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Why your brain is an unreliable narrator (w/ Aparna Nancherla)

How to Be a Better Human


Self-improvement, Education

4.21.1K Ratings

🗓️ 21 August 2023

⏱️ 41 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Impostor syndrome is one of many therapy-speak words that have gone mainstream in the past few years — but what is it, really? Aparna Nancherla knows all about it. Aparna is a comedian and the author of Unreliable Narrator: Me, Myself, and Impostor Syndrome. Despite her success as a performer, she isn’t immune to self-doubt. In this episode, she talks about the ways she’s learned to deal with impostor syndrome: like creating a resume listing all her failures, or making up words at parties to gauge other people’s reactions. She also shares how she learned to put less stock in success and what to do when your mind isn’t telling you the truth. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts

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Ted Audio Collective.


Audio Collective.


You're listening to how to be a better human.


I'm your host Chris Duffy. Sometimes if I think too hard about this


podcast my head starts to spin. Like who am I to host this show or to host any show for


that matter? Why on earth would I think that people should listen to me


ask questions about being a better human? And why would these successful intelligent guests


agree to an interview? It's easy to start feeling like this whole thing is a fraud and I'm about to be found out and kicked out and that I'll never work again.


I want to say, but of course that's not the case. That's like what would make sense to say here, but of course that's not the case.


But if I'm being honest, I don't know that I really believe that that's not the case.


Sometimes I really wonder. I hope that these feelings of insecurity are wrong and inaccurate, but I can't say that I know for sure.


And I think that almost all of us have those doubts sometimes, where we question ourselves and feel like we're faking it.


But for some people, those feelings can be constant, intense, and powerful.


Imposter Syndrome. Today's guest, Aparna Nancherla, writes about her own experiences with


imposter syndrome and other mental health challenges in her book


Unreliable Narrator which comes out September 19th. Amy Polar described Aparna's book as a


deeply honest and funny look at how exhausting it can be to live a human life.


And here's a clip from the audiobook, courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio.


I wanted to write a book about imposter syndrome because it's an identity I've embraced without question


my entire life, like being a Leo. I'm right on the cusp, but it's the more fun, flamboyant one.


My pragmatic Virgo Heart unenthusiastically


understands. Or having brown eyes. I used to think they were black, you know, like a


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