Episode #018 - Ditching Imposter Syndrome featuring Clare Josa

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Other episodes referenced are Episode 07 - Self Sabotage

For Clare's http://www.clarejosa.com/

Interview transcript

Sara Moseley: So welcome to the show, Clare. So wonderful to have you on here.

Clare Josa: Thank you, Sara. I'm really thrilled. I can't wait to see what magic we co-create today.

Sara Moseley: I've been super excited about having you on because this is... it's got to be one of the most talked about things ever. Every single... well, successful person, whether they've achieved their goals or not, imposter syndrome is just one of those subjects, isn't it, that I think... I have a phrase, I say, "We must learn to dance with it." So I'm super excited that you've agreed to come on.

Sara Moseley: When we talk about imposter syndrome, how do you define imposter syndrome?

Clare Josa: Well, I've just run the 2019 Imposter Syndrome Research Study as part of writing Ditching Imposter Syndrome because I wanted to go and look at the research in the U.K. and find out what was going on, and I realized there was none. So I stuck my old head of market research hat on and created a research study.

Clare Josa: One of the brilliant outputs is, we can now precisely describe the difference between self-doubt and imposter syndrome because the two often get muddled up. Self-doubt, confidence, is about what you think you can and can't do. Imposter syndrome is about who you think you are. So it's down there at the identity level, the, "Who am I to be doing this? Who would want to listen to me? I'm not good enough. What if they realize I'm a fraud?" You hear all of these me and I am statements, and that's imposter syndrome. If somebody's saying, "I can, I can't," that's self-doubt.

Clare Josa: I define the imposter syndrome gap as the difference between who you see yourself as being and who you think you need to be to achieve your dreams and goals, and this is why curing imposter syndrome, ditching it, is about changing who you are allowing yourself to be so that that gap closes and imposter syndrome simply melts away.

Sara Moseley: That is so clear. That is so clear. You know exactly where you are with that definition. I love it. So how did you come to actually write this book about imposter syndrome and more importantly, ditching imposter syndrome?

Clare Josa: My backside was kicked by somebody in my mastermind in December because he knew that I'd spent the last 15 years accidentally specializing in this with senior business leaders, and he knew that I knew it was actually time for the book to come out, the definitive guide, with the research.

Clare Josa: When I left my corporate life and I started working with senior business leaders on leadership development, one of the things that came up time and time again was this set of crazy behaviors we all have of lying awake at 3:00 A.M. going, "What if they realize I don't know as much as everybody else? What if they realize that I just got here by luck?" And something that comes up over and over again is, "My luck is going to run out, and tomorrow might be the day that they realize that I don't belong here." It was a few years before I realized it had a name: imposter syndrome. But I barely had a client for whom this wasn't the root cause of the reason they decided to pay good money to come and work with me.

Clare Josa: I found that with women it was holding them back for going for promotions at senior levels. I also found, because I've worked a lot with entrepreneurs too, is it was the single biggest reason why their business success wasn't coming to fruition, despite have a brilliant business plan.

Clare Josa: So imposter syndrome is like... I call it the last resort of where your fears hang out. You've done the mindset work, you've got the positive attitude, you know how to do it despite the fear, and imposter syndrome is what lurks there in the background as the last block to come out, for you to step into those soul shoes of being who you really are and making the difference you are really here to make in the world.

Sara Moseley: That's so powerful. I'm working with entrepreneurs who are taking their businesses offline and moving online, and obviously I'm on my own journey with this as well, and I'm finding that there are different levels of imposter syndrome. I think the minute we start to raise our own visibility, and from listening to what you're saying, whether that's within a corporate company to go to a bigger promotion, or whether it's to put a Facebook ad out there or do a [inaudible 00:04:27]... Would you say it's the same kind of principle, it's the feelings that people are coming up against?

Clare Josa: Yes, Sara. It's exactly the same drivers. But here's something that the research study this year found that actually made me cry when I did the stats. You know when you're analyzing something, whether it's Facebook ads or a research study-

Sara Moseley: Yes.

Clare Josa: ... sometimes you look at a number and you're like, no, that just can't be right. So you come at it from 10 different directions. So in the general population, 49% of male respondents said they were struggling with imposter syndrome daily or regularly, and it was having a measurable effect on their performance, their mental health and their emotional wellbeing. The figure for women was 52% daily or regularly. The figure for entrepreneurs... drum roll, okay? 82%.

Sara Moseley: No way.

Clare Josa: 82%. Now it does start to go down as your business becomes more successful, as you might expect. But in that initial trajectory phase, or when you're making a big change in what you're delivering or your visibility, or the way you're campaigning, or your audience, 82%.

Clare Josa: One of the biggest triggers that I know listeners will identify with was comparison-itis. Because so many of us are so active on social media, we're constantly being bombarded with those photo shoot highlight reels, and then, of course, the algorithm curates which of those we get to see. So it's not even someone else's highlight reel, it's the curated algorithm version of everybody's highlight reel, and we look at it and go, "Well, if they're doing that, who am I to be doing this?"

Clare Josa: So imposter syndrome, I think, is the single biggest block behind people with a decent business plan being super successful in their business.

Sara Moseley: What's great about that as well though is, doesn't that tell us the flip side as well, in terms of the types of people who do become entrepreneurs because very much acknowledging that imposter syndrome is out there, also I would probably say the majority of... it is entrepreneurs who are overcoming it, or who are actually dealing with it and breaking through that as well. So that's quite exciting to know, isn't it?

Clare Josa: It definitely is. It definitely is. The way I look at it is, you can push through the fear and get some results, and what we found in the research study is, guys are more likely to do that than women. Women are more likely to actually do the emotional introspection and sometimes the overthinking and that 3:00 A.M. self-talk, but when you push on through the fear, firstly, the stress response in the body means that you lose the blood flow to the prefrontal cortex in the brain that does your brilliant business thinking. It's redirected to the amygdala that only cares about the saber-toothed tiger, and a Facebook ad looks like a saber-toothed tiger when fear kicks in. So it's harder to think straight, it's harder to concentrate. It's why your brain goes blank in a client pitch when they ask you a question or you're trying to phrase something right on a sales page. So my view is, forget pushing on through the fear. How about we clear the fear and then have fun?

Sara Moseley: Yeah. I like that one. That one sounds far more fun. Listen, ladies, we have to do something about this. We can't just let this be something that the guys push on through and master. We need to be making sure we do more of that as well.

Clare Josa: We do. And actually, the guys have a horrible side-effect to that. The research study found that with men pushing on through and pushing down these emotions and doing it despite the fear, they are five times more likely than women to turn to medication, drugs, alcohol, to suppress the emotional pain and anxiety. In senior male business leaders it's actually a major factor in some suicides.

Clare Josa: So, humor aside, I do think that as women we have it better because we've got our tribe around us where if you open up to a trusted friend or colleague and say, "This is how I'm feeling. Do you ever know this?", the chances are, she's going to say, "Yes." And suddenly, that fear that you're the only person in the world that feels this way disappears, and it opens the door to creating those changes.

Sara Moseley: Yeah. It's funny, the older I get the more I seem to have my eyes open to this as well, that men and women do just communicate in completely different ways, don't we?

Clare Josa: We do.

Sara Moseley: I think the more knowledgeable we become, the better it is for everybody involved really.

Sara Moseley: Okay. So that is a really clear definition of what imposter syndrome is. So how do we spot it, Clare? How do we know when we're actually doing it?

Clare Josa: So when I did the research, it combined with 15 years of having worked on this, and I came up with a model called the Four Ps of Imposter Syndrome. They're four core behaviors that if you suddenly find you're doing them, it might well be that imposter syndrome is at play. What really blew me away, when I was looking at what people were describing as their imposter syndrome driven behaviors, was these four Ps perfectly fit with our stress response, the fight, flight, freeze response, which I had no idea was going to happen. This is why doing research can be such fun.

Clare Josa: So the first one, the first P, is perfectionism. Now that is the, "I've just done the most amazing webinar, and on slide 32 there is one type and Fred, of course, has to point it out." So we lie awake at 3:00 A.M. going, "Do I re-record the webinar?" No, you just tell Fred, "Thank you." But that level of perfectionism. So we set unattainably high standards. This whole thing about you've got to do a seven figure launch in the first week of running your business is perfectionism. If we achieve them, we say, "It was just a fluke. It was luck. Anybody could have done that."

Clare Josa: So what was happening in the research is, 16% of people identified as running perfectionism, but 52% were actually running it when you looked at their behaviors.

Sara Moseley: So a perfectionist couldn't identify themselves as perfectionists because that wouldn't make them perfect!

