Are the Fraud Police beating down your door? Staring down their long noses at you with judgment in their eyes and official-looking clipboards in their hands?
They’re looking forward to telling you you’ve been found out; the world is painfully aware of allll your inadequacies. Everyone would really just prefer it if you’d cease and desist your very obvious playacting at knowing what you are doing.
Because you really, really don’t know what you’re doing, do you?
Maybe you are a fraud.
The term “Fraud Police” was coined by fearless musician Amanda Palmer (Dresden Dolls) to talk about her Imposter Syndrome, and her then-husband Neil Gaiman added the bit about the clipboards when he talked about his Imposter Syndrome. Yeah, the guy who wrote American Gods and Coraline sometimes feels like a big fat phony.
Even Socrates famously moaned to Plato that he worried he didn’t actually know anything.
Everyone who has ever picked up a new hobby, made a career pivot, gone against the status quo, invented something new, or had the audacity to venture out into the unknown suffered from Imposter Syndrome!
Put like that, being a fraud sounds kinda awesome, doesn’t it?
I’m not talking about masquerading as a neurosurgeon and performing botched lobotomies. That kind of fraud is bad. Do no harm, generally avoid prison if possible, and don’t forget to say your prayers.
The kind of fraud I’m talking about is when you feel illegitimate in a field you are passionate about, regardless of how skilled you might be at it.
Maybe you have no certificates on your wall. Maybe you’re brand new to this. Maybe you have friends who are way more talented — or judgmental. And yet, you’re doing it.