I was dealing with a personal bout of Impostor Syndrome when for no good reason I sort of interrupted the speaker, he had just asked if there were questions and I had waited just a bit too long, ya know. So I asked the question, I don’t know what it was but let’s say it was not that tough and I probably should have known the answer. I asked it, he answered it and there were a few quiet ah-has that mumbled around the room.
Wait a minute, he asked if there were questions and no one, NOT ONE other person asked a question, but clearly they needed to. So who was the impostor here? Well not me, that’s who! POOF! The negative feeling went away and I could focus again on moving forward and growing. Never would I have that feeling ever again! Solved!
Well I am sure you know it came back, but instead of wasting time I asked the question right away, right when there was space for it. I tried to make it a good question, on something I was not clear on, but not totally lost. Something that would have a clear response. Hoping that it would work again. Guess what? It did!
So now I am developing the habit, an automatic response to feeling like I don’t belong among the giant intellects around me. Ask a good question, its like a pin popping the balloon of self-doubt.
I thought one should have the attitude of ‘What do you care what other people think!’
–Richard P. Feynman