So Singularity GSP has the lowest admission rate of any other school. There were many thousand direct applicants and they admitted 40 of us. I must have done something right. Yet, surrounded by my incredibly smart and accomplished classmates…. I feel like a fraud.

Impostor syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be. Notably, impostor syndrome is particularly common among high-achieving women.
– wikipedia

So, yeah.

Even knowing that the imposter syndrome is a thing – even having it be mentioned from several of the faculty members of SU during our first few days – I still feel it. It hit me hard today!

For me, the hardest part is actually the simple question “so what do you do?”. Because to be quite frank, I have no idea. In the regular world I can say that I’m an entrepreneur, but in here everyone is AND they have a degree in some advanced technology and have received a handful awards and they’re all several years younger than me and they’ve already worked with half of the SU staff… and of course I know that this is not true. Not at all. But I still feel like a fraud, and when I get the question “So what do you do?” I tense up and give either a weird half-assed answer or I tell the truth: I don’t know. Though that rarely leads to exciting further conversations.

Someone said about me that “oh, she’s so humble”. But trust me, that’s not what it is. Not at all. I am not being humble right now, I just really feel like I don’t have anything to bring to the table.

With this said though, I am enjoying every single second of this adventure! The people here are amazing and inspiring and I know I am in for one hell of a ride. Sure, I might feel like a complete fraud but, hey, someone let me in here and I might as well enjoy it and learn everything I possibly can!

5 Replies to “On the Imposter Syndrome”

  1. Džana Damjanović says:

    Anita, you might think that you have the imposter syndrome – but I assure you that you deserve every ounce of sucess that you get. You are freakin’ amazing and everything that you accomplish is because you are competent enough/good enough. Everyone is winging it – so do I. Keep up the great work and just soak in that you were admitted to Singularity University!!! That is just so amazing! I look forward to following your blog! Keep the posts coming – you are the best!

    1. Anita Schjøll Brede says:

      Awww, thank you Džana! You rock, I love you <3

  2. Jacobo Elosua says:

    Next time you amaze me with something, even the smallest detail, I’ll be sure to tell you and make you eat this fraud craziness. +90% of us feel something like that now and then, Anita. I am absolutely sure. You just have to realize that it is an absurd notion and keep learning, like the rest of us!

    1. Anita Schjøll Brede says:

      Haha, thanks! And yeah, I know and I agree – I think we all feel like this from time to time, especially here at Singularity. It’s so much better now though, it just hit me hard for a day 😛

  3. Nicolas Alcala says:

    What do you bring to the table? (you mean, beyond kindness and being simply cool and having really awesome ideas)

    I’ll tell you: the most necessary thing human beings have beyond water and air.


    I heard someone once said that we are necessary within the tribe because otherwise we would spend all our money on psychologists.

    We are built out of stories. Is how we learn and how we connect with each other.


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