A couple of weeks back my son called to talk to me about “Imposter Syndrome.”

He’d just started a new job and had the full-on feelings of ‘not good enough’ and his new boss realising he’d picked the wrong candidate at interview.

Of course I reassured him, as mum’s do, and reminded him that it was only Day 4 in a completely new industry, so it was natural to feel out of his depth until he learned more about what was expected of him on a daily basis. He had the smarts, the experience and the flexibility to rise to this new challenge – they wouldn’t have given him the job if they didn’t think he was capable.

In case he felt like reading it, I sent him the link to my last blog on this very topic.

Less than a week later I read a Facebook post stating “Imposter Syndrome doesn’t exist” and that Pauline Clance PhD, originator of the “Imposter Phenomenon” idea, doesn’t agree with how the phrase is used now.

I agree, in that this is not a medical condition to be treated with surgery or drugs. It’s a series of stories we tell ourselves, of feelings and beliefs that we’re not up to snuff, that we’ll be “found out” or that others are so much better than us.

I must admit, I’d always thought this was a female thing, probably because the men I’ve worked with have been a mix of confidently assured, right through to arrogant know-it-all, whereas the women were very often/usually modest in the extreme. So when my son described these feelings I was pleasantly surprised – partly because he’s a guy and mainly because he’s sufficiently in tune with his feelings and willing to discuss then with me.

Maybe I’m a better parent than I thought?


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