Episode 150

The Impostor Complex with Tanya Geisler

November 14, 2017

It’s time for our favorite topic: fighting those fraudy feelings! Or as Tanya Geisler calls it: the Impostor Complex. Bosses, we’re digging into the lies the Impostor Complex tries to make us believe, how to cope with the Impostor Complex, and the importance of getting into a relationship with your creativity and success.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"The pencil is sharp enough to say what needs to be said."
- Tanya Geisler

Discussed in this Episode

  • What is the "Impostor Complex?"
  • The 12 lies of the Impostor Complex:
    1. "This self-doubt I'm feeling is proof of my inadequacy."
    2. "Successful people don't experience the Impostor Complex."
    3. "You are all or nothing."
    4. "You have nothing useful, valid, original, or important to say, so don't say anything."
    5. "Don't tell anyone about this Impostor Complex experience."
    6. "Tell everyone about this Impostor Complex experience."
    7. "You're not ready yet."
    8. "You're never going to be able to pull that off again."
    9. "It's just a matter of time before this all crumbles beneath you."
    10. "You can't trust the praise of others."
    11. "You're going to have to fake it until you make it."
    12. "Asking for help is for suckers."
  • Getting into a relationship with your creativity
  • Unhealthy ways people often cope with the Impostor Complex
    • Perfectionism
    • Procrastination
    • Leaky boundaries
    • People pleasing
    • Diminishment
    • Comparison
  • How to flip the Impostor Complex around and meet it where it is


More from Tanya Geisler

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Unknown Speaker 0:01
Hello, and

Kathleen Shannon 0:01
welcome to being boss,

Emily Thompson 0:03
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 0:07
And I'm Kathleen Shannon.

Tanya Geisler 0:09
I'm Tanya Geisler and I'm being boss. Today

Kathleen Shannon 0:17
we're speaking with Tanya Geisler about the imposter complex. We mentioned lots of things so as always, you can get everything we talked about on the show notes at WWW dot being boss club. Alright boss, no matter what time of year you're listening to this episode, if you're going through archives or if you're listening to it the week it's coming out, it is never too late to start thinking about that end of your financials. One of my favorite things about fresh books cloud accounting is that it keeps me organized year round so that tax time is always a breeze. I can pull a profit and loss report that tells me exactly how much money I made and how much money I spent, and I can organize my expenses by category for my accountant. Plus I get to see the bottom line of my business and whether or not I hit my goals for the year. It is never too late to begin to get organized with your money and fresh books cloud accounting was designed just for you. Try fresh books cloud accounting for free by going to fresh books comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section?

You guys, I'm so excited to be talking with Tanya Geisler today she is a total Pro, and really knows her shit around the imposter complex. Her clients include bestselling authors, public speakers and rock star motivators. She is the creator of the step into your starring role methodology, which includes the starring role playbook star tapping intensives, the starring role Academy, illuminating retreats and most recently, a weekly live show called in the spotlight with Tanya Geisler. Alright, let's take it to the show. Tanya are so excited to have you on the show.

Tanya Geisler 2:02
I am delighted to be here. So happy.

Kathleen Shannon 2:06
So one of the things that we talk about all the time on being boss and it started with one of our earliest episodes, we coined the term frosty feelings. And you are just, you know, this work inside and out and you call it the imposter complex. So I want to just spend the whole hour that we have with you digging in, first off, how do you define the imposter complex?

Tanya Geisler 2:33
So I always start with the history lesson because I'm a big fan of attributing my teachers and Pauline clance and Suzanne IMEs are clinical psychologists who coined the phrase imposter phenomenon back in 78. So we hear all the time called imposter syndrome, that's actually not correct, because it's not a clinical diagnosis. Okay, so that's like, that's the heaviest piece that I have to just get out of the way. So the imposter complex is, and I've had this conversation with actually pulling clients to she's like, I don't know what Freud would say, but you calling it a complex, but it is definitely an experience, it's definitely a phenomenon. And they were doing their work with super high functioning high achieving women back in 78. And noticing that these women were incapable of internalizing their successes, failures, on the other hand, they were more than able to internalize, but their successes they just couldn't. So they would always attribute to their success to luck, or fluke or timing, or having deceived people into thinking that they're smarter than they actually are. And sometimes not at all surprised that you claimed Friday feeling so early on, because this is so up for us in our work, especially those of us with strong values of integrity, mastery and excellence, and who are high functioning and high achieving. Yeah, I

Emily Thompson 3:57
mean, this is something like not even the women friends that I know, but I have I have male friends and neighbors and acquaintances who have like, come out and spoken to me about feeling like an imposter in their job and not being able to, to take the good things that come from them or come to them as as rewards of the work that they've done. But luck, or these things that have just sort of come up for them. And they feel like unworthy of it. And I say they, I guess I should probably say we because I'm totally guilty of this as well of, of seeing all the things that I have that I've built, and I know that I've built them and want to contribute the success to someone other than myself.

