Imposter syndrome

Do you ever suffer from imposter syndrome? It’s that feeling that you sometimes get, maybe at work or in a social situation, were you are waiting for someone to realise.

Realise what exactly you’re not sure – that you don’t know what you’re talking about, that you are only pretending to know about current affairs, that you’re actually a nine year old girl trapped in an adult body… That’s generally the gist. (Possibly not that last one if you’re a man, but maybe.)


I’ve decided I really need to get over it.

I need to not submit every piece of work I do with that niggling feeling that today could be the day that I am discovered. I need to not fret that every piece of training I deliver will simply cause my trainees to snigger, because actually I do know what I talking about.

(Mostly. Not with current affairs though. That’s all an elaborate bluff based purely on the things I see on Twitter.)

Generally though. Generally I know my stuff, so what is it that keeps me from letting go of that imposter syndrome and totally believing in my own abilities? I don’t like generalisations, but I do suspect that being a woman could play a part. I read somewhere for example that women normally will look at a job advert and only apply if they meet all of the criteria. Men on the other hand will have a quick scan but feel happy if they can tick off half of the essentials – a lot of men just seem to have this fantastic innate confidence in themselves that many women lack.

Do you ever feel like an imposter at work or among other people generally? What do you do to fend off imposter syndrome?



  1. 6 November, 2013 / 6:14 pm

    I only learnt what imposter syndrome was recently, and then I realised that I exhibit all the symptoms in certain situations. It’s such a peculiar feeling, isn’t it? Especially when you start to think about it while it’s happening…

  2. 6 November, 2013 / 8:36 pm

    Yes, every job I’ve ever done has felt like child’s role play for me. Like I can’t really be someone who people would expect to do something constructive. Well done for moving forward from this, about time too.

  3. 7 November, 2013 / 12:59 am

    The way I look at it is this…. Do something you fear… do something you might fail at… and if you fail then at least you did more than most.. who sit on the couch! No one is better than anyone else… you get one life, live it like crazy without caring what someone might find out… You’re not an imposter… You’re exactly who you should be, and and you’re enough!!

  4. 7 November, 2013 / 1:02 pm

    Do you think everybody has it. that secretly everyone thinks ‘I can’t do this, I don’t know what I’m doing’ and feels like it’s only a matter of time before they get found out? I get it with every new writing contract I get. I look at it and think I don’t know anything about this, why did they ask me to do this? Someone else could have done it much better. But then I go and do it and when it’s finished I’m all like ‘yeah, that was quite easy really.’ and then I get exactly the same thing with the next one. Weird

  5. Dibs
    7 November, 2013 / 2:41 pm

    Oh honey, we all feel like this, even over the smallest of things. Another version of this is the ‘fraud police’, where you expect them to knock on your door at any moment to let you know you’ve found guilty of faking it all these year…………. If you get time have a watch of this video, fabulously funny & reassuring.

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