John Man, young enthusiast and worker, has heard a lot about Imposter Syndrome.
“At first, I was very glad to hear about it, as it sounds exactly like me,” he said doubtfully. “Not believing in myself? Check. Thinking everyone around me is better than me? Check. Wondering when I will be found out and exposed like the dirty, scurrilous little urchin I know that I truly am deep down? Check, check, check.”
However, upon further research, Man discovered that the term seemed to apply only to famous and brilliant people who for some quirky and adorable reason had an unrealistically negative view of themselves.
“Despite all my achievements and accolades, I definitely feel like I have Imposter Syndrome,” said Sally McNally, a young musical prodigy releasing her debut album with Deutsche Gramophone. “Do I really deserve all this attention just because I play brilliantly?”
“Yes,” said Man.
He stressed that it was precisely this sort of thing that makes him think he doesn’t qualify for the true Imposter Syndrome that real artists can have. “Sally clearly deserves to feel brilliant about her achievements because her achievements are brilliant,” he said. “If I tried to have Imposter Syndrome like her, I would feel like I was just a poseur. I guess I would feel like I was imposing myself on her level in a very unwelcome way. You could call it, Feelings Of Being Unwelcome And Inferior or something.”
Thinky Binky, the world-famous psychologist horse from daytime television, says that this is an increasingly common phenomenon in a world engulfed with social media and online branding, especially for people in the arts and entertainment industries whose profession requires them to sell their own identities and must therefore constantly evaluate their inherent worth in a marketplace of their peers. “Neigh,” he said. “Neiiiiiighhh…”
Man said that for now, he was taking inspiration from great artists like Sally. “If I work hard enough,” he said, “I too might achieve enough to sit back and think, wow, isn’t all this supposed to be the life?”