#117 – Her Popularity Comes With A Price

The term impostor phenomenon is used to designate an internal experience of intellectual phonies, which appears to be particularly prevalent and intense among a select sample of high achieving women. Certain early family dynamics and later introjection of societal sex-role stereotyping appear to contribute significantly to the development of the impostor phenomenon. Despite outstanding academic and professional accomplishments, women who experience the imposter phenomenon persists in believing that they are really not bright and have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise. Numerous achievements, which one might expect to provide ample object evidence of superior intellectual functioning, do not appear to affect the impostor belief. Four factors, which contribute to the maintenance of impostor feelings over time, are explored. Therapeutic approaches found to be effective in helping women change the impostor self-concept are described.

reads the abstract of “The Impostor Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention” – a paper written by Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes from Georgia State University.

I was always fascinated by the term Impostor since the day I read an article about how even some of the great role model figures like Sheryl Sandberg, Emma Watson and Kate Winslet suffer from this syndrome. Popularity for women always comes with a price. And sometimes it takes toll on her self image and the scars last for a lifetime if not treated with proper care.

Impostor Syndrome is one such behavior. In their paper Pauline and Suzanne have gone to the depths of how this behavior arises and is prevalent among women. It’s not that Impostor syndrome is associated with specific gender. It is found both in men and women but it lasts longer in women as compared to men. The main reason for this being the stereotyping of women in our society.

It sometimes starts right from within the family when parents start being indifferent to their kids. When parents label one of the siblings as “bright, intelligent, creative” and the other as “sensitive, fragile, calm” kids presume those attributes to be true and act accordingly. Usually when a girl is always compared to her brother and told that she is a girl, so she has to be sensitive, compassionate, kind, and she is not good enough to pick a fight with boys, instead of empowering her, parents unknowingly are pushing her into becoming one impostor.

Ask how? The girl who has been now labelled as weak and fragile will continue to fight against that mental image painted by her parents. Each day she tries to break the glass cieling and fast forward this nature for another 10 years, you would get a perfectly crafted imposter syndrome stricken woman. A woman who would always doubt her abilities and always thinks “Maybe I just got lucky that my entrepreneurial debut is making a six digit income” , “Maybe the jury was being very considerate in nominating my name for the best business woman of the year”.

Added to all this, I have seen a lot of workplaces where if a woman has achieved something a man could never achieve all they would do is “Why not… after all she has got a beautiful face, boobs and pussy… she can get things done”. I might sound very lewd and disgusting for some. But the reality doesn’t change. In 2011, the Institute of Leadership and Management surveyed managers about how confident they felt in their professions – and half of the female respondents reported self-doubt in their jobs, compared to less than a third of men. It’s not that these women were inefficient or not qualified enough to take up their roles. It’s the constant fear of falling into the dilemma of whether to accept that she is fit for the role or to dismiss the entire fact and say “Hey it was just by fluke”. Either ways, she is not going to have mental peace until she accepts that she is as good as any other person in that role.

People should always remember that feminine charms are not everything in this world. A woman can be pretty and yet be dumb. These kind of women often drop off in the middle of their career in pursuit of love – marriage and – baby carriage. Taking these kind of women as an example you cannot target every other woman walking on the road as “She has boobs and pussy so she get’s things done”.

There are hundreds and thousands of women who are paying price for being smart, for being successful, for being pretty + badass, for being intelligent + creative, for being gutsy + sensitive and most importantly just because she is a woman. . They suffer silently throughout their teens proving their abilities to their parents, relatives and society. Once they get into their work places, they suffer even more because the stakes are really high. And how many more people are they going to prove if they become CEO’s of MNC’s , CIO/CTO’s of large tech firms (which is largely filled with male workers) , professors of reputed universities. The self doubt increases until there comes a point when each significant achievement they accomplish seems like “Ok. Maybe I wasn’t worth it. What’s next to achieve so that I can justify I really deserve this”. The loop doesn’t end. It goes on and on until it takes a toll on their self esteem and damages a part of their personality forever.

