Impostor syndrome

“If I am such a success, why do I feel like a fake?”

Impostor syndrome is a very real phenomenon among highly successful people. Sometimes dubbed as “insecure overachievers”, these individuals are unable to recognise truly own their genuine talent. Instead, they attribute their success to “flukes” or strokes of luck, and are only waiting to be “found out” as complete fakes. A friend, who is an opera singer, once told me “many singers spend their entire career not actually believing that they are, in fact, real opera singers”.

The costs of the impostor self-image is living with the anxiety of expecting to be “uncovered” and promptly ostracized, and carrying around a sense of inauthenticity. This may mean self-exclusion from opportunities (to avoid being excluded by others) sleepless nights and a lot of energy expended holding up a persona, and thereby robbing the world of the delight that you bring when you are fully yourself, fully owning your true abilities.