Updated: Oct 3
I have always been invisible- and I never considered it any cool sort of superpower. In fact, being invisible caused me to shrink in my rejection and get smaller and smaller - in fact becoming invisible.
What am I talking about here??
I am talking about always being overlooked, put down, and placed on the sidelines.
It has never been something I contributed to-yet folks always seem to want to “put Baby in a corner”. It has taken a lifetime to relize that invisibility is my superpower - not a condtion thrust upon me, that must be tolerated. More about that in a future post!
I have asked some of my colleagues to share their thoughts of Imposter Syndrome. Let's dive right in as we explore the different ways Imposter Syndrome manifests!
I hope you find comfort in the examples below- and be sure to scroll to the bottom and grab my FREE creative journal that will take you through the process of identifying your own INNER CRITIC and silencing it - through journaling, color and creativity!!
Kelly McCausey is a Content Creator's Coach who wants you to publish content you're proud of for people you love. Knowing how is only half the battle, your mindset is what really matters. Let's lean into it! Kelly is one of the most genuine people I have ever had the privelege of crossing paths with. She shoots straight fromt he hip, loving you the entire time.
Let me share her story:
"My first biggest experience with Imposter Syndrome came about one year after I had launched Work at Home Moms Talk Radio. My launch was in late 2003.
In the summer of 2004, podcasting became a thing and I smoothly shifted over to that format of delivery. Before the end of that year, a woman who ran a huge work at home mom website launched her own podcast and I panicked.
I thought that was it. She would crush me like a bug and that would be that. I called a friend and cried to her. "It's over... someone much better known than me is going to come take over the niche."
My friend (Alice Seba) was so calm and wise and didn't fall into the hole with me.
She reminded me that there really is no such thing as competition. She reminded me that I'd always be offering something unique to my people. Honestly, she pulled me right out of my spin.
Back on my feet, I went back to work doing my thing. Interestingly, the podcast the other woman created was very different from mine - and it ended within six months. I'm still podcasting almost 20 years later - under a different brand of course.
Can you imagine if I had let my panic intimidate me into closing down my show? My goodness, the thought is so sobering. I wonder how many people DO let that internal IS 'Bully' knock them out of the game? Too many!"
I LOVE Kelly's idea that there is no competition.
There is just you and me and we are created to do things only as we can do them. For me- letting go of that "competition mindset" was the most liberating paradigm shift I have made as an adult.
Any time I start feeling jealous. or competitive, I shift my thinking and begin asking that the recipient of my jealousy would receive MORE opportunities and MORE blessings through the gifts that they are offering the world. I shift from a poverty mindest to prosperity- and I invite them out of the corner I tried to put them in.
Shannah Holt is a content marketing strategist who works with solo entrepreneurs to STANDOUT as the go-to authority with their products and services through organic marketing strategies (SEO for Google, Pinterest, etc) that doesn't require them to dance on video, send "hey girl" DMs, or book sales calls. Her story:
Let me share her story:
Back when I first started a business online I was a health/fitness coach specifically working with women who wanted to lose weight. I had seen quite a bit of success myself with losing weight and had attracted quite a bit of a following. I was still 100 lbs overweight. I felt like a hypocrite and had imposter syndrome.
I really struggled putting myself out there. But a few of my clients told me that it was because of me being overweight and sharing my struggles and successes that they came to me. They said I was relatable and transparent. They said it made it easier to be coached.
Years later I am no longer in that niche but I again fell victim to imposter syndrome. I'm in a very competitive market that is predominantly led by men (I help solo entrepreneurs with SEO). This has caused me to struggle with publishing content. I question who will listen to me...I'm not one of those "Gurus".
I know my blogs won't ever rank #1 on Google, so why fight the doubts to even publish them? Even though... I know SEO and organic content marketing inside out. I have ranked in the top 10 with multiple blog posts for clients. I have been paid to do keyword research and content planning for niches that I knew NOTHING about and they were very happy with my work. This month during the Stretch Yourself Challenge I am working on pushing past that and planning my content to publish. I’ve got to keep reminding myself that there will be people that relate to me and what I have to say. They will want to learn from me versus those Gurus.
I love that Shannah did not allow the Inner Critic to keep her down and immobilize her - she kept going! Don't let that voice put you on the sidelines--get out there and do your thing!! It really resonates with me that vulnerable, transparent and real makes us relatable and an invitation for others to be real with us.
Is creative WAHM who loves helping other moms who sell printables online increase their sales by providing them with in demand editable templates their customers want to buy and the support they need to move forward so they can spend less time creating and worrying and more quality time with their family.