Tanya Geisler 4:41
Hmm, yeah. So great. Like I love that you brought that right in from the very beginning. The research began with women and then it continued with Valerie young wrote a book called The secrets of successful women. So it's very it has become a very gendered conversation. The reality is though, Everybody experiences it. And I say that with a tiny bit of an Asterix, because so certainly people who are okay, if we were to imagine that the center of the universe is the light able bodied, cisgendered male, at any place that you feel any degree of separation that you feel from that center of the universe, for instance, it's gonna show up. Okay, so. So we like we could spend all day talking about that. But the truth of the matter is, it is actually also by a revolutionary and context, it is in place to make sure that we don't mutate too fast. It's a little like fear, right? So to say that women experience fear more than men would be absolutely absurd. And the other place that makes it even more interesting is that the coping mechanisms that we go to, are often pretty conditioned from a feminine perspective. Okay, so there's like all of these different layers going on. And all that to say men absolutely experience it.

Kathleen Shannon 6:07
Okay, do you think everyone has the imposter complex? Because I know that Emily and myself like on our most badass days, we would probably be like, nope, don't have that. not worried about it. But the truth is, I mean, I think that we're humble enough to say, Yes, we can suffer from imposter complex. But do you think that there are people like, aside from the center of the universe that you mentioned, like my favorite Beyonce, I just can't whenever I think about Beyonce, and I think about her often, almost as an archetype, I wouldn't want to put too much pressure on her as a person. But as an archetype, I think of her as this just brilliant light of talent and confidence. And I just can't imagine that she suffers from the imposter complex. So do you think everyone's got it? ever even Beyonce,

Tanya Geisler 6:57
even Beyonce? Because every time you are on the precipice of something new, it is bio evolutionary in context. Okay? So it's like, that's, by definition, at the moment you step into something new. It's gonna show up and go, you don't know everything. You haven't done quite enough. Anything you've done has already been you know, it was a fluke. It was an accident. They've you just got lucky now. Okay. I can't actually speak for Beyonce, but I can speak for her mother. Her mother did an interview on Janet mokes newest podcast, and she was literally like her 10 ms. Tina experiences the imposter complex, was talking about it when she was invited to when she had some award. I can't I'm doing a botch job on that story. But she literally names that she doesn't call it the imposter complex. But that's exactly it. She's like, they're gonna find out that I just got really lucky. Right? So apples trees, yes. But I will just say this, let me be clear, it is for people who are high functioning high achieving with strong values of mastery, integrity and excellence. So the inverse of the imposter complex is something called the Dunning Kruger effect. So it's like the complete opposite where people with low capabilities but super high confidence. They

Unknown Speaker 8:16
write, I've known a couple of those.

Tanya Geisler 8:20
Speaking of center of the universe, right? So and we fear so much that, that that's who we are that we have to stay humble, because we don't want to be that person. But like, what a leap to go from, you know, who we are, to that person who has absolutely, because the point is, there is proof there is data, data data of your success, and you discount it, right. So that's the point, if there's actually proof and you're still looking at going. Now, that doesn't count because they were just being nice, or there is a chink in the matrix or something else, then then that's the imposter complex land.

Kathleen Shannon 9:00
Yeah, I also wonder if feelings you know, some of these funny feelings that we as we call it, for imposter complex, or maybe something like feeling like the other shoe is going to drop, or I got lucky with that book deal. There's no way I can continue this amount of success, it's kind of thinking that something might be too good to be true, or that it's going to come to an end at any moment, the rug is gonna get ripped out from under you

Tanya Geisler 9:23
named nailed it. It has to come three, it has three things that it really wants to do and wants to keep you out of action. Right? It wants to have you doubt your capacity and it wants to keep you alone and isolated. So often this feels like so sometimes that shows up with our fear of success as much as failure, right? So if we are too far out side of the round, then we're not going to belong because again, it's this bio evolutionary context. It wants us to, to be part of be part. So so many times we will compromise the aspects of ourselves that make us sick. spectacular to fit in. So some of these coping mechanisms, is it. Is it useful to go into what those are? Because

