By TAMI HOLZMAN | Contributing Writer
Don’t bother looking for a cure to this psychological disorder—imposter syndrome—you will lose your sanity trying.
I’ve realized I am proud of my convoluted brain, always telling me I am not good enough, talented enough, smart enough or pretty enough.
I know, if you have “It” too, it’s so annoying. I deal with it every day. It can feel debilitating (and expensive), requiring your therapist to be on speed dial.
Our inner dialogue is constantly telling us how average we are, and we are so lucky to be at the right place at the right time for whatever we are taking on. Maybe it’s the new job, or maybe you don’t even apply for a job because you “aren’t qualified,” or maybe you think you’re a lousy mother or father?
Seventy percent of successful people get “The Syndrome,” so the majority of the world has “It.” Don’t you feel better already, knowing most of us are a little screwed up? I do.
Apparently, it’s better to have “It,” talk about it and own it as opposed to not having “It!” Who would have thought second-guessing yourself would be cool?
Palisadian Steven Spielberg has “It.” How is this even possible after winning 34 Academy Awards, 66 Golden Globes and being the founder of Dreamworks studio? Can you imagine him saying, “Oy, not sure I know how to direct this next project, not sure I know what I am doing, just going to wing it.”
“The greatest obstacle for me has been the voice in my head that I call my obnoxious roommate,” Arianna Huffington has said. “I wish someone would invent a tape recorder that we could attach to our brains to record everything we tell ourselves.”
Maya Angelou, the civil rights activist, author, poet and Nobel Laureate who once leased a townhouse in the Highlands, also argued with her obnoxious roommate.
“I have written 11 books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out,’” she said.
Another Palisadian, Tom Hanks shared: “No matter what we’ve done, there comes the point where you think, ‘How did I get here? When are they going to discover that I am, in fact, a fraud and take everything away from me?’”
I bet you any amount of money that Forrest Gump didn’t think either of them was a fraud.
John Steinbeck won a Pulitzer Prize for “The Grapes of Wrath” and the 1962 Nobel Prize in literature.
“I am not a writer,” he said. “I’ve been fooling myself and other people.”
After the Italians made coffee cool, there was Howard Schultz. Schultz created the U.S. coffee movement and places where we can all take meetings while questioning our worth. And, there he is, in his office, doubting his abilities as a CEO.
“The exaggerated esteem in which my lifework is held makes me very ill at ease,” Albert Einstein said. “I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler.”
Einstein, IQ of 1,000-plus, and he compared himself to Robin Hood. Hmmm, I wonder if Robin Hood had imposter syndrome? I bet he did.
I can go on for days with examples. Now you know why I am OK with feeling like a fraud and feeling like I’m not that smart.
Join the club, it’s free and you can be successful too—however be successful enough to afford therapy.
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