Let me share her story:
I am honored to have received an invitation to share a significant part of my personal journey that I have been navigating, one that many entrepreneurs may resonate with. It's about the invisible shackles that often hold us back - the notorious imposter syndrome. As a passionate PLR printable creator, I found my business growth being stunted, not by external factors, but by my own self-doubt.
I felt like an imposter, despite the countless hours I poured into honing my craft, perfecting my printables, and serving my ideal customers - the creative WAHMs selling printables online. I'd look at my work, my progress, and think, "Am I really good enough?"
But here's the breakthrough I want to share with you all today. I realized it's not about eradicating imposter syndrome entirely. It's about acknowledging its presence, understanding its impact, and harnessing it for growth. Yes, that's right. I believe imposter syndrome is not a mark of failure; it's a sign of growth. It's a testament to the fact that we're pushing our boundaries, stepping out of our comfort zones. And yes, it's uncomfortable, even scary. But it's also necessary.
I can't say I've completely overcome it. But I'm learning to manage it. I surround myself with people who believe in me, who celebrate even the smallest wins. Looking back now, I see a journey marked with progress, not perfection. I see a path illuminated by resilience, not devoid of self-doubt. I see an entrepreneur who is growing, learning, and evolving with every passing day. And every day, I remind myself that I am enough!
So, to all my fellow entrepreneurs battling imposter syndrome, remember this - it's not a roadblock, but a stepping stone. Use it to fuel your growth, to build resilience, and to propel forward. Because you are enough, and your journey matters. Let's embrace our progress, celebrate our wins, and keep moving forward together.
It is so telling to me that our SELF DOUBT can tether us to a spot and keep us there for decades. I LOVE that Stephanie saw this pattern and removed the bonds that held her down by using her Inner Critic and harnessed it for growth!!!!!
My free downlaod will walk you through removing roadblocks and embracing empowering thoughts and ideals!
Karen Robinson, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, a best selling author, speaker, therapist, transformational coach and trauma recovery expert, has been a professional therapist for 24 years. Her clinical experience as a provider has been shown to be authentic and genuine. Karen’s proven skills have been employed in a variety of environments such as schools, hospitals, community mental health, adoption agencies, inpatient units, and via teletherapy. She eagerly pursues clients who are ready to make deep seated transformative changes.
Let me share her story:
My history as an imposter is wide and vast. I have worked through, or more accurately, attempted to work through feeling like an imposter for most of my personal AND professional life. Since I’m a therapist, I have the additional challenge of empowering my clients to work through this “I’m an Imposter” bug as well!
When I paid a visit to my new friend, ChatGPT, I asked it to provide me a definition of imposter syndrome in 10 words or less just to be sure I really knew… just so I wouldn’t be a double or triple imposter if you know what I mean… ChatGPT states, “Self-doubt, feeling inadequate, fearing exposure as a fraud professionally.” I guess this means I can’t claim to be an imposter in my personal life? I feel cheated.
Speaking of cheating. I felt like an imposter when switching churches back and forth with my grandmothers. One was Catholic and one was Pentecoastal. When I attended one church over the other, I would feel like I didn’t belong and inadequate. I also lived in both New Brunswick, Canada and Maine, USA. When living in Canada as an American, and then moving back to Maine as someone who missed my Canadian friends, this also filled me with self doubt and was part of how I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere. Needless to say, I disagree with Chat GPT!
In my professional life as a therapist, there is always something to learn and to improve upon. Knowing this, how can I feel adequate? How can I reassure my clients to not feel inadequate? Well, I can. We are all imposters of life, just doing the best we can. None of us really have our shit together, so lets just stop pretending. To follow me and my shenanigans: Healthrivedream.com
Karen gets right to the point and pierces our understanding that this thing catches us at every turn, in our professional AND personal lives! The only way to silence it is to tune into our inner frequency and root out that Inner Critic! Remember to scroll down and grab your free creative journaling workbook!
Mighty Marketing Mojo Mightymojomarketing.com - like email services, landing pages, or managing social media - she is here for you. She explores the tools, so you don't have to. She loves coaching you to confidently promote your business. IShe is also a geek about all things sports, wine, photos, and grilling!
Let me share her story:
I've experienced Imposter Syndrome since before I knew the term, before research and books talked about it. Even though I did well in school from a young age I never felt like I was as smart as others, or as socially adept, or athletic, or artistic. I was sort of all of those and yet it didn't feel 'enough.'
My family meant well, but did the classic thing were when you brought home a B, they'd say 'that's nice but I bet if you tried harder, did X or Y you'd get an A next time.' Like why wasn't me doing my best and getting a B enough? The pressure of perfectionism and likely undiagnosed ADHD (because no one knew that was a thing in the early 80s) meant I struggled internally.
