Ep 158 Imposter Syndrome

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Episode Notes:

In today’s episode I am talking about Imposter Syndrome – how it shows up for high achieving women, what you can do to recognize it, change it, and move towards your goals feeling better.  Many women experience this at some point in your life but it doesn’t have to hold you back from doing what you most desire.  Listen and let me know what you think. 

In This Episode:

  • Imposter syndrome in the medical field
  • Signs you might be experiencing Imposter Syndrome 
  • Sub divisions of Imposter Syndrome 
  • Things you can do to overcome Imposter Syndrome
  • Finding your gains in life 
  • Changing your thoughts about gaps in your life
  • Work with me: contact@michellebourquecoaching.com
  • Link to full episode: https://michellebourquecoaching.com/ep-158-imposter-syndrome/


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Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the it’s your time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach and career mentor Michelle Arnold Bourque, and today’s episode, I’m discussing imposter syndrome. Welcome to the it’s your time Podcast, the podcast where busy professionals like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule. So you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place. Hello, hello, hello. Welcome back to the podcast friends what is going on in your world today? We are starting our q3 this week. And you know what that means, right? The most important quarter in the history of the company. Until of course, next quarter, right. And this past weekend, we also had the New York State Pain Society meeting, which was so much fun being held at the Culinary Institute of America. It’s just such a pretty campus as I was driving around, they had these really cute signs, like, take a whisk, and make friendships. You know, I’m kind of into the coronary right, I guess I get a kick out of it. Anyhow, the reason I’m telling you about this is because I had one of my amazing female doctors doing a presentation. And yes, I also had some amazing male doctors doing presentations. But the difference is, when I spoke to the female, we were talking about imposter syndrome. And we were going back and forth. Because I was like, this really needs to be a podcast. I think so many of us experience imposter syndrome. And there’s really no upside to it. So maybe if we learn more about it, if we see how it shows up in our lives, we are able to gain awareness. And then we get to decide if we want to still keep buying into this idea. So let’s start at the foundation of the definition of imposter syndrome because you know how much I love to do the old clickety clack on the Googles right, always to gain a better understanding of what it means. Words matter. Friends, sometimes we say words, and we don’t even know what the true definition is of them. So we need to know what it is that we are telling ourselves. And what I found was imposter syndrome, also called perceived fraudulence involves feelings of self doubt, and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience and accomplishments. And to counter those feelings, you might end up working harder, and holding yourself to even higher standards. But then, when we achieve something, we tell ourselves, oh, we just got lucky. And we know that studies show that women are less likely to apply for a promotion than a man thinking that they need to have all of the boxes checked, before believing that they can actually throw their hat in the ring. Right? And then men on the other hand, I’ve joked about this in the past, right? They are sometimes like sure, I’ll toss my hat in the ring. Wait, what did you say the job was? Just having fun friends. But imposter syndrome is another extension of this, because let me tell you a little bit about the example that I want to talk about here. So the doctor that was presenting his double board certified, that is no small feat. All right, let’s just say she is smart. And imposter syndrome is that disconnect of what we think about ourselves, and what the reality is. So the thoughts that we usually have are something like I didn’t prepare enough, they might ask me a question that I don’t know the answer to, I might totally fail, they will find out that I don’t know the information. Or maybe you think you don’t deserve something to imposter syndrome can show up like that. It can also be that you just don’t really accept praise from others. It’s just that you discount it right. If someone says you’ve done a really great job, you just discount them. It’s like their quote. It’s not what you are that holds you back. It’s what you think you are not. And here are some signs that you might be experiencing imposter syndrome. self doubt, that is a big one right? That’s what I talked to my daughter about, again, she is super smart. And yet there is still doubt heading into the presentation. It’s an inability to realistically assess your competence and skills, attributing your success to external factors. And then sometimes even, maybe you’re braiding your performance. Maybe you fear