Why everyone feels like they’re faking it
ABC 158: On the dubious rise of imposter syndrome
I love pieces like the one I’m sharing this week. It’s a biography of an idea. After reading it, you’ll never think of the idea—in this case, imposter syndrome—the same way again.
In recent years, imposter syndrome catapulted from a barely-studied psychological phenomenon to cultural ubiquity. Like “trauma” and “burnout,” it’s also a term that’s become trendy, with everyone from Tom Hanks to Serena Williams claiming to have experienced it.
In the piece, journalist Leslie Jamison dissects both the concept and what it supposedly stands for. Her reporting brings you from the home of the researcher who coined the term, through a racially-charged dinner-table discussion among academics, and ultimately to a new understanding of an idea you may think you understand.
Is imposterdom a syndrome, or just part of what it means to be human?
Here’s the piece: Why everyone feels like they’re faking it
I’m coming to NYC next weekend to speak at this conference. I’d love to grab coffee if you live in the city.
The last of the book blurbs came in from some of my favorite writers—Oliver Burkeman! Cal Newport! I’m excited to share the book jacket with y’all next week.
P.S. The song of the week is a vibey cover from the Japanese trumpeter Takuya Kuroda and José James. The full songs of the week playlist is here.
“Is imposterdom a syndrome, or just part of what it means to be human?”
Good point. My guess is the latter.
‘Sincere American Writing’