I have read in the paper that the brilliant actor Caroline Quentin feels a fraud, doesn’t understand her success and said that when she was 16 she thought ‘it would be a miracle’ that she had earned her living acting. I could hardly believe it because I feel the same about my career.
I have recently been made a QC and have been trembling with fear ever since that I may be found out.
My friends, colleagues and sibling are all delighted for me but my mother can’t believe it. She’s even suggested that I double check there hasn’t been an error, adding that she knows the real me and frankly I am just not up to it.
The trouble is I keep thinking that the powers that be may find out that she’s right and that I’m a fraud.
Quentin had loving parents and said her mother taught her that “having a laugh with people is a lovely way to go through life”, but I know my issues goes back to my parents divorcing when I was ten and my mother resented having to look after me, the younger sibling, because it stopped her leading the life she wanted. As a result she tried to undermine me.
Nonetheless I was always dutiful at school and did well in my exams. I chose to do law at university because I believed in justice, which I felt I didn’t have at home, and wanted to speak out on behalf of others who had been wronged.
When I was called to the Bar I felt I had chosen the right career, but that I was stretching my very small amount of talent very thinly. I worried about letting my defendants down and every time I won a case I believed I had somehow got away with it and pulled the wool over yet another person’s eyes.
In theory it’s about time I believed in myself but in practice a voice in my head tells me I will be found out.
Do you have any hints that would help?