Here are some tips from famous super achievers among women who are dealing with impostor syndrome on a regular basis:

Sheryl Sandberg:

“Every time I was called on in class, I was sure that I was about to embarrass myself. Every time I took a test, I was sure that it had gone badly. And every time I didn’t embarrass myself — or even excelled — I believed that I had fooled everyone yet again. One day soon, the jig would be up … This phenomenon of capable people being plagued by self-doubt has a name — the impostor syndrome. Both men and women are susceptible to the impostor syndrome, but women tend to experience it more intensely and be more limited by it.” —Lean In, March 2013

Emma Watson

“It’s almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I’m just going, Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud, and that I don’t deserve any of what I’ve achieved. I can’t possibly live up to what everyone thinks I am and what everyone’s expectations of me are. It’s weird — sometimes [success] can be incredibly validating, but sometimes it can be incredibly unnerving and throw your balance off a bit, because you’re trying to reconcile how you feel about yourself with how the rest of the world perceives you.” —Rookie, May 2013

Natalie Portman

On being a Harvard student: “So I have to admit that today, even 12 years after graduation, I’m still insecure about my own worthiness. I have to remind myself today, You are here for a reason. Today, I feel much like I did when I came to Harvard Yard as a freshman in 1999 … I felt like there had been some mistake — that I wasn’t smart enough to be in this company and that every time I opened my mouth I would have to prove I wasn’t just a dumb actress. … Sometimes your insecurities and your inexperience may lead you to embrace other people’s expectations, standards, or values, but you can harness that inexperience to carve out your own path — one that is free of the burden of knowing how things are supposed to be, a path that is defined by its own particular set of reasons.” —Harvard Commencement 2015, May 2015

Kate Winslet

“What people really think of me is something I remain blissfully unaware of most of the time. I love acting and all I ever try to do is my best. But even now I always dread those emotional scenes. I’m there thinking, ‘Oh my God, I’m rubbish and everyone is going to see it. They’ve cast the wrong person.’ But I have come to realize that those nerves are all part of the process for me.” —The Mirror, June 2013

So the next time you hate a woman for being bossy and super successful, please remember the journey and the mental fight that she must have fought in order to feel super confident about her own abilities. Her popularity comes with a huge price. Respect the journey and hard-work of each individual irrespective of a woman or man. Before you judge others make sure you are “picture perfect”.

Quote Courtesy: http://ow.ly/1Wku30fU0jL


365/12 – To Know The Unknown. Is It Really Worth It?

This is your life
If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.

My answer would definitely be NO.

Because, of the many lessons I learnt off late, the most important one was to

Be patient and learn to go with the flow of life.

In a way, it is definitely the best way to live life. There exists no man in this world, who being aware of his future was able to change few things which were bound to happen in his life. In that case, what is the point in knowing the Unknown. It will definitely add more pain to you.

The best scenario for this statement would be like this:

You get your life-history book. You read it cover to cover only to discover that, 90% of your life shall be spent in chapters of sadness. Now what? Can you change the order of those events? No. Can you go into the future and stop the person from not leaving you? No. You cannot change the order of nature. What needs to happen, shall happen no matter what.

Nothing is in our hands. In that case, what’s the point in knowing the uncertainty. Uncertainty is definitely an uncomfortable position but certainty is an absurd one. I am a huge believer of Gita. The following quotes pretty much explains why one should never ever be bothered about the sequence of events happening in his life. Its hard to practice but ultimately we all know, that is the truth of life.

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365/11 – Anything at Cream Stone

Vanilla, chocolate, or something else entirely?

There is this new store called Cream Stone in HSR Layout Bangalore. Last year, I happened to visit this ice cream parlor and to my amaze…. The way the ice cream is served totally blew me up. The mighty cones, the menu, their hospitality and most importantly their wide variety of options under Chocolate Concepts are a real treat to any ice cream lover.


Coming back to the prompt, I would always prefer a flavor which has 99.99% chocolate and the rest I don’t mind what they add to it….

(Menu Courtesy: Zomato)

365/10- The Most Scariest Thing To Do In This World

You’re locked in a room with your greatest fear. Describe what’s in the room.

She was walking down the alley hurriedly when she heard someone calling her name from the dark. She turned back slowly to see the caller. To her horror, he was the Kerberos of her life…. guarding every move of hers since the time she came there.

She so wanted to get out of that place, but her legs were frozen. A masked man, came and dragged her back. She knew what was waiting her once she entered the darkness.


Lisa was awake now. The thunderous applause in the room had made her come out of her dreamland. The speaker had just now finished giving his speech and now it was her turn. Lisa was never much of an extrovert. She had spent all her life, hiding her nose behind the thick books and never came out in public. Her last memory of public speaking was in 4th Grade when she terribly failed to memorise a small psalm from Bible and broke down infront of the whole class. Since then, she had never stepped the dias. The backstage was her favorite.

But, Warren, her best friend, nominated her to the Public Speaking Club in her college 2 months back where she started slowly opening up. Her fears were embraced by the patient teachers and like minded friends. She learnt that, speaking infront of the crowd is scarier than death but it is very simple. And as she thought about all those countless sessions of her mentors tuning her into making her one of the best speakers in her University… she took one step towards the dias. Lisa was now going to deliver her very first TedX Speech.