Kathleen Shannon 10:07
you Well, yeah, but real quick, I want to talk about, we've talked about the fear of failure. And that's an obvious one, I think that we've all experienced that the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, the fear of success, not so much. I even have been like, what people who are afraid of success. That's not a real thing, like nobody's actually afraid of success. So I think that though, this is where we get into the nuances of the imposter complex. And so for example, I thought I wasn't afraid of success. But once I started to see some of your work, some of the lies that the imposter complex wants us to believe, I could identify with, I don't know, nine out of 12 of them, like they all just related so much. So I really wanted to dig into that. Because I think that that's something that keeps coming up is this fear, this idea of the fear of success, and that just not feeling very relatable, like, what? So yeah, let's go ahead and dig in a little bit into some of the symptoms or feelings that someone might have whenever they're coming up against the imposter complex, or some of the lies that it wants us to believe, as he would call it.

Tanya Geisler 11:13
So there are 12, there are 12 lies in all and these are, you know, some of these are gonna deeply resonate, and some are just gonna be like, thank Good Lord, I don't have to deal with that one. And really, if we believed all of these lies at any given point, we would like never get out of bed, right? So it's just you've got your own particular tells. And I named these lies because I want to be super clear. My work in the world is not about eradicating the imposter complex. It's like, it's like fear again, right? We can't, it's just it's part. It's part of our makeup. It's part of our, it's letting us know that what we are on the precipice of really deeply matters. So it's more about having what the Buddhist monks call a faster recovery. So when you hear the lies for what they are, you can go got it. Now I know what to do. Okay. So, line number one is, this self doubt that you're experiencing is proof of your inadequacy? So I'm experiencing this, therefore, I'm incapable. I know.

Emily Thompson 12:20
sounds gross.

Tanya Geisler 12:21
It's super gross. It's awful. It's awful. The truth is, of course, the self doubt is proof of your humanity. Okay.

Kathleen Shannon 12:28
This one shows up for me most in parenting.

Unknown Speaker 12:31

Kathleen Shannon 12:33
See, I shouldn't have been a mom, I'm the worst. Because I don't know if you should go to Montessori or public school, you know, shit like that. So, okay, let's keep going not not to make this whole list about me. But what about, I would love

Unknown Speaker 12:47
to know how each of these show up for you.

Tanya Geisler 12:52
Like, the truth of that question is your self doubt is that's a normal thing as a parent to be to be wondering, am I doing the absolute best? This is why I'm not at all interested in eradicating it. I just really need people to hear the these are lies

Kathleen Shannon 13:08
that they cannot allow. It's a lie. I can shine a big light on it like the boogeyman. It's not real. Okay, that's not what's the second lie. Successful people

Tanya Geisler 13:16
don't experience this. Right? Oh, Beyonce doesn't experience this. Come on, there's no way that she does. All this tries. This is just once again, trying to keep you separated from you know, trying to keep you separated, and it further entrenches our belief in our inadequacy. But here's why we love hearing that Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer sit around the dining room table talking about the fraud police, because we know we absolutely know that we are in good company when we hear the people at the top of their game experiences. Because again, it's not about eradicating, it's about the faster recovery. So what do we do when we come up against absolutely devastating fears? What is our next right action? I'm really interested in the people that take that next action in spite of it right.

Kathleen Shannon 14:08
And you know, it's probably why lemonade was so successful because Beyonce was like, Oh, no, don't worry, I've got my shit. Let me write an entire album about it. So I think that there is this trend. Amongst really successful people like next level successful people are kind of a little bit more transparent. And I do I wonder, is there a line or balance there where to be successful or to be a great leader? I mean, if brock obama was tweeting, every time he was freaking out about policy, we would have doubted our confidence in him right? Like sometimes you need or even as a parent, you need them to put on a good face. Right. So what is that line between being a leader who's like showing a good face to be brave and to be you know, a great leader versus someone who has like maybe floodlighting? That's a Bernie brown term floodlighting the world with all their shit. Or just like in the face of transparency,

Emily Thompson 15:09
or just the medium place in between, right? Because I don't think it is just one or the other. There's a whole spectrum.

