Christine: You are listening to Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 8, Imposter Syndrome and Answers to Your Questions. … Today, I’m going to answer your questions and with that I’m going to talk about imposter syndrome. You’re probably wondering why imposter syndrome? This is about empty nesting. This may help you.
Christine: You are listening to Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 8, Imposter Syndrome and Answers to Your Questions. This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy with volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that’s been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it’s freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking energy into freaking awesome energy.
Hello, my empty nest friend. My goodness, we’re at episode 8. I am getting more excited with each episode. My heart is full. Thank you for being here and if you’re enjoying this podcast, if you could do me a huge, huge, huge favor and take a minute to let me know by reviewing this podcast. It helps other people to find it.
Today, I’m going to answer your questions and with that I’m going to talk about imposter syndrome. You’re probably wondering why imposter syndrome? This is about empty nesting. This may help you. You may have never heard of it. I was surprised that some of my friends had never heard of it, but it is a real thing. I’ve had to deal with it often. My first question that I was asked, brings up the imposter syndrome for me. The question is, Christine, what are your credentials? How is imposter syndrome part of this? On psychologytoday.com there’s an article “The Reality of Imposter Syndrome.” In this article, the top description of it is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Basically, it’s the feeling that you have gotten into a place in your life and you feel like a fraud, and you feel at any moment someone’s going to figure out that you shouldn’t be where you are.
I’ve had this a few times in my life, two in particular, is one, I became a Peoplesoft developer rather quickly. I seemed to learn things quickly and moved into a role where I had multiple people on my team that reported to me. They were all external consultants. This went from not being in a developer role at all to that role within about six months. Every day I would feel like someone’s going to find out I really shouldn’t be in that spot. The reality is I had all of the skills that everyone else did and just by putting myself out there, and trying it and doing it, that is what sometimes makes me feel that way.
The other time that this happened to me was in my balloon business, and again, very quickly I learned balloons, and within six months I decided to go to a convention and compete. I got, I don’t even remember, I think was third place in a up-and-coming new balloon award that was not exactly what it was called, but I kept thinking they’re going to find out I really don’t know what I’m doing. In reality, I knew everything that I needed to do to get that award, but there’s always that level of doubt.
With this question, Christine, what are your credentials? This hits every fear and doubt that I had in starting the business, truly. Even though, for the past ten years I’ve wanted to do some kind of coaching and encouragement role in my life. Ten years ago, I started it but kind of stepped away because of this fear. At this point in my life, I need to just do it. I am so proud of the people that I have worked with and the results that they have had. If you want to know my credentials, my credentials are I am an empty nest mother. My daughter is in college now. She went early and I am sharing my experience and the tools that I learned, with you, in the hopes that the way that I present them to you help you. If I can help one mother a year to feel empowered, to feel good about herself, to have a great impact on her children and her family, that is a huge win for me. That is what this is all about.
The irony is when I coach myself through this imposter syndrome is what I’ve realized is by not being who I really am meant to be, I mean, everything in my being feels like this is right. This is what I need to do. But if I were to not do it, guess what? That is when I’m truly being an imposter in my life. Isn’t that crazy? I know I’m not alone in these feelings. I’ve mentioned it to friends who had never heard of it and they were like yes, I’ve experienced this before. Sometimes you don’t step out and do the thing that you’re meant to do because of this fear. I’m sharing with you that I am here. I am standing here, in the fear, and I am here to help. I want to encourage you to be who you are meant to be, too. Got it? I hope that answers the question with a little lesson involved.
Question number two, Christine, I want to create a business, but I have no experience in the area I want to pursue. Congratulations, you get to learn it. Everyone starts somewhere. Right? What I want to challenge you to do, if this is a question of yours. If you have a business that you have no experience in, I want you to check your thoughts. Because I want to create a business, but I have no experience in the area I want to pursue, what type of feeling does that generate in you? For me, that would not generate a positive feeling. Changing that to something like I want to create a business that I know nothing about and I’m going to learn it all. Be really creative. Change your thought. Or, I have a business I’m developing and I’m learning every step. Right? I also want you to think about future you. Ten years from now, what do you look like in that business? What’s your life like? Then, I want you to work backwards. How did you get there? Really process that out. If you need help with something like this, my free program, it’s a seven-day program, you register for it on my website, it’s all about finding future you and it helps you to work through all of this. Check that out.
Question number three, there is a lot on my plate right now, Christine, how should I proceed? I am not going to tell you how to proceed. If you have a lot on your plate right now, first of all, check that thought, because the thought I have a lot on my plate right now, generates a lot of anxiety in me if I have that thought. Right? You could say, I have this to do, this to do, this to do and this to do. Whatever those things are. Pick one thing and do it. It’s not the wrong decision, because whatever you pick is the right decision because it’s what you chose. It’s that simple. You don’t need any drama around it at all. Just pick one and do it. The overwhelm that you are indulging in is extremely self-indulgent. There is no point to it. What are you afraid of? Just pick something. Just do it. It seems cliché because Nike said it but, it’s right. Just pick one and do it. You can always change your mind later. Just remove the drama and do it. Let me know how you make out.
Question number four, Christine, I feel like I’m in a funk with the realization that my babies are leaving the nest. How does that thought make you feel? I feel like I’m in a funk with the realization that my babies are leaving the nest. Of course they’re leaving the nest. It’s a beautiful thing. They are able to be independent human beings. This is what they are meant to do. You need to check all of your thoughts around it and realize, observe. Remember we’re observing our thoughts. Observe, and when you catch yourself saying something like this, I feel like I’m in a funk, right? Where does that take you? The realization that my babies are leaving the nest. That doesn’t help me, but if I feel proud that my babies are leaving the nest, right? You can change it any way you want. My babies are leaving the nest and that’s okay. My babies are leaving the nest and that’s what they are meant to do. My babies are leaving the nest because I did a really good job. Write some of these down. Play with them and find the thing, find the thoughts, the sentence, that makes you feel okay with them leaving. When you catch yourself in the funk next time, you can pull out this sentence and say it over and over again. Eventually, you’ll catch that funky sentence before it forms completely, and you’ll be able to change it and you’ll be able to see the positives. You have done an amazing job to get here. Really. Think about all the amazing things you’ve done. Well done, mom.
Last question, help, I don’t want to make any decisions. Who does? Because then you’re giving control of your life to someone else, which, yes, if something goes wrong, you can choose to blame them, if you want but what does that get you? You’ve given control of your life to another human being. Just make a decision and do it. It could be good. It could be bad, but life is good and bad anyway, so just make a decision and try it. I know, I can be a little tough. It comes from love. I just want to see you grow and be who you are meant to be. These are all baby steps. If you have any questions, you may add them to our Empty Nest Flock Community, over on my website at youremtpynestcoach.com. Look in the menu for Empty Nest Flock Community and I really hope to see you there.
In my next episode, I’m going to talk about your child’s college major and what you are making that mean.
Today’s questions are:
1) Do you have a question you want to ask me?
2) If you could give your past 19-year-old self advice, what would it be?
If you share that with me, you can email me at Christine AT youremptynestcoach.com or participate in our Empty Nest Flock Community on my website. You may be featured on an upcoming episode.
I invite you to fly over to my Empty Nest Flock Community, at youremptynestcoach.com/community to share your answers to this episode’s questions. I know I’ve said that a few times, might as well reinforce it.
Sign up for my free Thursday Thoughts about Email. This is where I share a quick thought I’m having for the week. It’s more real time for me. My podcasts are recorded in advance. My empty nest friend, that is all for this episode. Remember, you are amazing! Talk to you next time.