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Hey there, I see you … hiding your true colours from the world!

Come with me … let’s embark on a journey to uncover the dark secrets of the infamous impostor syndrome.

Cue dramatic music.

You know, that little monster that creeps into your mind and whispers, “Psst, you don’t deserve your success!” Or asks that debilitating question, “Really? What the f*** have you got to offer?”

Yeah, we’ve all been there.

I’ve been there.

I still go there often. But these days, I don’t stay there.

So, what even is it?

Impostor syndrome may sound like an assassin, hell bent on wreaking havoc on your dreams, but it’s actually a phenomenon where you doubt your abilities and live in constant fear of being exposed as a fraud.


It storms into your life, wreaking havoc like a rhinoceros in a china shop.

But, have you ever stopped to consider what impact this sanctimonious saboteur is actually having on your life?

Cue sounds of china smashing n the background.

It completely robs you of your confidence and makes you question every success you have. Convinces you of BS like you were just lucky, or that people only said nice things because they felt sorry for you.

It sabotages your growth because it convinces you that new directions are actually massive great, terrifying risks – the kind that you’re not smart enough, brave enough or ready enough to tackle head on.

Cue more smashing sounds.

It has you comparing yourself against successful people and ensuring that you come up short (and look ridiculous in the process).

OMG! Was that the Wedgewood??

It has you losing the ability to coherently describe what you do and what you can offer. In fact, when people ask what you do, you scramble for words … and watch them glaze over.

Oh and if they ask for your fees, a tiny part of your insides sucker punches your gut and turns a question about your prices into a transactional discussion about your self-worth.

In all seriousness though … sending the rhinoceros outside … impostor syndrome is debilitating, isn’t it?

But it doesn’t need to be – and here’s why:

You are not alone!

Tom Hanks, Lada Gaga, Tina Fey, Madonna and Emma Watson are right there with you, telling themselves that THIS is the time when they get found out, dismissed or exposed as a fraud.




Yep, impostor syndrome isn’t a YOU problem, it’s a human problem and no matter how well someone seems to have their sh*t together, I can tell you one thing.

They don’t!

And that’s the key piece of gold for you here.

You don’t need to get rid of the Itty Bitty Sh*tty Committee in your head, you just need to know how to tell it to shut the f*** up for a while and I am about to teach you how to do this!

I’m about to teach you how I do this.

Hire yourself to do it for yourself!

Huh, what?

Years ago, I worked with a surgeon who was terrified of surgery. No, I did not make that up!! It’s true. He told me that even though he’s fantastic at what he does, there is a part of him that fully believes that it’s only a matter of time before he makes a mistake and kills someone.

As a result, he would suffer major anxiety before every procedure.

He did all the things his therapist told him to do – acknowledge his strengths, identify his skills, use daily affirmations and believe in himself … but they all felt icky and false and uncomfortable. All they really did was offer more evidence for why he SHOULD be doubting himself.

The reason why these didn’t work is because they were all designed to help him STOP doing something.

Stop feeling nervous.

Stop doubting himself.

Stop worrying.

Didn’t work for him. Does it work for you?

STOP thinking about the orange bus.

STOP assuming you’re going to fail.

STOP imagining the fluffy duck.

Hmmm! Didn’t think so.

The secret is in learning how to START something and if that ‘something’ is a bit fun, then it’s more likely to be easy.

So, here’s what happened with my surgeon client.

I asked him to tell me about a surgeon he admired. Someone that nailed it every time and had an air of confidence that made you feel them in the room, even before you saw them.

He knew exactly who this was.

Then I asked my client what would be different if he could get this other spectacular surgeon to “run him”.

He was a bit puzzled so I explained – just imagine that you could stop in the doorway to the operating theatre, slide down a zip at the back of you (in a non-creepy, but gloriously imaginative way), and get this other megastar to climb in and basically run you for the duration of the procedure.

“Oh wow!” He said. “I reckon I’d stand five inches taller, I’d be smiling and my voice would be strong and clear instead of shaky and apologetic.

I asked him to imagine how this would feel.

He smiled and I could tell he was really enjoying the thought. He even had one of those little badassy head wobbles while he imagined it.

When I asked him “where is the self-doubt?” he couldn’t find it.

So, my friend, this is your secret.

You don’t need to change yourself, believe in yourself or heaven forbid, start loving yourself … all you need to do is surrender and let “someone else” do it for you.

OK, before you roll your eyes and decide that I got my qualifications from a cereal box, let me give you some science behind this.

Your subconscious mind – aka the part that’s running you – doesn’t know the difference between what’s real, and what’s not. If you can imagine it, it’s real.

You’ll know this is true if you think back to that last time you lay awake worrying.

The “thing” wasn’t happening to you right then, but you could feel it, hear it and see it.

To your mind it was real.

Think anxiety, overwhelm, impostor syndrome. They all exist in your thoughts and they are all VERY real …. to your mind.

So, why can’t we hack this?

Well, you can!

When you imagine having all of the skills of someone who’d nail “it”, to your mind that is also REAL and it prepares accordingly.

You stand taller, your words come more easily and things feel easier.

It’s the alter ego phenomenon.

Clark Kent has Superman.

Beyoncé has Sasha Fierce.

Stephani Germanotta has Lady Gaga.

Diana Prince has Wonder Woman.

And I have this:

This coaster was a gift from one of my other clients who did a full mindset reprogram program with me. She dropped it in one day, saying “OMG I saw this and it reminded me of you!” She then told me, “the only thing it was missing was the badass reference, so I added it for you”.

I was so touched and very, very humbled that she thought of me this way.

A few days later I was running a workshop and just about had heart failure when I saw that I had a doctor, a psychologist AND a lawyer booked in to learn from me.

I wasn’t game enough to look at the other delegates in case I passed out.

The morning of the workshop, I don’t mind admitting my sphincter was clenching at a great rate of knots, and my memory was fast losing all of the material I was due to deliver.

I was in a state of panic.

Then I saw this coaster. Read what it said, embodied it and became it.

I put it in my pocket and BECAME the badass Queen of F***ing Everything! I tell you, she ran me that day and I freaking NAILED it!!

Then afterwards, I got to go home, get into my jammies, sit on the couch with a rug over my legs and have cuddles with my cat … as Leanne.

Not badass Leanne … just Leanne.

And that’s the beauty of this technique. You don’t have to change who you are … you simply just change who you are in that moment.

Beyoncé, Stefani Germanotta, Clark Kent and Diana Prince all have alter egos and my surgeon client is now loving life with his.

So tell me, who is going to be yours?

Leanne Shaw
Senior Coach/Trainer
Leanne Shaw

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