You might have heard from the so-called imposter syndrome that many world-famous experts experience at some point. Even though they accomplished so much they still feel insufficient and struggle to live up to the expert that other people see. They feel like being a fraud.
In the recent past, I frequently noticed a form of this when I addressed a knowledge entrepreneur as the expert. Many—if not most—people cringe when being described with the term expert. At first, I discounted it as modesty but it often felt like they believed that the word expert was not a good fit for them.
The problem was, we were all focusing on the wrong side of the equation.
Not the expert but the person on the receiving end choose the expert. It is up to them to describe someone as their expert.
There will always be people with more knowledge or skills and always be people with less knowledge or skills but just the way you are, many people would already choose you as their expert in something.
If you think of it from the perspective I just described, the imposter syndrome is no surprise. High performers are surrounded by people with more expertise, especially because they perform at such a high level. Coaches, teachers, mentors, peers from the same domain. They feel insufficient because from their perspective they are not the expert in the room. They choose other people as their experts.
I strongly believe the radical focus on the other side, can provide relief.
It is not up to you to decide whether your audience gets enough value out of your expertise to call you an expert, it is up to them. You just show up, give your best and offer your expertise.
And over time you'll grow an audience for whom you are just the perfect fit.