The year was 1982. I was 28 years old and four years into a doctoral program in education at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. The same school where my mother worked as a second shift custodian.
One day I was sitting in class when another student began reading aloud from a paper by two psychologists from Georgia State University, Dr. Pauline Rose Clance and Dr. Suzanne Imes. It was titled, The Impostor Phenomenon in High Achieving Women.
That’s when I learned that in their sampling of 162 high-achieving women, Clance and Imes uncovered a pervasive pattern of dismissing accomplishments and believing that their success would disappear once others discovered the awful secret that they were, in fact, “impostors.”