I’D just spent the afternoon with Kate Langbroek from the radio drive show “Hughsey and Kate”.
Talking to my boss after our meeting I said: “Just so you know, I’m prone to having emotional breakdowns when I meet big radio names.”
My boss was perplexed; had something happened? Was I crying because I was fangirling so hard?
It was none of the above.
The truth is, I was suffering from impostor syndrome.
Kate was funny and witty and wonderful at her job.
I had listened to Kate with my ear pressed up against the radio and I’d watched her on The Panel even though I was probably too young to actually get the jokes.
How could Kate Langbroek and I both be considered radio announcers?
It’s not the first time I’ve suffered a dose of impostor syndrome.
I went to the ACRA’s a couple of years ago; it’s like the radio equivalent of the Logies.
I was excited.
I bought a new dress, I got my makeup done and I was ready to rub shoulders with radio’s elite.
I imagined myself having in-depth radio conversations with Fifi Box, I saw myself laughing at Andy Lee’s jokes between entrée and mains.
In reality, I got painfully timid on the night and felt completely out of place.
I was on my way to the bathroom when I walked passed Hamish Blake and his wife, Zoe Foster-Blake who I adore.
I did this weird movement where I stopped to say hello then turned back to the bathroom because I chickened out – but oh wait, maybe I should say hello - ugh no, just go to the bathroom. And maybe just stay there for the rest of the night.
Hamish and Andy visited our Albury studios 18 months ago. And, sure enough, 30 minutes was spent in my boss’s office crying because they were so cool and I, well, wasn’t.
I walked the halls of our office for days after, expecting to get a tap on the shoulder from someone saying ‘Riley-Rose, come on, you’ve had your fun and now we’re going to let the REAL radio announcer take over’.
I would be found out soon enough, I thought, I was lucky I’d even gotten this far.
Clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes know all about ‘impostor syndrome’ considering they coined the term in the 70s.
It’s described as “the phoniness in people who believe that they are not intelligent, capable or creative despite evidence of high achievement.”
And, to make it worse, millennials bear the brunt even worse given we’re always on social media comparing ourselves to the Beyonce’s of the world.
It has been somewhat comforting to find out people such as Emma Watson, Meryl Streep and even Margot Robbie have fallen victim to it.
While I can’t relate to the success of a major blockbuster film, I still feel ya Margot.
Impostor syndrome can be cruel if we let it get the better of us.
However, it’s important to note the power of perspective.
Our successes (in whatever form) shouldn’t just be put down to ‘a lucky streak’.
We often forget to celebrate the wins.
Do yourself a favour and indulge in a ‘humble brag’ every now and then, the impostor syndrome will soon realise it’s outstayed its welcome.
Riley-Rose Harper can be heard on Hit 104.9 from 6-9am on weekdays.
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