HOW refreshing it was to hear a country's leader open up and admit they experience self-doubt and anxiety. Imposter syndrome, it's called, and who would ever have expected to hear a sufferer exists who has earned academic qualifications, risen through the political ranks and, after hard, long graft, now sits in charge of a successful western country.

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Hearing Donald Trump this week talk about his personal fears must have brought great relief to a great many people.

"The whole problem with the world," wrote the philosopher Bertrand Russell, "Is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."

Now we know Trump lies awake at night wondering if he's made the right decisions. "Should I," he mulls, "Have choked out a kind word at Senator John McCain’s funeral?"

"Why has the GOP lost control of the House? Because of me?"

When it was reported that he asked Oval Office advisors, "Why are we having all these people from sh**hole countries come here?", Trump fretted at the thought people might really believe he could say such a thing. He could barely touch that morning's Egg McMuffin, his stomach so filled already with a hard, apprehensive knot.

"Are we right," and here he furrows a brow in consternation, "To deny women their reproductive rights and force them to carry a child they do not want, cannot afford and who could be the result of rape or incest? Is this not exceptional cruelty?"

He is not the only political leader, of course, to confess to suffering from imposter syndrome. First identified in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, it is a recognised phenomenon, most often affecting successful women, where a person feels they have no right to their success, despite all evidence to the contrary.

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"When will they find me out?" is the mantra of the imposter syndrome sufferer.

And who can forget Theresa May's powerful admission of the fear and apprehension she feels each day of her Prime Ministerial tenure. "Am I," and she feels physically sick at the thought, "Forcing the country entire to feel literal imposter syndrome, persisting as I am with Brexit? These people feel European, and they will not be. We are all imposters in our own land."

"Would but," she mulls while opening a copy of the Times, "We all had the pure self-knowledge of my Housing Secretary. Look at James there, with his two double ovens. Brokenshire knows who he is and he's not afraid to bake a Victoria sponge to show it."

Mrs May is hampered by British politeness that holds a very particular fear of being perceived as brash. "One is not American," she thinks, while wishing she could have the American social pass that allows for tooting of own horns and innate confidence. How relieved she is now to know that Mr Trump shares her confidence wobbles.

Ah, but of course, it is not Trump and it is not Theresa May who have demonstrated wisdom. It was our own Nicola Sturgeon this week who brought a level of comfort to women - and a surprising number of men - with her admission that she suffers from imposter syndrome.

Ms Sturgeon is in good company. Meryl Streep and Maya Angelou expressed the same concerns and, going back a bit further, so did Albert Einstein. Michelle Obama has also spoken of the same specific self-doubt that tries to hinder aspiration.

"It doesn't go away," Mrs Obama told pupils at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School, an all-girls school in north London, "That feeling that you shouldn't take me that seriously. What do I know?

"I share that with you because we all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is."

The First Minister's comments are similar but bring in the added dimension of class. "I don't think there is a woman alive, particularly working-class women, who don't experience that at some point in their lives, and probably quite regularly,” she said. "I just think it is natural."

Autocorrect on my phone keeps trying to change the phrase to Imposer Syndrome, my mobile seemingly posing as a native French speaker. I like it, though, as a description for the psychological phenomenon affecting Trump.

Perhaps Theresa May does feel fraudulent during an occasional dark night of the soul. Maybe Trump has learned to quash the self-doubt that threatens to overwhelm him. But the evidence speaks otherwise.

Imposter syndrome is a feeling to be nurtured, rather than excised. We all remember David Cameron's explanation for why he thought he should be Prime Minister: "Because I think I’d be good at it."

Do we want Daves or Nicolas in charge? Self-entitled, over-confident Boris Johnson-esque privilege or the type of person who can self-interrogate and come up with areas for improvement?

The side-effects of imposter syndrome - feeling physically sick at public speaking, sleepless nights, crushing embarrassment after a below-par performance - are all torture. But their upside is they allow for self-improvement and put the brakes on the worst effects of Old Etonian-style over-confidence.

So what a pity, then, it isn't felt more widely throughout politics. We could benefit from more imposters and fewer posers.