Sam Radford

October 29, 2022

Figuring it out, or getting found out?

Adam Grant, in a recent newsletter wrote this:

Impostor syndrome: “I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s only a matter of time until everyone finds out."

Growth mindset: “I don’t know what I’m doing yet. It’s only a matter of time until I figure it out.”

The highest form of self-confidence is believing in your ability to learn.

As someone who has started a new role recently, this resonates. The imposter syndrome is real! I have had plenty of moments of self-doubt over the last few months. 

Reading Grant’s words encouraged me, as the ‘growth mindset’ is exactly how I’ve been framing it. This is a time to learn and grow and not be afraid to ask ‘silly’ questions.

That last part is key, actually. I’ve kept telling myself: keep asking questions. Fear of being outed as imposter by asking questions that, in our mind, reveal our ignorance, is the very thing that derails the growth path. 

When the feelings of imposter syndrome arrive, it presents an opportunity. Do we hide away and wallow in our fears and insecurities? Or do we seize the moment, relishing the opportunity to figure something new and different out?

I don’t need to spell out the better choice…

Ask the silly question. Grab every uncertainty as an opportunity to grow. Trust your ability to learn. Shut down the fear of being found out, by taking the steps to figure it out.


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About Sam Radford

Husband, father, lover of books, writer, tech geek, sports fan, and pragmatic idealist from Sheffield, England.