How I Ignored My Impostor Syndrome to Create a Career Working with Smart People

I had no idea what I was getting into. When I graduated from college, I was excited to start my dream job as a sixth grade teacher in a middle school. I was young, eager, and awkward and determined to bring all of the innovative ideas of the late ’70s into my classroom. And I did. Disregarding the textbooks, my students read newspapers, ransacked libraries, and designed research projects based on their interests. In my spare time, I built an outdoor education program that was the highlight of the year. Lucky for me, my principal welcomed my youthful enthusiasm with an only slightly skeptical permissiveness. I was pretty oblivious to what my fellow teachers thought of all of it. It is possible they were not pleased. I was young. Eager. Awkward.

(young, eager, awkward Ms. Prober )

In my third year teaching, I was told I ought to look into working with gifted children. I was told my teaching style appealed particularly to students who were more capable, independent, creative, analytical, and advanced. At the time, I thought, “What’s a gifted child?” Obviously, I wasn’t one. But I ended up in a job teaching gifted kids in a pullout program in a new middle school in a different state. I had freedom to design the curriculum based on the students’ needs and interests, class sizes were small, and the students were sensitive, creative, and endlessly curious. The teachers in my school were definitely not pleased, as I was stealing kids from their classes. But I tried to appease them with my youthful, awkward charm. I was not successful.

And yet, it was a fine introduction to the wild world of gifted education. I went on to expand my horizons and began providing training for classroom teachers and classes for parents on the social-emotional needs of these kids. I continued to be young, eager, and awkward. But, of course, when I was in my 30’s, I didn’t feel young. Or eager, really. Just awkward.

It became apparent to me during this educator phase of my life that I was working with GIFTED people. Humans with advanced intelligence, among other things. But I think I just ignored any implications or extra pressures or impostor-like ruminations. I loved the work. So I just did it.

After about ten years, I was ready to jump onto a new career path. I had been into all things psychotherapeutic for many years so why not become a psychotherapist and get paid for indulging in this passion, too. I went back to school for a counseling degree, worked in an agency for four years, and then started a private practice with a focus on those kids I had been stealing from their classes. It seemed obvious I would focus on this population in my practice because I knew they had specific mental health needs and I felt a particular bond with them. I was especially interested in family dynamics, family legacies, and trauma so transitioned to working with adults. Gifted adults. Um. Super smart grownups.

At that point, you would think, I would freak out. Impostor syndrome, here I come, baby. I mean, really. It was clear that many of my clients were well beyond me in the brain-mind-capacity zone. But they were so fascinating! So easy to love! Being with them, I was in my happy place. My hormones would regulate. My loneliness would vanish. My hair would become manageable.

So, I continued to ignore the impostor who lived under the pingpong table in my basement. I was surprised but she actually seemed to be fairly content if we talked now and then and I brought a bag of Cheetos with me. (The years of therapy as a client probably helped, too!)

My new career path expanded to this blog, a couple of books, interviews, conferences, and international consultations with even more fascinating people with names I can’t always pronounce correctly. It is kind of a miracle.

Why am I telling you this? you might ask.

Besides the fact that you might be curious about my thrilling back story, here ya go: It is not as hard as you might think to ignore your impostor syndrome. Even if you are young, eager, and awkward. If I can do it, so can you. And on those difficult days, well, find out where your impostor lives and join them for a conversation. I’ll bring the Cheetos.


To my bloggEEs: Do you experience impostor syndrome? Can you imagine how you might ignore it and get on with finding your true paths and living your rainforest-y life? I will be here cheering you on. With love!

(Note: For those of you who are extremely observant, I went to great lengths to straighten my hair in those days.)

