Why I Can’t Set You Free From Imposter Syndrome [Ditching Imposter Syndrome Episode 10]

There's a topic that's hitting my inbox each and every day at the moment - and the essence of it is why I can't set you free from Imposter Syndrome. And that's a really good thing - but it might not mean what you think!

This episode is a queue-jumper. I was planning to talk with you about how to spot the warning signs for Imposter Syndrome this week, but this topic is so important, I didn't want it to wait.

Here's What We'll Cover About Why I Can't Set You Free From Imposter Syndrome

  • The problem with Imposter Syndrome coping strategies
  • The real message behind the complaints I've been getting in my inbox
  • Why the 'basta-moment' is the key to creating breakthroughs
  • The three-lettered word that has to come before you take action
  • The self-mentoring question that can shift you from 'information' to 'implementation' and actually creating change in your life

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Prefer To Read? Here's The Transcript For Why I Can't Set You Free From Imposter Syndrome:

Please note this has not been fully edited (it takes forever and means I'd create fewer episodes!) So please forgive any AI errors.

x Clare

Welcome to Episode 10 of the Ditching Imposter Syndrome podcast, I'm your host Clare Josa, mentor to Passionate world changers and author of eight books including Ditching Imposter Syndrome, My Latest. And today I want to talk to you about a topic that's coming into my inbox each and every day at the moment, why I can't set you free from Imposter Syndrome. This week's episode is a queue-jumper. I was going to talk to you about the early warning signs for Imposter Syndrome, but actually this one needs to be heard now.

Now, that might sound really obvious. Yeah. I'm not living inside your head. I cannot physically get in there because I am not a brain surgeon and do the work that's required to rewire neural pathways and rebalance the body's biochemistry and shift the way you see yourself to close the Imposter Syndrome gap so you can allow yourself to become the version of you that achieves your goals and your dreams.

So you no longer need to feel that secret 3 am fear that everybody's going to find out you're not good enough, because you allow yourself to become good enough.

So if it's so obvious, why am I recording a podcast episode about this?

It's because every single day my team and I get emails from people asking me to Ditching Imposter Syndrome for them, but they don't realise that's what they're doing.

So here's the problem is with Imposter Syndrome, we have our coping strategies. The Internet is full of experts giving well-intentioned advice on how to cope with it, how to handle it, how to succeed despite it, because most people don't actually have the tools to clear it out once and for all.

It's like if you went to the dentist and they bodged a feeling just to keep you going and you didn't go back again until it hurt again yet rather than actually getting that tooth fixed.

We build over the Imposter Syndrome gap,

that's like a ravine, what I call the Bridge of Coping Strategies. I talk about that in detail in the last episode, Episode nine, and you can find the show notes, by the way, for today's episode at DitchingImposterSyndrome.com/podcast/010/ loads of resources there for you. So we all get so used to coping with Imposter Syndrome, which takes a huge amount of effort.

And it means whenever we want to stretch a comfort zone or to grow or to be more visible and step up to the next level to lead to make that even bigger difference, Imposter Syndrome is always hard at our heels, that bridge of coping strategies that we build over the Imposter Syndrome gap.

As I say, if this is new to you, go back.

Listen to Episode nine when the gap widens because we want to stretch your comfort zone. The bridge falls down so we spend a huge amount of effort investing energy, had space, time and even money on building the bridge of coping strategies, keeping it secure.

And if that gap widens desperately adding more planks, more coping strategies, we put up with it.

Now, one of the things that's happened as I'm recording this episode is we're heading into Ward's International Women's Day in 2021 is in the past week alone, I've had seventeen requests from organisations for International Women's Day to run workshops for free on Imposter Syndrome.

Now, firstly, I do pro bono work.

I will do one speaking engagements, pro bono. It takes me two days approximately at least once. I factor in planning time. All the meetings, the research I do for that company, tailoring that talk, delivering it and follow up is at least two days per talk. I don't just show up and regurgitate the same old boring, tired spiel. Yeah, I don't want to give you an amazing experience, which is why people tell me that the sessions are inspirational.

So I do want to months those slots are normally booked six months ahead, and I reserve them for genuine charities and not for profit organisations who genuinely don't have a budget. I won't do them for multibillion pound turnover, international corporations who've chosen not to have a budget.

