Hillary Clinton discusses ‘imposter syndrome’ in letter to her teenage self

Hilary Clinton
Ethan James Green photographs Hilary Clinton for Teen Vogue
Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has written a letter to her teenage self, asking women to not give in to ‘imposter syndrome’.

In an emotional letter for Teen Vogue, Clinton opened up about some of the insecurities many women face, and offered up valuable advice on how to deal with them.

Describing how she felt after her first semester at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, Clinton said she ‘found herself surrounded by brilliant, accomplished women.’

“They were fluent in other languages. They had lived abroad. They had already read half the books on the syllabus.

That was intimidating – so intimidating, in fact, that you called your parents and told them you didn’t belong at Wellesley after all, and you needed to come home.”

Clinton went onto offer advice to those experiencing ‘imposter syndrome’ and feeling inadequate.

“Take risks, and don’t be afraid to get caught trying,” she writes.

“Do your best to embrace the excitement that comes with not knowing what’s next, and remember that confidence and an open mind will always serve you better than insecurity and doubt.”

The presidential candidate then encourages women to ‘forge connections’ with people you admire, ‘lift one another up and help your peers to shine as brightly as they possibly can.’

“Throughout your life, you’ll find yourself in plenty of rooms where you’re sure everyone is smarter than you are—and sometimes they will be.

But one of the best things in life is getting to know intelligent, inspiring people who have something to say.

Learn from them. Ask their advice. Support them, and let them support you. After all, you’re plenty smart, too.”

Finally, Clinton paid tribute to her friends, who she said have ‘always seen me through’.

“They will lift you up and keep you grounded all at once. Best of all, they will help you learn to love yourself exactly as you are: human, imperfect, a work in progress, but always striving.”

““Let yourself be flawed.” It’s hard to think of better advice than that.”

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