Clare Josa: Indeed. So what the thing is here is, what I call it is real perfectionists versus stress related perfectionists. So when you look at somebody's shoes, you can tell if they're a perfectionist. You look at their fingernails, that perfectly coiffed hair. They never go out looking less than perfect. That's fab. So some people have a natural perfectionism tendency.

Clare Josa: With imposter syndrome, you're looking for the shifts in behavior. Is somebody suddenly starting to do 60 hour weeks? Somebody's suddenly getting nit-picky, micromanaging, finding it impossible to delegate because nobody could do it to the standard that's needed. You're looking for that change in behavior. So that's the P and that relates to the fight from the fight, flight, freeze response. It's, "I'm going to war with that project. I'm going to slay that goal." It's a stress response. It means you're working from fear and stress. That's the first P: Perfectionism.

Clare Josa: The second one, we entrepreneurs know well, is procrastination. So it is everything from the cute cat videos to, I must comment on at least 15 people's posts on LinkedIn every day, through to shiny object syndrome. It's, "I could do this project. I could do that project. That software looks really interesting." Rabbit holes. Never actually completing things which means you can't sell them, so you can't make a difference to people's lives and put food in the fridge.

Sara Moseley: Unfinished projects.

Clare Josa: Exactly, exactly. In a corporate environment, it's harder to get away with that because there are normally deadlines and people tracking who's doing what when. When you're the boss, it's amazing how we can justify it: "Oh, but this brilliant opportunity came up and I just had to do it." So that kind of procrastination is the second P, and that fits with the flight response. We're filling our time with busyness instead of the inspired actions that would move us towards our goal. We are effectively running away from the goal, so that's flight.

Clare Josa: The third one, the third P is paralysis. So anyone who's ever played hide and seek with a three year old will know, they hide behind their hands and go, "You can't see me." So this paralysis ties in with the freeze response in our autonomic nervous system's stress response, and that is, "I can't see that project." It drops off the to-do list every single day and then we have to use the adrenaline rush of the fear of missing the deadline to pull an all-nighter to get it done.

Sara Moseley: Yeah. You just described... I know we haven't even finished yet with the four Ps. I'm like, oh my gosh, I'm yeah, yeah, and definitely many all-nighters. I've done that so many times.

Clare Josa: Yeah. So that is the freeze response, and we get quite addicted because it can be fun. Everybody gets addicted to adrenaline, that's a separate podcast episode, but that addiction then becomes our coping strategy to get stuff done, and is exhausting, utterly exhausting.

Clare Josa: The fourth P is really interesting. There's a new category on the fight, flight, freeze response that scientists have found, and they call it fawning. So this is like people pleasing, the fourth P, which is an epidemic, epidemic for us entrepreneurs.

Clare Josa: Now I categorize this slightly outside of those autonomic nervous system responses because the fight, flight, freeze, the saber-toothed tiger is purring softly at the door. You are going to fight it, run from it or freeze. The fawning, however, is a learned response because you wouldn't go up to the saber-toothed tiger and stroke its nose and say, "There, pussy, pussy, kitty, kitty. Be nice, don't eat me," because it hasn't eaten for a week and you're dinner. But in the human stress response, a lot of people fawn. They get stressed, they try and people please. They want to be liked. They want to fit in. We want to be part of our tribe.

Clare Josa: People pleasing for entrepreneurs means everything from saying, "Yes," when your heart is saying, "No," to volunteering to help people for free, "Oh, we'll just hop on a call," and that actually should have been a paid client. Discounting our prices without being asked was something that came up often in the study. Not having clear boundaries between what's free, what's chargeable, and if you are charging, what's included and what isn't. All of this people pleasing, and also over-giving, particularly on the free stuff, that means that actually you've given people what's eased their pain, and that next level of work in whatever the transformation is, or experience is you deliver, they're like, "Yeah, but it doesn't hurt anymore."

Clare Josa: So those are the four Ps, and that is how they fit with the stress response. If these are coming up for you, firstly, you're in great company.

Sara Moseley: I was just going to say. I can't wait to get into the group after this episode comes out because I think it's going to go bonkers with people identifying exactly, yes, this is-

Clare Josa: Exactly.

Sara Moseley: ... this is something. Even if you're not doing it now, it is something that so many people have done maybe in the beginning with their business and so on.

