Imposter Syndrome


It greets you in the morning when you wake,
at night it kills your hopes and mutilates ideas.
You’re too afraid to make your mark so, sick at heart,
you face the empty page, then turn aside.

Doubt is a thunder crack, a mighty howl,
it butchers trust and self-belief, swamping
your unborn words beneath its cavernous wail –
whatever else you do, don’t let it in.

Seek hope – it’s smoke and mirrors, snake oil,
gossamer upon the wind. It whispers yes, you can
and, yes, you are, but only if you listen for it well.
So, clear your mind, don’t let that shrieking void of disapproval win,
there’s not a poet here who doesn’t feel
the seeping scourge of self-denial in their soul.

Liz McPherson

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One Response to Imposter Syndrome

  1. Terry Wassall says:

    I love this sonnet Liz. It is relevant to so many situations. I remember when, as a postgrad, I had to start taking undergraduate tutorials with students I previously just drank with!

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