Let’s talk about imposter syndrome. It’s a term that I’m sure most of us have at least heard and many of us would say we have experienced. Have you found that imposter syndrome is holding you back from success? Then today’s episode is for you!
Today I am sharing my own experiences with imposter syndrome along with the experience of a friend and fellow coach to help you realize that you can beat this. Imposter syndrome can rear its ugly head in a myriad of ways and it manifests for a million different reasons, but the most important thing to remember is that you can do something about it. I get honest about my own struggles and how fighting off old narratives is daily work that I must push through to accomplish the things I set out to do. If you need a little reminder that you CAN work through this and achieve your goals, tune in now!
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Hey guys! We’re going to do something a little different this week. Why? Because summer is one of my favorite times in seasonal detoxing. Summer is about honoring the heart and the small intestine and really coming back to what our purpose is. And I know that when we go through the spring, which, in seasonal detoxing, is all about the liver and the gallbladder, there’s so much wind and the trees are blowing that often we can feel lost. That’s why in spring, we do spring cleaning, and we’re so busy. But then, we have this moment to come back to ourselves and I really want you to look at the summer as that opportunity to get back to your why and back to your purpose. Because I will tell you, there’s not a secret magical sauce for money mindset, imposter syndrome, or for self-worth and confidence. There’s not a perfect platform, a perfect funnel, a perfect Facebook ad strategy, or a perfect company that is going to be able to give you the confidence that you need to show up. So often, imposter syndrome comes from this feeling and this belief that we need to be perfect.
Perfect is such a mindfuck, because thinking that everything needs to be perfect leads to a lot of adrenal burnout and exhaustion. That’s something that I can tell you, I struggled with for the longest time. And it wasn’t just because I created an online wellness/nutrition coaching business in 2010. My need for perfection has been with me my whole life. So if you are dealing with imposter syndrome, stay tuned my friends because I want to break it down and really tell you behind the scenes, what actually happens with me and how I overcome that. Remember, because I have overcome it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still show up.
A Fellow Coach’s Experience with Imposter Syndrome
A coach said to me the other day, “Rachel, I just don’t believe in myself.” Now this coach has degree after degree. They’ve gone to not only Institute for integrative nutrition, but also functional diagnostic nutrition (FDN). They’ve coached with the best people, they’ve taken the high ticket coaching programs, and yet, they’re still feeling stuck. And so I said to her, “You’re brilliant. I know you’re brilliant. I feel you’re brilliant. You’re smart. You know what you’re talking about when it comes to autoimmune, when it comes to hormones, when it comes to nutrition when it comes to soul talk. What’s stopping you?” And she said, “You know, I just don’t feel like I know enough.” Right there. I said to her, “Tell me when was the first time that you felt that? When was the first time you didn’t feel enough, that you didn’t know enough?” I said, “I want you to think about the first time in your life and your childhood.” We were on the phone and she didn’t know that I had a pendulum that I was using to see what age was in most alignment. But I said to her, “Do you have a memory or did you watch somebody in your family constantly say that she or he was or didn’t know enough? She responded, “Oh my god, you know, I watched my mom never feel that she was good enough to put herself out there, never good enough to stand up for herself, never good enough, never smart enough, all that kind of stuff.” I said to her, when was the first memory that you had of your mom? Is this your stuff? And she said, “I don’t know, I just always had this feeling.” I said to her, “That narrative, that old story is running the show today.”
We all have stories, it just depends what story you’re going to let run the day. If it’s taking you away from your dreams, we have a problem. So I want you to make sure that you’re doing the work, not just posting on social media and hoping that somebody lands on your Instagram profile. I want you to really step inside your soul right now and say, “Am I doing this scary stuff?”
How Our Experiences Shape Our Imposter Syndrome
So let’s get back to this girl. I asked her to close her eyes so she did and I asked her, “What is that first memory of your mom?”
She goes into a memory of hers at around six years old about how her mom was going through something and didn’t feel confidence, and frankly never did. Her mother would say things like, “I am so stupid. I made that mistake.” All this verbiage that imprinted on my friend. And so I asked her if she was willing to let go of this, because if you are willing to let go of the old narratives, and the old stories that are holding you back, you will be successful and your anxiety will lessen. But you have to let go of it.
