge.
As I stand behind the mask looking out, I sometimes wonder why anyone listens to me. Ironic, right? I help people for a living, but I often don’t always want to be around other humans. The selfishness, the negativity, the ignorance – it’s too much for me at times.
It might surprise you to know that I’m more introverted than extroverted. Dr. Dewett is superhuman, oozing with presence. Todd is uncomfortable and can’t wait to be alone. After leaving the stage, I almost never work the room. At dinner parties, I’m the guy who tries to leave early.
But, like you, I need to pay the bills. So, I put the mask on and Dr. Dewett lights up the room, the stage, the screen, whatever.
I’m confessing all of this because it’s normal, it’s healthy to be honest about it on occasion, and because I hope it helps you feel normal as well. Don’t worry – overall, I’m okay, and often quite happy. I’m smart and lucky and I know it. However, I spend a lot of time behind the mask wondering if today is the day it will all come crashing down.
I’m also confessing these things to do what leaders are supposed to do. We need to be confident and competent, but we also need to be honest and authentic – even when it’s scary. It keeps you humble. It motivates you. It also helps others feel a little more comfortable being human.
So, if you’re reading this and you too occasionally feel like you don’t belong or you’re not good enough, or that you’re an imposter, don’t worry about others finding out. Most of them are facing the very same truth.
Just know that you are not alone and that you are wholly, completely, and utterly worthy – just like me – even if you don’t always feel like it.
WHAT’S UP WITH DR. D?
Next week will be the first shoot in my new home studio! Five courses ready to be filmed. I’ve got my team in place…. Quiet on the set… Action!
I’m working on the script for my fifth TEDx speech for an organizing group in Dubai. This one will be filmed on the green screen. Topic: small changes can make big impacts. More later…
I’m dropping my oldest son off at college this week. He’s attending Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. I’m proud of him. Where does the time go? My youngest son will soon be a freshman in high school. I suppose that means I’m getting old… but don’t forget: youth is a state of mind!
Finally, I’d like to announce that I WANT TO HOST JEOPARDY! We can dream…
Knowledge has a shelf-life. It varies by topic, but it all decays. Thus, we need to talk about your mental nutrition. You need to be feeding your brain a steady supply of fun and interesting educational material over time. It’s a hedge against knowledge decay, and of course, it’s a necessity for new skill-building.
To make this work for you, just remember these three rules:
First, track your consumption. Start writing down what you consume: the articles, podcasts, courses, etc. Keep a record to keep yourself honest. Consider using monthly goals.
Next, mix it up. Variety is the spice of life, or at least it helps us pay attention and maintain our interest. If you’ve been lost in podcasts, shift to books, or courses, or something else.
Finally, put new knowledge to use! Ideally, find ways to use what you’ve learned at work. At a minimum, find conversation partners with whom you can discuss what you’ve learned.
Until next time – stay safe, go learn something, maybe help someone, or at least do something interesting!
Please consider sharing this newsletter with someone who needs it.
All of my links in one place: https://linktr.ee/drdewett.