Clare Josa: Exactly.

Sara Moseley: You have to learn that lesson sometimes, right?

Clare Josa: You do. There's a really great question that you can ask yourself as an immediate quick fix if you catch yourself doing the perfectionism stuff, procrastinating, stuck in paralysis or people pleasing: What do I get to avoid by doing this? What do I get to avoid by doing this? That will tell you what the secret fear is that's driving that behavior, and when you know what that fear is, guess what? You can go and do something about it.

Sara Moseley: Yeah. Because it's all about feeding the need, isn't it?

Clare Josa: Yeah.

Sara Moseley: So what is the need? What have you got to gain? Powerful, very powerful.

Sara Moseley: So, Clare, can we roll our sleeves up a little bit then and start to get a bit practical with this? Obviously in the book you've got a framework, you've got a system. Could you talk a little bit more about that? What can we do? Once we get to the stage where we recognize that, yes, maybe we've got self-doubt and imposter syndrome, how can we start to deal with imposter syndrome?

Clare Josa: So the five steps in the book are the exact five steps I use with my one-to-one mentoring clients. So this isn't the kind of book where you just get the what and then you have to go somewhere else and pay for the how. The questions I ask my clients are in the book, so it's all there for you. The five steps are actually really straight forward when you think about them.

Clare Josa: So the first one is, you need to clear out the things that would stop you from ditching imposter syndrome. People sometimes are like, "What?" But the thing is, your mind won't let you make a change that it believes is impossible, and there are so many myths out there, well-intentioned bad advice like, "Oh, but imposter syndrome's inevitable. It's incurable. I need that fear to perform." "It keeps me humble," is a really common one, that I'm like, "Ahhh!" Or, "There's nothing I can do about it. It just shows I'm a high achiever." If you're running those blocks and those myths are hardwired into your brain, you make it really, really hard to do anything about it. Are you all right if I give people the mentoring questions they need, Sara?

Sara Moseley: Yeah, absolutely, go for it.

Clare Josa: Cool. So the way to spot if a myth is getting in your way is, "I can't ditch imposter syndrome because..." Write down seven answers. Those are the myths and blocks that would stop you from ditching imposter syndrome, and when you look at them, most of them you'll just go, "Yeah, well, that's rubbish." Great. So clear them out or let them go and then you can start imagining what life might be like without imposter syndrome because that which we can imagine we can create and achieve... I can't remember who said that, and I love misquoting. Once you've cleared those myths, you start to congruently program your body to imagine life beyond imposter syndrome. So that's step one.

Sara Moseley: Can I just ask you there, can you give an example of what one of those myths might be?

Clare Josa: It is the stuff like, it's incurable. That's a very widespread myth. There's a magazine editor for an international magazine recently did an opinion piece for their latest issue saying, "I need imposter syndrome because it keeps me at the head of my game."

Sara Moseley: Okay. So we're talking about how you feel about the whole idea of imposter syndrome.

Clare Josa: Exactly. And we all get subliminally programed. Because I've just launched my book, I've got a Google Alert on my emails for imposter syndrome, and the well-intentioned tosh that gets published every day by people who are driven by wanting to make a difference but who don't have the facts and data and haven't actually shifted it themselves. The big message I see going through most of this stuff is, you've got to find a way to cope with it, and the number one question I get asked when I meet a stranger and we start talking about my book... it doesn't mean I wave it under their noses, it just randomly comes up in a conversation... is, "What do you mean you can ditch it? What do you mean I can get rid of it? What do you mean I can let it go?" Because we've been trained by society to believe there's nothing we can do, it's incurable, and you just have to push on through.

Sara Moseley: Well, that's really interesting because in the beginning that's exactly what I said. I said that I see it as something that we've got to learn to dance with. I guess when I think about it that's because I feel that there's always a new level, a new devil kind of thing and I assume that there will always be something that's going to have to be overcome but, okay, my ears are fully with you now if you're saying, yeah, we can totally ditch it.

Clare Josa: Well, actually, I love the way you phrase that, Sara, because how about, is something we can learn to dance without. Yeah?

Sara Moseley: I like the dancing bit.

Clare Josa: We don't actually need it when we clear out those deeper hidden drivers.

Sara Moseley: Okay. Fabulous. So that's step number one.

