Kc Rossi 0:02
Are you ready to scale your business in a way that's aligned with your soul, and profitable? I'm Kc Rossi, a business and leadership coach. I've been a full time entrepreneur for 30 years and love business. I help conscious leaders increase their impact and optimize their lives. Join me each week for tips and deep conversations on cultivating confidence, increasing your visibility, elevating your vibration, and leading with purpose without burning out. Let's go.
Kc Rossi 0:37
Welcome, Welcome back to the show. Today we're going to be talking about such an important topic we're going to dive into four ways to squash the dreaded imposter syndrome for good because nothing holds back a female entrepreneur like this dreaded imposter syndrome. I'm sure you have your own definition or connotation or intrinsic feeling that comes up even when you hear the words, imposter syndrome.
Kc Rossi 1:07
But let's get on the same page - imposter syndrome is defined as a psychological occurrence in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent, internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. I want to pull that apart a little bit. So psychological actually means that it arises in our minds and is related to our emotions. This is an important part, we will definitely get into it and a little bit, but I really wanted to extract that piece of the definition. So psychological, it is that it arises in our mind and is related to our emotions. And then let's go over the last part again to fear of being exposed as a fraud. And fraud is defined as a person intending to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with an accomplishment, or qualities that they didn't have. Ouch, right out.
Kc Rossi 2:15
I think words are so powerful, it's so important to dissect them to really look at their roots and etymology because many times we fall into this trend of using jargon. But if we really were to analyze it, that's not what we mean.
Kc Rossi 2:33
So here are a couple signs of impostor syndrome. So let these marinate, see if you can relate to them. The big one really is self doubt. Then you have overachieving, you have beating yourself up not being satisfied with your achievements or accomplishments, that pressure to constantly strive to live up to expectations, searching for external validation, and self sabotage. So those are just a few characteristics of imposter syndrome. It's not like you have to check off each one in order to kind of fall prey to this. And this is really just about awareness. It's not about trying to attach to a label. And it's not really about shaming ourselves for a multitude of things that we could have done better.
Kc Rossi 3:27
This really is about breaking apart this syndrome, and really seeing how it applies to us. But more importantly, if it does, how we can get past it. So the big thing here is, when I look at this list, and when I see amazing women being held back, that's when I really want to see how we can disrupt the pattern and make our new reality because how can we rise as women CEOs and leaders, if we don't take a strong stand against this destructive pattern, and factor I feel leaning on this has become a crutch for some to avoid pushing to their edge. And in that instance, fear is still the common driving force, but the root cause may be different. Let's get into it. In most cases, even though there is evidence that validates competency, high achievement and success by most standards, it is sad that 70% will experience imposter syndrome symptoms at least once in their life.
Kc Rossi 4:42
Personally, I think that's an under estimated percentage. And I say that because working with high achieving women business owners over the last decade has proven otherwise. The women I coach are smart, savvy, productive and creative. You'd have, and most if not all, get these waves of self doubt, feelings of inadequacy, thoughts of Who do I think I am to charge X dollars, speak to x audience write x book, you know, fill in the blank and they go through these things often and Newsflash, myself included, and pushing outside of our comfort zone, by definition is uncomfortable. But the imposter syndrome feels bigger than just that. And why is this?
Kc Rossi 5:38
I believe it's a cocktail of several contributing factors, we're going to talk about a couple of them. This is by no means an all inclusive list. But let's start off with social expectations. For example, we are taught at a young age, especially as young girls to always smile, be polite, and speak when spoken to. And as we grew into women, we receive these messages that we have to be busy in order to be productive, that we must strive to be the expert in our field in order to get respect, and that we have to work harder than men to prove our worth. And how can years of this kind of constant messaging not take root in our hearts and psyche?
Kc Rossi 6:26
Then we have gender roles and stereotypes. Women had been pressured to act and dress in a certain way, we all know this. There are perceived attitudes and behaviors expected of all genders, often coloring true authenticity, or this fear of judgment, if you let your real self shine. Actually, I was doing a little research and I saw that in a US news report, a study that showed large portions of the American public value women most Are you ready for this? For physical attractiveness? Can you believe that? So large portions of the whole American public value women most for physical attractiveness. And after that, in the study came their nurturing or caregiving capabilities, which is beautiful and great. But here's the kicker were men were involved. They were attributed with admired qualities, most often associated with successful business people like ambition, hard work, professional, and financial success. So how can these facts not affect us?
