Podcast Episode 6: The Antidote to Imposter Syndrome


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It’s estimated that over 70% of people experience imposter syndrome.  Imposter syndrome is the tendency to discount or diminish obvious evidence of our abilities. If not dealt with properly, the imposter syndrome can prevent us from being productive at our jobs as it creates a thought error. 

In this episode, learn the

  • Understand the root cause of Imposter Syndrome
  • Know the sneaky ways it show up in your work
  • Learn the the antidote to Imposter Syndrome


So many of us are super achievers, but that doesn’t stop us from doubting our skills.

Something like over 70% of people experience imposter syndrome. 

If not dealt with properly, the imposter syndrome can prevent us from being productive at our jobs as it creates a thought error.

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Read the Transcript
Today’s episode is about one of my favorite topics. 

Imposter Syndrome. So many of us are super achievers, but that doesn’t stop us from doubting our skills.

Something like over 70% of people experience imposter syndrome. 

Imposter syndrome is the tendency to discount or diminish obvious evidence of our abilities. 

If not dealt with properly, the imposter syndrome can prevent us from being productive at our jobs as it creates a thought error. 

In a nutshell it’s fear based thinking like

They are going to find out about me. 

Or I like to say, you feel itchy on the inside. 

Let’s dig in. Where does it show up for you? 

Are you reluctant to speak up in a group meeting and zoom has just exacerbated it?
Do procrastinate?
How about do you over-prepare?
Or do you under-pursue opportunities?
Over pursue certifications and training?
Do you avoid standing out?
Do you say things like if I could do this – how hard can this be?
Do you have a crippling anxiety every time you have to face a new professional challenge?
Or you are downplaying your successes, you present your expertise with caveats – this is just my opinion but…
If you are a freelancer or a consultant, do you allow scope creep – increasing your deliverables without increasing the price?

Remember when you say yes to something like these actions, you are really saying no to something else. 

I ask you my friend…

Which discomfort are you choosing? 

The one where you undervalue yourself in advance? 

Or the discomfort you’ll experience when you dig into why you are continuing to do this to yourself? 

One discomfort brings you deeper into the pattern. The other discomfort helps you end it. 

Dealers choice. 

Imposter syndrome, the fraud complex, or imposter experience, is being afraid that you will be exposed as an imposter or a fraud. Or that everyone else is smarter. That is a lie my friends. 

Think about it. If you were that much of an imposter do you think you could have tricked everyone into believing otherwise? It’s subtle arrogance masked by humility. 

There’s a brilliant quote from Maya Angelou on imposter syndrome

“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out.”

Do you see the lie? Don’t lie to yourself, it’s really exhausting. 

It’s like clean-up in aisle 9. When you lie to yourself you have to keep cleaning it up in order to trust yourself or you stop trusting yourself. Which is a whole other episode. Stay tuned.   

I want to talk about the ways I see imposter syndrome show up. 

You may have experienced one or all of these thought based and emotion fueled experiences. 

They are Scarcity. Sufficiency. And Identity crisis. 

First let’s look at the scarcity mindset. 
Scarcity thinking sucks. Scarcity eats joy, exhausts us, and puts us in a constant state of lack. It’s a bugger of an emotion that can easily pop up if you aren’t working your mind. It’s about lack and your inability to be in abundance. 

Because you earned it (the job, the position, the opportunity), but now you don’t know how to HAVE it. 

I think of scarcity as Supply and Pie thoughts. There’s a limited supply. And, I won’t get my piece of the pie. So I have to work harder and do more than others just so I can get the same outcome. I am tired already. 

The second is sufficiency because for some they experience a challenge with  deservability or worthiness. 

Meaning that you don’t feel worthy of the attention or the acknowledgement. 
You lose your capacity for joy. There’s no pride at the accomplishment. Your brain tells you that you are not enough, incapable, not deserving. 

Whether you accomplish something or or not, it doesn’t change your worthiness. 

You are inherently worthy my friend, even with all your glory and gaffs. 

I personally always came from a pure sufficiency issue. 

I had to do MORE. It was more about needing the additional credentials. 

The disease of more. I needed another training, another certification. I was a media and marketing type. 

But according to my brain, I should teach myself to code. Check

I should also get certified as a personal trainer. Done

And I’ll study botany to become a clinical aromatherapist, just in case. Got it. 
I’m not kidding. 

It was my way of preparing for the next apocalypse, also known as dot bomb or a marketplace dive. So if the bottom fell out, at least I’d have another skill or experience to rely on. 

I’d raise my hand for the project, the committee, I’d go the extra extra, did I mention extra mile? 

Sufficiency and people pleasing makes for one fine mess. Let me tell you 

The last thought error I see is around identity crisis. 

You question all that we have and all that we’ve become. 

You forget to remember all that you’ve accomplished. 

You sabotage yourselves through doubt, compare and despair. You wait for the other shoe to drop. 

You question your credentials, the earned merit, your entitlement to have the opportunity. 

You let unhelpful thoughts run the show. You believe your fear-based thoughts. 

You want to get away from the encounter and get to the next one because you think the NEXT one – that’ll be it. That will be the ONE that will make you FEEL differently. 

You want the next thing to make you feel better but I promise you that isn’t going to make you feel better. 

If you don’t allow yourself to fully experience and celebrate the reward of your accomplishment the next one isn’t going to fill the hole. 

Your identity is not about your accomplishments. Your identity is made up of your strengths, skills, values and beliefs about yourself.

This identity work is some of the most important work I do with my 1:1 clients. 

We get clear on their strengths, values, skills, and make sure they have the ability to articulate them effectively. 
This practice helps them develop an appreciation for themselves and is one of the key antidotes for imposter syndrome. 

Another way to bust imposter syndrome is to talk about it. Yup. 

If you are a manager, normalize it. Talk about it. Share your own thoughts about it. 

Get comfort with being uncomfortable. Encourage others to do the same. 

You may be cringing right now but where did this idea come from that we shouldnt be uncomfortable? 

I mean, everyone I know is uncomfortable at some point and they’ve lived to tell. 

The fastest way to smash imposter syndrome is to refresh your thinking. 

Understand that people who feel the imposter syndrome feel differently than the 30% of people who DONT experience imposter syndrome. 

Makes sense, right? 

Think like a non-imposter. You need to refresh your thinking. What if the opposite were true? 

Remember that your feelings of being an imposter are going to be the last thing to change. You aren’t going to change this over night

You have to train yourself to question everything you think to change your feelings.

You don’t have to feel confident to act confident. 

Eventually your brain will catch up and you’ll think it and feel confident. 

So how do we fix it? It’s not by positive thinking or avoiding the feeling. It’s most certainly not having your mother tell you that you are amazing. 

Try this instead: 
1) Sit with it. Feel what it’s like to be in the accomplishment. 
2) Determine what you are thinking about yourself and the accomplishment. 
3) Spend some time brainstorming your intentional or goal thought–what you want to believe instead. 
4) Finally, if the intentional thought feels like too far of a stretch, then wiggle off of it and come up with a possibility. It’s possible that…I may be really good at my job. 

Practice. Every. Day. 

These steps will help you get clear on your identity, abolishing scarcity thinking, and increasing your sufficiency. It’s the antidote for the imposter syndrome.