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Yesterday I read an interview with an author who praised the art of pretense.  Not pretending to be someone you aren’t — pretending to be capable and competent when you feel just the opposite. Pretend you’re good at it, she said. Pretend you’re good at something when you clearly feel you are not.  This advice wasn’t about not being able to admit there are things you cannot or should not do — like deciding to re-wire the house when you aren’t an electrician or running a marathon without training — it was about administering courageous self talk when you feel you need it and convincing your inner self that indeed you are proficient.  When you are about to speak in front of a group of people for instance, when you are walking into a strange and new situation, when you feel fearful in the face of difficulty.  Step bravely and pretend you’re good at it.




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3 Responses

  1. Karen Vache says:

    ya, I think ya still have to be brave and push forward. I am pretty sure that the syndrome applies to me. I still percieve my go to court clothes as my “lawyer costume”. I also sometimes get a felling of “what the hell are you doing here” when I am in court. I think I need to retire.

  2. Karen Vache says:

    Mary, there is a name for this. Imposter Syndrome. There is a very high correllation with people with advanced education working as a professional; real professional as in the definition ofthe word. Makes me a little worried that my dotor may be thinking that there my be thoughts of pretending to know what they are doing!

    • Mary Kunkel says:

      Holy smokes, that definitely was NOT the intention of the author I heard interviewed. She applied it to her own stage fright and was encouraging people who have fear in ordinary situations, to be brave.

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