The Coaching Corner Blog

Am I An Impostor?

I had the pleasure of serving as a coach at the Pennsylvania Women's Conference this year. It was an amazing experience. I and 40 other ICF coaches were able to discuss coaching, and coach over 200 women. Just extraordinary! I also got to enjoy the guest speakers and some of the festivities on my downtime. During this event, there was a common theme that I noticed. Many women were plagued with Impostor Syndrome. For transparency, I experience impostor syndrome as well. It can do a real mind-f@$k on you.

There have been times where I feared my coaching wasn't good enough. My training wasn't good enough. I wasn't good enough and was a total fraud. Why? Maybe I was afraid to fail. Or, possibly, I was intimated by those more skilled than me. Who knows? But, the feeling sucks! What I learned, however, was this feeling and the accompanied thoughts were all in my mind. My wacky self-sabotaging mind-monster got loose from her cage and played tricks on my imagination. There was never any real proof that I wasn't good enough or was a fake. Yes, there are more skilled coaches than me, rightfully so. But, I receive great feedback back on my delivery of services. Yet, when my mind-monster escapes, she wreaks havoc on my confidence. Anytime you fear you are not good enough or that you are a fraud, you are likely suffering from impostor syndrome. You are in great company and are not alone!

Imposter syndrome refers to the persistent feeling of insecurity, fear, self-doubt and appearing fake, although there is no evidence to support these feelings (other than what's in your own mind). There are many studies about this feeling of fakeness and self-doubt. Even former First Lady Michelle Obama wrote in her book and has mentioned in interviews she has felt impostor syndrome. She is not the only one. Many celebrities, CEOs, and high achievers feel they are fake or not as good as they imagine. So, impostor syndrome is common. Now, "what if" is an interesting little side-kick gremlin, too. It fuels impostor syndrome. It also comes from our self-doubt and fears of uncertainty. What if plays on our inability to control something, that's---well, out of our control. What if is also a bottomless pit. You can always come up with "what if..." scenarios that will never, ever occur.

What can you do about impostor syndrome?

  • Know that its more imagined than real

  • Create and recite your own, specific positive affirmation each day

  • Practice self-compassion meditation

  • Remember you can manage and control imposter syndrome if you are aware of it

  • Know that shyt happens and the world won't end when shyt happens

  • Remember nothing is perfect, including you or me and that's OK!

  • Talk to your coach, mentor, or ally about what you are feeling

  • Reframe the negative "what if" or "self-doubt" into a positive statement

  • Make a list of all your strengths--those you know, and those people have mentioned to you

You are good enough! You are good enough, you are not an impostor and you belong with the best of them!

The underlying approach to dealing with impostor syndrome (and its friend "what if") is to focus on the positives. Remember, you are were you are because you deserve it and worked your ass off to get there. You can also plan and prepare for any risks, to the extent you can identify what those risks are and mitigate foreseen issues. But, at the very worse, you can remember you will survive and get over any mishaps if they occur. You are good enough! You are not an impostor and you belong with the best of them!

Dr. “Coach Dawn” Reid is the CEO and founder of Reid Ready Life Coaching, a premiere provider of coaching services and coach training. As a coach, Dr. Reid helps women entrepreneurs create SMART-R™ goals and work-life harmony, while growing profitable businesses as wives and moms. She will partner with you so that you can identify how to find solutions and resources to overcome obstacles that block you from achieving your goals and living your best life. Book your Complimentary Discovery Session to see how she can help you achieve important goals.

Learn how Reid Ready Life Coaching helps aspiring coaches or coaching professionals within organizations to develop core coaching competencies, implement peer-coaching programs, and create compliance and ethical awareness through policy and protocol coaching. Visit:

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