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The Expert Myth

Ever have those moments when you doubt yourself? You wonder why anyone would pay attention to what you do?  You’re not alone. We all get to that point at one time.  

For the majority of us, it happens when we look up at who we’d call the experts. The people who are ahead of us. The ones that have the huge social media following, the popular podcast, or the best selling book. – They’re the expert. You, you’re like Tom Hanks in the movie Big, trying to play the role of an adult in grown-up clothes that are too big, and you think the whole world sees you that way. 

If that’s how feel right now, this article will help. Here are 3 things you need to remember when the doubt monster grabs a hold of you…

1 – Being Seen As An Expert Is Subjective.

What we might call an expert, could be seen as an amateur in other circles. We might look at the guy/gal that can drive a car as an expert in our eyes, especially when we’ve got learner stickers on our car, yet someone in the Formula 1 /Nascar world would scoff at their driving ability. 

It’s going to be the same for how people see you. If you look forward from where you are, you’ll always find people that know more, have been in the business longer than you have, and are more polished than you are. But look backwards, and you’ll find people that are only new to the game, haven’t achieved the small things you take for granted and would give an arm and a leg to be where you are.

2 – What Really Is An Expert Anyway?

If you can find the person or place that bestows the title of ‘an expert’ on you let me know where it is.-  I’ll save you the time and hassle of looking, there isn’t one. 

Even colleges or universities that send graduates off into the real world with their little pieces of paper can’t claim that they’re experts. Sure they might have letters after their name and a title but put them in a real-world situation and you’ll find most of them lacking.  

Why? Because books have outdated information, lecturers haven’t had to test their theories in the real world, and you only really know how good a doctor you are until you’re in an Accident And Emergency on a busy Saturday night. 

Even some of the news channels ‘experts’ are usually someone that was free at the time, and that are trying to make a name for themselves. – Oh, and don’t forget to sit in front of a shelf filled with thick books. Just to give off that ‘expert’ vibe. 

3 – Not Everyone Can Relate To An Expert

Ever been in a room with someone that’s a bit of a celebrity and been tongue-tied? You watch them from a distance, afraid of asking them a question or praising them for fear of coming across as a complete idiot. – If you haven’t, I’m sure you could well picture the scene of you stammering and babbling when you’ve got their attention. – It’s happened to many a stage-struck fan.

The same can happen when someone seems too far ahead of you. What would you say to them? What if they ignored you? Would they even want to talk to someone as lowly as you? That expert statue sometimes makes people seem too unapproachable. 

While you mightn’t feel like an expert in your eyes, the level you’re at right now could be just right for a newbie. You’ve achieved a realistic goal in their eyes. Haven’t gotten too big for your boots. And you’re the type of person that responds to all their DMs, Tweets, and emails that folks send you. This means that they’d rather hang out with you, than someone who seems light-years from where they are. 

Finally, just like rungs on a ladder, you’ll find experts at every level. Some with only a few weeks of experience under them, to someone that’s dedicated the majority of their life to the topic. Where you are right now, mightn’t seem like you’re an expert. But the person three rungs down doesn’t see you the way you do. In their eyes they want to be where you are, making you an expert in their eyes. 

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