publication of Talent
the Impostor Syndrome
The Impostor Syndrome goes beyond
lack of confidence. Everyone experiences bouts of
self-doubt from time to time and especially when
attempting something new.
But for impostors self-doubt is chronic. You can
feel self-doubt without experiencing shame at
performing poorly as impostor do.
It’s also possible to doubt your abilities without
believing that you ultimately succeeded because of
some sleight of hand or that you are fooling
A person could have normal jitters before, say
getting up to give their first speech, do well,
and then draw from this experience to feel more
confident about the next time.
The impostor doesn’t think this way.
Because no matter how well you did or how loud the
applause, you always think you could have done
better or that you just had a “good audience” with
no real bump in confidence.
Twenty years of well documented
research by leading expert in motivation and
personality psychology Carol Dweck and author of
my new favorite book Mindset, confirms what I’ve
been saying for years.
Namely that for better or for worse, your
perceptions of what it takes to be competent, has
a powerful impact on how you measure yourself and
therefore how you approach achievement itself.
Valerie Young - from her site :
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Kidman on shyness & feeling like an
actually started making "Bewitched," Will
Ferrell [as Darren] says he tried to be "as
silly as possible around Nicole whenever I could
think about it. It helped me feel not nervous."
make me giggle," says Kidman, with a laugh. "I'm
very shy. With someone like Will, with a comedy
like this, when dealing with people so adept
with it, I felt like a fish out of water.
to look at me to fire me. Which is what I always
think anyway. He would coax me out of my shell."
from A witch with a new twitch By Rachel
Abramowitz, Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2005
~ ~ ~ ~
Phenomenon is an internal experience of
intellectual phoniness that seems to be prevalent
among high-achieving persons, with particularly
deleterious effects on women…
It is an emotionally debilitating condition
characterized by persistent and unwarranted
anxiety about achievement, dread of evaluation,
fear of failure and exposure, inability to
internalize success, and lack of enjoyment of
accomplishment and achievement.
The Imposter Phenomenon - as defined by the
“Women’s Studies Encyclopedia, Revised and
Expanded Edition” ed. Helen Tierney, 1999
> from article The Imposter Phenomenon - By
~ ~ ~
Accused," I thought I had done a really bad job. It
was so over the top. I thought it was going to be the
end of me, so I started getting ready to go back to
success of the movie made me rethink my decision. I
threw myself headlong back into acting, thinking
that I had not given it everything.
by Helena Lumme, Mika Manninen
with notable achievements also had high levels of
self-doubt which could not be equated with self-esteem,
anxiety, or other traits, and seemed to involve a deep
sense of inauthenticity and an inability to internalize
They often had the belief
they were "fooling" other people, were "faking it" or
getting by from having the right contacts or just being
"lucky." Many held a belief they would be exposed as
frauds or fakes.
Jodie Foster said in a tv
interview.. that before her Oscar-winning performance in
"The Accused" she felt "like an impostor, faking it,
that someday they'd find out I didn't know what I was
doing. I didn't. I still don't."
With this fear, those who
feel like impostors often "play safe" by avoiding
exposure through competitiveness and intellectual
challenge. They hide their talents. In at least one
study, for example, qualified female students declined
invitations to participate in honors programs, because
of their perceived intellectual inadequacies.
from article Gifted
Identity and Expression
by Douglas Eby
~ ~ ~ ~
can see is everything I'm doing wrong that is a
sham and a fraud. I look at [my performances in
movies] like, "Ugh, Don, you missed that. You
weren't there in that moment. You liar!"
Angeles Times Nov 14 2004]
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on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"
that opens the tale of Snow White.. is the
question that forms the core of most quest stories
written for women and girls, and it is the
question that serves most forcefully to blind us
to our strengths."
PhD - from article
Be Exceptional - by Douglas Eby
look in the mirror very often because we're
frightened we won't see very much. We're not that
special. We're not that good. We're not that
old imposter syndrome. But the fact is, we're all
filled with naturally recurring patterns that make
us unique -- they're called talents.
charge is to bloody well use them."