Now, here's the thing. These workshops are amazing, but they're awareness raising. They share some basics.

They give insights. If you could fix Imposter Syndrome for ever in a one hour workshop, nobody on the planet would spend a decade struggling with it.

So I love doing these workshops, but what actually matters is the action that people take after them.

So here's something that came up this week rather than do a workshop which takes me two days, I offered each of these 17 organisations and asked the author Q&A session, 45 minutes.

I don't need to do as much prep. I can show up. I can really add value.

All I ask is that in advance of ask the author, people have actually read some of the book. OK, this isn't about book sales because believe me, books don't offer. You don't actually own an author very much. This is about maximising the value.

I can add in that 45 minute session if people show up and they're still at the, "what is Imposter Syndrome?" Stage or, "what is the difference between it and self-doubt?" Or, "Ooh! I have an inner critic and I can do something about it!" If they're still at that stage,

the questions I get to answer are like teaching primary school children. If they've read a decent chunk of Ditching Imposter Syndrome the questions are coming in more at A level and degree standard and I can make a really big difference. They're more insightful. They create deeper breakthroughs. I could do many hotseat mentoring for people there on the call.

So do you want to know what the reply is to that offer came in at you? Because what I was offering was effectively to run a free book club.

I have my interactive reader experience, which is a six week program where I support people reading the book with bonus videos, with a book club guide, where you can have discussion questions to discuss with your team, with Q&A sessions, where people can pick my brain for each stage of the book and access to my reader. Only Facebook group where I hang out most days. And you can actually share the journey with me as you read the book. So all of this is free, plus a 45 minute Q&A.

Every single reply I got was we've asked and nobody wants to read the book. They just want you to do the workshop.

So basically what these organisations are saying is they want me to put in two days of my time completely unpaid to make some difference because they are not prepared to put the time in to read a book. The message this gives me is, yes, everybody stressed and overwhelmed. Yes, I get it.

I'm home schooling three kids as well as running my business and my husband working full time.

I get it. But what it really says is that these people haven't yet made the commitment to ditch Imposter Syndrome. They're prepared to invest more time and energy in the bridge of coping strategies rather than spend maybe ten hours over six weeks reading a book, doing some super simple self mentoring questions, doing some exercises, being fully supported on that journey to set themselves free.

And to be honest, I find that incredibly disappointing. It's really it makes me feel really sad that people would rather be stuck with something that's causing them to lose sleep at three o'clock in the morning, then take the simplest action made as easy as possible for them. But this is what the reliance on coping strategies does for us.

Yeah. Then recently, I ran a free masterclass on what every coach, leader, a mentor needs to know about how lockdown is impacting Imposter Syndrome because my research has shown it's soaring the rates and the severity. Okay.

And if you want to watch this masterclass, it's still there for you. Free of charge, as my gift described as inspirational and life changing by attendees. You can still get it now.

Instant access at Clare Josa dot com forward slash Imposter Syndrome masterclass. If you didn't catch that, it's on the show. Notes for today's episode. Ditching Imposter Syndrome dot com forward slash podcast Forward Slash zero one zero.

So after that session where I did my usual and gave a lot more than I'd planned to because I really wanted to deliver something that was going to help and inspire people. My inbox was full of thank you letters, which is always so lovely because I miss being on stage and actually be able to see people afterwards and hug them and answer their questions and feel that high of us all having co-created an amazing experience.

But the next day my inbox was full of complaints, which really shocked me, my assistant, as we were reading them, the number of people.

Yeah, okay. During this masterclass I had explained that you could sign up for extra information on how to handle Imposter Syndrome.

And there were three different types.

One was geared at line managers and leaders in corporations and large businesses. Another was geared at coaches and mentors who wanted to know about how to use Imposter Syndrome to support their clients. And I'd covered a lot of that actually during the life session because the skill set to be able to help someone Ditching Imposter Syndrome is very different to standard coaching is something I talk about in another episode.

And the third aspect was what you can do for yourself if you want to Ditching Imposter Syndrome. What were the complaints about? Is that I dared to have paid offerings in those emails.

We had about twenty people get back to us after that session saying it was inspirational, it was life changing.

I loved it. But where's the free stuff? I want more free stuff.

Yeah, I've even had one who came back saying I've got the book.

