Trailhead: Oliver Burkeman. "Everyone is totally just winging it, all the time". The Guardian (2014-05-21).
I do not aim to be the smartest person in any room, ever—not even in the top 50%. (And there's no doubt that I've succeeded in my aim.)
Part of it is overwrought humility—it would be horribly gauche to rank yourself too high. Part of it is that it's interesting to spend time with smarter and smarter people. And part is that there would be a terrible feeling of exposure of I ever got there.
I can think of a few times at work where I've created something (a test procedure comes to mind) where the team said, great, let's use that. What? You want to use this stupid thing? And: oh wow, if my work is good enough to be used, then it's better than other work, then we're in trouble.
Everyone is winging it, to one degree or another. That's what you learn as you grow up. The best people are doing the best they can with the available time and resources and knowledge that they have. No one has all of all of it. You hit one of those constraints and then you have to run like hell to get to a solution. Work in a time critical environment and you have to run like hell with consequences. Work in a public environment and you have to run like hell with gawkers.
It's a wonder anything gets done, gets built, gets started. But it happens everyday, somehow. You just have to put your heels on the edge of the wall, lean back into space, and know that someone is going to catch you, even if it's yourself.