Author: Paula Prober

I’m a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice based in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in international consulting with gifted adults and parents of gifted children. I’ve been a teacher and an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a frequent guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I’ve written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, Advanced Development Journal and online for psychotherapy dot net, Rebelle Society, Thrive, Introvert Dear, and Highly Sensitive Refuge. My first book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, is a collection of case studies of gifted clients along with many strategies and resources for gifted adults and teens. My second book, Journey Into Your Rainforest Mind: A Field Guide for Gifted Adults and Teens, Book Lovers, Overthinkers, Geeks, Sensitives, Brainiacs, Intuitives, Procrastinators, and Perfectionists is a collection of my most popular blog posts along with writing exercises for self-exploration and insight.

39 responses to “How I Ignored My Impostor Syndrome to Create a Career Working with Smart People”

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  1. Kimberly Avatar

    Thank you for sharing that story! Your view of everyone, because you say you’re not gifted (though maybe you are in some ways) is a great view; you can be objective. You’re reminding me of an interesting phenomenon I discovered about myself and teaching. Everything I’ve always taught went amazingly well! Students (adults) would rave about me, give me gifts, invite me to lunch, thank me after every class…. you’d think I was the Queen of England! But one thing I never felt comfortable teaching was art. Why? Because I was BORN with it. In 6th grade we had to take home a blank map of Italy & color in the different land elevations. You want me to show land elevations? I brought back a paper mache 3D construction, painted realistically with snow capped mountains, while everyone else’s was just the ditto (yes, I said ditto) colored with brown/green/&blue crayon. Slackers. Don’t they have pride in their work? LOL…
    I was 14 when I first picked up a small brush, squirted tiny, fearful amounts of oil paint out, and painted a tiny, hesitant portrait of a rock star from an album cover. People were astounded that I’d had no instruction and that it was my first portrait.
    Yes, I’m bragging a bit…. but I can’t teach art. Why? Because I don’t know how I do it. I can’t explain it. It came so naturally to me that when someone would say, “how did you do that?” I’d say “I don’t know.” So I can’t teach the thing I am best at, because I didn’t go through the steps of learning it. (I actually could now that I’ve taken art classes and learned how I’ve been seeing things)
    My point is…. it might hard for gifted people to help each other, and because you say you’re not gifted (I have my doubts, lol), you can see many parts of giftedness objectively, and explain it and guide it better than people who are “in it” and don’t know how they got there. Maybe. Just a thought.
    Anyway, thanks for being you! 🙂

    1. pprober Avatar

      LOL. Interesting theory, Kimberly. 🙂

  2. Clignett Avatar

    What a great read again! And I did notice you’re beautiful (still is!) straight (not so much anymore 🤣) hair in the picture, wow! 😍

    And, also noticed the great lengths you took with the appearance of the blog! The bright white light is gone! Yeey!! Thank you!!

    Oh, imposter syndrome.. I hear you! I’ve had it for years (and ignoring it), then I’ve been able to let it go, and now it’s back with a vengeance.. still ignoring it, though!
    For me, it’s not really about intelligence, or the question if I’m smart enough. That part was always pretty obvious, sometimes unfortunately obvious (scares people away)..
    For me it was emotional and spiritual. I’ve often felt that my feelings, my intuition and my visions weren’t accurate. After years of therapy, I now know that that voice isn’t actually (one of) my own voice(s), but my mom’s. Thát was a shocker! Left me gutted to realize that!
    Apparently my intuition and my feelings are so accurate that I can tell just by looking at a person (or animal) and just know what they’re thinking or feeling. And I react to that and not how they sound. Which makes them feel heard and seen, and the mask comes off for a little while when we’re talking.
    My visions are a whole different story. I’ve learnt to block that part, so that’s where I’m still at now. Can’t deal with them yet, first have to get myself (with Indie of course) to a better place where we can finally settle and find rest and peace. (Moving houses is not as fun as I remembered!! Now dealing with leakages both in bathroom and in kitchen! So unpacking resulted in repacking and still have boxes all around the house. As for workmen to fix it, they’re all fully booked from morning to night, so I’ll have to wait my turn. Unless my apartment starts flooding, then I’m a priority.. It’s draining the energy right out of me.)

