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There is no stranger feeling than the impression of being incompetent. It’s uncomfortable, confusing, sometimes frustrating, even humiliating. Many people go through this stage, for me, this has been the case for every new job, because I was entering an area that I had not yet mastered. Suddenly, my doubts and fears were tugging me. In one way it pushes me to always do better, in another, it has sometimes curbed me from daring to suggest, affirm, or be me…

But where does this feeling really come from and is it real?

Often, its root is buried in childhood. This root has emerged through unsatisfactory school grades, a brighter sibling or a parent demanding the best (which can be interpreted by the need to be perfect). It has left traces that will emerge in you whenever the feeling of incompetence surfaces. But if this past existed, it is not necessary to take it as an excuse for any present situation.

Then comes the moment to make a choice, the choice of believing in these old patterns or the choice of transcending all this to build one’s self-confidence. It then comes down to choosing between being a victim and not daring your being or being at the wheel of your life and choosing your path.

Our personality will have to accept that we are all both incompetent and competent.

The feeling of incompetence is much more often a limiting belief than a reality. Your inner judge is also regularly more severe towards you than the world around you. This feeling has been forged by repetition of emotions and perceptions which have generated deductions in you.

Education is an example of this formatting: “I have bad grades so I’m stupid”… Except that intelligence is not a tool that is graded, what is graded in school is your ability to mainly recite or reproduce; your ability to fit into templates. But there may be a possibility that your intelligence is out of the mold defined by society. While some will have an intelligence of the heart which will allow them to be emphatic, to take care of others, others will have a visual intelligence, enabling them to build in three dimensions; others will still be able to transmit (teach), conceptualize, count, create, sing…

Is your incompetence real?

Before validating this feeling of incompetence, I invite you to watch what you’re doing right, what you’re doing well. Because you have talents, gifts… You may not see them yet. Maybe they are hidden behind what you think you should do or be. So let’s step a bit out of what causes this feeling of incompetence and have fun watching you closely and sift through everything you know how to do.

What are you competent, talented or good at? Here are some non-exhaustive tracks to explore your talents… Do you have a talent, an ease, an affinity for:

  • The use of your hands, your feet, your body?
  • The use of your mind, your humor, your imagination, your intuition?
  • Playing with numbers, dialogue, drawing, writing, science, gardening?

Alternatively, you can take this as an invitation to discover more.


I wish you amazing discoveries

Christel Mesey


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Author: Christel Mesey
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