if you think you're not good enough

If You Think You Are Not Good Enough, You Probably Are Not Good Enough

And that is a good thing. 

The feeling of not being good enough is called imposter syndrome (or impostor syndrome), which Merriam-Webster defines as:

: a psychological condition that is characterized by persistent doubt concerning one’s abilities or accomplishments accompanied by the fear of being exposed as a fraud despite evidence of one’s ongoing success

Forget about that last past that speaks of ‘one’s ongoing success’. 

Sometimes, you feel imposter syndrome because you are just starting out and you don’t have any results yet to prove you are good enough for whatever you are attempting to do. 

If that is you, then I have good news for you. 

First of all, yes, you are not good enough, which is why you have this feeling right now. 

But here’s the good news:

Imagine you just started working as a chef. It’s your first day at work and there are many customers in the restaurant. 

A waiter comes with a very important man’s order. 

Sure, you have learned how to prepare this very meal, and you have even had a little practice, but this is your first time of actually preparing it for a customer. 

You become afraid because you feel you don’t have enough experience to prepare a perfect meal, and you’re right, you really are not – you’ve not had a lot of practice. 

Moment of truth! What do you do? 

You have two options. 

One, you become every anxious. You don’t want to screw this up. And you can’t screw up a meal you don’t prepare, so you run away and let someone else take care of it. 

Or two, you say ‘well, what’s the worst that could happen?’ and you give it your best. 

Sure enough, the customer has a complaint about the meal and they told you, but it was good enough for them to at least manage. 

Congratulations! You’ve just learned a valuable lesson. And when you cook this same meal tomorrow? You’re very probably not going to make the same mistake again. 

Six months later, you’re so sure of yourself that you can now prepare the same meal in your sleep, with one hand tied behind your back. 

You have gone from being really not good enough, and feeling it, to being good enough and knowing it. 

If, six months ago, you had instead given up and quit, you’re still going to be where you were then, feeling like you’re not good enough because you ARE not good enough. 

So, if you are just starting out with something and you feel like you are not good enough, you are probably right. 

But you’re never going to become good enough unless you do that thing anyway. 

It is only by doing it that you can get feedback on where and what to improve, and then improve on those and get better. 

What’s the lesson here? The only way to get better is by taking action.

Next, I will talk about impostor syndrome for people who are already good at what they do. 

Samuel is an avid reader and a freelance writer, in that order. He fancies himself funny, but his friends regularly don't laugh at his jokes. I have been a student of personal development for several years, and I created this blog to share my knowledge with others and help them become better versions of themselves.

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