Imagine this...I’ve been attending the Women Who Do networking events for a few months - I love them! Emma Downey, the amazing owner of Women Who Do, is arranging some business workshops for 2019. Emma has asked if I would be interested in being a speaker. I would be speaking about the imposter syndrome and helping female entrepreneurs by sharing some simple strategies to help build their confidence and inner resilience. This is my area, this is where I have expertise, yet, I have my own internal voice that very helpfully chimes in with “Really? Why would they want to listen to you?”
And this is the reality for many of us. We face into the most amazing opportunity, others must have faith in us to have offered this, yet, we self-sabotage.
I have been coaching for over 6 years, and in the last year and a bit I have been focusing on specialising in the imposter syndrome. I have studied, and keep studying, the subject. I use strategies that I know work and get results, I have the knowledge and skills to support clients, I have testimonials from clients on how I have helped them, I have been on my own journey to build my confidence and overcome imposter syndrome, but, I still sometimes have that inner naysayer that creeps in and tries to protect me.
We often don’t feel like an imposter until we are trying something new, or moving to the next level in either our career or a particular skill. It is called a comfort zone for a reason and going outside of this has risk. Although part of us sees the opportunity, the possibility, the potential, another part of us sees (and amplifies) what could go wrong. My internal voice is reminding me of the time I was called on to read aloud in class at school and was told repeatedly to speak louder as my voice was too quiet; it is reminding me of the presentation I had to give in an interview where my nerves got the better of me and, well, let’s just say, it could have been better (spoiler alert: I didn’t get the job). I’m trying to protect myself from going through this again.
I’m not sure why this voice is so much louder than the other voices, but, when the self doubt is there, it is. I am not reminded about the motivational talk I gave to a room of 80 and got a standing ovation for, or the workshops I run which receive rave reviews from attendees.
When the doubter is getting louder is when I love to use Tara Mohr’s technique of focusing in on my inner mentor. I think about who I am in twenty years time. I fully visualise me - my style (classic but a little funky), my energy (positive but calm), what I will have achieved (business success, well-travelled, financial security), the sort of person I am (kind, caring, empathetic, fun, loving, confident, successful). I then ask this future me, my internal mentor, what advice they would give me today. So, I tell myself to take this amazing opportunity, to help others and to leave a legacy. Yes, some people may not resonate with me or my message - that’s okay. Someone in the room needs to hear what I have to say. The way I deliver the message may be quieter than others, but that is who I am, and that is what I bring to the party - not everyone will like it, but some will and these are the people I am here to serve.
The great thing with the inner mentor is she isn’t just about positive thinking and telling you it will be okay. She is wiser than that. She has lived. She knows that not everything goes according to plan but there is a lesson in things. And, most importantly for me, to be tapping into her, I know I must survive!
Struggling with the imposter syndrome is, unfortunately, not something I have found a ‘cure’ for - what I have found are strategies that can help, that build that confidence muscle, that balance out the naysayer voice with something more helpful, that mean you have the inner resilience to go for the opportunities and appreciate your own abilities and what you are bringing to the table.
So, I have said a “Hell yes!” to Emma’s invitation! I will pull on my strengths - to research and prepare, to practice and hone a message for the amazing women who will be attending. I will remember this is about them, not me and I will show up fully. I hope to see you there!
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome - Workshop and Networking with Lindsey Hood
Thursday 14th March -18:30-20:30
Docks Coffee House, Southampton
There are only 12 spaces available for this - so book fast!
Lindsey is a professional life and executive coach who specialises in working with amazing women who secretly struggle with imposter syndrome to help you feel genuinely confident in your own unique awesomeness!