Skip to content


In the past week I have discussed the term imposter syndrome on three separate occasions; I haven’t actually been the focus of the discussion although I am sure I am equally susceptible to the phenomenon.

Well, it is self-evident what it’s about; imposter – suggesting that someone or something is pretending to be who or what they aren’t and, syndrome, that this is in some way a pathology, i.e. the self-belief in an individual’s lack of credibility is wrong/diseased/erroneous.

You could call it self-doubt.

Everyone, or at least anyone bearable has some level of self-doubt.

Whether they have won a Nobel Prize, finished washing the dishes or changed a nappy, it is inherent in the human condition that we will imagine ourselves to have achieved a goal or arrived at a result through less than consistently transparent or reproducible means.

This leads me to think about relativity.

I have stopped saying it (mostly), although I very often used to say something like, ‘I can’t do maths,’ or ‘I don’t understand numbers,’ with the intended message being that I am not a natural mathematician although when it comes down to it I can count and I can add-up bills and accounts and so on.

It is a relative thing.

I do do empathic, person-centred; that is my forte, I don’t have to try, I don’t find that working in this way is tiring, indeed, it is in many ways self-sustaining – I get such a buzz out of connecting with others this way I could probably keep chugging along indefinitely – like a perpetual motion machine, whereas with numbers (chess is another example), or perhaps when I inhabit an extravert role, my batteries drain and unless there is some place for me to escape (bed/isolation/book) I will crash.

So, I think the imposter things has elements of this although there is more.

I personally hate talking about any successes I have achieved; others don’t seem to have a problem. I suspect this relates in some way to ego – whether big or small.

I was talking with a colleague this week about awards – ‘The year’s finest’ or whatever – awarded to schools, wines, sweets, budget supermarkets and anything else you might care to consider.

How much of this has to do with entering the selection process; having the capacity to enter the race automatically raises your chances of winning; if you are too busy creating the best chocolate cake ever, will you have the time or even energy left over to fill-out application forms that ask for 1000 word descriptors of where you shine and where you don’t.

There you have it… I am the world’s best X, I won the award for most accomplished Y.

I could ride the wave of success, for that year and maintain the momentum as far and as long as possible or I could think more broadly, consider that perhaps this is just a step in the right direction.

Who knows?

Would it help or address self-doubt and collapse into the imposter scenario?

Anyone’s guess.

Is the syndrome harmful? Well, probably if it keeps you awake at night worrying, or sends you into a downward spiral of second-guessing and doubt.

Are awards harmful? Probably not unless you start to believe your own press and the publicity and actually see that you are somehow elevated; evolution doesn’t tend to stand still and what was once the best, the greatest, the most… whatever, is soon superseded, overtaken by youth, innovation or necessity.

I think therefore I am.

I pretend therefore I am, sort of, or, at least I might become.

Once I was.

One day I will be.

Most things are finite and eventually end; others go on forever.


PS featured image is not intentionally representative of my brother.

2 replies »

  1. A little self-doubt is needed to leaven the human psyche [ even the best actors have butterflies before going on stage].
    I no longer say I am no good at maths – I am adequate but din’t do equations!
    Awards are often political – tho nice to receive it is your patients and closest colleagues who bring the rewards of honesty and are invaluable.
    you are passionate about your person-centred beliefs – let them shine through.
    the words will come – as DKG says ‘ words of matchless force , clarity and beauty [ because they come from the heart …… let them flow!

    Which featured image is not intentionally representative of your brother……… or is it both……….. :-}}

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow almondemotion on

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,571 other followers

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,571 other followers

%d bloggers like this: