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How to escape impostor syndrome, without needing to believe in yourself first!

The first ever corporate training I did sent me straight into impostor syndrome’s gates of hell, actually no, on second thoughts, it was worse!

At the end of this article, I’ll tell you why.

But first, let me take you back to 2017.

I was struggling with body image big time back then, in fact it’s the sole reason I took corporate training off the table – after all, who the hell is going to listen to a fat woman talk about getting in control of your mindset.  I mean, REALLY??

But then I put on my big, and I mean BIG girl panties and asked myself, “what’s the worst that could happen?”  (To which my inner critic raised its hand and threw out – embarrassment, humiliation, the annihilation of credibility, people telling me I am shit at this and … maybe, even death.

I had done so much reading on how to kick impostor syndrome to the curb, but to me it was a huge pile of impractical fluffy shite that usually started out with “look back and celebrate your achievements”.


The very nature of impostor syndrome makes you INCAPABLE of recognising past achievements. 

“GO ME!!!” doesn’t exist in the same stratosphere as thinking you’re a fraud, but what DID exist was the crippling belief that I wasn’t clever enough, and questioning (on an endless loop) about what on earth I have to offer.


I did give it a go though, and on every single one of the many achievements, I was able to cite how I was just lucky, in the right place at the right time, or how someone else made it possible.




So, after the 37th article telling me to grab my tambourine and start singing Kumbaya to my inner champion, I decided to feck them all off and start looking for the answers myself.

Yes, full disclosure, I’m a bit of a closet hippy, who loves to send my issues out to my higher self (she’s skinny BTW) and wait with baited breath for the wisdom by return mail.

And over several uncomfortable months of leaning into my insecurities, here’s what I discovered – three bits of TRUTH that completely changed how I showed up for myself and the people I was coaching and training.

I’d like to share them with you, because I’m pretty sure they’ll be true (and helpful) for you too.

1. People do NOT need to like you, in order for you to still help them.

In fact, needing them to like you is putting unfair pressure on them.  Imagine if the person on the checkout at the supermarket refused to serve you until you reassured you that you think they’re a good egg? 

You’d be confused, a bit annoyed and even put out, because you aren’t there for them, you’re there for your salt ‘n vinegar chips and seven tins of sandwich tuna (because your cat won’t eat actual cat food).

2. The only reason you’re worried about being judged, is because you’re already judging. 

Oh yeah you are!

BUT, when you get to assume that no one will like you, and that they’ll think you’re a peanut who’s in the wrong job, YOU get to JUDGE THEM for being so shallow … and THEN permission to hide yourself away and look at the world through a big ol’ sulky stink eye of blame.

And here’s the BEST one:

3. The ONLY reason you have impostor syndrome, is because you’re making it about YOU, instead of making it about THEM. 

When you insist on making the interaction (or energy) one way traffic, you’ll see it as all coming FROM them, towards you.  And that’s what’s giving you a butt cramp in the confidence.  

Turn it the other way. 

Make it about them! 

Set an intention to give them the information, skills, learnings and help they have come for, and you’ll prioritise GIVING the tools, rather than wasting all of your energy into assuming they’re all thinking you are one.

And here’s a bonus tid bit of advice for free – they are not there for you, in fact they don’t care about you, not because they’re mean, but because the ONLY reason they are coming to you, is because they already believe you can help them.

If they knew how to solve their own problem, they already would have.

If they have bought a ticket, come to ask for advice, phoned up your business or sent you a PM, it’s because they have ALREADY identified you as an expert – and one who can help them. 

And hey, you don’t have the monopoly on impostor syndrome. The person you are training, serving, helping or supporting has it too.  Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean they don’t have it.

Oh, and why was my first ever mindset training like the impostor syndrome gates of hell?  Because when I went around the room and asked people to introduce themselves, the first three participants were (and I kid you not) a high school principal, a lawyer and *sphincter clench* a psychologist.

At that point I nearly passed out. 

But, at the end of the day, all three booked in with me for private coaching and after his first session, the psychologist said to me “how come, I was never taught this?”  

Go figure!

In conclusion, let me leave you with this thought: If you have such little belief in yourself, how come you give so much credibility to your own negative thinking?


Stop it!

Let me know if any of this resonates for you and which bit you’re going to grab and run with.

If you want my help to send your impostor syndrome packing, tap HERE to pick a session type and a day and time that works for you.

Leanne Shaw
Senior Coach/Trainer
Leanne Shaw

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