The First Minister of Scotland has spoken powerfully about mental health, saying she “absolutely” suffers from imposter syndrome.
After the interview with Sunny Govan Radio, during which she admitted she often questions her position as Scotland’s political leader and gets nervous "every single time" before giving a speech, Nicola Sturgeon tweeted:
“[I] think it’s really important for young people – especially women – to know that even the most senior, apparently confident people have moments of self doubt.
“It’s not a reason not to follow your dreams. Be yourself and believe in yourself.”
Think it’s really important for young people - especially women - to know that even the most senior, apparently con… https://t.co/6UdOCjvd0H
Over the course of the interview, Ms Sturgeon revealed:
"Even though I have been in politics for a long time, I have been First Minister for four years, there will be days when I think 'should I even be here? Is somebody about to find me out?"
She went on to discuss how both class and gender can also play a role in such feelings.
"I don't think there is a woman alive, particularly working-class women, who don't experience that at some point in their lives, and probably quite regularly.
"I just think it is natural. In some ways I think women should work to overcome that, and be encouraged to overcome it, but there is a bit of humility as well that I don't think we should ever lose completely."
Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern involving a lack of self-confidence and an inability to believe that your status or success is merited.
"Every time I stand up in Parliament or do a television interview or television debate I felt vulnerable, because in the blink of an eye I could just crash and burn."
Ms Sturgeon asserted that while imposter syndrome is something to be overcome, it can help to keep a person grounded.
She stressed the importance of family in the "cut-throat" world of politics, saying she calls her mother every day and that her marriage to Peter Murrell made her feel "more stable and secure".
People were quick to commend her comments.
@NicolaSturgeon There can’t be many other politicians that would admit that. Nicola Sturgeon is a threat to my cynicism about politicians!