I got into a pretty elite university and wondered how - how did I fit in with all these super smart people. I wound up on academic probation because of such poor grades early on - from bad course choices to poor study habits and embracing college life a little too much!
Thankfully I had a supportive group of friends who pulled me along and through it. Many late nights talking and realizing that my super smart gal pals all felt like imposters at times. Especially those who were in more male-dominated fields of study like math, engineering, pre-med. We were tired, felt beaten down, doubted ourselves and our early career paths in ways we didn't see with male classmates.
Imposter syndrome does seem to affect more high-achieving women and I've seen that so many times from undergrad to grad school, from my advertising agency days to now as a solopreneur among many other women business owners.
Talking about and learning we weren't alone was the first step to acknowledging the myths we believed and starting to push them aside.
Therapy helped as well.
And made it a little easier for me to go back to cognitive behavioral therapy years later when I started struggling in graduate school as all those same imposter thoughts reared their head again. Why I won that fully funded fellowship? Was I letting my mentors and peers down when I didn't finish my PhD? Would I ever live up to expectations? Whose expectations? It honestly took me nearly a decade to shake off the guilt, shame, questions, and imposter feelings after I left my PhD studies even though it was the absolutely right thing to do.
I've felt like an imposter in the decade since starting my own business - sometimes daily! But again, community, opening up, sharing vulnerably with others and realizing I'm not alone has helped immensely.
Don't be afraid to reach out, to share in a like-minded, supportive community.
Work with a therapist.
Journal about it. Keep a file of praise, feedback and testimonials.
Raise your prices - your skills + expertise are worth it! Don't work for free or 'exposure'. Realize in many instances the 'system' is set up against women and minorities - it's not you!
And then decide you will strut through life with the confidence of an average white dude - they never seem to suffer from imposter syndrome! 😄
I think we are finding a theme here - find community, share vulnerabilities and be real with those that you can trust to hold you up and share hard truths when needed. Journal - get it out- as Shrek says, "Better out than in, I always say!" Remember that there is a free, creative journaling workbook at the end of the post- remember to claim your copy!
Fran has been living and working in Renfrew County since January 1979. She has worked as a Career Counsellor for the past 30 years. She enjoys helping people discover skills and strengths that they didn’t realize they had and putting them into a winning resume. She also helps people with practice interviews.
As an author Fran has contributed to some compilation books (Voices of the 21st Century and “I Am” collaboration). She has also written articles on Toastmasters and public speaking for the local papers. Fran’s recent book https://www.amazon.ca/My-Heart-Fran-Watson/dp/1456638688 is a compilation of poems she has written over the years and they cover all aspects of her life from dealing with life changes and relationships to coping with separation and divorce, as well as the death of her brother and parents.
Let me share her story:
Me an Imposter? Yes. Although in my regular day to day career life I mostly feel like I’ve got a handle on things, I am still intimidated when it comes to developing specialized resumes. I have been doing career counselling, resumes and practice interviews for a number of years, but I know there is always something more to learn as the world of work changes.
In the past it was easy to find work, but now things are much different. The pandemic changed a lot of things and many businesses closed down. Others found a different way to operate, such as going online. Remote jobs opened up where people didn’t have to go into an office, but now employers are asking people to come back to the office and many don’t want to. This means that finding a remote work opportunity becomes more difficult. It also seems that many people ended up being somewhat traumatized by everything that happened during the pandemic. Having to wear a mask, not being able to go out and be with people, having to have tests and needles, or choosing not to and being criticized by those who did.
As a career counsellor I need to change the way I look at things and I wonder if I am too old at 74 to keep on doing this. I do love talking to my clients and helping them find work that they will be happy in, sometimes taking them in completely different directions after we do some assessments and talking about what they are interested in.
Recently when I started feeling like an imposter I got out my portfolio that I created many years ago, when I was working my way through my university degree which I started when I was 38. I saw others who were much more successful than I was, who had more money, better jobs, etc. and I felt like I had accomplished nothing, but then I started keeping track of what I had done in a portfolio. I kept track of all the courses I took online to help me learn, activities I did in the community to help others, awards that I achieved in Toastmasters, and thank you letters from people I helped. Below I have included a free pdf that might help you as welL!
This is not to say that it doesn’t keep on slipping in from time to time.
Free Creative, Journaling Creative Prompt/Workbook!
I love that we can dust off our past victories and silence that Inner Critic!
Imagine a canvas where your thoughts, feelings, and desires are not confined by rules but set freeto dance in a riot of colors and textures.
That is what is given to you in the "Identifying Your Inner Critic" Workbook --you can find the frequency of that inner monologue and root it out - replacing criticism with empowerment.
Don't waste another second giving into the hostile take over in your heart and mind that wants to make you invisible. You were made to be seen. You were made to make noise. Get your workbook below!