I don't want to sign up for the Imposter Syndrome Mentor Training at this stage because I'm just not too busy. It's not the right time.

I haven't had time to read the book. But please, could you send me lots of - this is the exact words - free information on how to support my mentoring and coaching clients with Ditching Imposter Syndrome.

So here's the thing. At some point we have to make a choice. Am I going to keep consuming the free stuff, the information? Or am I actually going to invest time, money, effort, choice into getting the support I need to implement that?

Information is great, yeah, and people love consuming free stuff all over the Internet. Yeah, I even had some of the complaint replies saying I want another masterclass. It's not fair. And other people complaining that the replay had only been live for 10 days. And how were they supposed to have time to watch it as many times as they wanted to, to get everything they needed from you know, it's like this was a gold dust masterclass and actually the replay still there.

You just need to click the link and you'd see. But it's easier to hit complain. What people are doing is projecting their pain.

OK, information is great. Implementing that information is what actually changes your life.

And with each of those emails, I had to work quite hard not to take it personally because it hurts. Yeah. Oh, that was brilliant.

But you're a pooh-bumb, because you're not giving me even more for free, that I want to use with my paying clients, or that I want to use to change my life to get promoted or feel less miserable or be able to sleep properly again.

I feel for these people because what they're secretly saying is they haven't yet made the choice to change. They haven't yet committed to themselves to put in the time the money, the investment, the energy to transform their lives. And that's a really painful place to be. And what they're also saying, in essence, is they want me to change Imposter Syndrome for them. They want me to ditch Imposter Syndrome for them. They don't want to do it themselves.

Give us a free masterclass, give us a free workshop so that we can feel we've done something about Imposter Syndrome read the book, too busy, not interested, haven't got the time. Join one of my programs and be totally supported and guided.

Right now I just want more free stuff. The thing is, the free stuff will only get you so far.

And believe me, I do a lot of free stuff. I run two podcasts, I run two whole websites. I do videos, I do articles. They show up on social media. I run free master classes like the one I ran a couple of weeks ago. I'm running another free master class for International Women's Day for all of the women's networks who genuinely can't afford to me to speak.

If you want to sign up for that as my gift, it's at www.ClareJosa.com/IWD2021/. But it doesn't matter how much I give you for free. I can't ditch Imposter Syndrome for you. And I do my best to make it as easy as possible. It's why I've got the Ditching Imposter Syndrome interactive reader experience is my gift. OK, and you know what?

I've had complaints this last week about that as well as we've been launching it. Why do I have to buy the book?

Why can't you gift the book to everybody who joins your free interactive reader experience?

Well, because I have to pay my team and I have to put food in the fridge and my kids have this pesky habit that they keep growing and occasionally they need new clothes and shoes and also while we're just consuming the free stuff.

We haven't really made that commitment to change, and frankly, Ditching Imposter Syndrome is the price of a pizza. Yeah, I have gifted many copies to people in genuine need who can't afford it.

But if we're really honest, most of us can.

And what I've realised is that there's no point in arguing with someone who's in that space. Yeah, just wanting to consume, consume, consume all the free stuff and then getting frustrated because nothing changes.

And I send them love and compassion. And I'm not judging. I'd prefer that angst not to end up in my inbox.

But, you know, it's part of the price I pay for doing the work that I do is sometimes people will project their pain outwards.

But I also invite them to think about what Imposter Syndrome is costing them. Which opportunities if they held back on? What if they said no to when their heart was whispering? Yes, what if they said yes to when their heart was screaming? No. How much time are they spending, building, maintaining, worrying about the bridge of coping strategies, how much sleep is it costing them? Or they could just make a small investment, that commitment that yes.

Yeah, I talk with clients about the Basta moment.

Buster is my favourite Italian word and it means enough, yet my kids know it really well.

The best moment is where you decide in that moment I am going to change. Enough, I will no longer be at the mercy of my inner critic, I will no longer allow that negative self-talk to make my major life decisions for me. I am going to do whatever it takes to set myself free from that secret 3:00 a.m. fear that they're going to find out I'm a fraud, that they're going to realise I'm not good enough. I want to be free from Imposter Syndrome and I am going to take action now every single day to take a tiny step towards that.

And you say, I can't say that. Yes, for you. I can't say that. Yes. On behalf of anybody who's been in my inbox over the last few weeks complaining about this stuff, all I can do is when somebody's ready to say that, yes, I can make it as easy as possible for them to create breakthroughs in minutes and not months.

