View this email in your browser





Dear Outsiders,

Every week popular media has a new hot take on 'Imposter Syndrome'. Today we discuss how that fake-medical term points to more than feeling out of place – and how it can be radically embraced.

Read on,

– Jess

Outsider 143



When Outsiders Become Insiders


"Imposter Syndrome" is a problematic piece of jargon. It flaunts itself as a medical term (it's not) that encourages people to blame themselves for structural unfairness. Feeling out of place at work doesn't mean you have a psychological short coming – it says that the environment is falling short.

Too busy rehashing the 'symptoms' of feeling like an imposter and how to 'cure' yourself to confidence - popular media and self-help trash fail to illuminate the cause of these senses of not belonging, or being undeserving of one's position... Systemic biases. It is systematic inequalities that cause those from minority, working class or disadvantaged backgrounds to feel like imposters.


"What far-reaching and harmful message are we sending out when we paint the natural reaction of working-class and marginalised people as evidence of some kind of “syndrome”?

Some will say it’s only a word, not a medical diagnosis, but it represents an attempt to individualise a structural issue, and to place the burden of responsibility at the door of the undervalued, or excluded. This only adds to the list of things that working-class and marginalised people already have to contend with on a daily basis...

...It’s important for all of us to remain vigilant to the many ways in which [internalising the structural shame imposed by the
corporate workplace] dehumanises us and strips us of our identity."

– Nathalie Olath


To my fellow imposters,
For starters, congratulations for making it onto the inside. If you're experiencing the sense of imposterdom, that means we are doing something radical – not wrong. And that is precisely the point. We are somewhere we are "not supposed to be", and that is a position for change and influence.




"Be what's causing chaos in your field"
– John Waters


Causing chaos from the inside doesn't have to mean loud and vicious. It can be quiet and subtle. Gradual rather than aggressive. Most imposter-advice revolves around 'increasing confidence', which is mimicking the types of displays valued as 'strong communication and leadership styles' in our societies. This means loud voices, big body language, having a "visible presence" and calculated debating abilities – all behaviours taught in private schools, universities, upper and middle-class spaces and relations at large.

Being a radical insider doesn't mean playing along, it can mean flipping the script entirely.



Imposters have always been the ones pushing culture forward. Transgressive creations rarely come from the minds of the comfortable and welcome.



is it our impostordom that can be reframed as success and potential rather than a deficiency.


Hold onto the knowledge that "syndroming" a sense of being out of one's depth is a harmful message. These feelings are natural reactions to the biases we face on a daily basis. This pseudo syndrome is a structural issue, not an individual problem. It's not something "in our minds" and it's not our job to remove the sense of it.

What we can do now
is the reframing.







Take a new stance on sensations of imposterdom. When outsiders become insiders, the necessary disturbance happens. The radical creativity and activity can begin.

Keep on imposting,






Outsider is a counter-culture punch from inside the creative industry.

Promoting real life interaction. Pro-offline.

It came into being after watching client after client come seeking 'relevance' with 'millennials' and crying inside. Seeing misconceptions on the efficacy of social media rise. 

Named Outsider as, like Outsider Art, we observed that no/informal training cultivates greater instinct and disregard for 'rules' and established systems.

Jess is a pseudonym to keep the digital footprint of our real identity to zero.

Born 1991 but knowing better than old man CEO's.

Secret Access to past issues here.


This is not a trend forecast agency.
We will show you what you should be doing today. Yesterday.

Outsider 2019 © All Rights Reserved

We compiled our list of thinkers with you included,
if you're not feeling it unsubscribe here

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Outsider · Amsterdam · Amsterdam, Yes H3110 · Netherlands

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp