As a Leader, Do you Feel Like a Fraud? Be Honest.

Attempting to do what has never been done before  leaves many feeling like a fraud.

But not people like Seth Godin.  Right?


Seth Godin writes in “The Incarus Deception” that “I feel like a fraud as I type this, as I brush my teeth, and every time I go on stage.”  Incarus Deception Seth Godin

How could the author of 14 bestsellers feel like a fraud?

Godin explains that we all have that insecure artist inside of us that does not feel like we belong on that stage. We think, we got lucky, had a distinctive advantage or were not worthy of the art we seek to create.

I know that is the way it worked for me.  Growing up as the fourth of 5 boys, I never believed I could stand out.  While the older ones were out driving tractors, I was shoveling so much manure that I felt like a piece of it.

But as Godin details, each of us has an artist inside.  For many of us, it is difficult to fully comprehend that we can do what no one else has ever done.  So we settle for what is safe, playing to what we know will pay the bills and minimize conflict.  In the end, we rarely if ever attempt anything different much less do something that has never been done before.

Funny thing.  There are opportunities to do the ultimate everyday.  We miss them because we feel like a fraud, like it isn’t in our DNA and determine that high level of success is for someone else.  We tell ourselves, “Be realistic.  That will never happen.”

I know I didn’t see much in my future.


But I surprised myself and almost everyone else when I went back to college at 30 years old.  With 14 credits down, I went to work on my bachelor’s degree.  Talk about feeling like a fraud.

  • “What am I doing?  I don’t belong with these young kids.  I’m too old for this.”
  • “Graduate school?  You have worked warehouse and factory jobs for a dozen years.  What makes you think you can earn a doctorate?”
  • “Write a book?  Yeah right.  None of your family has ever done that.  What makes you think you can do it?”
  • “Start a business?  Do you know how much hard work it takes to succeed?”

You have heard similar messages.  The difference for me was that I was at a point where I said, “Why not?  Why not try something bold?  Nothing else has worked.”

I made a bold decision and changed the course of my life.

But this is no “I lived happily ever after” fantasy.

Like Seth Godin, I still feel like a fraud everyday.  The difference is that I no longer allow that feeling to control my thinking and my actions.  I use it to learn more, try new things and improve on what I have already done.   

The truth is that all of us feel like frauds at sometime or another.  The difference comes when, as Godin notes, we work through those doubts to create the art inside of us.  We have more power than we think.  When we leverage that power, we have the opportunity to create radical change.

  • What crazy idea do you have?
  • Are you holding back, doubting you could pull it off?
  • What would happen if you believed in yourself and in your idea?  Might you find that excuse was pretty lame?  Might you actually see that you can do far more than you ever thought possible?  


Think Big

Be Decisive

Create the Radical Change

I am Dr. Loren Murfield and I work with aspiring and emerging leaders to leverage their power  in order to create radical change.  Do you believe that is possible for you? Are  you ready to begin proving your critics wrong, contact me today.

Checkout my online leadership platform.  Power University

Disclaimer:  I receive no financial compensation from Seth Godin or any publisher for discussing “The Incarus Deception.”  .

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(c) Murfield International, Inc.  2016



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