6 Tips for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as Product People
Recognizing The Phenomenon and Overcoming It
In the book The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins gets pulled from his comfortable life in the Shire to go on an adventure with a company of dwarves and Gandalf. Led by Thorin Oakenshield, they set off to recapture the Lonely Mountain, the ancestral kingdom of the dwarves that was taken by Smaug, the dragon.
Bilbo is initially completely against the entire enterprise. He doesn’t need “adventures” or “quests” or anything outside of his comfortable life. And he definitely doesn’t need a large group of dwarves eating all his food.
He eventually comes around and goes with the group as their “burglar”, though he knows he’s not a burglar or made for adventure. He’s plagued with doubts the entire time. And the dwarves constantly doubt his ability as well. The only one who remains confident in Bilbo and the quest is Gandalf.
But as the company encounters many obstacles, Bilbo continually steps up. He helps free the dwarves from the trolls, he finds the way into the Lonely Mountain, and he even helps Thorin understand that there are more important things than treasure, though at tremendous risk to himself.
And I am sorry for doubting you.
No, it’s fine. I would have doubted me too. I’m not a hero, or a warrior… Not even a burglar.”
Bilbo started (and even ended) with plenty of doubt about himself. But he continually overcame his doubt, stepped up to challenges, and became an unlikely hero despite feeling like an imposter the entire time.
‘Go back?’ he thought. ‘No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!’
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Product Thinking to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.