Michelle Obama opens up about having imposter syndrome: ‘It never goes away’

‘We all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is’

Sabrina Barr@fabsab5
Tuesday 04 December 2018 11:33
Michelle Obama launches memoir in London: 'My opinions were meaningful, and my anger and frustrations were real'

Michelle Obama has opened up about how she still experiences imposter syndrome on a regular basis, explaining that the feeling “never goes away”.

The former first lady was speaking with feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at a sold-out event at Royal Festival Hall in London when she made the remarks about how she never stops questioning her own abilities.

While we might assume that Obama is brimming with self-confidence, having been the first lady of the United States, launched the 'Let's Move!' initiative for children and written a bestselling book, she’s revealed that this isn’t actually the case.

"I still have a little impostor syndrome, it never goes away, that you're actually listening to me,” told the audience at Royal Festival Hall, as reported by the BBC.

"It doesn't go away, that feeling that you shouldn't take me that seriously. What do I know?

“I share that with you because we all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is.

"If I'm giving people hope then that is a responsibility, so I have to make sure that I am accountable.”

Obama also shared similar sentiments while visiting a girls’ school in London this week that she’d previously visited in 2009.

Speaking to an audience of 300 students, she said: “It doesn’t go away, that feeling of ‘I don’t know if the world should take me seriously; I’m just Michelle Robinson, that little girl on the south side who went to public school,” The Guardian reports.

A person who has imposter syndrome will often doubt their abilities and accomplishments, regardless of how successful they are.

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Approximately a third of millennials in the workplace are affected by the phenomenon, according to a recent study.

Furthermore, recent research of 3,000 UK adults commissioned by Access Commercial Finance found that men in the workplace are 18 per cent less likely to experience imposter syndrome than their female colleagues.

In a recent interview with Good Housekeeping, Obama discussed the advice that she’d give to the Duchess of Sussex about how to cope with a marriage that’s under such intense public scrutiny.

“My biggest piece of advice would be to take some time and don’t be in a hurry to do anything,” she said.

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