The wildly successful app Among Us asks players to find the impostor in the group. In this case, art imitates life. Studies show at least 70% of people will feel like an imposter at some point in their life. Those who feel like impostors are more likely to experience anxiety, stress, self-doubt, or depression, all of which can negatively impact their work or personal relationships.
So, in a time where we’ve never been more connected and informed, why do we feel like we’re the impostor among us? What should we do if we feel alone in a crowd?
I believe it all boils down to one thing – relationships. As humans, we have an innate desire to belong. What stops us from creating deeper relationships? While social media has connected us far more than ever before, we must go beyond a like, follow, or retweet. And we do that through better conversations and asking better questions.
I think that sometimes we feel that in order to have a deep conversation we have to start off with the hard question. But no one starts a conversation with “what’s your biggest fear” or “tell me about a time that you failed”… Could you imagine if someone opened up a convo like that?? I think we’d stare like a deer in headlights. So how do we go from awkward silence or just awkward convos into something deeper? How can you create what I call “iceberg moments?”
An iceberg is visible on the surface of the water – but if you’ve ever seen what an iceberg looks like below the surface you know there’s so much more there. Iceberg moments are those times where you can go beyond the surface of a conversation and get a little deeper, discovering the connections we may have. It’s in these moments when we’re sharing more about ourselves than we realize we’re not alone. We’re not impostors.
In order to shift our conversations to become more meaningful, we need to be more curious about each other. We need to ask better questions, and then ask follow up questions. One curious question can lead a conversation down something magical. Ask someone about their interests. Ask someone about their favorite holiday and why. Ask someone about something that excites them. There are so many ways we could learn about one another, and this leads to a deeper connection, which leads to a better relationship.
There’s also someone else you can ask better questions to – yourself. What interests you? What brings you happiness? How are you feeling today? What could you do better, or change? Sometimes the hardest place for us to look is in the mirror. In fact, if I asked you to list all of the things in this world that you loved, how long would it take for you to name yourself?
We can do better. We can create conversations that matter. And I’d like to help. Feel free to reach out to me to see how I can help your teams, organizations, coworkers or friends be brave enough to create the conversations that matter.