Tanya Geisler 15:16
So it's so interesting because the line number six or five, I can't remember is don't tell anyone about this. Don't tell anyone about this, just suck it up, Buttercup, and just don't ever acknowledge this experience, because they maybe haven't figured out your fraud yet. And if you pointed out then they're going to totally know. So my, my desire is that people just name it. We talk about the Friday feelings, we talk about the fraud place, we talk about the places that was it got tough. And then here's the decision that I made. And now I'm past that piece. And I know what to do next time because it's gonna show up again, okay, so 100% about that. But everything's a contradiction. So line number six was actually you must tell everyone about this. Okay. So that's that whole, like, emotional striptease, and like, goo Love me Love me Love me. So my whole thing is, what is the purpose? underneath the share? What is the? What is the reason? Are you looking for sympathy? Are you looking for connection? Are you looking for transparency, just be really, really clear about that. And to bring in another Rene brown piece, her? What does she say, Don't shrink back, don't pop up, stand your sacred ground. And when I feel into that, I know exactly where my spine needs to go, and just how much to share, and just how much to hold for myself. I see this so much when I'm working with leadership teams. Where this vulnerability paradox again, another Rene brown ism shows up where people it starts to really erode the confidence that we have in our leader. So really knowing that set point. And the reason we're trying to we're sharing in the very first place, I think it's really, really critical. And I want people to name it. So the to live in contradiction. And that's just, we're multifaceted beings.

Emily Thompson 17:10
Yeah, I also want to point out this idea of spectrum of sharing too, because I feel like people see either keeping it all to yourself and sharing with no one. And the opposite. Or the alternative to that is sharing with everyone where in between, you can share it with your partner and give it a name and feel so much better. Or your best friend or your group of friends or whatever it so you're telling the people who can help you or commiserate, or just hold that space for you, without telling a million people you've never met about this thing that is, you know, pretty private, for yourself. And I think that oftentimes, whenever we're talking about sharing these days, people see it as sharing on your Twitter to everyone who could ever see it. But sharing can be still be super private.

Kathleen Shannon 17:58
Yeah. Yeah, I definitely think that there's a spectrum there. And with my expertise, being in branding, specifically around personal branding and blending who you are into the work that you do, this is a spectrum that you especially have to be mindful of. And so my goal, whenever it comes to this, I'm kind of curious to hear your thoughts on it. Tanya, is to make people think that I'm sharing everything, like it's such an artful way of sharing that they don't know what I'm not talking about.

Tanya Geisler 18:28
Absolutely. Somewhere along the line, we have this belief that when we have an outward facing business that we need, that everything gets owned by people beyond us. That's, that's extremely damaging. And I think it misses the mark, and the mark that we're trying to make is connection. And so back to that fear, I'm gonna say connection probably 50 more times. And that's because fundamentally, that's what I think most of what we're here doing is about. And so that is, what sits embedded underneath our fear of success. If I am deeply, wildly successful, are people going to disconnect from me? Are people going to disconnect from their ability to know me? Am I going to disconnect from my audience? Am I going to disconnect from my family? Am I going to disconnect? There's a belief that we are going to have to disconnect for us to be able to maintain the places that our success is going to take us. So it

Kathleen Shannon 19:31
that's a lot to chew on. I know. Okay, let's rewind a little bit. What's a Lie Number three,

Unknown Speaker 19:37
you were all or nothing.

Kathleen Shannon 19:39
Your hair is that like, what's it called? whenever things are two extremes. Not it's the Newton's law like Oh, nevermind.

Emily Thompson 19:51
relativity. Are you talking about relativity? No.

Tanya Geisler 20:02
Bam, I don't know what that is clearly I can't be talking about okay, but you are all or

Unknown Speaker 20:07
nothing all or nothing.

Tanya Geisler 20:09
Raging success, dismal failure. There's that spectrum that you're speaking to Emily. Right? It's like it is this or it is that and john lennon famously said, part of me thinks I'm a God Almighty and the other part of me thinks I'm a total loser. Right. And we know, we know that life happens in the in betweens, but the moment you hear those competence extremities, then you know that you're in the land of the imposter complex again. So all you do, just like you would do if you're sitting at a dinner, a business, dinner party, whatever, you're sitting next to the total bore who's like, is this? Or is that and he would just be like, Really? Really? Dude? Really? So that's it, you just need to challenge competence extremities with one word, really? Okay.

