In today’s episode, we’re talking all about overcoming imposter syndrome with Tara Wagner.
Tara Wagner is a belief breakthrough coach. Which is essentially like a mindset coach, except that she has a very specific process for changing underlying beliefs, as well as bad habits, because those are two very different things.
She has been doing this work for 10 years now. And she just kind of fell into it. She was doing the work on herself, because she admits she was a hot mess. So she had to figure out things on her own, such as how do I be happy, forgive, let go, etc.
As she was on her journey, others began to notice and were asking her how she was doing it. So while she has been an entrepreneur for close to 20 years, she has never done anything for as long as this. And that tells her that this is what she is her to do!
She is passionate about working with female entrepreneurs. Her goal is to help as many women as possible burst through things like imposter syndrome, so that they can do the work that they are being called to do, whether that’s in their business, in their communities, or just in their families.
What exactly is imposter syndrome?
The way Tara describes imposter syndrome is, the outward appearance of having everything together (while inside you are freaking out a little bit – or like A LOT!)
Usually you’ve got rocks in your stomach, your chest is tightening up and you are thinking thoughts like:
- “Who the hell am I to even think that I can do this?”
- “What are other people gonna think about me?”
- “I’m such a phony!”
- “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe people are paying me for this!”
- “If people find out, what are they going to do? Like I’m going to be a laughingstock!”
It’s all the thoughts and emotions that just subtly tell us that we’re not worthy of what we’re doing. That we’re not good enough.
It’s that feeling of being the phony or being the imposter.
How common is imposter syndrome really?
Only 30% of people don’t feel imposter syndrome ever in their life.
But they aren’t superhuman. They are just the 30% of people that don’t have goals, that aren’t pushing themselves, and that aren’t striving for more.
Maybe it is because of their own beliefs or blocks, or maybe they are just comfortable with where they are in life.
Imposter syndrome happens for every single person who is reaching for another level, if they are moving outside their comfort zone.Tara Wagner
They are going to feel that sense of like “Who am I to do this?”
What is the cause of imposter syndrome?
The main cause of imposter syndrome is our own beliefs and not having an understanding of how our beliefs work and how our mind works.
Think about it. Your mind is always taking in information, ever since you were born. It takes in this information to make sense of the world. As it does this, it creates our beliefs. It is creating a framework (like the frame of a house) to build our life on.
What happens is at certain points in our life, we experience pivotal events that are significantly impactful and highly emotional. Our brain takes a snapshot and creates a strong imprint at that time in our life.
You could be a 38 year old woman but still feel like your 17 year old self. That is what our brain does, it is almost like a freeze frame.
So even if we are totally rocking it, we are developing new skills, achieving amazing things, we are adulting hardcore, there is still a part of our brain that has been imprinted to say, “I’m 17 years old and I have no idea what I am doing.”
If we don’t understand that, then our brain keeps talking to us and we keep listening.
But you don’t actually have to believe that what you are hearing is true.
Imposter syndrome is not about never having those thoughts again, it is able being able to have those thoughts and just not believe in them.Tara Wagner
You have the ability to go in and change that thought. It isn’t set in stone.
Why is it so important to work through imposter syndrome?
So we can actually do what we want to do. Otherwise we end up frozen or we don’t do it to the fullest capacity.
Imposter syndrome is between you and the thing that you are supposed to do.– Tara Wagner
Unless we do this work, we will never be able to do our life’s work.
You cannot be as efficient, as productive, as powerful, as happy as anything, if in the back of your mind, you’re thinking I shouldn’t be here.
Does imposter syndrome ever really go away?
While there is a lot of conversation right now in the mindset world about fear never really going away, Tara believes that is complete BS.
Think about something you used to feel fear about but no longer due. It could be your first day of school, or riding a roller coaster, literally the first time you do anything it’s scary.
But then the more you do it, the less fearful you get.
Imposter syndrome is really just a fear.
A fear that we are not good enough. As we start to change that fear, we change our experience of doing big things.
Imposter syndrome will go away when we’re doing the same thing over and over because we get accustomed to it, we get comfortable with it. But imposter syndrome can come back up when we’re stepping into something really big because it can bring back up an old belief. Old beliefs don’t always go away, but they do weaken.
But even then, if we continue to do this work, at some point we’re not going to be effected by these old beliefs anymore.
Tara doesn’t believe that fear will always be with us but rather what we label as fear shifts and we experience something different.
Something to remember about beliefs
There will be some beliefs that you circle back around again and again and again. Because for whatever reason, that is the thing that you get to learn deeply in this life.
And then there will be some fears and beliefs that you work through for a few years, and then they are gone and they never come up again.
Tops tips to work through imposter syndrome
- Take the shame out of what we’re feeling. // Practice self forgiveness and remind yourself that it is okay to feel that way. Others do too.
- “Action is the antidote to despair.” – Joan Baez // Get into your body and take a physical action, even if it is just getting up and walking across the room.
- Don’t ignore your fears, but don’t swim in them either. // There is a difference between processing and wallowing.
- Bring awareness to this. Where are we feeling this? What exactly is going through our minds when we are feeling this way or thinking these things? Write it down, don’t think it out. We process it differently when we see it on paper in front of us.
- Look at you why! // It starts increasing your motivation. Your why must be bigger than all of your why nots.
Share with us your top tip for overcoming imposter syndrome!
Where to Find Tara Online:
- XO, Tara Wagner Website
- From Bottlenecks to Breakthroughs
- YouTube Channel
- Boss Lady Breakthroughs Facebook Group