I’ve seen it happen, someone that takes a bit of new knowledge and becomes the imposture that knows it all. Perhaps you have encountered someone like this. They take a seminar or read a book and all of a sudden they believe that they have all the answers and are a expert. They may even go so far as calling themselves a Coach, Accountant, Photographer, or Interior Decorator.
I have a couple of theories for why people would purport to be an expert when they are clearly not.
- Imitation is a true form of flattery. The imposture wants to be just like those that studied their craft, were schooled in their field and have taken the time and sometimes hard knocks to earn the title of expert.
- They are lost souls who have never found their way. The imposture is looking for something that they can grab onto and call their own. The subject matter may appeal to them and they have an interest, but they are not sure if this is a fleeting fancy.
As an educator and life long learner myself, I believe that finding new interests is wonderful. It is what keeps us active and engaged in life. But, I would never purport to be a photograph because I use my Blackberry to take a picture. I would never label myself as an Interior Designer because I made drapes for my kitchen window or…. you get the message.
It bothers me when I see people impersonating their careers. Not only does it discredit those that are bonafide professionals who are trying to make a living, but it hurts the customer or client that falls for the imposture’s sales pitch.
Beware of the imposture, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is!