Answer these:

Are you more or less honest than the average person?

Do you have a better or worse sense of humour?

Are you kinder than the average person?

Are you a better or worse driver than the average person?

Do you care about your family and friends more or less than the average person?

Do you have more or less emotional intelligence than most?

Looks like you’re well above average!


And so will be the vast majority of the ten thousand people who read this newsletter.


Which makes you think.


Either the readers of this missive are genuinely extraordinary and above average. Unlikely.

Many suffer from ‘illusory superiority’, the cognitive bias where individuals overestimate their qualities and abilities relative to others. More likely.

Which is fine. Especially if used positively.

A bit of self-belief can go a long way. But it’s often needed in areas where we score ourselves below average. ‘Illusory inferiority’.


Who wouldn’t want more confidence? Better appearance, time management, ability to present, self-esteem!

The list goes on.

It’s a classic Flip It. Use your ‘illusory superiority’ thinking (maybe you are a stellar driver) and apply it to your ‘illusory inferiority’.


Illusory is the key. If you think it, you can be it.


And you’re definitely above average at that.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this message and examples of where you have challenged your illusory inferiority.

I’ll send a copy of my Sunday Times No.1 best-selling book ‘Flip It, How to get the best out of everything,’ to our favourite.



  1. February 22nd 2024 by Koulla

    great message, thing is though I am genuinely great at those things, nothing illusory.. But yes I wish I could apply the same attributes to things I am not great at, like controlling my nerves when trying to present at work, or apply to personal goals such as letting fear go and just say yes more.. I recently went snorkelling whilst on holiday, as this fellow member of our group wouldn’t let me not do it, as I am so good at talking myself out of things that I feel scared to do (mainly I am not confident in water and worried fish would get too close), my god I thanked this person so much because I never realised what wonder and beauty I had missed out oin in all these years! All those opportunities but I felt smug ‘getting away with it’ by staying on the boat! I cheated myself all these years! So I am trying to harness that feeling to apply it to other things I feel my fear or lack of confidence holds me back 🙂 thanks as always for the reminder! (Holiday was in Jan 2024)

  2. February 22nd 2024 by Sarah Bloxham

    I went from nearly losing my home in 2018, borrowing money off 2 friends – Im a single parent (kids now just flowng the nest) with a mortgage – to 1 day believing – hold on a minute – I am awesome. I can do this. For my clients (Im a Mortgage Adviser) they want someone confident – and when things go downhilld you start to not believe in yourself – so then flip it. I can do this. I am great at what I do – and thats what clients need. The confidence of a person to get them from nothing to walking into the front door of their 1st home with my help on the finance side. Of course, this also comes through on yr personal side. Thinking what a failure I was – nearly selling my car to pay the mortgage – and then to the postive within 1 year. Taking on an employee – paying back the people I borrowed from, paying down a huge chunk of my mortgage – and winning awards along with going on holidays and buying myself a new car. Within 1 year – a lot is in your head then you need to turn over.
    Thx for letting me share.
    Love your work Michael!

  3. February 23rd 2024 by Anna Anderson

    For the first time in my life, I joined a group. Yours, Michael Heppell. I engaged ( what will they think of me?), I listened ( that’s what I am, ‘the listener’), and eventually, I spoke out loud after trembling as I knew you were coming to me next! I cannot remember a word I said but I did it. Then … with your help, I not only wrote, edited and formatted the first book in my memoir trilogy, but took the bull by the horns, gave it a title (Survival Without Roots) and published it. What a feeling! For that I am proud and none of this would have been possible without you and the community of ‘Write That Book’. If I can do it, anyone can 😁😁😁 Now editing Book Two.

  4. February 23rd 2024 by Susan Albrighton

    I’ve been a female referee in football for many years and a few years ago I was given my first international game, I thought this must be mistake, the voices told me I didn’t deserve or belong, but I faced my own fear and uncertainty and took the challenge. Everything went fantastically, I was so proud to have been given that experiance and I grew from the challenge. Ultimately someone else saw the potential in me that I didn’t. Each step up the ladder comes with its own challenges, but we are told to fake it until we make it. Deep down most of us are still faking it, we never quite make it to 100%, but each rung of that letter is a per cent in the right direction. That Illusory inferiority has to be overcome to convince others you are in control. They don’t need to know you are not, eventually you believe that you are.

  5. February 25th 2024 by Tricia Frances

    Some years ago whilst working as a theatrical costumier I was offered the opportunity to perform in a major pantomime production. It was a lot of fun and a good way to start in ‘show biz’. I had an idea for a solo career and on my first gig I was waiting to go onstage and suddenly felt that I was an imposter – I was not trained to be on stage, I was a costumier – working behind the scenes. But I walked out onstage, and I saw a line not only between the carpet and the performance area but in my mind it was the line that I had to cross to become an entertainer. That night 40 years ago I crossed that line. From that day on every time I am challenged with a new direction I remember that night and I always cross that line. The audience do not know when you make a mistake – unless you let your illusionary inferiority show!

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