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  • Dan Berger

Fakin’ it to battle imposter syndrome

Updated: Oct 5

Since I moved to Boise, I’ve been thinking about the importance of belonging. Without it, imposter syndrome creeps in: we feel like frauds. To cope with it, I try by working backwards, claiming a title before it’s a thing.


This started at nine, when I moved from Israel to the US. I was wracked with social anxiety. Online, however, I could interact with people behind an alias that obfuscated my real identity and represented who I wanted to become.


And when I switched high schools from a large/elite one to a small/normal one, I had a chance to present myself anew: this time as a raver — though I hadn’t even been to a rave yet. I went all-in on the lifestyle and it wasn’t long before I was organizing them. That’s how I quickly became a member of a community that I truly felt a part of.


And the summer ahead of business school, anticipating many conversations about sports in an environment with 70% males, I watched SportsCenter incessantly so I could have content for happy hour smalltalk. Thankfully, that phase didn’t last long 😂


Most recently, when I moved to Boise, I bought a camper despite a glaring lack of outdoor experience. I’m not sure yet where this will take me but I’m excited to connect to the outdoors. I can’t wait to find out who I meet and what I learn along the way.


I’ve felt like an imposter many times in my life: Israeli in America, struggling student in a school for gifted kids, nerd posing as a raver, New Yorker shopping for an RV. But I’ve always known I can change my narrative, and this has given me the confidence to step into unfamiliar communities where I’ve been able to build meaningful friendships, learn from different people, and do what I love the most, which is bringing people together 🤗

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© Dan j. Berger

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