The greater the artist, the greater the doubt

March 11, 2013 — Leave a comment

Last week I heard the greatest thing while watching a seminar of a person who has probably influenced me the most in the past year.

Realize that this person is regarded as one of the best – worldwide – in his field of expertise.

The setting he said it in was a mentorship program where a dozen of people from all over the globe came to listen to him – pick his brain, ask him questions.

They came there to know everything he knows. The students and the almighty, all-knowing ruler kinda thing.

When asked by one of the interns “at what point in his career he felt like he made it”, this is what he said:

I still have the same recurring dream: that people realize I’m a total fraud, that I’ll get caught. I have it a lot. Where I wake up and I’m like ‘Oh my God, I have no idea what I’m doing. I have been bullshitting these people for all this time and they finally know.’ Like the Wizard of Oz. They pull the curtain back and I’m back there in my underwear and I don’t know what I’m doing.

He then went on to tell the interns about a psychologist who once said the following:

The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Complete confidence is granted to the less skilled as a consolation prize.

Hearing him – of all people – say this, changed everything for me.


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