You Are (Not) a Fraud
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You Are (Not) a Fraud

A Scientist's Guide to the Imposter Phenomenon

About the Book


Those people to whom you compare yourself are every bit as superior as you believe them to be. They belong there. They know more than you. Your achievements don't count. And you're just not that clever.

Why bother? Give up. Go home...before you get found out.

Sound familiar?

This is how you speak to yourself if you think you're going to be found out and thrown out of your workplace.

This is how you speak to yourself when you think you're a phoney...but all of the evidence says otherwise.

This is how you speak to yourself when you're suffering from the Imposter Phenomenon.

My own thoughts of the Imposter Phenomenon almost made me quit before I got started. I almost gave up on my career before there ever was one. I almost gave up on myself.

In You Are (Not) a Fraud, I invite you to come with me as I share some of the hidden data behind the Imposter Phenomenon. Come with me as I tell you the stories that can help you understand that it's NOT the Imposter 'Syndrome'!

We can all understand what true imposters are.

We can all understand how to be mindful of useless comparisons we make between ourselves and other people.

We can all understand how the Imposter Phenomenon might always be there...but it should never stop you doing exactly what you want to do.

This is not an imposter syndrome book. It's the book that will help you to ditch the term 'imposter syndrome' forever...

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    • Self-Help
    • Non-Fiction
    • Personal Transformation
    • Leadership
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    Contact the Author(s)


About the Author

Marc Reid
Marc Reid

Marc was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland.

He completed his Masters in Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde in 2011. In 2015, he completed his Carnegie Trust-sponsored PhD in Chemistry at Strathclyde. From 2015-16, Marc was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Edinburgh. During that time, he was inducted into the SciFinder Future Leaders in Chemistry programme.

In 2016, Marc won the prestigious Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship and rejoined the Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry at Strathclyde from 2017-20. This position was supported by GlaxoSmithKline, and he was thus the first Strathclyde-GSK Early Career Academic. In 2018, Marc was selected to participate in the Scottish Crucible leadership program, the Merck Innovation Cup, and was part of the Converge Challenge Entrepreneurship Competition Top 30. In 2020, Marc became a CPACT-supported Research Fellow and then Lecturer for Innovation in Education at the University of Bristol.

Most recently, Marc was awarded a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, joining the Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry at Strathclyde in 2021.

He holds a visiting lectureship at the University of Bristol, and a visiting Enterprise Fellowship in the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde. In 2021, Marc completed Seth Godin’s altMBA.

Outside academia, Marc is the founder of the safety culture and accident readiness company Pre-Site Safety.

His interests include physical organic chemistry, computer vision, cheminformatics, virtual reality, process safety, and the psychology of the Imposter Phenomenon.

Reader Testimonials

Barbara B
Barbara B

A truly magnificent journey of experience and research that you’ll read and re-read (5 out of 5 stars)

This is an awesome work told with confident vulnerability and filled with amazing ideas and techniques to help the reader take the themes and translate them into personally useful exercises. I’ve not enjoyed a book this much in a very long time.

Bryan W
Bryan W

Informative and soul-searching! (5 out of 5 stars)

Not only does the author, Dr. Marc Reid, open up on his own experiences with the phenomenon, he takes the reader on the journey through his past discoveries on what it is, how it can manifest itself in our lives, and how he has come to manage it in his own life. The material if also very accessible to anyone not of a scientific background, with accounts of other notable people, past and present, to highlight how pervasive the issue has been in our societies.

Paul M
Paul M

Personable & Insightful (5 out of 5 stars)

A pleasure to read, Marc's writing style is personable and sincere in a way that makes you feel at ease reading about something that, typically, makes many people feel uneasy. With an honest humility and intellectual curiosity reminiscent of Gladwell, Marc's ability to weave academia with authentic and relevant real-world application helps keep the pace of the book steady and engaging. Highly recommended reading!

Fraser K
Fraser K

Highly educational & insightful - a MUST read (5 out of 5 stars)

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book by Dr Marc Reid in which Marc bravely shares his personal experiences relating to the 'Imposter Phenomenon'. Recounting his thoughts and feelings which were diarized over many years, this book will be incredibly useful to the numerous people who find themselves in similar circumstances. He provides useful context, analogies and reference data to back up his perspectives.

James M
James M

Excellent! (5 out of 5 stars)

Amazing read, great insight and put across very well! Highly recommend for anyone to purchase. Great work.

Craig P
Craig P

Great read! (5 out of 5 stars)

Fantastic guide to something that I feel everyone experiences in their life.

