The Guardian

Feeling like an impostor? You can escape this confidence-sapping syndrome | Fiona Buckland

Even the highest achievers, such as Albert Einstein and Maya Angelou, suffer from this corrosive form of low self-esteem. But there are coping strategies

Albert Einstein, who suffered from imposter syndrome. Photograph: Conway Pic Lib?/taken from picture library

The philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote: “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” Whether on a local or global level, the problems we face require the best people to step up. But many hold back because they feel that luck rather than ability lies behind their successes, and dread that sooner or later some person or event will expose them for the fraud that deep down they believe themselves to be. Far from being a realistic mind-trap prevents people from believing in themselves, to the detriment of us all.

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