    But moving house has brought the imposter syndrome right back. As a woman alone, with disabilities which mean that I just can’t do everything myself anymore, I need help with fixing stuff, hanging lamps on the ceiling, you name it. Reaching high or low, having to have strength in hands and body, it’s out of my league now. And then it comes: mostly I have to deal with men, and they (fortunately not all!) treat me like the “woman alone with dog, sweet but stupid, and just don’t step in my way”. In other words, they’re rude, insensitive and sometimes just being assholes! And I can feel it thundering through my body, that disrespect, but I can’t say anything because I do need them. When they’re gone, the imposter comes out: “you just felt it wrong, it wasn’t so bad, maybe because you’re so tired you can’t handle “normal” responses now. And just when I start to think about believing that voice, the voice of the therapist with whom I’ve had those exact sessions shouts in my ear: NOT YOUR VOICE!!! Oh, right.. wait a minute… curse here, big words there, it ISN’T my voice!! But maybe… “NO! NOTHING MAYBE! NOT.YOUR.VOICE!
    Ok, better not call mom today! 🙈🤔

    So, when all the workmen have gone, I’ll be able to relax some more, have more energy and maybe start sleeping again? I hope!!

    Thank you, Paula, for your incredibly beautiful story.
    What I do wonder about now, is that all people like us, the RainForesty-types, do we all have to go through this incredibly anxious state of mind on and off again, or is it just some of us? Do muggles have that too? If I look at my sister, the answer is definitely “no”, but is that with all muggles? I wonder..

    1. pprober Avatar

      Clignett, I think many people have anxiety. Maybe most people, especially during these times. But perhaps for different reasons. It’s likely there is a difference with impostor syndrome and maybe that’s what you are asking. People who are less introspective, might not wonder if they are impostors. They may live more on the surface and be less self-aware.

  3. Jay Avatar

    Hi Paula, I’ve been reading your blog for several years. It is wonderful to read your personal story. (And, I noticed your shiny, straight hair!)

    Imposter syndrome is very real, but I didn’t understand until struggling through for decades.

    I was also a young, eager, and awkward teacher, but in my first job the principal pressured hard for me to conform to the previous retiree’s methods, and I felt like a big failure. I knew I wasn’t and I pushed on, just doing it because it was important and I loved it. I left to find schools with principals who shared my thinking. After 14 years at more than 6 different schools, I left teaching. I was emotionally spent, and soured (again) to the whole educational system. So when my young children clearly had “different” needs, I focused on being that parent (we’re unschoolers).

    Now they are teens, and I am feeling the impostor syndrome, for myself and for them. We had extended lockdowns where we live; and while we all felt safer being apart from the more careless populace, my teens missed out on several milestones that would have bolstered their development. And now, I see that they are not prepared and not ready, and we are all feeling like failures. Lockdown lethargy is a thing. I’m still plugging away, scaffolding and finding appropriate challenges for them, so that I can step back and they can seek to challenge themselves.

    Also, a separate story. My sister recently passed away, and I had the job of clearing out most of her personal things (I found her school reports– her SAT scores and IQ tests were the same as mine). In our large family, this sister was the smart one, the pretty one, the charming one who was adored by everyone she met. But in her death, I learned that she never felt like she was good enough. She always just kept on doing what she loved, and she left a great legacy. So many people loved her and her work, but her inner voice prevented her from feeling like she was enough.

    I wish there was a way of talking about giftedness so that we all could understand better. Giftedness definitely runs in our family.

    Paula, your Rainforest work has helped me a great deal. My family however– some refuse to understand, and the others are on a painfully slow train.

    Thank you

    1. pprober Avatar

      Oh, thank you for sharing this, Jay. It’s interesting, isn’t it, how feeling like a failure does not necessarily mean we actually are a failure. Makes me wonder how much time we waste feeling not good enough or like an impostor. Sending you love and good books to read while you’re waiting for the slow train.

