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To Beat Imposter Syndrome, You Must Understand It

Some advice on how to reframe your mindset

A successful Silicon Valley businessman was contacted by a foreign intelligence officer, and I interviewed him about the relationship.

He was cooperative, and we started to meet on a regular basis. He mentioned that he was involved in an angel investor group and thought they would like to hear a short briefing from an FBI counterintelligence agent on emerging threats from around the world. Would I agree to speak to the group?

It sounded harmless, so I agreed. When I arrived, I found a room of about 50 people with pens and notebooks in hand to take copious notes. I took the businessman who had invited me at his word when he used the words “short” and “brief” in the same sentence. I had no more than a few standard comments regarding countries of primary interest to the FBI. It was clear that the group expected more.

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