Talent Dysmorphia

The great majority of pastors I know do NOT suffer from Talent Dysmorphia but I wanted to consider this after hearing the term on Ted Lasso this week. (No spoilers. It’s just a term I appreciated much like “Compliment Sandwich.”)

Ted Lasso is chock full of leadership lessons.

Back to Talent Dysmorphia though . . .

There are indeed some pastors who believe they are amazing preachers, teachers, and pastoral caregivers when their parishioners would disagree. These are the pastors who tend to forego Continuing Education classes, mentoring, and counseling. They don’t think they need to brush up on their sermon writing or delivery. They love their people even if their faces appear annoyed.

I also know pastors who struggle more with Imposter Syndrome. (“If people really knew me, they’d never let me be their pastor.“) For what it’s worth, here’s a good article about women and imposter syndrome. Some of us might have it because we’ve been told we aren’t enough/supposed to be in the room because of our gender or age or experience. We often believe what other people say about us, even if it’s not true.

I wonder if people who accuse their colleagues of being imposters actually – themselves – have Talent Dysmorphia. Maybe they believe they are smartest/most gifted people in the room to the detriment of their organization’s health. Nobody else can be successful if leaders believe they are the only successful ones. They have an unrealistic opinion of their own talent.

In happier news, the most effective pastors I know are lifelong learners (especially about their own psyches.) They don’t take themselves too seriously, but they take their calling very seriously. They laugh easily and have an obvious spark. They are self-aware. They know that they belong to God.

Image is Jack (actor Jodi Balfour) from Season 3 of Ted Lasso: The worst people often think they’re the best. My dad calls it “talent dysmorphia.”

One response to “Talent Dysmorphia

  1. I know a few of those “smartest person in the room” people…and they aren’t.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.