that you won’t live up to expectations. Maybe you’re an overachiever, maybe you sabotage your own success, right? I’m guessing that there may have been a couple of head nods out there for a couple of those signs that you might be experiencing imposter syndrome, and you’re not alone. So first, recognize that have compassion for yourself. And listen, sometimes for some people, this might drive you towards the achievement. And if it works, of course, Rock on. But usually, it causes great anxiety. And I know a lot of you deal with that. There can even be a couple of subdivisions within imposter syndrome that you might experience. So let’s look at the idea of the perfectionist. This is when you are never satisfied and always feel that work could be better, rather than focusing on your strengths. So you tend to fixate on flaws or mistakes. And this is what leads to the self pressure and the high amounts of anxiety. Now there’s also the idea of the super hero that falls under the big umbrella of imposter syndrome. And this is when you feel inadequate, and you’re compelled to push and work as hard as possible. The next one we’ll look at is the experts. Again, another subdivision that falls under the umbrella of imposter syndrome. And this is when you’re always trying to learn more and you’re never satisfied with your level of understanding. Even though you’re often highly skilled, you still underrate your own expertise. And then the natural genius which is you set excessively lofty goals for yourself, and then feel crushed when you don’t exceed at your first try. There’s also the soloist, which is when you tend to be very individualistic and prefer to work alone. self worth often stems from productivity. Remember the busy badge of honor I always talk about. So you often reject offers of assistance, and you might see asking for help as a sign of weakness or incompetence. Okay, so what are your thoughts about all of these do you think any seem to resonate? To be honest, for me, I think they all resonate, at least at some point or at some level in my life, right and and notice, all of these thoughts are optional. We are choosing. So let’s take accountability friends, because we are choosing to doubt ourselves, we are choosing to focus on our flaws versus our strengths. We are choosing to push harder so that we can be more productive, we are choosing to underrate our own expertise, we are choosing to feel crushed, and to tell ourselves negative things if we don’t succeed on the first attempt, and we are choosing to not ask for help. So let’s get real with that. Okay, because that’s when we are so much more empowered, versus thinking that we are victims to any circumstance. So they are all optional. We do have the choice to think that it’s not failing, right. If we don’t succeed on the first attempt. The other option to consider is maybe it’s an opportunity to learn from it. Perhaps you could tell yourself going into a presentation that you have prepared exactly the right amount, which as a side note, because oftentimes, we like to tell ourselves, I should have done more. I didn’t quite prepare for this presentation. What if I miss something right? So let me ask you this. Who decides what enough in air quotes if you could see me is we do we decide what is enough and yet, we choose to tell ourselves over and over. We are not doing Enough, as if we think that it’s going to make everything better, right? Why is it? Or where did we get the idea that we think if we beat ourselves up enough, then we will succeed? Right? It’s just so messed up. And have you noticed what you do to yourself. So let’s say you start a goal. And let’s go and say it is going to be amazing, and you accomplished the goal. Once you’ve accomplished that, what do you tend to do? If you’re like a lot of the women that I work with, you then move the target on yourself, right? So you’re accomplish the one goal, and then you set out for the next goal, which I am all for evolving and setting goals, accomplishing them, setting new goals, accomplishing them, but you’re missing a step in their friends, you’re missing the part where you celebrate yourself, for what you have accomplished. So just take a moment and stop. Take a moment and recognize how far you have come, we tend to look at the gap of where we are now to where we want to go. Meaning we compare our present situation with where we want to get to in the future, instead of looking at where you are now, and how far you have come. Show yourself the gains in your life, not all the gaps. And it’s also super helpful to get clear on what you think of yourself. So if you do feel this imposter syndrome coming on, just stop and take a couple of minutes and answer some of these questions. What are some beliefs that you have about yourself? Get them all out on paper friend, when you can get them on a piece of paper and look at them, you’re able to see so much more of what is going on in your brain? Also, what are your thoughts about your worthiness? Get all of that out there too. And remember, I recently did a podcast on worthiness. A lot of times we link that to external sources. It’s not the way it goes. We