Kathleen Shannon 20:54
Got it, it will lie number four,

Tanya Geisler 20:57
you have nothing useful or valid or original or important to say, so don't say anything.

Kathleen Shannon 21:04
Let's dig into this one. Because I feel like all of our listeners, all of them and us as we were writing our book, I mean, it is just, we're even now

Emily Thompson 21:12
as we continue to, like, do the work that we're doing, like, what left is there to say, especially with everyone doing the entrepreneur thing these days, which isn't everyone, but there are a lot of us. And we are getting tons of emails about saturated markets, and how do you differentiate yourself, and I'm not doing anything original. This is a big one

Tanya Geisler 21:35
is a huge one. And look, I'm talking to you with such such strong brands. So thank you for sharing that. Because everybody listening is like, Oh, these guys are like they're feeling it. How can I possibly so the truth of the matter is, it has all been said before, it's all been said before, it's just like, let's just dial that way down. But your people want to hear it in your way. And that's what you guys speak to all the time. 100%. So everything, I'm telling you what they can't call Pauline clance and Suzanne IMEs came up with and that 1978 and there's evidence that shows the Buddha was talking about this, okay, this is not new. This is not new information, but it's delivered through my lens, my experience, my understanding, such that it may be of service to the people who I believe are listening to me. And when we believe this lie, we don't say anything, we don't communicate, we pass up opportunities. And all that does is further entrenches our belief that we are imposters and that everything that we had going on before was just a function of luck or fluke or timing. A man so cut that shit out. Done. Okay. out. We did five and six. That was Don't tell anyone about this. tell everyone about this. line number seven. Ding Ding Ding, you're not ready yet. So finally, though, you're not ready yet. Not ready. But this one here, like we finally have a little glimmer of hope from the imposter complex, you're gonna be ready one day, sweetheart. Just not that is not today. So get yourself another degree or get another, you know, 10 years under your belt or when you win that award, then. But what do you guys know about ready enough?

Kathleen Shannon 23:27
You never ran ever ready enough?

Unknown Speaker 23:29

Tanya Geisler 23:31
Like the pencils sharp enough to say what needs to be said. Right? Everything that that you have ever experienced has brought you to this moment. And there might be some spectacular failures. And there's going to be some spectacular learnings that go along with that. Do it you are ready enough. Ready enough? Okay,

Kathleen Shannon 23:51
the pencil is sharp enough to be what to say what needs to be said that is so good. to like get that tattooed on my forehead

Tanya Geisler 24:02
literally spoken to like hundreds of engineers who were like gonna always be a little bit sharper. For sure I can always but is it sharp enough to write the code? Is that sharp enough to say the words? Is it sharpen up? Yes, it's sharpen up. All right, there we go. Um, you're never going to be able to pull that off again.

Kathleen Shannon 24:22
Yeah, this is the one that I'm in right now.

Tanya Geisler 24:25
Yeah, it just feeling a big time are you book and just even the podcasts like, I guess this is kind of some of that fear of success that comes up is just even being able to sustain it at the rate in which you grew it or started it. Right. So look how many qualifiers you have in that at the rate, right? So it's like there are all of these rules that you've created in and around what it would mean to replicate this. When really where you are at in your trajectory is looking for depth or breadth or rights. So it's not even, it doesn't have to be the same way that I got created. Do you see what I'm saying? Okay, totally. Okay. So this success that you have experienced, there might have been some good Sears in your life, the stars might have been aligned. And you might have gotten a little lucky. But you showed up with your skills, and your will, and your talent and your tenacity, and your excellence. And as long as you keep showing up to the table of your skills, and your will and talent, your tenacity and all of your excellence, you can have it happen again and again. And again. And again. And again. I have literally had people say to me, I'm afraid to write my book, because I don't know how I'm going to follow up on my book.

Kathleen Shannon 25:48
Because I know it's gonna be my second book is gonna be about so I might as well not write the first one.

Unknown Speaker 25:53
Exactly. You just keep

Kathleen Shannon 25:54
showing. So funny. It's so funny that you'll never be able to pull that off. Again. That lie is so interesting, because evidence suggests that you pulled it off. Like if anything, the success should give you confidence, not the imposter complex. That's crazy town.