Kc Rossi 7:44
Then we're looking as we all know, the gender wage gap, a recent SHRM report states, and I quote, because women earn less on average than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. The wage gap is even greater for most women of color, according to the National Committee on pay equity. And they're a coalition of women's and civil rights organizations, the latest data and women's pay. This is interesting, it kind of presents a mixed picture going into 2022 women earn 82 cents for every dollar men earn when comparing all women to all men. And that stat was exactly the same in 2021. And this was according to a compensation data and software firm pay scales 2022 state of the gender pay gap, and that was just released March 15 of this year. So more than statistics, which I always find data really interesting, and it really validates our hunches as well. But more than statistics, this is something that women face each and every day, it's almost baked in that we aren't good enough, and that we doubt our skills and talents given all of these circumstances.
Kc Rossi 9:06
The next one is a biggie and that's perfectionism. It's something that I've personally been plagued with and through a lot of personal development and very aware of, and I feel like I've made some great strides in. But it is a pervasive condition that leaks into all aspects of our lives and business. It's something that despite your best efforts, you can still feel less than not up to the highest standards, and just playing behind the eight ball, not a fun place to be.
Kc Rossi 9:38
Then I think that we are very familiar, many of us kind of get into this hero complex, this super woman complex. And when women started entering the workforce, they were still expected to carry out all other responsibilities like childcare, cooking, cleaning, wiping the whole shebang. We didn't get a pass then After our nine to five, that we were able to sit down on the couch with a beer and have our dinners served to us. And luckily, relationships have shifted into more of a partnership. And women are slowly releasing guilt and past stories that have held them prisoner to this outdated paradigm. There is a degree of people pleasing here as well, which we could do a whole nother podcast on. But in essence, this hero idea has pushed us to overwork over deliver and stretch ourselves to the point of exhaustion and burnout.
Kc Rossi 10:39
Now, these are just a couple of contributing factors, but rest assured that there are more, including our own unique personality, our upbringing, and other external pressures and environmental circumstances. I recently had a coaching session with a bright and beautiful woman, she is crushing it in her business and is so overworked that at the drop of a dime, she can and does just cry for mere exhaustion, just totally exhausted. And there are so many layers of permission granting in these scenarios like this, and it you know, it really ranges from that perfectionism to people pleasing to expectations striving, it is a big subject and one worth talking about over and over again, until we can successfully change both our own story and shift society's story because it's one that's been told for for decades and decades, if not millennial.
Kc Rossi 11:43
So what do we do with all this information? Like much of this, you're probably like, yes, Kc, I'm right there with you. I feel you I can relate to this. What do we do with it, because many of us have struggled with it for so many years. And as we know, awareness is the first step in any change, work, to heal, to transform, we have to take an honest look at ourselves. And I think we're ready to do that. I think we're ready to do that, you know, I just feel like there is more and more education, there's more vulnerability, there's more amazing leaders, trailblazing for us. So it doesn't have a stigma around it. And so I think that that is amazing. When we can really take the time for our self care, our mental health and strong personal development work in a very transparent way. If your hand is raised, or you're nodding your head, that you can relate to some of the characteristics of the imposter syndrome. One, you are not alone. And two, you are certainly not broken.
Kc Rossi 12:51
When it comes to situations that stem from our mindset, it's helpful to challenge our thoughts before they continue to go down the mindset cascade. That is the trickle down effect that I've talked about many, many times that illustrates that our thoughts create our feelings, and emotions. And then they in turn affect our actions or reactions or inaction. And that ultimately is responsible for our results or lack thereof.
Kc Rossi 13:20
This is powerful neuroscience and it can be applied to the imposter syndrome as well.
Kc Rossi 13:26
The thoughts we are telling ourselves that we aren't good enough, or one day we will be exposed and people will see that we really don't have what it takes. They're all a lie. And there's a lot of change where we can do here. I think one of the most powerful tools is Byron Katie's the work. It's an excellent way to examine our beliefs. And I'd love for you to walk through this exercise with me if you're able to or come back to it if you're driving or on a treadmill, because I think it's going to really help with this situation. So I want you to think of a belief that you feel about yourself. One that perhaps when you were dreaming big pops into your head and starts to cut you down. That stimulates self doubt, and that holds you back. So think about one of those times. Got it.
Kc Rossi 14:23
Okay, now ask yourself. Is it true?
Kc Rossi 14:29
And this is the very first question out of Byron's powerful four step self inquiry process. At first, you may blurt out Yes, Kc, it is true. Right, because that's kind of what our mind wants us to think. Because you have to remember that beliefs are basically just thoughts that had been on repeat, we have had a thought come through our mind many, many times. And because of that repetition is turned into a belief and when we have a belief we just automatically You'll it's true. But that isn't necessarily the case. And it can absolutely be challenged. So this very first question of, is it true? You may blurt out? Yes, and that's fine.