Clare Josa: Step two is taming your inner critic. So that inner dialogue, that 3:00 A.M self-talk. So most people don't realize you can choose which thoughts to feed. So this started for me 12 years ago. The Secret was the rage, it was the kind of thing I was already teaching. My friend was reading it and she got how our thoughts can affect our experience of life. I don't think she was as far as the sports car's going to arrive, which is fair enough, but she sat there on my sofa and she was crying, saying, "But I can't control my thoughts. So I now know that my thoughts are a disaster and it's why my life's in the state it's in. But how do I control my thoughts?" And nobody was talking about that and it really set me on a mission, and I've spent the last 12 years, including studying to become a meditation teacher, so I can teach people how to control their thoughts.

Clare Josa: Well, the way I prefer to look at it is, you slow the thoughts down and you train your inner critic to become your biggest cheerleader. So that's one of my big missions. It's surprisingly easy to do. There's an ABC process that I teach, which is a good first aid one. So that inner critic thought comes up which triggers the biochemical stress fear reactions that creates the emotions that feed the thoughts. So you need to press pause and you do that simply by accepting the thought, and that sounds crazy: "I just accept I was thinking a thought that was an imposter syndrome thought." What most of us do is, we hit it, we reject it, we try to push it away, we try to drown it out. We try to go, "La, la, la, la, la. But of course I'm good enough. La, la, la, la, la."

Clare Josa: Our thoughts are simply highways in the brain. They're neurological pathways between synapses that are fired off often enough that they become short circuits. So somebody might say, "Could you do an interview on Monday please?" and the immediate short circuit is, "Oh, oh, oh, who am I do to do that interview? What if I don't say the right things? What if I say err too much? What if nobody wants to listen to my message?" So what happens is, we justify saying, "No," because we're too busy or it wasn't a good fit. So we never actually say, "I'm saying no because I'm scared," we have these good reasons. So accepting that thought presses pause on that autopilot in your brain.

Clare Josa: The next thing-

Sara Moseley: I'm loving that.

Clare Josa: Go on.

Sara Moseley: I was just going to say, I love that because I've mentioned on previously episodes that I've been doing quite a lot of self-analysis, self-development work, and your thoughts and being connected with your feelings are two so very, very important things, aren't they, because then you have to become detective, don't you, with-

Clare Josa: Exactly.

Sara Moseley: ... I've got to be a detective now, so where has that thought come from? Where did that first start? How has it come about? I have found, and I'd love to know what you think about this, Clare, but I've found that often it can start with the feeling. If the thought comes into your head and there's a feeling attached to that thought, maybe a feeling of anxiety or complete imposter syndrome, and that's where you start, isn't it, in terms of breaking it down. Is that fair enough to say?

Clare Josa: The emotion is often the first thing we notice. It's normally-

Sara Moseley: Emotion.

Clare Josa: ... preceded by a thought, but when you talk with people about their inner critic, often it's like a radio station in the background that we're not listening to, until the emotion comes in, or there might be a physiological response, so tightness in the stomach or you suddenly notice that your jaw is almost clamped together. So there'll be one of those three, either a physical response, an emotion or you'll notice the thoughts. You just say accept, "I accept that thought." You don't engage with it, you don't fight it, because when you start to argue with it, it just digs its heels in. It's called the backfire effect.

Clare Josa: Step two. So simple, breathe. Which obviously we're all doing, or watching this wouldn't be a priority, but it's breathing in a way to reset the nervous system. So the thought has triggered the stress response. You cannot turn that around while all of those hormones and chemicals are flooding your body. Breathing in through the nose, let that thought go. Do that three times. Follow it with up to a minute of gentle mindful belly breathing and it resets your entire nervous system. It calms and slows your thoughts, it puts you back in equilibrium with your emotions.

Clare Josa: Then you get to the third bit. The C is choose. Consciously choose to then think a thought about something you are doing well, and make it really specific because the more specific it is, the less that monkey mind, those imps in your head, are going to be able to object.

Clare Josa: So accept, breathe, choose is how to turn your inner critic round in under 30 seconds, and if you did that three or four times a day for a week, you will have created new neural pathways, you will have changed the filters and the reticular activating system in your brain, and you'll start to subconsciously notice what you're doing well instead of just what's going wrong, and guess what? That starts to genuinely, naturally, improve your confidence and reduce the amount of time you spend living in stress and fear.

Sara Moseley: Love it. ABC.

