They say if you name it you can tame it, and here it is: imposter syndrome. It’s the fear of being a fraud; about being discovered to be not as good as you are supposed to be – a fake. I was discovered about 3 or 4 times this semester – already – to be less knowledgable than I probably should be.
A student was showing me how they worked out a simple problem in the program, and I freely admitted I had never in done it that way myself. They seemed stunned, and I have a story in my head that they lost some respect for me.
I learned IN FRONT OF THE CLASS that if the sequence frame rate is different than the frame rate of the footage it throws the timecode off. This is very hard. Humbling. Humiliating? A little of both. I am supposed to know these things. I DO know lots of things.
I have strengths and valuable experience in my field, a great feel for shaping flow, story, beauty, timing, composition, an artistic sense, as well as compassion for students and communication skills. And I have technical prowess. I just don’t know everything. It’s hard not being perfect, man.
My worry is that they’ve lost trust in me. Students have to trust that this person teaching them KNOWS WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT, right?
Brene Brown talks about vulnerability for a living, and has said that for men, the greatest fear is showing weakness. She nailed it. For this guy here, yes, yup, hate that.
Can my demonstrations of fallibility be a strength? It all depends on context. If I am destroyed by demons of judgement, it’s a problem. If I show that despite having many skills, LIKE A STUDENT, I still have much to learn, that might work. And what really really (ad infinitum) works, is LAUGHING at my flubs. That requires humility and, AT THE SAME TIME, the confidence to know that I belong in my role as a teacher.