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Sometimes You Just Have To Let The Makeup Do The Talking

June 27, 2017

I never thought Michael Keaton would make a good Batman. I’d seen him in Mr Mom and Gung Ho and thought of him as a quicky comic actor, lacking the gravitas to play the Dark Night. I was wrong.

Mark was an employee on my new team working for a large non profit corporation in Utah. Matt wanted to move up. He was good at his job, but was frustrated at not getting a promotion. He said something telling that I hear at many organizaations,

It seems like you have to leave to get promoted.

No one thought of him as anything other than what he’d been hired as, an entry-level engineer. Mark and I worked together to change not just his, but other people’s opinion of him. Mark didn’t turn into a different employee, but he learned to let others see him in a different way. A year later, Mark went from being an engineer to a Senior Engineer. Today, he’s the vice president of technology for a large bank.

My friend Howard talks about Imposter Syndrome. The fear that I’m not really as good as people think I am. I’m not as good at my job as I imagine I am. In fact, I’m a fake, an imposter. Howard is an award winning cartoonist. He’s more open about his insecurities than many of us are.

Because, even though we may have Imposter Syndrome, even though we might fear we just aren’t good enough, we don’t speak our fear. Like the kid hiding under his blanket to avoid the monsters, we think if we just keep quiet, no one else will know. . .except they already know. It’s an odd sensation. Every successful person I’ve ever met has it.

To combat Imposter Syndrome, we build our self esteem. We look for validation. We work even harder to make up for a perceived weakness. We “fake it till we make it.”

Michael Keaton did a fantastic job as Batman. He starred opposite Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Keaton had his share of Imposter Syndrome as well. He said he was unsure how to act in the Bat-suit. He asked Nicholson how he managed to capture the essense of his character.

Sometimes you just have to sit back and let the makeup do the acting.

The key is to not be afraid of your potential.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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