Anonymous Amazon Customer
Anonymous Amazon Customer

Insightful and relatable (5 out of 5 stars)

From the preface I was hooked. Written with relatable vulnerability I found myself no longer feeling alone in my own 'imposter' world. Dr Marc Reid invites his readers into his world with a warming embrace and, without judgement offers methods to manage our own feelings and experiences. A 5 star read.

Melissa M
Melissa M

Informative, authentic and heartwarming (5 out of 5 stars)

Reid’s use of language is effortlessly academic yet authentic and moving. This book explores the topic of the imposter phenomenon so transparently which is refreshing and informative. “You Are Not A Fraud” is like a warm hug to anyone who has ever felt they weren’t qualified to do something, despite there being a plethora of evidence to suggest otherwise. I’d recommend this book to anyone!

Anonymous Amazon Customer
Anonymous Amazon Customer

Enlightening - A must read! (5 out of 5 stars)

Just finished it. This book has the potential to be helpful to all ECR and PhD students. A must read.

Elaine R
Elaine R

A must read! (5 out of 5 stars)

As someone who has always struggled with feeling ‘not good enough’, You Are Not a Fraud has given me countless ‘aha!’ moments, difficult realisations and moments of pure joy. A must-read for anyone who feels like they are outside their comfort zone… and wants to thrive there!

R. M. Baptie
R. M. Baptie

Buy this book! (5 out of 5 stars)

I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it. The topic itself is fascinating and Marc does a brilliant job exploring it. Each chapter focuses on a specific moment in Marc's life and then ties it back into the overarching themes. Marc's voice is funny, informative and brutally honest. He opens up about deeply personal moments in his life whilst making sure the whole book clips along at an enjoyable pace. I think that anyone could pick up this book and find something in it that spe


Excellent buy (5 out of 5 stars)

Great book. Really well written and insightful with plenty of real life examples. Very compelling and rich.

Danny M
Danny M

Highly recommend this insightful, thought provoking and surprisingly reassuring book (5 out of 5 stars)

A great read. This book really resonated with me, perfectly capturing many of my own feelings and experiences as I’ve moved across various roles both within and across industries. ‘You are (not) a Fraud’ has helped me both to frame my own experiences and helped to normalise the phenomenon of imposter experiences. Talking about the book and referring to particular sections and examples in workplace situations has allowed me to discover how many of my colleagues across all levels of seniority have

Susan M
Susan M

Even stubborn skeptics can celebrate (5 out of 5 stars)

I'll admit I was curious how a scientist was going to approach a self-help topic like Imposter Phenomenon. Marc is chemist - not academic training known for "happy talk." He brings the facts (and charts) to build his case one premise at a time. Feeling like an imposter can happen to anyone (especially when we are all encouraged to get out of our comfort zones, try new things, or fake it 'til you make it). This book challenged my ideas about what our brains try to tell us during those moments of

Audible Customer
Audible Customer

Well written and thought provoking 95 out of 5 stars for performance and story)

I would highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with imposter feelings. The book is relatable, interesting and helpful to contextualize feelings felt by many people but not openly spoken about.

Audible Customer
Audible Customer

Thought-provoking (5 out of 5 stars for story and performance)

This book is a great combination of a very personal story, intriguing detail and actionable tasks. It's well narrated by Marc in his glorious Scottish accent. As the author, he's the ideal person to put the emotion into his words. It's an emotional roller coaster ride in which Marc relates his own self-doubts, often expressing the inner thoughts that come to the surface in situations where the negative nature of those thoughts is beyond his control; that is, he bares his soul! Marc weaves his

Murali R
Murali R

You will recognise a bit of you in there (5 out of 5 stars)

This book comes with a very interesting approach, with the author sharing his experiences and thoughts rather than preaching a message. The author managed to make an original blend of feelings and emotions with hard scientific methodology. I was surprised to recognising myself in some aspects of the book that I have never even considered. An eye opener! The audible is very good, the narrator is clear, has a good pace and the Scottish accent is a bit of a bonus. Overall very pleased, would defini

Table of Contents

  • Credits
  • Author’s Note
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: An Innocent Fraud is Born
  • Chapter 2: It’s Not a Syndrome
  • Chapter 3: No Longer Alone
  • Chapter 4: Genuine Imposters
  • Chapter 5: Finding Perspective
  • Chapter 6: Failing Better
  • Chapter 7: Social Comparisons
  • Chapter 8: Questioning Your Brain
  • Epilogue: The Responsibility of Leaders
  • Acknowledgements
  • About the Author
  • Notes

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