Post by David Mead
I have a theory that's based solely on my experience. I'm rarely the smartest, most experienced, most educated person in the room. I think a lot of us find ourselves in that position. It's tempting, when placed in a situation where we feel inadequate, to try to overcompensate - to prove like we belong at the adult table.
We have two choices. Choice #1 -Show up in an attempt to prove that we're good enough, smart enough, experienced enough, or educated enough to be there, even though we're not. Or choice #2 - Show up knowing that we don't yet belong at the adult table and use it as an opportunity to learn, ask questions and contribute in an authentic and meaningful way.
These two choices will bring very different responses. Should you choose #1, you'll likely find that others in the group will take some pleasure in knocking you down a few pegs, likely below your actual level of knowledge, experience or intelligence. If you choose #2, you'll likely find that the group will take pleasure in helping you gain the additional knowlege, skills and experience needed to feel like you belong there.
Two quotes from my friend Simon Sinek come to mind: 'Don't show up to prove. Show up to improve.' and 'Three quarters of an answer is better than an answer and a half.' When we show up to make ourselves look better than we are, and to compete with others, no one wants to help us. When we show up to improve ourselves and contribute whatever we can to the group, everyone will want to help us.