Tanya Geisler 26:12
It's crazy town. And you know what? It is? just crazy. This is what happened to the one had wonder that gay men, right? They just gave in. I can't do that. chumbawamba Gavan can't do it, can't you? It's when you know what? chumbawamba

Emily Thompson 26:29
Yes, of course,

Kathleen Shannon 26:31
I get up again, you're never gonna get down, I get

Tanya Geisler 26:34
knocked down. That's what happens. Because it's only happened. Like, what's the point right? Now I'm not, I never

Kathleen Shannon 26:39
got up again,

Tanya Geisler 26:40
they never got up again, all that whiskey and gin and whatever else, right. So that's exactly what happened. But your job is to continue to show up your other job, Kathleen, is to be mindful of the rules that you have made for yourself about what that needs to look like it's going to, it's going to just look different. So part of where I really want people to come back to is recognizing every time they were on the precipice of this on the precipice of new, I actually have a sense that what's happening with you right now is there's like this trapeze swing or kind of experience where you are not quite, you know, you're like in the twixt, right the wrongs. And so the moment, you're super clear on what the next is for you, it's going to show up super loud and proud, in and around your capacity. So you just need to go back and keep reminding yourself, every single time you had believed any of these lies, so that you can come back and have a faster recovery. Like I said,

Emily Thompson 27:40
Actually, this brings up something super huge for me. And that is around the idea of especially creatives in general. And I'm thinking very obviously, hopefully of myself, where is so much of what you do and make depends on creativity and those like creative sparks or those little ideas that will take you to the next place. I have been in a place lately where I'm just waiting for it to happen. I'm just waiting for like, I'm showing up. I'm doing my work all of the things. And I know there's something on the horizon. I just don't know what it is yet. And I've heard and actually this goes to I guess Elizabeth Gilbert and Big Magic this idea of just like just nurturing the things and doing the work and hanging out and waiting. But dammit that waiting is a difficult.

Tanya Geisler 28:29
We are so named dropping the same woman over and over and over and I can't wait for people to be name dropping us and similar podcasts. But Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this experience Tom Waits having this experience did you do you remember this? And he was just like, yeah, and he's like, like,

Kathleen Shannon 28:43
he pulls over on the side of the road and he's like, dammit song Why did you have to like come to me

Tanya Geisler 28:48
like right now our traffic Why am I in this moment? But that's how that is really how it happens. And so our job I mean, our job literally is to get into relationship with our creativity. Foster you know, what is like? What? If you were literally in a relationship with your creativity, what would be those conditions of success? Right? You know what they are with your

Kathleen Shannon 29:09
tongue kissing my creative, right?

Emily Thompson 29:13
Making every day, two hours, two hours a day.

Tanya Geisler 29:18
All right, you take that to your journal creativity move through me What does that look like? Does I look like long Bad's I don't know? But ask and and it will answer. You're not asking it. My bet.

Kathleen Shannon 29:32
Okay, Okay, next lie.

Tanya Geisler 29:35
Where are we? Where are we at? Oh, my gosh, we're number nine. I'm just like, I'm just Kathleen's French kissing her creativity. So

Unknown Speaker 29:44
that's why you got distracted.

Tanya Geisler 29:50
I do think though, I really want that to land. I mean, I really we want to be in relationship with our businesses with our success with our power with our creativity. So what does it look like to be in relationship? It means calling and answering. What do you need from me? Right? Get whoo just like commit to writing and calling it in. Okay. It's just a matter of time before it's all crumbles beneath you.

Unknown Speaker 30:17
All right, I don't mean to laugh, but I was yelling that one just this morning.

Tanya Geisler 30:22
It's just a matter of time. So what do we stop? Do we look we stop, right? We just go, oh, oh, oh, best not do anything. Don't anybody move.

Kathleen Shannon 30:34
Or I also think that this is where a lot of creatives might be jumping ship too soon. Like, they're like this boats gonna sink. I need to jump ship new idea. next idea. Next thing, whatever that might be, right?

Tanya Geisler 30:47
Yes, absolutely. So we stop or we stay out of action, which is exactly what I told you there wants to do wants to keep you out of action. Okay. So it's just a matter of time before this all crumbles beneath you. Is an invitation for you to think, is that true? Or just how much better can this possibly be? Flip it around. Okay. And you can't trust the praise of others.

Kathleen Shannon 31:18
Okay, and rely number 10. You can't trust the praise of others. So this is the You look beautiful. Like, you know, what did you do? And you're like, Oh, it's not me. It's just my Botox.

