The Dual Nature of Mastery
Why masters are also impostors.
“Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done, and why. Then do it.” ― Robert A. Heinlein
Everyone looks to the master.
The master looks to the unknown.
The master is an impostor.
Let’s begin with a question.
Can you attain and retain mastery without seeking the edge of what is known and feeling like an impostor?
I would argue the answer is a resounding NO. If you do not seek the edge, then you will not remain a master for long. For others will seek the edge in your absence. Advance with them or fall behind.
Mastery is relative. It is under constant assault from time and ever extending boundaries of knowledge. There is little time to dwell on achievement when the infinite expanse of the unknown beckons those who have the courage to plumb its depths.
Mastery requires a life lived on the edge. To others, you are a paragon of wisdom in your field. But deep inside, you are confronted with the unknown and its hydra of questions.
You look like a master but feel like an impostor. One feeds the ego. One checks against it. For this is the true state of one those who prepare the way.
Master and Impostor are one in the same. A duality.
So if you wonder at why others perceive you as the height of mastery while you scoff at your own expertise, then witness the sharp edge. On one side lies all that is known. On the other lies all that is yet to be known. The master faces both.
🤔 Food for Thought:
In what areas of your life have you developed expertise?
Have you ever felt like an impostor in these areas?
Do you feel the weight of the unknown and its hydra of questions?
⚙️ One Small Step:
The next time you suffer from impostor syndrome in an area of expertise, remember that mastery is relative. Even masters in their fields are mere infants against the vast unknown of this universe. Feeling inadequate sometimes is inevitable.