decide our worthiness and our worthiness is 100%. At any given moment. We woke up, we are breathing, we are here contributing check, you’re worthy. Okay. What do you think needs to be accomplished in order to be considered worthy? Again, spoiler alert, you just need to decide that you are worthy. And it seems like really great news to me, right? We’re always saying, if you want a job done, right, you do it yourself. So you decide for yourself about yourself, that you are worthy. Also, look at all the places that you tell yourself, you need to be perfect. There is no such thing as perfect. And that’s okay. Again, give yourself some grace, and look at what you have accomplished. Another question? Or another consideration is to question any and all of your negative thoughts? And how can you bridge a ladder to some positive thoughts? And for the love of God? Can we stop comparing ourselves to others? It’s fascinating because we will often compare our chapter five in life to someone else’s chapter 25, right. We don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives. So let’s focus on comparing ourselves today to ourselves yesterday, how have you gotten 1% better, and our perfectionistic brains might be saying 1% Really, Michelle, but the truth is 1% over time, leads to some pretty amazing changes. And when you do it that way. They’re also lasting changes. And Darren Hardy talks about this in his book The compound effect. He uses the example of a flight. So let’s say you’re scheduled to be heading on a six hour flight from point A to point B and over the six hours. There is a continuous adjustment of just one degree in a different direction. Guess what You are not arriving to point B, there will be a change, and you will be at location C. So give yourself credit for all of the small wins, they matter. Remember, you are not alone, if you experience imposter syndrome, many of us feel this way many times, but also know that you get to write the script, you can also rewrite the script. So what else could be true? Visualize your success. It’s so much fun. And I’ve been working on this more and more myself, take a couple of minutes you can really start with to visualize success. Put yourself in that place that you have accomplished the goal. Recognize, how do you feel when you visualize that, and then feel that now take action from that feeling, because it’s way different than acting from doubt. And let me fill you in on a little secret. Here’s another thing that we get to choose. We get to choose whatever we want to believe in life. So we can take our energy and believe all of the thoughts around doubt. But we can also take the energy and believe all the thoughts about believing in ourselves, right? The thoughts that tell us to not go after the promotion, because we’re just not quite ready yet. That is default thinking. It makes sense. Remember, our brain is wired for survival. It is wired to stay safe. But we can also choose to believe we will figure it out. We will be successful, we are successful. That is the work believing on purpose. But first, you need to be aware of what your current beliefs are. So be sure to answer those questions. And then you’ll be able to better see more options for new beliefs. And the doctor I was talking about, she had beliefs that had her worrying, right. And I have beliefs that think she is freaking amazing. And she will rock any and all presentations. So notice, that’s how we see there are options. And we get to believe whichever one works best for us. And some people might say it seems delusional to just be telling yourself that you’re prepared and you’re ready. And maybe you think that you won’t then do well, because you haven’t somehow lived up to doing enough. But how delusional does that sound? Right? There’s just no upside to telling ourselves that we can’t do something. We can do anything, we want friends, but we have to first believe that it is possible. Let that land, you have to first believe that it is possible. We think will believe it. When we see it. That is not the way it works. We need to believe it now, and then we’ll see it and we get to choose. It’s okay. In fact, it’s mandatory in order to achieve great things that we believe we can do it that we believe in ourselves. And when you do that, the possibilities are endless. Okay, friends, that’s what I have for you today. If you have been stuck and not sure how to get to your goals, let’s chat about one on one coaching. Or if you don’t quite believe in yourself enough know that I do have enough belief in you. And I will let you borrow some of it just to get us going right? So reach out. Let me know that you’re interested in learning more, you can send a quick email to contact at Michelle Bourque coaching comm we will get on a free phone call and make sure it’s a fit for both of us. Okay, that’s what I have for you this week. Let’s circle back next but until then, stay safe and make it a great day. Take care Did you know you can take this work to a deeper level with me one on one, go to Michelle Bourque coaching comm and click on get started to begin

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