She could feel the butterflies in her stomach, the anxiety, panic and all those quotes which pulled her down… But she overcame all of them, with just one quote in her mind




There she went, right to the middle of the stage and delivered her speech. At the end of 15th minute, all she could hear was the hooting and non stop applause of people. She felt as if she had won the Oscars. Tears rolled her cheeks as she made her way to the backstage. All the moments when her friends used to bully her and the pain resurfaced in the form of tears. That day she decided to put an end to it. She thanked her friend Warren for making her come out of her comfort zone and thanked her mentors for making the shy kid become such a successful speaker.


The above short fictional story was inspired by Amy Cuddy’s TED Video.

365/9 – This food definitely works wonders during depression

Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?

I feel like that everytime when I see an ice cream parlor near me. The moment I see an ice cream parlor, i feel I am depressed and I need to eat Ice Creams now. The feeling of helplessness/ not being in control are all just reasons to grab that big tub of Chocolate Ice Cream, because sometimes all you have to do is….

pablo (11)

365/8 – My All Time Favorite

What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person? Tell us about it.

Well the answer undisputably remains the one and only SRK.

I think I have spent 99% of the time of my life, in thoughts of him. His songs are all over my phone and his quotes are all over my mind. What’s more… he is all over my heart.


365/6– A Quote That Will Motivate You To Read More

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

pablo (5)I return to this quote again and again because, it reminds me of the importance of reading in one’s life. I have pinned this image in my mind strongly so that, even if get a minute of free time, I read something or the other which in turn has improved my overall personality exponentially.

365 Days Writing Prompts #5 – Stroke Of The Midnight


This year, right after the stroke of Midnight, there were no wishes awaiting for me except for few of my close friends asking me to come and party. For which, as usual I had a huge NO Board in my hand.

But as I was busy denying all the party requests, somewhere in the deep abyss of my heart, I felt I should let go of all those NO Syndrome and start something new. Hence I thought of changing my mind, the very stroke of midnight and next morning, went to Nandi Hills with my friend Kishore.

It was a breath taking experience for me… the chilly weather, the mountains covered in thick clouds and above all, your bestie clicking photos of you. ha ha What more do you want. It was my first time, visiting Nandi Hills and I enjoyed it so much that, I had to reluctantly take the road to Bangalore after some 3 hours of loitering around the Nandi Hills. We were glad to take some of these pictures and had a very peaceful time.

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365 Days Writing Prompts #4 – The Liberation Day

Festivus for the rest of us:
You have been named supreme ruler of the universe. Your first order of business is creating and instituting a holiday or festival in your honor. What day of the year is your holiday? What special events will take place? Describe YOU DAY in as great a detail as you can muster: the special foods we’ll consume, the decorations we’ll use…everything.

Instead of me being named as the Supreme Ruler here is a fictional character called Banjosca who becomes the supreme ruler of the Universe.

His first order of Business would be to declare MAY DAY as LIBERATION DAY and declare the entire week as Holiday.

Banjosca is none other than someone who has

  • the criminal mastermind of a joker
  • brute strength and exceptional intelligence of Bane
  • and possesses brilliant knowledge on how to induce fear in people just like the Scare Crow.

Hence the name BAne JOker SCArecrow. Banjosca would probably look like this.

joker wallpapers dc comics

Here is a short poem that Banjosca might keep as his National Anthem if he becomes the supreme ruler of the Universe:

When I wake up this morning

I keep telling the person in my mirror

that let nobody bring you down

for you are not a MONSTER…

but you are just ahead of the curve….

When I wake up this morning

I dress myself up

and say to myself 

that I am born to

give the instrument of your liberation…

I take the detonator in my hand

and push it in my jacket

have a glass of champagne

to celebrate the victory

of people induced by the fear


I pick up the gun on the table

and walk down the street

taking  a glimpse of those fast-track courts 

where I decide “It’s not about what I want… but it’s all about what’s fair”

I pound the gavel down

and sentence all these

corrupt bureaucrats to death/exile

for whatever they choose, 

their final path would lead them to die their own death

My city doesn’t want any winged hero

to come and rescue them

to restore the anarchy

to pacify the chaos

to liberate them

to bring them out of darkness

to make them fearless

Instead all it wants is an

anti-hero Banjosca

Banjosca is not an anti-social

but he is a man with intelligence

ignored by the world filled with Conformists

Banjosca wins the war for he has made people 

to step out of their hide outs and be fair enough to 

embrace the sensible way of living

by breaking all the rules

The heroes of the city brand me as DIFFERENT

For which I agree…

Yes I am different FUCK YOUR OPINION

it has no meaning for I am still

searching for that one mad fellow

who is as crazy as me

and accepts my ruling unquestionably

Because I believe



I stop beside the money launderers building and

press the detonator button

Off goes the siren 

and the city is in chaos….