Clare Josa: ABC. Can't make it any simpler than that really.

Sara Moseley: I guarantee there are people who are listening to this jogging right now who are going, "I've got to write that down. I've got to write that down." Don't worry everybody, it will be in the show notes.

Clare Josa: Fantastic.

Sara Moseley: That's fantastic.

Clare Josa: Accept, breathe, choose. So when we've done this, a lot of people try to go straight to step three, which is clearing out your limiting beliefs and fears and hidden blocks. They try to do this while their monkey mind is still going crazy out of control. The beauty of knowing how to choose which thoughts to feed before you do that deeper belief work is that you don't have a running commentary defending those beliefs and it means that they're much more easier... much more easier? Much easier to let go of, much easier to release.

Clare Josa: Here's the mentoring question at this stage: "I can't do that big, hairy, scary fantastic thing because..." Write down seven answers. The first three you'll probably just be able to cross through because it might be, "I don't have enough time." It's like, "Well, actually, logically, I do."

Sara Moseley: There's always that one, isn't there?

Clare Josa: There's always that one. And when you get to numbers four through to seven, or however many, there'll be one that makes you flinch, that you feel your body just go ooh, that's actually the one that's driving this. That means that you've got something really clear to work with. You can run the belief clearing processes. You can look at what's keeping you stuck in that.

Clare Josa: There's a lovely thing called secondary gain that I talk about a lot in the book, which is what is that crazy behavior doing for me, what's it protecting me from? When you meet that need in a healthy way, releasing that block becomes instant and all the crazy behaviors that it was triggering for us become irrelevant and we don't have to fight them anymore, they just melt away. So that's step three.

Sara Moseley: This is so good. This is so good.

Clare Josa: And step four. So step three is where people who've done a lot of mindset and confidence work will probably get to, but that's where most of us stop, and that works with the confidence stuff, that whole capability stuff. If you really want to clear imposter syndrome, you need to get to step four, which is starting to look at the who am I, the identity level stuff. I describe this as taking off our secret masks. So you can show up in the world as all of who you really are, rather than who you've had to pretend to be to feel confident to take the actions you're taking.

Clare Josa: I see this a lot, for example, in a corporate environment, and a certain amount in the entrepreneurial world. There's a level beyond which being feminine is no longer okay, being collaborative is no longer acceptable. Suddenly you've got to push your way through, you've got to be the go-getter, you've got to behave in a much more masculine way, and in corporates, the research study's shown this is one of the key drivers for the gender pay gap.

Clare Josa: In the entrepreneurial world, if you look at a lot of successful women, they're behaving like the successful men. Some of them aren't, which is fantastic, but a lot of them are. So we shut down bits of who we really are, and the problem is that our dream audience can tell this, and it means we're living in constant fear of somebody seeing behind the mask.

Clare Josa: So when you clear out that deeper identity level stuff that we needed to do that shutdown, you don't need the masks anymore and suddenly you're sat there doing a livestream video and you are radiating your message, and you are loving it and people are magnetized, and they're the ones that you want to work with. Because we're mirrors, and if we've got baggage, we attract clients with the baggage and it doesn't work, it's not a pleasant experience. The more you can be all of who you really are, taking off those masks, letting go of that really deep-seated stuff, the more you can show up and have more impact.

Sara Moseley: I think this is so crucial. This is the bit that makes the difference, massively, because if you can grow yourself to this stage, where you've got your inner critic under control, maybe not completely, I don't know... I'd love that. That's utopia, isn't it? But you've got it under control and you've gone through your limiting beliefs and you've got to a stage now where you are comfortable... I think we're saying the same thing here, you're comfortable with who you really are.

Clare Josa: Absolutely.

Sara Moseley: Now I was just listening to what you were saying and I have to admit, there was a bit of me that was like, whoa, hang on a minute, I'm not sure I agree with all of this in terms of, is it masculine, is it feminine, and it just shook me up for a little bit there. But I think what I was experiencing was, I come from a corporate background and it was a very male dominated corporate background, and you do, you adapt, don't you, you have to adapt and survive and thrive. I did well in that environment but it was having to tame some of the things that I was. I think as you get older as well, we change, don't we, and we evolve, and we very much need to check in with ourselves and say, hang on a minute, who are we now, what are my values?

Clare Josa: Yeah. Who do I want to be?

Sara Moseley: Who do I want to be?

