The Syndrome

“Imposter phenomenon” was first described in a 1978 research paper by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, as “an internal experience of intellectual phoniness” prevalent in the group of particularly high-achieving women they were studying.

The word “syndrome” was never used.

Indeed, even the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), a voluminous tome that lists mental “illnesses” including “hoarding disorder” and “caffeine withdrawal” does not include imposter syndrome in its 947 pages.

Many of us in very senior positions sometimes question if we are good enough for the job and our overthinking and self-doubts can make us feel like we are The Great Pretenders. It’s a natural phenomenon, not an illness, not a syndrome (unless you are one of those frauds on LinkedIn) and there’s absolutely no need to hype it up and behave like (imposter) Sigmund Freuds.

If you manage the best of the best, then you are the best of the best of the best.

Get used to it!

And luxuriate in the glow of greatness!

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