We all fake it… so it’s no wonder we often feel like impostors – Darren McGarvey


Have you ever doubted your ability despite obvious success in your chosen field?

Are you ever paralyzed by the nagging feeling that you don’t deserve what you have and that it’s only a matter of time before everyone realizes you’re a fraud?

If the answer to one or both of these questions is “Yes,” you may be suffering from what is commonly known as “imposter syndrome.”

It is loosely defined as a feeling of inadequacy that persists despite strong evidence to the contrary.

From chronic self-doubt, the feeling that we don’t deserve it, or the terrifying thought that we don’t possess the ability or knowledge to fulfill a particular role in life, whether at work, at home, or in the relationships, it can override any satisfaction that may come from one or all of these things going well.

I struggle with impostor syndrome every week as I sit down to write this column.

I struggle with that when I’m getting my kids ready for school. And don’t even get me started on how this feeling of inadequacy and inferiority has manifested in my romantic life over the years.

Unless we’re clinically incompetent (say, psychopaths or narcissists), then it’s sadly inevitable that we feel a bit out of our depth from time to time. A bit of luck. A bit fake.

The question is what to do with these feelings.

Do we dismiss them out of hand, as a syndrome-like condition, or is there something deeper we can learn about ourselves?

We are told that impostor syndrome affects most of us, and to deal with it, we must look for convincing evidence that we are, in fact, worthy, authentic, and competent. But what if it’s not always like that?

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What if these feelings are, dare I say it, not always completely illegitimate? Think about the interactions you have every day with other people. The forced niceties. The small talk. superiority.

Think about the relationships you have with your nearest and dearest. The false consolation. Reluctant consensus. The little white lies.

Now imagine a world in which you were incapable of behaving inauthentic. Where, instead of each brush with another person being a kind of dance, instead he was forced to blurt out exactly whatever thought was spinning around in his head?

“You look horrible in that outfit” or “Your house is horrible” or “I never liked you and your baby is ugly”.

I guess what I’m saying is that we get by in life by keeping some truths to ourselves. That socially we are forced to give up a little, because that makes things a little easier for everyone.

The same applies to other roles we play in life. Yes, I am an “expert”, “working class activist”, who confidently vent my drool in the pages of the Daily Record every Friday. But I am also an emotionally insecure, occasionally resentful and selfish boy child.

As for the work, when I was presented with the Orwell Prize a few years ago, the first question I asked was: “Can someone take this away from me?”

Was it because I felt unworthy or because I knew deep down what a team effort it is to write and publish a book, despite receiving all the credit?

So let me leave you with a terrifying thought as you head into the weekend: maybe imposter syndrome isn’t something we should always rule out, and maybe it’s not a “syndrome” at all.

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Maybe when we feel like impostors it’s because sometimes that’s exactly who we are.

Johnson was always on the road to ruin

Boris Johnson is curious as a political leader for many obvious reasons.

Power corrupts, they say, and something was wrong with Johnson long before he smelled it.

Usually, a leader enters politics for the right reasons: with sincere beliefs and, having reached high office, does a few things.

However, after a while, no matter how sensible that person is, the mere privilege of being the boss for an extended period has a heady effect.

Most political leaders are more than welcome to stay precisely because power is so addictive.

But with Johnson, he was tainted long before that.

At every stage of your academic and professional life, the same questions about your integrity, motives, and competence have been asked.

So how strange is it that he still managed to get into Downing Street despite being so out of alignment with the demands of leadership?

What distinguishes him from many of his predecessors is that he was absolutely corrupt long before he came to power.

Johnson was tainted a long time ago
Johnson was tainted a long time ago

Tories don’t care about our real life

People who use food banks have not received adequate education on how to cook, according to Tory MSP Rachel Hamilton.

The scandal came just hours before Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said it was “highly unlikely” that children would live in poverty if both parents had jobs.

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Is it any wonder the country is in the state it is in when this is the quality of thinking in the UK ruling party?

We are in the midst of a cost of living crisis whose premise is that living costs for basics are rising faster than wages.

Britain is plagued by in-work poverty, which means that many still struggle financially despite having a job.

These people have very little understanding of the reality in which millions live right now. Almost anything they say on the subject of inequality can be well ignored.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said it is
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said it is “highly unlikely” that children will live in poverty if both parents have jobs.

She is not Shakespeare’s sister.

Taylor Swift is furious at Blur frontman Damon Albarn for claiming she doesn’t write her own songs.

Her lyrics include lines like, “So go tell your friends I’m obsessive and crazy/Okay, I’ll tell mine you’re gay!”

Pulitzer Prize-worthy stuff, Taylor.

Taylor Swift is furious with Blur frontman Damon Albarn
Taylor Swift is furious with Blur frontman Damon Albarn


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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