As a coach or therapist, if you’re fairly new… and even if you’ve been in the business for a few years, there’s a good chance that you don’t quite feel that you’re good enough or that other more famous, established professionals in your field are much better than you.
This feeling comes from doubting your skill, experience, accomplishments and/or knowledge – and that sooner or later, someone is going to catch you out and prove that you are a “fraud”!
In this article, I will show you how I’ve successfully overcome imposter syndrome and can happily interact with my peers with a sense of belonging and even that feeling of being an expert, and genuinely “owning” what I do.
Two sides of the coin
I have discovered that there are two aspects to dealing with imposter syndrom. The first is the more strategic/analytic approach, which you can also consider the “yang” approach.
In the yang approach it’s about considering how you are unique and an expert in being you.
You will be one of very few people to have lived your life, gained your skills/abilities and have your particular set of interests.
When you combine these things in this specific way, you will see a unique person that only you will be an expert in.
And so it is about offering something that combines these aspects of your life.
I have trained as a tai chi teacher but I am very aware that there are much more knowledgeable and experienced tai chi teachers out there around the world.
I have also trained in EFT and mindfulness. Naturally, there are more experienced and knowledgeable EFT therapists and coaches and mindfulness teachers.
I also have a passion for business and a corporate background – and indeed there are many business coaches out there.
My uniqueness is by combining all this in the form of the EAST Method and offering my services to coaches and therapists.
- Take a moment to write down key defining moments in your life.
- List the skills and abilities that you’ve developed and trained for that you are able to offer.
- What interests do you have?
From these three lists, write down 3 possible services you could offer that combine things from the 3 lists. Don’t be afraid to be a little silly – have a play with combinations.
And remember that whilst there are people who are better than you at any one single skill, when you combine that skill with other items from the other lists, you are creating a proposition that is unique to you – a proposition for which you are the world’s foremost expert!
The Yin Approach
Well done for getting this far. Perhaps you feel ready to take on the world!
And yet, perhaps something doesn’t feel right. Just sit and pause for a moment – do you still feel that uneasy sense of imposter syndrome?
The logical yang approach just isn’t enough, is it? There’s still something holding you back.
Notice where you feel it. Be with that feeling for a moment.
Now, I invite you to follow the movements in this video.
How do you feel now? Perhaps you’ve noticed a shift in the sensations that you feel are holding you back still?
If not, it’s time to go deeper to look at the underlying reasons for why you’re still stuck. That’s for another day.