#007: Tanya Geisler on the Imposter Complex and the Lies and Stories We Tell Ourselves [Podcast]

Sparta Chicks Radio

Apr 02

This is definitely my most personal interview yet.

If you’ve been around here for a while, I have no doubt you’ve read (here, here and here) about how my fear and self-doubt held me back from launching this podcast well over 12 months ago (when I originally planned to).

The reason - my Imposter Complex was running amok and I didn’t have the understanding or the tools to deal with it.

But thanks to our guest, you and I are here today 😉

We all tell ourselves stories about what we can and can’t do. These stories run through our heads (often) day in and day out and influence and effect the beliefs we have, the words we use, the decisions we make and the actions we take.

Not to mention the races we enter (or don’t enter), the difficult conversations we have (or don’t have), the job applications we submit (or don’t) and the promotions we put our hand up for (or don’t).

These stories - or lies as Tanya calls them - often can be found in the Imposter Complex.

You may not have heard of the term before but I can assure you that you’ve felt the sting of it.

Ever deflected a compliment or achievement by saying “thanks but…”?

Ever felt you aren’t ready, that you don’t belong or that you aren’t (good / strong / smart / fast / qualified) “enough”? (guilty Your Honour).

Ever felt small in the company of others?

Or have you ever been scared that any minute now everyone is going to find out you really have no idea what you’re doing?

THAT is the Imposter Complex.

(Deep eh?)

For me, the stories - or lies - have, throughout my professional life, revolved around not being good enough or not being ready.

In preparing for this interview, I realised a decision I made some 20 years ago at University not to pursue a scholarship in the United States was driven by my Imposter Complex and my belief that I wasn’t (good / smart) “enough”.

The more I’ve learnt about the Imposter Complex, the more I see it in myself, in my clients and in the women I speak with almost daily.

And, most importantly, the more I can see how it holds us - both you and me - back.

This is why I wanted Tanya Geisler as our first guest expert on Sparta Chicks Radio.

Tanya Geisler - Imposter Complex

Tanya is a Leadership Coach based out of Canada who specialises in working with women on their Imposter Complex. You’ll hear her mention how even being introduced as a “guest expert” would once have ‘triggered’ her Imposter Complex.

In this interview, we cover:

* what the Imposter Complex is,

* why it’s important to treat it as a travelling companion but never let it take the wheel or sit in the driver’s seat (like I did back at University or when it came to launching this podcast),

* the 12 “lies” of the Imposter Complex and I share some of the ways I’ve seen it show up around sporting goals in the women I know and the conversations I’ve had. Plus Tanya and I both ‘fess up about the “lies” we tell ourselves and how that has held us back in our own careers and lives,

* how these lies trigger certain behaviour patterns which aren’t conducive to chasing our dreams - procrastination, perfectionism (my personal favourites), leaky boundaries, people pleasing and comparison

* (and most importantly), why it’s important to remind ourselves that there is always room for improvement.

This is such a deep, and impactful, topic, this interview is considerably longer than normal. But we go deep, cover a lot of ground and both share how the Imposter Complex has impacted on our work, our career, our relationships and our lives.

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Notes and resources:

To find out more about Tanya or to say hello, you can find her on Instagram, Facebook (at her Coaching page or on her personal page), Twitter or via her website.

You can grab your copy of Tanya's guide to The 12 Lies of the Imposter ​Complex here or get the Imposter Complex 101 here. And you can see Tanya's TEDxTalk called "Owning Our Authority" here.