Fiona Duff: How to cure imposter syndrome

Hillary Clinton suffered misogyny and sexism. Picture: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Hillary Clinton suffered misogyny and sexism. Picture: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
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So, on Wednesday I was invited to an event called 100 Women organised by the Royal Bank of Scotland. This was to commemorate a century since we ladies were finally allowed to vote.

Well, obviously not all ladies, just a select few – a bit like this shindig. So I tottered along to The Principal Hotel on George Street to find out why on earth I had been sent an invitation in the first place.

Talking to the first person I recognised, Sarah Davidson of the lovely boutique on Thistle Street, I said “I have no idea why I am here”, although I knew that she was a women that people like to have on their guest list. Apart from anything she is always so well dressed, unlike yours truly.

Anyway, after coffee it was down to business – or at least we all sat down and listened to various successful women tell us why they were successful.

The host started talking about something called ‘imposter syndrome’ which meant nothing to me and several other women in the room.

This, she explained, is when you wonder why you are in a particular place – as if you don’t think you have a reason, or indeed deserve, to be there. So that was me living the actual thing that she was talking about.

Apparently it isn’t that unusual, especially among women. Despite the past 100 years, the majority of the fairer sex don’t always have quite the same belief in themselves as that other lot.

This was the same week that I read Hillary Clinton’s book about her election defeat, much of which dealt with misogyny and sexism in public life.

Looking at the abuse that she had to put up with for merely thinking she might do a better job in running America than the ginger-faced idiot who got the job was absolutely shocking.

So don’t worry, I am not now feeling so empowered that I’ll be standing for parliament, but I won’t ever again question my right to be anywhere. Especially not in a polling booth, that’s for sure.