      1. Jay Avatar

        Thank you 🙂

    2. Kimberly Avatar

      I was moved by you saying that your sister didn’t feel good enough, even though she was seen as the smart, pretty one, and everyone loved her. I hope the rest of us can feel good enough. We have to. It’s our only chance. 🙁

      As for family understanding, I have long given up on that. Although my family members are clever enough, I hate to say it, but for some reason I stand out as the black sheep. Maybe my mother was like me, but I’ll never know, she died when I was 2, but I do have very intelligent cousins, so it must be from her side, lol. The immediate family I grew up with? My dad got a letter about me taking the SAT test. He said, “you don’t want to go to college, do you?” and because I knew we had little money, I meekly said, “I guess not”. He ripped up the letter and threw it away. He makes fun of people with education as know-it-alls who are ruining the world. I went back to school later, and although he didn’t say much, I know he thought it was a waste of time and told me one day that he saw a sign that K-Mart was hiring (I was substitute teaching but he saw that as subpar because I was done by 3pm so it’s not a “real job”). I’m 51 now, getting my master’s degree. He doesn’t even know. My boyfriend mentioned it to him but he’s hard of hearing now so it slipped by. I stopped him from repeating it and explained later that all it would do is make him go off like, “oh geez, more school? What a waste of time! You could’ve been working all this time at a REAL job… blah blah blah…”

      Sorry to go on, lol….. but looking at my example of my family, maybe you can find a happy medium about what you share with them. You sound like a great mom; I unschooled, too, and BOY you should’ve heard my dad about that!! (hmm… you have to finish high school, but college is a waste? wait a sec…) (eyeroll) lol … I know you will find a way to continue supporting your kids. Remember that age numbers aren’t all there is to it. They’ll mature at a pace that’s healthy for them, considering the pandemic lethargy. I’d bet a million dollars they’re more mature and clever than their peers who were in school during this time. 😉

      1. pprober Avatar

        The impact of our families is enormous. Of course, I see it every day in my practice. Thank you for sharing your example, Kimberly.

      2. Jay Avatar

        Thanks for your reply and for your kind words, Kimberly
        The problem with talking to my siblings about giftedness, is that they are likely gifted but only see it as academic smarts and not a different way of thinking. (Hmmm, maybe not so gifted? Lol)
        Regarding my teens, I’m experiencing FOMO watching their peers, some who are younger, starting college programs early in their chosen subject area. My two don’t want to commit to anything, but that may be a different issue. (I’m mostly fine with that, considering I myself didn’t feel ready to be an adult until I was 24.) And there’s lots of pressure from hubby’s family, who are probably similar to your father– their mindset is “why bother reading, just do things” and “get a job when you’re 15”.
        I’m sorry you didn’t get to be parented by your mom, but it’s good you’ve got cousins to keep you connected to that side of your genetics. 😁
        Thanks again for your thoughtful response 😊

  4. Pulp Fusion Avatar
    Pulp Fusion

    Thank you, Paula! Your blogs inspire me to think.

    Do you experience impostor syndrome?

    I’ve many times heard this term before, but I’m not sure if I understand how it might present a problem:

    “Impostor syndrome is an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be, as if you are a fraud.”

    Taking the above definition into account, I see that a problem only presents itself when I choose to identify myself with a belief about my competence that is in contradiction with the belief of others.
    Now, however contradicting and conflicting these beliefs about my competence might be, they have something fundamental in common: They are both beliefs; that have not yet been verified. Of course, only one of them can be true, and there’s only one way to find out which of them is:

    To get the job – that’s been handed to me – done.

    If I fail to do so, it’s clear that I have yet to gain the competence to complete the given task successfully, and not necessarily that I’m an impostor. That is, if I never identified with any particular belief – neither positive, nor negative – about my competence before verifying it.

    1. pprober Avatar

      What you are saying makes lots of sense, Pulp Fusion. In my case, it can be anxiety about not being smart enough to be this spokesperson/counselor/consultant for very intelligent people! But, like you are saying, I am getting the job done! So, I am the right person for the job. 🙂

      1. Pulp Fusion Avatar
        Pulp Fusion

        Exactly! 😊

      2. Pulp Fusion Avatar
        Pulp Fusion


        I’m intrigued by the concept of imposter syndrome, and was wondering if there’s more to it than what we’ve discussed.. Do you think it’s really about competence? Or is it about comparison? I ask this, because it seems to me that “getting the job done” (competence) in helping very intelligent people still feels like it isn’t good enough, and that what would perhaps make one feel as if one was good enough, was if one was considered equally intelligent (in comparison) to the very intelligent people one has in fact helped.

