Thursday, October 08, 2020

Impostor Syndrome

Some years ago, I was lucky enough invited to a gathering of great and good people: artists and scientists, writers and discoverers of things.  And I felt that at any moment they would realise that I didn't qualify to be there, among these people who had really done things.  On my second or third night there, I was standing at the back of the hall, while a musical entertainment happened, and I started talking to a very nice, polite, elderly gentleman about several things, including our shared first name.  And then he pointed to the hall of people, and said words to the effect of, "I just look at all these people, and I think, what the heck am I doing here?  They've made amazing things.  I just went where I was sent." And I said, "Yes.  But you were the first man on the moon.  I think that counts for something." And I felt a bit better.  Because if Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, maybe everyone did.

-- Neil Gaiman (10 November 1960 -), English author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, graphic novels, and comics, remarks on "Imposter syndrome" on Tumblr (12 May 2017)

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