NICOLA Sturgeon admitted that she suffers from imposter syndrome and how politics can leave her feeling vulnerable.

In a revealing interview for Sunny Govan Radio, the First Minister discussed being a woman in the senior political arena, confessed that she is her own worst critic, and opened up on how her marriage to Peter Murrell has surprised her.

Host Anne Hughes began by asking Sturgeon if she ever felt like an imposter. “Like many women in senior positions, yes I absolutely do,” said Sturgeon. “However, I think it gives women a bit of humility too and reminds you that you have to work hard for what you need to achieve.

“It keeps you grounded. Do I deserve this? Could I do better? It makes you more accountable for your own work.”

The First Minister added that it is often more difficult for women in politics to adopt an approach which isn’t criticised: “It’s a double whammy!” she said.

“You get criticised for not really being a woman and then get criticised for being weak if you adopt a feminine style. When it comes down to it, you just have to find your own style of delivery that works for you.”

When asked on what has surprised her over the year, Sturgeon explained that marriage came as a big surprise: “I had always been a bit of a feminist and never really considered marriage as an option.

“When Peter and I decided to get married, it was immediate how much more strong and stable I felt knowing that I had Peter Murrell at my back. His support and the support of my mum and dad give me the resilience and strength to keep going every day and doing my best.

“You feel vulnerable putting yourself up for election, if you are unsuccessful, you face mass public rejection. Every time you stand up stand up in Parliament or in a television debate, you could crash and burn.

She added: “You still get nervous before a speech. It’s the adrenaline that stops you from messing up so you constantly put yourself on the firing line from the media and in a very public arena.

“I know I always have my family behind me.”

The First Minister explained that from an early age she was driven to speak up against social and economic injustice. That led her into her career as a lawyer and ultimately 20 years, and counting, as a politician.

On style and men not having to think about what they wear as much, the FM spoke of the challenges of finding outfits which will be appropriate for every engagement on that day.

“If you get it wrong, the Daily Mail will write about it,” she said.

She added, though, it is the bigger and more important decisions she makes that she scrutinises herself for.

“You don’t always get it right and you learn best from the mistakes you make and the failures you experience,” she said.