Unknown Speaker 31:30

Unknown Speaker 31:31
It's there. Oh, this whole dress? I got it for $2. at Goodwill. Yeah.

Tanya Geisler 31:36
And and yes, yes, yes, yes. And here's where it gets super tricky. This is that feminine conditioning piece I was talking about earlier, one of our coping mechanisms is to get people to like us people pleasing. So this is one of those double binds that that it shows up with. So if I get people to like me, score. But here's the tricky bit, when I get invited to do something I go to they've just invited me because they like me now because I am deeply capable, super skittish, mad, talented. They've just given it to me because they like me. So I can't trust that I have managed to convince people of something that I'm not ensure Yes, they're just being nice about Botox, my face when I've got Botox, or whatever it is, right. I was reading an article, I was speaking to a bunch of engineers. So I was preparing it was reading open source Magazine as one does. And there was this article from this transgender person who was talking about how she fears for her life. When they go out socially, her she and her team, they'll go out socially with her team. And she fears for her life as a transgender woman. And she knows that when she's out with her team, they have her back. She really literally trusts them into life, yet in the lab, can't trust them when they've said some really good code. Just I can't do it. So I'm just I'm always baffled by that why we have this tendency to discount people and I just say dare to believe what someone they tell you how truly remarkable you are just they're just err, to accept that you're to me. Just that gorgeous. dare to believe me when I tell you that you are just that much of a glitter star just there. And then what happens? This one, I

Kathleen Shannon 33:28
believe it good.

Emily Thompson 33:30
This one has been coming up for me a lot as a parent of a nine year old girl in teaching her to accept compliments has been and is something I've had to very consciously go and she can't she takes him like a boss. Now we're actually teaching her to be humble. On top of accepting compliments, but it's something it's something that I've had to be super mindful for myself as like someone who she's watching, but also in directly telling her like, you know, she just said that your dress was cute, too. Like, that's a good thing and you should be excited about that. So that is something not only not only as a business owner but as a mom comes up

Tanya Geisler 34:13
a lot as well. Oh my god is your 13 year old girl over here. I absolutely so I have to consciously model the two words that the imposter complex hates more than any else by the way. Thank you. hates it goes batshit fucking crazy Hey, it just so the imposter

Kathleen Shannon 34:31
complex doesn't like connection and it doesn't like gratitude

Tanya Geisler 34:35
doesn't like gratitude. Because then you are then then you are accepting the specialness. Okay? So just thank you just borrow and borrow their truth for just a little bit just to see how long you can actually allow that to marinate into you. line number 11 gets me into so much trouble. And that's you're going to have to fake it till you make it. That's the lie, you actually are going to have to fake it till you make it. This gets me so much trouble. So you probably have different this truth like isn't that just the world that we live in when you are rooted in the truth about your authenticity, your excellence, your capacity, your talents, your skills, that is far more enduring than trying to approximate some other person's way of going through the world. Okay, so let me be clear, I have had I've, I've spoken to Pauline plasma has had dinner with Amy Cuddy, we've had this conversation, and I, whatever it's going to take to get you into that door. But the second you start colluding with the belief that you are, you are faking it, that gets seeped right into your psyche that you're only there because you faked it. And so that just exacerbates the sense of imposter hood. No, do that.

Emily Thompson 35:59
I agree with all those things. We've definitely use the fake it till you make a phrase a couple of times, and just getting people into that first step. But I do completely agree that it's not how one ever needs to live there live.

Tanya Geisler 36:13
Nope, nope, nope. So whatever it takes, the I love the power pose is that that's, that's, that's, that's science, right. So whatever it is to get you into that placement, then just like you can stand so much more tall when you recognize what you are standing on. And that is your own expertise. That's your own authority. And that's really what's super important. And then finally asking help is for suckers. That's line number 12.

Kathleen Shannon 36:39

Tanya Geisler 36:40
this is, you know, it's super, this is super charged, right? We still like when I think about, I spoke to pulling clients again, name dropping like it's my job because I that's a big thing for me, right? The former of this concept, and she, she invited me to take over some of her interviews for a little while when she was having some ill health. That's huge news. So I shared with her this 12 lies. And she said, this is the one that she got. She really struggled with because back in 78, it was a professional liability to ask for help. But look, I mean, look what you guys are creating here. We know how much better we are. When we allow other people to help lift us up, you know, your people want you to succeed. And I mean, your people want you to succeed, let them help you.