        P.s. Please, let me know if I’m taking this too far. 😌

        1. pprober Avatar

          There is definitely more to say about this topic, Pulp Fusion, really, about all of the ideas on the blog, right? There is only so much a blog can cover and rainforest minds always have more questions, thoughts, comments, and feelings!! So, not too far! 🙂 There are many reasons a RFM might feel “not good enough” certainly, competence, comparison, and beyond the concept of impostor syndrome. Perfectionism is one or growing up with abuse or neglect is another. Make sense?

          1. Pulp Fusion Avatar
            Pulp Fusion


            Mm.. I’m not sure.

            The point that I was trying to make is that the reason why one doesn’t feel “good enough” to accomplish a certain task (spokesperson/counselor/consultant) can’t possibly be ‘imposter syndrome’ when one has already proven oneself competent in accomplishing that task, and that the actual reason for feeling like one is not “good enough” may be obscured by the assumption that the cause for it is imposter syndrome.

            Can you imagine how you might ignore it and get on with finding your true paths and living your rainforest-y life?

            First of all, by not ignoring it, but by looking into it more deeply -the structure of it.


            “The individual, through prolonged psychological disciplines, gives up completely all attachment to his personal limitations, idiosyncrasies, hopes and fears, no longer resists the self-annihilation that is prerequisite to rebirth in the realization of truth, and so becomes ripe, at last, for the great at-one-ment. His personal ambitions being totally dissolved, he no longer tries to live but willingly relaxes to whatever may come to pass in him; he becomes, that is to say, an anonymity.”


            P.s. What do you think about the creation of a Reddit page (à la G W Hayduke) where rainforest minds can discuss the ideas and concepts of your blog in depth?

            1. pprober Avatar

              Thank you for your deep thinking here, Pulp Fusion! I wish I had adequate time to respond in depth. I think the Reddit idea is a good one. Has it been set up? You can leave the link here, if you’d like. My only concern about it is that if there is not a moderator (I won’t be involved), it might become unsafe for people to express themselves. You know how those things go with some of the social media platforms. But some place where you can all have the space and time to dive in would be great.

  5. Neeraj Avatar

    Hi, i read this and previous blogpost and i agree sometimes one is taken back by imposter syndrome . One thing although is unclear in these posts is what specific capability that you have and still feel imposter about? On my side, i felt imposter or uneasy about very strongly believing in my own rational conclusions/ hunches and very assertively acting on those hunches… but i also admit i never stopped atleast partially trusting myself..thus benefitted from atleast partially trusting myself…. i think in a broader sense your journey may have certain parallels, not all teachers end up teaching gifted kids, not many such gifted kid teachers end up becoming psychotherapists. Also, Over the course of time , my imposter syndrome also reduced as i came across elderly achievers in my own field, and it seemed to me that i can think as good as those great persons … thus NOW it feels these sort of achievements are not out of bound . Offcourse the imposter feeling has certain real aspect to it, the imposter feeling can only be lost in retrospect, if we plan to do anything beyond our comfort zone, this anxious feeling about our capabilities is going to stay with us. For this i just like van gogh’s quote …i am partially rephrasing it ” if one of you inner voice says you cannot paint and you still have urge to paint , then by all means paint, the act of painting itself over the course of time may silence the imposter syndrome/ inner critic in you” ….at this stage in life atleast for accomplishing certain tasks i feel this is one good attitude. In earlier days, this very awareness that i may be hesitant due to ‘ imposter syndrome’ kind of feeling helped me to show some level of chutzpah and go ahead and take risks. I could have shown more confidance in myself, but that’s ok. Idon’t feel totally at loss either.

