Have you, as a qualified adult individual, ever sat in a meeting, a professional business meeting in your grown up adult joby job and felt like you might be a child playing ‘work’ for the day? And have you ever shared this feeling out loud with your (awesome) co-workers only for them to absolutely agree? I don’t think it’s imposter syndrome, before you go down that path (even though in some way it likely is) but what I think it might be, is the fact that we really are all just big kids pretending to be what we think adults should be, like a solid 90% of the time.
Recently, in a professional environment I explained to someone that it was okay to not know how to tackle a task because “we’re all just making it up as we go along and really nobody actually knows what they’re doing, most of us are just play acting” which, to be honest, I thought what just general knowledge, but she was like “wow. I never thought about it like that before.”
For a few hours after that exchange, I was mildly worried that my jokey throw away attempt at a comforting comment may have profoundly impacted a 30 something year old woman’s life. Surely, she had taken a moment, when feeling lost or overwhelmed at some stage to consider that maybe everybody else was feeling that way too or at least has done at some stage?
I feel like we’re regularly shown examples of people who are (in their own words) absolutely “killing it” yet everybody is hesitant to talk about the fact that we’re all just yes and-ing our way through the day.
Sure, as somebody pointed out when I posted this on Facebook, ”some people really do know what they’re doing some of the time” and sure, he was right – for example I know how to drive a car, for the most part, how to feed myself fairly well and how to not burn my house down, in general, amongst other things but what’s the end game? Now that surely, nobody knows. Why am I going to work every day (other than the fact that I’m a bad ass who likes to impress everyone by being totally sick at my job but also loves to pay my bills and buy shit)? What’s the point?
But let’s take a moment to calm down. I didn’t intend for this post to turn into a fully-fledged existential crisis but I’m starting to get worried that this is where we’re headed – so I’ll change course real quick.
I guess what I came here to say was that while most of the time (for me, at least) life feels like a big old improv game that you’re not qualified to be part of, you’re probably not alone and also, why would you want it any other way? Because those people who seem like they know what they’re doing most of the time, don’t they just come off like boring know it all assholes? And who wants to be like that? Certainly not me.