Being gifted doesn't necessarily work in your favor. While there's nothing wrong with being born with great intelligence or aptitude for creativity, if you're not conscientious, it can lead to an "Impostor" taking over your behaviors.
In my work as a celebrity life coach, I help people deal with various "Impostors" -- in other words, their fears, old beliefs, and habits that shape their personality and actions. In fact, I've identified eight main "Impostors" that can manifest in anyone. I've found that people who are gifted, smart, talented, and/or creative sometimes hide behind an "Impostor" I've named the "Philosopher" -- an "Impostor" who can't experience life beyond its own interests.
The "Philosopher" in Action
Here's what a typical "Philosopher Impostor" looks like:
- The "Philosopher" usually grew up in a household where they used their smarts or creativity to get away with things.
- As an adult, they are arrogant and think that it's acceptable to treat others rudely.
- They immerse themselves in such topics as arts, politics, literature, and religion.
- They enjoy staying on top of current events and are opinioned to the point of being intellectually arrogant.
- They enjoy spending long periods of time alone so they can work on their art or intellectual property, and then they come back to the world to share their creation, expecting praise and adoration.
In short, the "Philosopher" is arrogant and has never learned to properly connect with others due to its preoccupation with its pursuits. Consequently, its existence is a lonely one, driven by its ambitions which hinder it from experiencing the joy of companionship.
Does this sound like someone you know? Does it sound like you? Unfortunately, the "Philosopher Impostor" is common. Many well-known figures have adopted this mask, including acclaimed novelists J.D. Salinger and Ayn Rand. Both isolated themselves during their childhood, preferring to be alone with their thoughts. As adults, these two celebrated writers, despite their contributions, led lives of isolation. That's because when the "Philosopher" is present and dominant, it often results in repelling others, even if the individual has insightful or profound ideas.
How to Deal with the "Philosopher Impostor"
Since the "Philosopher Impostor" is common, chances are you'll find yourself in the presence of one at some point. Rather than let their arrogance get to you, try the following techniques:
- If you're seated together at a party and in the mood to hear what he or she has to say, consider yourself lucky! Allow yourself to learn and be entertained. If you tire of the conversation, politely excuse yourself.
- Another situation is like that of Owen Wilson's character in Midnight in Paris. His fiancée's friend lectures at length (and with questionable authority) about everything that they pass. If you're stuck with someone who doesn't know what they're talking about, change the topic politely and firmly. Don't try and convince them over to your side. You won't get anywhere, especially if their ego is involved! If you're bored now listening to them, imagine how bored you'll be after a 30 minute argument! Don't bother picking that fight.
Go From Annoying to Interesting
Unfortunately, the "Philosopher's" path is often devoid of fulfillment and true meaning. So the message is clear: Like any other innate advantage, intelligence and creativity should not be treated as a license to judge and exclude. Only by fully embracing your true identity -- your authentic soul -- can you embark a journey that directs you toward happiness, peace, and fulfillment.
For more by Lisa Haisha, click here.
For more on emotional intelligence, click here.About the "Impostors": The "Impostors" are the cast of characters that star in Lisa Haisha's Soul Blazing. They could be a metaphor for the "masks" that you wear, especially when confronted with something that you fear. Sometimes they're the voice in your head telling you that you're not good enough, or re-iterating negative conversations or experiences from your past that keep you stuck, like quicksand that keeps you from picking yourself up. These pesky devils are the saboteurs and squatters that live in the temple of your Authentic Soul, and keep you from shining bright! There are eight Impostors in this cast, and they are:
- The Wounded Inner Child
- The Over Thinker
- The Counselor
- The Sex God(dess)
- The Narcissist
- The Philosopher
- The Clown
- The Fixer
Find out which "Impostor" is residing within you by taking this free quiz.