    1. pprober Avatar

      I think the impostor syndrome for me was about being smart enough to work with people who are so advanced intellectually. But what I have concluded is that my strengths in sensitivity, empathy, and intuition are more of what I need to be an effective teacher/psychotherapist/consultant. (and having a reasonable amount of intelligence!) Thank you, Neeraj, for the question and for sharing your specific experience with this topic.

      1. Neeraj Avatar

        also, i want to RE-EMPAHSIZE that one can just follow Van Gogh and his this particular quote…to accomplish SOME of the tasks in life…sometimes…at certain point in time….for very specific purpose such ATTITUDE does work, and provide a good working solution…but it is not GENERIC SOLUTION.

        I thought over Van Gagh a bit more..and it appears..if he used this method to silence OTHER VOICES in his head..then probably it didnot end well for him…why he has bitten his ear…? and why he had to shoot himself..? was he feeling some internal conflict which he couldnot solve..or solve by such “SILENCING other voices” method? I donot know…

        may be he should have engaged in DIALOGUE instead with all the voices…how would have it affected his SOUL? what would be the result of that on his art work? …did crows on wheat field would fly by..and the whole wheatfield would get laden with snow…and then would have some image of moonlit night in snowladen field?…or what about the next spring? …one would never know?

        the IFS didnot exist back then? but what about reading some works of literary fictions..? and then internalize those dialogues to resolve internal issues? …I am not sure?
        would crows/ ravens in place of disappearing come back on snowfield and then cry out loud that they are hungry? and then someone go inside their home and bring stored grains to feed those crows and have dialogue with them?
        Just some scribble as thoughts come to my mind.

        1. pprober Avatar

          Lots of thoughts and questions, Neeraj! Spoken like a true rainforest mind. 🙂

  6. Keith R Trinity Avatar
    Keith R Trinity

    I am crying as I read your teacher story. My Parents were teachers and my Brother and I had a great childhood. My Mom had retired but my Dad taught Elementary grades, even Kindergarten. I even went to the same school sometimes. I remember my Dad’s classroom was “different” from the rest. He had snakes, tarantulas etc. Other kids loved my Dad’s class which was strange to me as I grew up with my Dad and that was normal to me. We always had a home life like his class.
    I remember my Dad talking about how school “Turned-Off” children and he was going to be different.
    In Junior-High I attended an Alternative-School my Dad helped create and taught in. We had grades 7-9 in three adjoined classrooms!
    I wonder how many kids my Dad “saved”, by that I mean, like myself, we were steered in the “gifted” direction! I have met many of his students later in life and they specifically told me they got into a career they love because of my Dad.
    I just found your book (Your Rainforest Mind) that I ordered about a year ago and was lost before I started to read it!
    So thank you Paula, for every amazing thing you did, all the kids you saved and for the people you continue to help recognize themselves today.

    1. pprober Avatar

      Oh, thank you Keith. Some of my former students are still in touch with me, too. It is so gratifying to be remembered all those years later.

  7. anonymous Avatar

    Hey Paula, this is timely.

    I commented on a post of yours years ago confessing that I had failed several times in university and was struggling. I felt stupid and misunderstood, and had no faith in myself.

    I decided to block out the noise and carve my own path. I graduated and am now a published researcher, working in an incredible lab at the top of my field. I finally feel like I belong somewhere, alongside a whole bunch of people whose brains work like mine. It turns out I’m not alone – I just had to find my people.

    I’m doing quite alright, and I remind myself every day to not intentionally sabotage my success. Your articles, updated in my email inbox every now and then, are and always will be a salve. It’s like I have a friend who understands.

    Thank you. Xx

    1. pprober Avatar

      Oh, that is such great news! I am so happy for you. Your example will provide hope for others. Thank you for writing.

