Imposter Syndrome and Dunning–Kruger

Imposter Syndrome and the Dunning–Kruger Effect seem to be two sides of the same coin. With imposter syndrome, brilliant people don’t believe they are and live in fear of being exposed as frauds. Dunning-Kruger on the other hand is a cognitive bias where people lack awareness of their skills and the less skilled they are at something, the more they believe that they’re good at it.

Working in marketing automation, I often find myself in two extremes: thinking I know everything and thinking I know nothing. This is particularly true when I see the brilliant people in our space talking about something I am not familiar with. There is so much to know. I’m sure I also have knowledge in an area they aren’t familiar with.

So what are we to do? I think the best option is getting our thoughts and ideas out into the world. Maybe they’re stupid. Maybe they’re brilliant. Maybe they’re in between. Sticking your neck out there is a wonderful litmus test to see where you are. In addition, be open to criticism. Someone willing to debate you or correct something you said is doing you a huge favor. Learn from it and remember that being wrong once doesn’t mean you’re always wrong.

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