But while somebody is still prepared to invest more effort, headspaces, energy and even money, because Imposter Syndrome costs us money in missed opportunities, pay raises, promotions, everything else, while somebody is going to keep feeding their fears and excuses more than their dreams.

There's not a lot I can do to help. It doesn't matter how much free stuff in the world I give them, they're not going to implement. But the moment they make that decision, the moment that spark says, basta enough, believe me, I'm there.

Yeah. Virtual cheerleader.

Imagine the pom poms going out, doing that happy dance, doing everything I can to make it easy for you so I can't Ditching Imposter Syndrome for you.

But the moment you make that choice for yourself, I have so many ways I can support you.

And I've got a quick self mentoring question for you just in case this is where you've been at and you've been putting off taking action about Ditching Imposter Syndrome. Yeah.

And you've been maybe doing all the consuming the information.

So you feel like you're taking action, but it's not actually creating results. So I invite you to come up with five responses to this statement. I can't Ditch Imposter Syndrome because. I can't Ditching Imposter Syndrome because press pause, let those answers bubble up, what might come up there is because I don't have time. Well, we need to make the time. How much time is Imposter Syndrome costing? You remember the 4 Ps of Imposter Syndrome Perfectionism, procrastination, project paralysis and people pleasing.

There's a link to more on that on the show notes, above.

We can always make the time 10 to 15 minutes a day a bit less doom scrolling on social media.

If I phoned you right now, you'd find 15 minutes for a phone call.

Most likely then we can find 15 minutes to read a book or do a course, another one that might come up well because it's incurable. Okay, it's patently not. I would not have written a book that sold a lie.


I worked with thousands of people on this over the last 17 years.

It might be I don't know how great that's exactly what I specialise in is the how to make it might be. I'm scared it might work. Fantastic. Let me help you get to the stage where you're excited that it might work. Yeah, the difference between fear and excitement is two inches.

I've got an article for you on that on the show notes page above. Whatever those causes are, there will be solutions to all of them. Have a read through that list.

Some of them will be patently nonsense. Just cross them out. The others great. What do I want instead? What is the first action I can take towards that?

So if you're a reader of Ditching Imposter Syndrome, we have a discussion thread for this episode over in the Free Reader Facebook group. Come and let me know, what were your causes and what actions are you going to take?

And if you're not already at Ditching Imposter Syndrome is there on Amazon and Kindle hardback paperback and any good bookstore you can order it in and it could start changing a life in the next ten minutes.

So I hope you found this episode useful and I really, really hope you can listen to it in the spirit it's intended, which is how some people a bit of a reality check have come on.

Why are you putting up with this? Why are you having to do the Bridge of coping strategies?

It's time to set yourself free. This is said, we'd love without judgement.

Believe me, I have a drawer full of this T-shirt.


And because I am here, my raison d'être is to help you make a difference is to help you get out of your own way to clear out the secret self imposed glass ceilings that have been holding you back from making the difference you're really here to make in the world.

And one of the biggest and boshiest of those is Imposter Syndrome. Who am I to be doing it? OK, and I'd love to hear from you.

What's resonated with you from this episode? What action are you going to take as a result? If you found it useful, make sure you subscribe. It's free every Monday, wherever you get your podcast. I'll be back next week with the next episode when we're going to be talking about how to spot the early warning signs. That was meant to be this week's episode. But this one snuck in because it's such an important topic right now and make sure that you have signed up for those resources.

I'm currently sharing the interactive reader experience and the International Women's Day 2021 masterclass on how to stop your inner critic in its tracks. In under 60 seconds, you'll find those links at the show notes, above. I hope you have an amazing week.

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About the author

Clare Josa

Clare is considered a global authority in the fields of Imposter Syndrome, burnout and toxic resilience, and has been an international keynote speaker for over 20 years.

The author of 8 books, a reformed engineer and the former Head of Market Research for one of the world's most disruptive brands, she blends research-backed practical inspiration with demystified ancient wisdom, to help you create breakthroughs in ways that are fast, fun and forever.

Want to find out your Imposter Syndrome Score? Take Clare's free research-backed, quiz-style assessment and get your score plus a personalised action plan in the next 3 minutes.

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