#085: I Feel Like an Impostor [Podcast]

Do you feel out of your depth; like a fraud, asking ‘who the hell do I think I am trying to be a part of this’?

This week’s show is all about Impostor Syndrome after a recent episode of Podcast Answerman in which Cliff Ravenscraft told anyone who was putting off podcasting because they were suffering from Impostor Syndrome to just crack on and title their first episode, I Feel Like an Impostor. Well this is episode 85 of Sheep Dressed Like Wolves and I still feel like an impostor so I thought I would follow Cliff’s advice and just do it with this one instead.

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt” – Bertrand Russell 

The good news is…if you feel like an impostor then you’re not one.

Impostor Syndrome

What is Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor/Imposter Syndrome is the feeling that you’re a fraud, and that any day now you’ll be exposed. You might think that everyone else knows what they’re doing, that you are punching above your weight somewhere you don’t belong.

I realised listening to Cliff’s show that I suffer from Impostor Syndrome in a great many areas of life, from being a musician, to being a friend, and even running this website/presenting the podcast.

I am not pretending to have this one sorted because, well I haven’t…but in this episode I invite you to think about 4 possible ways we can begin to re-frame our position in places we feel on the fringes/out of our depth:

1. Declare Ourselves to be What we Are

2. Forget the notion of Us vs Them

3. Keep a Record of Our Successes

4. Talk About Your Struggles and Vulnerabilities

Over to You

Question: Do you identify with the notion of Impostor Syndrome? Please leave you response in the comments below, I’d be interested to hear whether this resonates.

  1. I feel like an impostor in every single field: friendship, work, academia. Listing my achievements doesn’t work, they just prove I have managed to fool an imperfect system. The only thing I’ve come up with to help me “carry the load” is enjoy the process and forget about the world and my position in it. For example: I’ve danced ballet since forever, I feel like an impostor every time I mention this, but I try to forget about this feeling (concerning my own self) and just enjoy the next class (what does such a beautiful, important thing as “ballet” care for me anyway?). Excuse my English (not my mother tongue).

    1. Hi Carmen, thanks for your comment. It’s really interesting that you feel this way in many different areas of life too. I like the attitude of just enjoying the process and forgetting the world. I sometimes have to remind myself that everybody is an individual and all the individuals that make up a situation in which I feel like an impostor are not some team/tribe that I’m on the outside of. And interesting that you ‘personify’ ballet as a thing that might care or not. I don’t know about you but I can construct this kind of idea around stuff like music, writing, the gym, school etc that these things have an opinion on me, that it is THEM that see me as an impostor. And of course this is complete rubbish. It’s all about how we see ourselves through the eyes of other people – and there are things we can do to help our minds shift away from this way of thinking.

      I hope that makes sense!

  2. Great pod cast Andy – I relate, having days of struggle, trying to catch up! and be as good as others – this has been with me for years, and I think it is something unshakable and follows most introverts. Now I make a point of listing my accomplishments, and remind myself not to compare myself to others – Now I compete only with myself and try to follow my own path. You are correct – it takes practice. Just like our writing (or music & art) we have to practice the craft of valuing ourselves.

    1. Thanks Elisabeth! I think you’re right, I’m sure it is the reality and experience of most introverts. I like the idea of competing with yourself, it’s surely the greatest way to grow and develop without resentment and bitterness. Thanks so much for this!

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