Imagine you’re a contestant on a quiz show. Your opponents are brainy folks with wide knowledge. The questions aren’t just trivia. You have to think quickly on your feet to solve problems.
Now let’s imagine you have a secret weapon. You have a tiny receiver inside your ear — and somebody elsewhere who has access to most of the knowledge of the world is whispering the answers in your head. Your opponents are bright, but this other person feeds you those answers quickly enough that you have the most points.
The show is over. You’re declared the winner. Everybody remarks about how brilliant you are. But you feel like a fraud, because you know that someone else was feeding you those answers. It looked remarkable, but you know that you didn’t have any idea how to work out the answers which you so confidently gave.
And you’re scared people are going to find out you’re a fraud.
That’s how I’ve felt for my entire life. I’ve been blurting out answers that appear in my head — or writing them down in some way — ever since I was a child. And I felt like a fraud.