Amy Lemley, 46, has spent most of her life feeling like a fraud. She remembers debilitating performance pressure even as a young child. When she believed she wasn’t strong in a subject, such as science or math, she’d avoid it, once refusing to do homework for months.
Later, as a marketing copywriter, Lemley felt her anxieties surfacing again. She began worrying obsessively about how she came off to coworkers and clients. Was she being taken seriously? Did that person think she knew what she was talking about? A few times she forgot to bill her clients, and when she realized the mistake, was too embarrassed to send the bill late.