This realisation is alarming at first, but it's ultimately deeply reassuring. As the UK organisation Action for Happiness likes to point out, one of the biggest causes of misery is the way we chronically "compare our insides with other people's outsides". We're all mini-New York Timeses or White Houses, energetically projecting an image of calm proficiency, while inside we're improvising in a mad panic. Yet we forget (especially in an era of carefully curated Facebook profiles and suchlike) that everyone else is doing the same thing. The only difference is that they think it's you who's truly competent.