- from article Do
Know Your Own Strength? - by Polly LaBarre
Miranda Richardson as Queen Elspeth in Snow
~ ~ ~ ~
years ago, before I was given the incredible
opportunity to be in 'Leaving Las Vegas', I was going
through a long period of artistic confusion. I'd spent
years doing work that hadn't pushed me enough, and I
was beginning to wonder if I had any talent.
helped me recall why I loved being an actress and why
I had to continue.
disconnected from the childlike play that art could
be. I was spending so much time fearing I wasn't
good enough that I lost the sense that my artistic
expression was worthy.
is a wonderful step-by-step way to reclaim your
youthful love of creating and your faith in
The Oprah Mag., Mar.2001]
the book: The
Artist's Way - by Julia Cameron
~ ~ ~ ~
that feeling of "Oh, God! One day they'll find out
that I really have no idea what I'm doing."
~ ~ ~
like the others. You don't measure up. You're not
good enough. You don't know for certain when it
began, though you may have some clues. But for
some time now, you've been different.
as good as they are. You're not as competent.
You don't have what they do. You're not sure how
many people know of your inadequacy, but you
suspect that quite a few do. Even if they never
put it in words, you fear that they know.
Good Enough : Overcoming Feelings of
~ ~ ~
of us don't even start our dream, because we
figure we'll never get 'good enough' at it to make
any difference at all?
of us give up along the way because we'll never
be the expert that so-and-so is?
is the ironic little truth that blows all of
these perceptions away.
become a master until you actually take the
leap, do the work, make several thousand
mistakes, and live to tell about it.
truly the only thing that makes experts so expert.**
Joy Can You Stand A
Creative Guide to Facing Your Fears
Your Dreams Come True
coaching services site: HowMuchJoy.com
~ ~ ~
In the past few years I've begun studying what Pauline
Clance (1985) has called "The Impostor
this label to refer to persistent feelings that one
has fooled others into believing that one is
smarter/more competent than one really is. Impostors
fear "discovery," are perfectionistic, and have
trouble internalizing success.
and I have found that impostors report low levels of
voice (see Susan Harter's work) across many of their
relationships. Data from my longitudinal study
suggest that, while they perform well academically,
impostors -- perhaps because they rarely feel that
they can act naturally -- have trouble forming
supportive friendships, even after several years.
found that female impostors tend to have strongly
conflicting "possible selves." Possible selves are
mental constructions of how we think we might be.
Ought possible selves refer to how we think we
should be, and Ideal possible selves refer to how we
would like to be.
communally oriented ought selves, that appear to
stem from stereotypical conceptions of femininity,
and agentically oriented ideal selves, that resemble
stereotypical conceptions of masculinity.
PhD - from a Wellesley College page about her work
Sandra Bullock as an FBI agent going undercover as
a contestant in a beauty pageant - in the movie
~ ~ ~
was natural, too, that she [Rachel
Weisz] felt guilt.
'Guilt, yes, I am very good at that.' The thing about
guilt, she explains, is that you don't have to have
done anything wrong. 'I can feel guilty about
guilt was specifically bound up with her
success - getting a good degree, getting an agent,
getting on TV. As if somehow by doing well, I was
depriving someone else of something - it could be
anyone, sister, mother, friend And it all became a
bit too much. I didn't feel I had the right.'
a strange notion this, that things are ours by
right. It is not by right that we are born
beautiful, not by right are we clever. It wasn't
even as if her parents were dumping guilt on
contrary. My dad always says that he thinks my
generation had it harder than his, because for us
there are no moral boundaries.' Guilt was just
something she imbibed with the air - guilt about
being beautiful, being bright, being successful.
clever, sexy... and guilty" by Suzie Mackenzie
[Guardian Unlimited guardian.co.uk March 22, 1999]
- by Douglas Eby
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syndrome : page 2: quotes