Forever First Lady Michelle Obama says no matter how high you climb in areas of power, there will always be no-so-smart people around you.
During an interview for her “Becoming” book tour, Obama revealed that she stills struggles with “imposter syndrome,” and how her self-doubt “never goes away.” When asked how she felt about being a “symbol of hope” Obama said: “I still have a little imposter syndrome, it never goes away, that you’re actually listening to me,” according to the BBC.
“It doesn’t go away, that feeling that you shouldn’t take me that seriously. What do I know? I share that with you because we all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is.” She continued, “If I’m giving people hope then that is a responsibility, so I have to make sure that I am accountable.” She also mentioned that young women have to stop doubting their ability. “My advice to young women is that you have to start by getting those demons out of your head.”
“The question I ask myself— ‘am I good enough?—that haunts us, because the messages that are sent from the time we are little is: Maybe you are not. Don’t reach too high. Don’t talk too loud,” Obama said. Obama went on to say that every powerful person isn’t as smart as you might think. “I have been at probably every powerful table that you can think of, I have worked at nonprofits, I have been at foundations, I have worked in corporations, served on corporate boards, I have been at G-summits, I have sat in at the U.N.: They are not that smart.”
Obama also discussed how Black women are often teased for their natural features and mentions that “the size of our hips, our style, our swag, it becomes co-opted, but then we are demonized.”