My job is to work with women who are looking for support and who often feel that confidence has taken a rather long holiday and booked self-esteem along for the ride.
My professional image is one of confidence personified , able to stand up and talk to rooms full of people and see solutions through problems.
My life itself though is of course very similar to those of thousands of other women who juggle and make last minute dot com decisions. So I feel like the proverbial swan who swims so gracefully on the surface and is paddling like a mad thing underneath the water. - and in the early days I would be sure my clients didn't want to know the truth right ?
But then a client asked me that exact question ' Ali are you really as together as you seem? ' and it got me thinking and I realised that it is important to be honest and it is so important to for us to understand that a crisis of confidence can make a visit to any one .. and Imposter Syndrome often becomes an unwelcome squatter in our midst ... And that in some cases these blips can be the force we need to make change so it's not about gliding through life with ease.. it's about how handle those blips when they occur. This learning enabled me to work closer with my clients - to not truly understand their different situations but to show empathy and make connection.
And so it was recently for me that my Imposter Syndrome dropped in for lunch. I opened my email one morning to find that Historical Royal Palaces had contacted me - would I be interested in speaking to them about my #FindYourRoar workshop ? I looked and .. I looked again - surely this was spam . 'Don't click on any links I thought ' .. but it checked out and then I thought 'well how wonderful but they must have made a mistake as I am not a big organisation and they are talking about the Tower of London.' I replied with OK but I thought I would hear nothing back. - because why would they ?
But I did - they wanted to meet me .. to go to The Tower ! I must have opened and re opened that email over 20 times - convinced that although they had all my info they had got the wrong person . It took me 2 days to reply to say that 'Yes that would be nice.'
As I waited for the day to come I convinced myself I would get an email to say they had the wrong person or made a mistake. When I spoke to my husband or friends I heard myself falling into that trap of already getting ready for the fall .
But no .. so I find myself sitting in the café outside of the Tower waiting to go and introduce myself. .. I am actually there but still I believe I will get to security and they will say they have no record of me .. because it must be a scam. Still it's nice day along the Thames and plenty to see when this falls through .. At this point Imposter Syndrome is well and truly sat down with a cup of tea and chocolate biscuit firmly at home! ..and I have to make a choice to make the 100 yard walk and introduce myself or to get back on the train.
This is moment of adrenalin and this is the point when I would say to my clients - it's this fear that will be your friend .. it's this fear that you can channel to be your best you . So with trepidation and feeling like many must have felt as they entered the Towers gates ( to lose their heads ) I take a deep breath and I know I have to dig deep and this is my moment . The nerves give me focus and ensure I give it my all.. I am convinced if I had confidently approached this I would not have given my best .. and the rest they say is history!
Imposter Syndrome creates doubt and brings up the question of 'Don't they know who I am cos if they did I wouldn't be here ' but channelling that emotion can turn that into just what you need to drive forward to change to ' They Know Who I Am ... and it's going to be Fabulous'.
A crisis of confidence happens to all of us regardless of who we are and what we do - it is truly about learning to dive in and believe that makes the difference.
Understanding that people don't become super individuals who never get nervous , who never have a moment, makes it easier for clients to start to make small steps towards change .. trying new things and starting to believe that they can do it.
When your moment comes.. don't let the Imposter in .. be true to yourself!
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