Bring some Imposter Syndrome to no.10

Imposter Syndrome at Number 10? Yes please!

In several of the coaching sessions I have conducted recently, the issue of imposter syndrome has arisen. You’ll have heard of imposter syndrome, it’s that idea that many of us, while carrying out our jobs, are comparing ourselves to the competence and professionalism we see around us and believe it’s only a matter of time before we are found out to be frauds, or imposters.

Many of the people society most admires, including writer and creator of Stardust and American Gods, Neil Gaiman, have spoken of their Imposter Syndrome. The multi award-winning and billion-selling author claims, “I just make things up and write them down.” More than false modesty, he genuinely seems to be astonished that he has achieved anything remarkable.

While Imposter Syndrome sometimes prevents people from achieving their true potential, it can also serve as a driver, spurring on those who feel they’re ‘not good enough’ to work even harder, therefore leading them to achieve more.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

But while Imposter Syndrome is well-known, its close cousin, the Dunning-Kruger Effect, is less well known, and potentially far more dangerous. Where Imposter Syndrome tends to impact mainly high achievers, Dunning-Kugler applies to people with less ability, experience, or expertise, but who overestimate their capacity in all three. They can’t do the job, but sail on regardless, in blissful ignorance that they are in any way coming up short.

I wonder – does this remind you of anyone? The person who has just vacated Downing Street, perhaps, after history’s shortest ever tenure there? The previous incumbent, during his failed bid to return?

Out with the old, in with the new

As I write this on Monday, we’ve just heard who the newest tenant of number 10 will be. But will this ‘out with the old, in with the new’ sweep of the right-wing broom bring any real change? Any stability? Will it allow things to settle down, so that our politicians can focus for once on running the country, rather than on power grabs for the top spot, and ministerial positions?

Because while this utter shambles has been highly entertaining, from a purely political perspective of course, (I can’t wait to see how ‘The Crown’ depict the ‘back again? Dear oh dear’ meeting between Truss and King Charles) we mustn’t forget that the main players in this cheap, tawdry, farce have the future of the United Kingdom in their hands.

Hardship upon hardship

Not only has the business of the country been brought to a halt since before Boris stepped down, but our economy has nose-dived, we are in extreme financial crisis, and hardship is being layered upon hardship.

Sadly, there is no constitutional requirement for a general election, and just as turkeys don’t vote for Christmas, the new tenant at ten will do all they can to avoid it.

If there is a silver lining from this debacle, I hope it is this; that the impact of this utter dogs’ dinner is not forgotten by the time we get to the ballot box again, and that we get a government with a healthy dose of Imposter Syndrome, to keep their feet on the ground.

Say ‘cheese’ to local food and drink

My week will be all about food and drink; by the time you read this we’ll be getting ready to announce the winners of the 2022 Highland and Island Food and Drink Awards at the Kingsmills Hotel on Friday night. I can’t wait. I’ve attended the event before, and after the celebrations, the cheese table is unveiled. That’s right – a cheese table.

In preparing to host, I’ve been hungrily reading through the lists of finalists, and learning about the hard work and dedication that goes into every one of the shortlisted products and services. And it strikes me that while yes, here in our corner of Scotland we have a rich natural larder, the vital ingredient that the finalists all bring, is passion.

So to all Friday’s finalists, I raise a (delicious) toast to your dedication, and your passion. And if you can’t find me on Saturday morning, check underneath the cheese table.

In bed with Shadow Man

I managed to pick up a flu-bug a couple of weeks ago which laid me fairly low, but with every cloud, there is – as they say – a silver lining. Stuck in Edinburgh, too pathetically feeble to drive myself north, I was desperate for something to read… and stumbled upon Shadow Man, the 2016 debut crime novel by Highland Writer (find her under that name on Twitter!) Margaret Kirk.

Set in Inverness, it lifts the lid on a darker side of Inverness. Deliciously, the talented Kirk has already published two follow-ups. Brace yourself, DI Mahler, I’m coming back for more.

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