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Edition 0.033
“Want to do a push-up competition?”

Of course I did. Before we knew it, my son and I were shirtless and pumping out pristine push-ups. Or so I thought. The competition quickly devolved into a debate about what a legitimate push-up looks like. Which inevitably resulted in videoing ourselves so we could point out the flaws in our form. Confronted with video evidence, what I believed was picture-perfect push-up form dissolved before my eyes. It was embarrassing.

Contrast this with imposter syndrome, the ever-present question about worthiness. Why is it that I can imagine myself doing a perfect push-up but when it comes to my actual skills (design, writing, photography, drawing, etc.), I feel like a failure? 

Re-calibrating our ego happens from both directions. We need to discover the blind spots where are flaws hide from us. But we also need to see the strength hiding in plain sight, the capabilities we deny ourselves because we are our own worst critic. 

This week I will receive a proof of my next book in the mail. When I open the package and see it for the first time I will be hit with both sides of my ego. I will be impressed with myself but I will also have to overcome the urge to abandon my creation because it won’t seem good enough.

Even if we could see ourselves and our work with 20/20 vision, would we really want that ability? Perhaps it is better to be eternally caught between an over-estimation of our potential and the endless drive to out-pace our imperfections. That’s where the work gets done.

I’ll write again next Sunday. Stay creative.

Your friend, 
Copyright © 2020 Adrian Hanft, All rights reserved.

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