  8. Dina Sayers Avatar
    Dina Sayers

    Thank you, Paula! This is a perfectly timed post. I was a big, sobbing mess this morning for the 11000th time because I’m struggling with a new job. It’s true I’ve come a very long way in the last three years working there, but somehow it never feels like enough. Add to that a ridiculously judgmental boss and absolutely no support system and I’m almost ready to give up altogether. The “I can’t” messages are the loudest thing in my head lately. I do my best to breathe, refocus, etc, but sometimes it all feels hopeless. After today’s hot mess of tears, I’ve decided I have to find some professional support. I need someone (anyone!) more than words can say here.

    1. pprober Avatar

      Sometimes, the sobbing hot mess is just what we need to get where we need to go. I think we all need professional support some of the time, Dina.

  9. Denise B Avatar
    Denise B

    I, too, always assumed you lived in the gifted world, as your relatability is always so on target. While I have been a working artist for a couple of decades now, about 9 years ago, I was surprised to get accepted into a highly regarded sculpture show. But after that first year, I was not accepted into the show again for several years. This summer, however, marked my fifth year in the show (the last four years being consecutive… not counting the first Covid year), and I noticed at the end of the show that while I had not necessarily been conscious of Imposter Syndrome in previous years, I had actually moved beyond it this year. This summer was the first year that I actually felt like I belonged! So Imposter Syndrome didn’t keep me from doing and being where I wanted to be… but it definitely felt better this year to feel fully MEANT to be there. (I hadn’t thought of Cheetos. Maybe it wouldn’t have taken as many years…)

    1. pprober Avatar

      Ha! 🙂 The Cheetos factor is probably fairly limited… Congratulations, Denise.

  10. Linda Avatar

    I enjoyed the back story Paula so thanks for sharing it. Honestly I assumed you were gifted but not comfortable saying so publicly. Why do I say this? Because in order to coin the rainforest archetype one would have to possess many of the qualities delineated in said archetype. I appreciate your ability to just go with your gut and create innovative experiences as a teacher. I do relate to imposter syndrome sometimes too. Occasionally as I do my therapist thing I ask myself who I am to be entrusted with the care of those who are hurting? I think it is common. Even with giftedness, when I first saw my IQ score I was not shocked but rather wondered why didn’t my parents say anything? Why didn’t they care? I also wondered what it would mean for me. Later I began to see it was just another layer of “difference”.

    Thanks for this blog and all the good you offer humanity,

    1. pprober Avatar

      Good to hear from you, Linda. And thank you for the good you offer humanity, too!

  11. Meredith Avatar

    I love this post! I sure would have loved to have you as a teacher. And I am sure you are a great therapist. Thank you for your blog and your books!
    Of course, these don’t really apply to me since I’m not really that smart…..said my inner voice!

    1. pprober Avatar

      Oh, thank you, Meredith. Give a hug from me to your inner voice.

  12. BJ Avatar

    I was listening to Meghan Markle’s podcasts this week.
    In one of the previous episodes, she talks to Mindy Kaling about Imposter Syndrome, talks to Serena Williams about ambition.
    It’s been very interesting. Kaling says, about her work, she does not have Imposter Syndrome. Other places in her life, but not there.
    For my work, I think I’m shedding my IS. Other places, not so much.

    1. pprober Avatar

      Shedding IS at work is a great start, BJ. Meghan Markle has a podcast? Will have to listen to it. Thank you.

  13. Carol Hatfield Avatar
    Carol Hatfield

    Yes, definitely working to ignore the imposter syndrome! I have advanced skills in music, but still feel lack of confidence sometimes. I’ve been a musician for years, too! So I will try the Cheetos and a convo with that “imposter”. I may ask her to move to Switzerland or something – lol! I just try to remain quiet of mind, breathe through the music, and remember how much I love it, love every note, and play with joy/passion. That sends the imposter packing 😊 Love your story, your courage. Thank you for helping folks!❤️

    1. pprober Avatar

      I think loving it is a key, Carol. I hear Switzerland is a beautiful country. 🙂

  14. G. W. Hayduke Avatar
    G. W. Hayduke

    You’re a brave lady Paula Prober, and a great help to a lot of people. Thank you.

    1. pprober Avatar

      Thank you! 🙂

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