My Early Experiences with Imposter Syndrome
Trust me, I’ve been there myself. My imposter syndrome tells me that I’m not smart. I bombed my SATS and I had learning issues growing up. I didn’t even realize that I had these issues until I was 18 when my college counselor finally said, “We’ve got to get you tested.” It was the first time in my life that somebody got me tested. Thank God for that college counselor, because he was the first person that made me feel for the first time in my life that I wasn’t just stupid and that maybe my brain wasn’t working the same as somebody else’s. With that knowledge, I was given more time for tests and that changed my experience with school. My school life wasn’t great, and I held onto that old narrative because I couldn’t do multiplication. I had a tough time reading. All of these different things, but I urge you to STOP right now.
How many old stories are running through your head right now? Stories that tell you you’re not enough, that you’re stupid, that you don’t know enough, all of that? Take a deep breath. I would encourage you also to sage today. All of these memories are there inside of our heads. We have to be conscious of them. We have to be willing to be honest with ourselves when that comes up and not go into victimhood.
Letting Go of the Old Narratives Holding Us Back
So I said to my friend, “Are you willing to let go of this? Because, you’re brilliant and it makes me sick that you are not going out there and doing what you need to do.” So I encouraged her to go journal, but not just any kind of journing, it’s called a write and burn. I asked her to write down everything that came up with her mom: all that she wished her mom would have had, all the feelings and the narrative created around her life and these memories. Once she was done writing, I told her to go outside and rip the paper up and burn it to rid herself of that energy. So she promised me she would.
In my lifetime, I’ve had many write and burn sessions because my own “stuff” will come up sometimes. My own fears that my Instagram reels aren’t as great as another person’s that I follow, that my social media strategy isn’t as linear as someone else’s, or that my teaching style is not as great as my competitor. It was the same feeling I had when I started Rachel’s Wellness back in 2010. I looked at all these people that had fancy websites, beautiful photo shoots, lots of money to spend on brochures and business cards, and I didn’t even know my brand colors.
Imposter Syndrome in Your Business
Understand that we have all had imposter syndrome, but the difference is, I started. And that’s why I shared that story with you about my friend. She is brilliant, but she gets in her own way when she doubts herself and her self worth.
Now, my imposter syndrome showed up in a myriad of different ways including in my pricing. When I started as a coach, it was $197 for the month to work with me. I was scared to charge my worth. What changed, and one of the reasons I created the done-for-you programs, is that I felt that I needed materials and content to actually give my clients so that I could start charging my worth. And that’s actually when my prices increased. I also created my first program. I didn’t have the time to create session notes where I was pulling the best superfoods to combat inflammation, the best foods for gut health, the best protocols, etcetera. I was putting this together for my clients and feeling insane and that’s why I started using my own programs. I wanted to give them materials to help them lessen their overwhelm, and also for me to lessen my own overwhelm. Since I came prepared, it helped mitigate my imposter syndrome.
Combating Imposter Syndrome in Your Life
I wish I could tell you there was this one mantra to get rid of imposter syndrome, but battling imposter syndrome is daily work. It’s daily work to push past your own fears. At the end of the day, you do have to tap into your “why” every. single. day. Why did I start this? I started this because I was pissed and frustrated that my kids were sick, that they had food allergies and intolerances, and that nobody could tell me what the hell was going on. I was pissed off that I had passed this on to them. I had my own ulcer at 14 and food allergies/intolerances and angioedema, ulcerative colitis, asthma, the list was long. I was so pissed that my body wasn’t healthier when I was younger and that I passed this on to my babies.
I was also pissed that it was so overwhelming to eat. I was a person that was a hardcore dieter. And, of course, needing to be perfect, thinking that I was not enough. I jumped on to the next fad diet. I jumped on to everything. I swear, I even remember our drinking Slimfast in a CVS in Philly, which is where I grew up on Broad Street. And I can remember being like, “Ooh, double chocolate.” I mean, it’s just this craze. I think that’s why we all want to pursue our health coaching and/or wellness businesses. It’s not that it’s a passion, it’s a deep purpose, and I knew when I birthed my kids how hard it was for me to find information. I was fortunate that I had resources, but I was also relentless. I thought how many people are not like me? And that answer hit me pretty hard. I’ve been to hell and back with my health issues for a reason and that is what pushes past my imposter syndrome.
So my suggestion to my friend and to you is that your “why” has to be bigger than your fear. Your “why” has to make you cry, because if you quit, the pain will last forever. So when coaches say, “It’s getting too hard,” I ask, “Is it getting too hard or have you not been willing to shed the snakeskin that you need to shed, to do the work that you need to do, and to leave the legacy you need to leave?”
With that being said, thank you for tuning in this week. If you love this podcast, of course, let us know. I believe in you and make sure you believe in you, too.