Clare Josa: Which we'll come to in a moment with step five, part of that one.

Sara Moseley: Yeah. But isn't it great to say once we know who we are, it really helps move us forward, doesn't it?

Clare Josa: It definitely does. I want to go back to the point you just made, Sara, about how we change. We change how we show up, and then as we learn and grow, we change who we are.

Clare Josa: So back in my corporate engineering days, I was Myers-Briggs profiled, as we all are, and I came out as an ENTJ, and in my company that was such a high risk strategy for a woman that there was actually a women's support group that I was immediately invited to join, because they knew that the guys couldn't handle working with ENTJ women because we were a bit too opinionated and they didn't like it.

Clare Josa: Nowadays, I'm an INFP. Now I'm the same person. Those behaviors are worlds apart. Some of it is because it's 20 years and I've learned and I've grown and I've got a different life now, but a lot of it was those behaviors, the adaptations I'd had to make in order to survive and thrive in that male dominated senior environment were changing my behaviors and on paper, because Myers-Briggs measures behavior not identity, on paper I was a very different person to who I was underneath.

Sara Moseley: Yeah. So for the listeners here, because we went through this, we were talking about marketing strategies for introverts, so the whole Myers-Briggs thing came up there. So, yeah, it is, it's about getting honest with where are you right now within your business. Love it. Fabulous.

Clare Josa: Perfect.

Sara Moseley: So can we go to step five?

Clare Josa: So step five. So I could just leave people being who they really are and making the difference they're here to make in the world or we could crank it up to the next level.

Sara Moseley: Yeah, let's please do that.

Clare Josa: I'd like to do.

Sara Moseley: That would be great.

Clare Josa: So step five is about becoming the leader you were born to be. Now the immediate reaction I get from people on this is one of two, either, "Yes," or, "What do you mean, everybody's born to lead?" I believe we're all born and we grow with a big message inside us and the difference that we're here to make, and it doesn't mean that you have to be on stage, it doesn't mean you need a certain job title. But we're all driven by getting that message out there and that requires us to be a leader, whatever job we're doing, whether we're the lollipop lady, whether we're the Prime Minister.

Clare Josa: And becoming the leader you were born to be is really about connecting with that deep message: What is it I'm actually here to do? What is the difference I want to make? What you're doing right now doesn't have to be the perfect embodiment of that, but you can be all of who you really are, expressing that through whatever you're doing right here, right now.

Clare Josa: So this is where we look at things like influencing authentically, and courageous alignment, and looking at something I call immunity rather than resilience. I don't want people bouncing back because that means they bounced into the pain. Let's get it so they don't have to have the pain at all, or at least nowhere near that level. This is about how to get your message out there into a world that needs it, in a way that means you're the conduit for it. So you're no longer having to push that message, it's flowing through you. Does that make sense, Sara?

Sara Moseley: Totally. Totally. I'm so glad that you and I came into each other's worlds, I have to say, because I'm so in alignment with all of this and I think this whole podcast is about being everything you want to be really because with today's opportunities in the online world now, the only thing we really have that separates us from anybody else is who we are, our own individual... with all our quirks, with all our differences and so on, but it's allowing, it's really empowering people, isn't it? It's about empowering people to let themselves be themselves in order to attract exactly who you're going to magnetize, the right kind of people.

Clare Josa: Exactly.

Sara Moseley: Because if you try to be someone else or if you're trying to be something you think you should be, it's just not going to work for you, is it?

Clare Josa: Absolutely.

Sara Moseley: It's just not going to bring you the fulfillment that you're trying to achieve, the people that you want to be helping, and obviously the kind of business that you want to be championing and growing.

Clare Josa: Absolutely. One of the key things is really thinking about, how am I getting in my own way? If that's the only thing you take from this episode, how am I getting in my own way and what can I do to meet that need in a healthier way, because if we self-sabotage, we're not normally consciously aware of it. It is the not returning that phone call, it is discounting our prices without being asked, it is saying, "Yes" to that client that we know is going to be a nightmare but we don't want to turn them down.

Clare Josa: Instead of judging ourselves, if we just say, "Okay. That's clearly an unmet need. I'm trying to do something for a reason. How can I meet that need in a healthier way?", clear out whatever was driving that behavior, it sets you free. And really, with imposter syndrome, the absolute trigger for imposter syndrome is the fear of others judging us the way we judge ourselves. The more you can let go... Yeah. That might [inaudible 00:37:13]

Sara Moseley: My gosh, I haven't heard that before. But I have to say, that just hit me like a punch in the stomach. It's so true, isn't it?

