“Look, I’m a complete idiot, but I really think there’s something to this thing…”

– someone whose opinion others trust for some reason

As somebody whose academic specialty was knowing how to write essays exactly how teachers want them to be written, I’ve always felt especially concerned about my own brand of Impostor Syndrome since my skills seem particularly attuned towards convincing others I know what I’m talking about even when I really don’t. It feels fundamentally different from those in more technical fields where getting things wrong provides more immediate feedback (e.g. your app’s not going to work if you code it wrong but being a bad writer can still get you some fans [not that I’m thinking of anyone in particular]). Then I see some Nobel Prize winner or world class athlete talk about their struggles with Impostor Syndrome in spite of an entire global organization validating their capabilities and it just makes me wonder what sort of validation the common folk are supposed to depend on to put their skills into perspective.

– James