100 more people dead

Blood bath in the street

Some more people are liberated

The anarchy has successfully restored

the faith that no money launderer 

will ever be able to survive the

chaos created by Banjosca

The tattoo shops are all open

And the kids once again ink themselves with

the words



I give him 2 dollars

and come back to my home

Only to wake up next day

to upset the anarchy…..

and restore some fairness in our system.

Regarding the decorations, Banjosca would put up the below posters all the main streets of the city.

joker wallpapers joker wallpapers

365 Days Writing Prompts #3 – Indoor Pollution

stephen hawking quotes

Imagine, in great detail, an invention that could help reverse pollution — describe for us how your invention works and how it will help save the planet.

The biggest invention that could help reverse pollution is summarized below

9446a4452751b7d912097012856bfab9The day we humans realize the message behind this image, would be the day we would stop giving excuses and take some constructive steps to put an end to POLLUTION.

Why go and tackle the bigger problems when the major problem lies right inside your home?

Let’s talk about INDOOR POLLUTION today.  Did you all know that the Indoor air is 2x-5x  more polluted than outdoor air. And 90% of the time we spend our time indoors breathing harmful toxins like Radon, Carbon Monoxide, Chlorine, Air pollutants from beauty products, Volatile Organic Compounds from our furniture, Pet Dander and hair, Pesticides, Chemicals in non stick cookware and what not….

All these chemicals not just harm our environment but also kill us. They give your kids free asthma and irritation of eyes, nose, throat and skin. They make our senior citizens get timely head aches, fatigue and shortness of breath.  They can make your Work from Home a troublesome affair by making your mind difficult to concentrate, sinus congestion , hyper sensitivity to allergies, dizziness and nausea. Indoor Air Pollution is the 5th largest killer in India.

Not just this, poor ventilation and household processes plus the indoor cigarette smokers can cause

  1. LBW (Low Birth Weight) in the newborn babies
  2. Neural Tube Defects
  3. Insulin resistance
  4. Chronic Bronchitis
  5. Stroke and heart diseases.

Outdoor + Indoor air pollution together can cause negative effects on fetal growth.  And as the kid grows, it can develop serious respiratory diseases. Cigarette smoke contributes the maximum for the generation of indoor pollution.

Here is a snapshot of places where Indoor Pollution starts

Yet, we all speak of only one thing… SAVE ENVIRONMENT. Just like the old saying “Charity begins at home”, the key for prevention of such a big issue lies inside us. The biggest solution for ending Indoor Air Pollution is to purify your indoors and infuse as much Oxygen as possible inside your homes. How do we do that?

Humans breathe an average of 3000 gallons of air each day. How do we ensure that the 90% time we spend in our homes will be safe for our lungs?

One of the best inventions that came across to tackle this problem was NASA  Clean Air Study. The study results suggest some plants to detoxify your indoor air which contains toxic agents like Benzene, Formaldehyde and Trichloroethylene and replace it with fresh oxygen day and night. All you have to do is install one plant every 100 sq feet in your home. Simple.

Following are the plants that you can bring into your home.

Exotic Green Hybrid Money Plant Natural Plants,Natural Plants
Money Plant
Snake Plant
Peace Lily
Lady Palm
Aloe Vera
Flamingo Lily

These plants fit in your budget and require minimum sunlight. You can be an IT Professional or a busy working woman… still can afford these plants. According to NASA, these plants remove

Benzeneemitted from glues, paints, furniture wax and detergents

Formaldehydeemitted from emissions, disinfectants, fixatives and preservatives in consumer products

Trichloroethylene–  from Industrial Work during your house renovation

Xylene and Touleneemitted from variety of beauty products and household products

Ammoniafrom aerosols and sprays used in home.

Apart from these, you need to dust your home regularly and also fix any gas/water pipe leakages in order to combat the growth of mold and other toxins. Plus, it is also important to avoid low VOC Paints in home and stop using products that emit formaldehyde. A very common form of VOC Emission is from the fabric conditioners which you use to keep your clothes from smelling good to increasing the texture of your clothes. If you have pets, please make sure that you groom them regularly and clean them very often.

I have started growing some indoor plants in my small concrete Balcony in Bangalore. And very soon I will share my experimentations with those plants. Let me know, if you would like to be a part of this indoor gardening program.