Kc Rossi 15:11
Then ask yourself, can you absolutely know that it's true? Some people even add, can you prove it in a court of law? And this is where you usually take a pause. Because if you're really honest, most times, you can't prove your irrational thoughts. So let's keep going.
Kc Rossi 15:32
The third step is how do you react when you believe that thought? How do you react?
Kc Rossi 15:45
The fourth one is, who would you be without that thought? I love that last question. It's the best part. Who would you be without that thought? And in the case of the imposter syndrome? Who would you be if you didn't think that you were a fraud, that eventually you'd be found out? And that you're really not as smart or successful as people perceive you to be? Who would you be if you didn't subscribe to the idea that your best isn't good enough? I really want you to take a little time with this, perhaps journal it out, or ponder these questions on a nature walk, you can always go back to the show notes to capture those four questions. Really let this work support you.
Kc Rossi 16:30
Mindset development, as we know is not a one and done thing. It is a consistent turning inward, and awareness of when your thoughts are steering you in the wrong direction when you're kind of spiraling down or falling in the rabbit hole, and a willingness to accept the challenge to pull yourself up and out and turn it around. This is something that I mean, I find myself turning things around multiple times a day, it's not even daily. When I was thinking about that, I was like, Is it a consistent tuning within? Is it a daily practice? You know, for me, it's like, you know, sometimes it feels like a moment by moment with some of the strong challenges. And that's okay, because this skill will serve you in all aspects of life.
Kc Rossi 17:17
So, my friend, who would you be? Who would you be if you removed all limiting beliefs about yourself? Who would you be if you were satisfied with your productivity, accomplishments, and success? I want you to embrace that woman, and sink deeply into her innate wisdom and beauty, and continue to perform without pushing rise without doubting, and shine without dimming.
Kc Rossi 17:54
You've got this, my friend, I hope this was helpful, I would love to hear from you. You can always head to the Women Developing Brilliance® Facebook group to share your comments, I think this is a big conversation. It's one that we have to be not only aware of, but I think because it has a long standing kind of hold on us that we have to approach it with grace and give ourselves a lot of self compassion. It's really helpful to also be very aware, when we're receiving compliments and feedback that we allow it to soak in.
Kc Rossi 18:36
Because I think for many who have experienced the imposter syndrome, even though we're chasing external validation, and we're constantly trying to perfect, when we do get that feedback, we're almost waterproof, because there's something that is blocking that goes into that self sabotage, it almost has this shield, where if we don't quite believe it, or we feel like somehow they're not seeing the full picture, we don't allow ourselves to soak it in. So the next time you get a testimonial, or you get some beautiful feedback from one of your clients, or you get a really sweet comment on social media, I want you to take a deep breath. And I want you to let those kind words penetrate your heart just like you're a thirsty house plant and let it sink in, let it nourish you, not because you need the validation, but because it is a healing process for you to start reversing some of the negative self talk around. It's going to be extremely powerful. So keep that in mind as you move forward.
Kc Rossi 19:49
There's so many other little things that you can do, but I think I'm going to leave it at that because we don't want to overload or overwhelmed we really just want to take in this message that you have the power to change your thoughts and through awareness, and that four step process of asking yourself, Is it true? Is it really true? How do I feel when I believe this thought? And who would I be if I didn't have this thought, when you give yourself that freedom to vision, all the unlimited potential within you, it absolutely starts turning around this imposter syndrome for good.
Kc Rossi 20:32
So, my friend, thank you for listening. Thank you for being here. I know you have a ton of options when it comes to your precious time and I really value you and I thank you for being here. Until next week, breathe joy.
Kc Rossi 20:47
I hope you uncovered some fabulous insight from today's episode. If so, I would be grateful if you rate or review the podcast at www.lovethepodcast.com/brilliance. Meredith Bell from the US shares, five stars "An Exceptional Host. I've experienced Kc as a subscriber, and as a guest on her podcast. She is deeply committed to delivering valuable content to her audience. So each interview she uses her fabulous curiosity to uncover each guest unique strengths and brilliance. Then she makes connections and points that help listeners see how they can apply the ideas in their lives or business. She is such a positive force. It's truly a joy to be a part of our world with each episode. Highly recommend subscribing and absorbing the wisdom in each episode."
Kc Rossi 21:40
Meredith thank you so much. I will definitely put a link to our episode in the show notes so people can experience your brilliance my friend. If you would like to leave a review for the show, you can head on over to www.lovethe podcast.com/brilliance. Thank you!