I’m starting to suspect it’s impostor syndrome that’s the impostor.
Thanks for sharing your really useful and interesting research. It sounds to me as though by labelling a complex set of feelings and thoughts with a simple label, we're almost always putting ourselves or others in a box and constraining our understanding both of the the problem and the solution. And even thinking of it as a problem at all might be limiting our choices.
I also suspect that for a lot of us in consumer societies, we're mostly overstimulated and too easily trapped into seeking external sources of comfort or security, when it might be better to be more interested in, and accepting of, our internal experience.
Excellent dive into the research, thank you. I think also a lot of feelings of inadequacy stem from the natural state of knowing what's going on inside your head and not knowing what's going on inside other people's head. I wrote about it before (https://www.galpod.com/post/the-different-faces-of-impostor-syndrome) (sorry for the plug but it's relevant, honest). We have a general tendency to attribute others' behaviour to internal factors (e.g., my coworker is late because he's lazy, I'm late because the bus was late), so I wonder if we're just more likely to assume that a person who looks like they know what they're doing actually does.
Regardless of gender, as is the case with everything in life: Discipline is a choice. You have to push through the imposter fear. Ask any successful writer, male or female. You get up and you write. Have kids and a full-time job? Get up at 4am and write for 45 minutes, an hour. Feeling like an imposter is perfectly normal and okay. Just keep going.
Sincere American Writing