In an interview on the Incredibly Interesting Authors podcast, creator of Dilbert, Scott Adams, dismisses the common advice to ‘just be yourself’ whenever you’re faced with a difficult situation in which you don’t feel confident. Instead, he advises to act like someone else. He argues that everyone acts all the time, according to how they think they are expected to perform.
- What do you think of this advice?
- Do you think you have an ‘essential self’?
- If so, when does this essential self come out? Are some people better at acting parts than others?
- How do you think you are at acting the role that is expected of you? Do you think that people who can act the part end up doing better overall than those who can’t/don’t?
- Does the expectation to act different parts according to circumstance vary from culture to culture?
We tell ourselves stories that can’t possibly be true, but believing those stories allows us to function. We know we’re not telling ourselves the whole truth, but it works so we embrace it.
– All Marketers Are Liars, Seth Godin, page 2