24 May

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

I have the privilege of coaching some amazingly talented individuals. From all walks of life, cultures, ages and skill sets. Everyone’s goal is unique and every coaching session is different. You never go into a session knowing how it will end, it is always an interesting journey of discovery.
It’s a beautiful experience to be invited into their space of vulnerability, curiosity and exploration. I always feel very honoured to bear witness to some amazing transformations.
As much as everyone is unique in their ways there is one common thread I see quite often in coaching sessions. Something that affects both men and women, but in my experience, an issue which predominately affects women. That is Imposter Syndrome. The feeling of not being good enough and that one day someone will “catch you out” for not being the person you say you are. It doesn’t matter how talented or brilliant the individual is, they still believe that their career advancements and accolades came from pure luck or being in the right place at the right time.
As a coach, I have pondered this issue many times and what I’ve deduced is that one of the main reasons why people suffer from this syndrome is because they believe they need to be perfect. They strive everyday to achieve this unattainable goal of becoming the “perfect person”. When they have failed they seem to fall deeper into the idea of being an imposter.
The reasons behind this could come from many sources. However in coaching we look at the present and build new habits and strategies to help us move forward. Here are a few techniques you could look at implementing into your life, should you be someone who suffers from Imposter Syndrome.
1) Environment
Who you spend your time with and the people you surround yourself with everyday is a key influencer to how you see yourself. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t want people pandering to your every whim or agreeing with everything you say. You want people in your corner who will add value, who will help you grow, positively challenge you and support you. People who genuinely believe in you and your goals.  Are you keeping good company?

2) Acknowledge and accept your weaknesses

We all have weaknesses, whether we like them or not, they are part of who we are and make us unique. By ignoring our weaknesses and sweeping them under the carpet we prevent ourselves from accepting who we are. We  create a very distorted picture of ourselves, believing we are perfect. Acknowledging our whole being, our faults as well as our strengths allows us to create a realistic picture of ourselves. No filters, lies or stories. By facing our weaknesses we are not only able to start improving ourselves, but we can comfortably accept that we are not perfect and challenge the idea of being an imposter.
3) Celebrate your successes
We strive to achieve our goals everyday and when we do achieve them, we either ignore them, glance over them or challenge their credibility. Why? Stop it! Get into the habit of celebrating your successes everyday and every week, even the smallest ones. A win is a win and should always be celebrated. By acknowledging your successes you are re-enforcing the fact that you are not “winging it”. You are debunking the idea that your successes came from pure luck.
4) Partner with a coach or a mentor
Sometimes we need a sounding board, an objective voice who is not a family member, friend or colleague. An independent person who will provide you with that safe space where you can unload, question yourself and develop good strong habits.
Asking for help or guidance shows strength and is another way for you to shift your mindset out of thinking you are an imposter. It’s okay to not be able to do it on your own.
If you suffer from Imposter Syndrome, make the decision today to start taking control of your future. You get to decide on who you want to be, nobody else.
27 Jul

10 truths I have learnt from being a coach

Recently I spoke at a business function. My brief was to talk about coaching and how being coached can open up opportunities for you. What an awesome brief, as I am usually asked to speak about more specific topics such as goal setting, prioritising or deadlines. This brief certainly was a breath of fresh air and also a  source of great indecision. There were so many aspects of coaching and it’s benefits that I could talk about! Where to start?

In the end I took  inspiration from Anne Lamott’s Ted Talk, 12 truths I learnt from life and writing 

Enjoy.

“Anne Lamott has inspired me to speak this evening about the 10 truths I have learnt from being a coach. Hopefully some of these points may resonate with you and will prompt  some thinking on the way home. This being a big goal for any coach. Making you think.

Truth # 1 – Have your own goals – Make sure you are always working toward achieving your own goals. That is in business and in your personal life. These days the majority of us could be classified as borderline workaholics. It seems to be in our DNA to always be working hard and it seems to be the norm to always be busy. Don’t get to your deathbed one day and think, “oh gosh” I should have done my own thing. I should have worked towards achieving my own goals! Because by then it is just too late!

Truth # 2 – You can teach old dogs new trick – The dog just needs to be open to change. Once we realize that we are never too old to change, learn and grow, it is amazing how many opportunities we open up for ourselves.

Truth # 3 – If you fail to plan, you plan to fail – You can be the biggest visionary in the world, with the greatest ideas, but here is the thing; if you don’t draw up action plans and deadlines in order to achieve these goals, they will just stay visions and dreams forever with no results.

Truth # 4 – There is some truth in the saying “ There are 101 ways to skin a cat” there are 101 ways to solve a problem, you just need to be open to new thinking, new ideas and also other people’s opinions.

Truth # 5 – Learn to be more objective. In coaching terms this is what we call maintaining the coaching position. The next time you find yourself in a heated situation. STOP, BREATHE and STEP BACK, removing yourself from the situation helps to place things into perspective and allows you to think objectively about things. You’ll also find that this process can lift a weight from our shoulders. The weight of our EGO’s, righteousness and judgment.

Truth # 6  – Learn how to practise mindfulness – this is not about whipping out your yoga mats, drinking green tea and finding your centre. This is about learning to be in the present moment and to be happy and accepting of the present moment. We are constantly thinking about the “next project” the “next win” and this is good as it motivates us, however don’t let the future-focus mindset sabotage the opportunity to focus on the present. Learning to be in the present moment. Appreciating the here and the now only makes our lives richer.

Truth # 7 – You don’t need to wait for permission to start something – Your life is not like a collection of bus stops. You don’t need to be waiting around for the next bus. You don’t need to be waiting around for someone else to give you permission to do something in your own life or business. This sounds absurd now, but I see it often. The only person who should be giving you permission is yourself.

Truth # 8 – Who are your supporters, your cheerleaders? Who is your confidante, your shoulder to cry on? We cannot work in silos. When you make a decision to make a change in your life, make sure you have organised your support system beforehand.

Truth #  9 – Celebrate the little things and the big things – Take a moment to think about your past week and what you have achieved over this week? Did you celebrate those successes or were the successes too insignificant that they were forgotten about? Learn to celebrate.

Truth # 10 – You are making a decision, by not making a decision. Decisions can be damn hard work and sometimes procrastination seem to be the easiest thing to do. Just remember, that by putting things off and not deciding, you have actually made a choice.”

To be coached is an active choice. if any of the above rings true for you and you actively want to be coached, then why not give me a call to set up a free consultation. nicole@tikumu.co.nz