Clare Josa: Yeah. So the more we can work on not judging ourselves, which is why I start in step two with taming your inner critic, the less we judge ourselves, the less we're scared of others judging us. So just imagine running your business in a place of feeling comfortable in your own skin and genuinely immune to other's opinions about what you're doing, and knowing that what you're doing is lined up with the greater good and being a decent person and making a difference, so that it just bounces off. Just think how different the actions you take would be.

Sara Moseley: Yeah. I did an episode on self-sabotage and I'm always ready to do another one, to be honest, because it just seems to be an ongoing thing, but it's so true. We are our biggest critics, aren't we?

Clare Josa: Yeah.

Sara Moseley: We can dress it up however we want but that is a very inherent thing with entrepreneurs and that can be something that can work in our favor but also to our detriment as well. So it's managing that, isn't it?

Clare Josa: So I need to share this one then, Sara. The difference between judging yourself in a dangerous way and actually learning and growing, it's judgment versus evaluation. So a lot of people say, "Well, I need to be able to judge myself to criticize myself to understand what I need to do to improve." No. Judgment is always personal, it's always at the identity level. It's always about who you are or who that other person is. Judgment is bad girl, bad boy, bad person.

Clare Josa: Evaluation is looking at the behaviors, is looking at, "Okay, I did that well, I would do this differently." It doesn't change who you are inside. So the more you can shift that inner dialogue from self-judgment to self-evaluation, the faster you'll make progress in your growth and the better results you'll see.

Sara Moseley: Fantastic. Fantastic. Clare, that was absolutely fantastic. Thank you. You can tell, and when you watch the video, you can just see the physical reactions I've had during this whole episode!

Clare Josa: I'm not in the room applying the Taser!

Sara Moseley: No, I love it, I love it.

Clare Josa: [crosstalk 00:39:41]

Sara Moseley: From all the guests that we've had on, this is one of those episodes that people are going to come back to and come back to because we have to get this sorted.

Clare Josa: We do.

Sara Moseley: A business of however you want it to be, however big you want it to be, you cannot grow it, can you, until-

Clare Josa: No.

Sara Moseley: ... you've grown through this part yourself and really got a handle on it.

Clare Josa: Exactly. You either grow the business through fear or you grow it through love and excitement, and they're two very different businesses.

Sara Moseley: Well I know which one I want to do, or which one I'm trying to do.

Clare Josa: Exactly.

Sara Moseley: It's a lot nicer journey, that's for sure. So, Clare, tell us, how can we find out more? The book is available on Amazon?

Clare Josa: Yeah. And you can order it in your local bookshop. It's called Ditching Imposter Syndrome, and it's got its own website with articles and videos and all sorts of stuff, ditchingimpostersyndrome.com.

Clare Josa: If you want to work with me or find out more about how I can help, it's clarejosa.com. I specialize really, for one-to-one work, I specialize in working with women as they're making that big leap. So in the corporate world, it's women who want to make it to partner or director, that kind of thing, in the next 12 months, and they know they're secretly self-sabotaging with imposter syndrome.

Clare Josa: In the entrepreneurial world, it's where you're about to take that leap, either in revenue or in audience and visibility, it's let's get that stuff cleared out. I run a 90 day program, by the end of which you'll find the way you feel and the actions you are taking are radically different, and it springboards you to reach that next level of achievement and success and, frankly, fulfillment.

Sara Moseley: Yeah. I think that's what it's all about, isn't it? We've got to the stage now where authentic business is what it's about. Well, especially in the online world, that's for sure.

Sara Moseley: Thank you so much, Clare. Absolute pleasure having you on. I might even see if I can get you on again at another point.

Clare Josa: Feel free. I think you and I might well be co-creating something.

Sara Moseley: Yeah, I know. I was just going to say, I think there'll be some more things between you and I for sure, definitely.

Clare Josa: Thank you, Sara. It's been an absolute joy. And thank you to everybody who's listened. Please go and use just one thing that Sara and I have discussed today. Feel the difference it makes, and then start to set yourself free from imposter syndrome.

Sara Moseley: Fantastic. Thank you.

Clare Josa: Thank you.


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