Kathleen Shannon 37:29
Okay, so how do we cope with all of this? Like, how

Unknown Speaker 37:33
do we

Kathleen Shannon 37:35
how I mean, because you said that we don't want to eradicate the imposter complex that we know that these lies are coming up whenever we're on just the cusp of something that is going to revolutionize the way that we move through our businesses or our lives or whatever it might be. So what are some coping mechanisms?

Tanya Geisler 37:52
Okay, so there's two answers to that. One is the coping mechanisms that are deeply unhealthy that that are the days on death of my work. And those are perfectionism, procrastination, leaky boundaries, people pleasing, diminishment and comparison. So these are the places we go to. So we don't feel like an impostor. Okay,

Kathleen Shannon 38:14
all right. Oh, dig into perfectionism. Okay,

Unknown Speaker 38:16

Tanya Geisler 38:19
you're invited to do a talk. And you're really excited about it, you're really, really excited about it. So you dig him super hard, like, just give her and somewhere along the line, you start to? Well, you do one of two things you might slip into its kissing cousin procrastination, right, I'm gonna just gonna do more due diligence over here. Or you just absolutely ride yourself into absolute exhaustion. So if you're in that place of exhaustion, what tends to happen here is that you narrate the story, that if I were deeply capable and worthy of this, I wouldn't have to struggle so much with this. Okay, so that just routes it in even that much more. And then as you go down the land of procrastination, which is, you know, in and of itself, it's its own thing, but sometimes this happens, we kind of geek out into the procrastination, then we put it off, put it off, put it off, put it off, and then we deliver and we either do really crappy because we put so much pressure on ourselves and we didn't give ourselves enough time, etc, etc, etc. Or we knock it out of the park, which is more likely than not with this group here. And then all that does is grooves our neural pathways into believing that that anxiety sleeplessness was the reason we succeeded. Okay. So it took Like it just keeps these are I call it double binds, right? So this is this double bind. So you go to this coping mechanism, but all it does is just shoots you right back out to remind you that you're the imposter that you aren't, aren't that other people don't have to work so hard, or that this is just part of your process. And it's the same. So any questions? I get so excited about

Kathleen Shannon 40:24
tracking, I'm tracking with you. It's all feeling very spot on Okay, to some experiences that we've all had. Yeah, not I'm sure listeners have had as well. Yeah.

Tanya Geisler 40:32
And it's just so we just need to, we just need to disrupt. And, you know, again, same thing like comparison, you know, oftentimes we've got comparison at play. We've got some leaky boundaries at play, and again, to like that people pleasing piece, I don't want anybody to find out that I'm the imposter. So I'm going to absolutely make sure that everyone likes me. But then those opportunities that I get, they just, they make me believe that I just because I like me not because I'm capable, leaky boundaries. This is where we're going to agree with people that we don't actually agree with, we're going to say yes to opportunities we don't really want to be doing and then there we are standing in this place. That's not true and authentic for us, which of course, just reminds us that we are the imposter. So all of these different places just continue to exacerbate that. So that's my point is to make sure we disrupt and this blew my damn mind when I saw this, that each one of these, they collude with each other. So it's like the matrix. So if you've Yes, if you've got comparison, you probably have people pleasing problems. And if you've got comparison problems, you might have leaky, like it literally, I just, ah, no one, I

Kathleen Shannon 41:45
feel like the whole list is just having a party right with each other right? In my mind.

Tanya Geisler 41:50
Right? Right. It's exactly what it feels like. And it's like, I try to unpack that when I look. There's the other one there. So it's just I just say that because it's such good news. And this is why it's felt really hard to work with because it's this multi headed Hydra. Okay, no doubt. Mm hmm. Okay, so

Kathleen Shannon 42:10
let's talk a little bit about whenever it comes to these unhealthy coping mechanisms, I would I just want to talk a little bit more about comparison, because I feel like that's one that probably a lot of our listeners experience a lot of, and it seems like it you know, maybe ties into a lot of these lies, I mean, all of these unhealthy coping mechanisms that you can almost see where they directly relate to the different lies. But I'm curious more of your thoughts on comparison, I'm

Emily Thompson 42:37
going to throw in procrastination, because whereas you see comparison, for sure. I feel like what I feel most coming from people who are sending us emails and asking us questions is procrastinating doing the thing. So maybe if you can tag team those together?

Tanya Geisler 42:54
Hmm. Well, again, they probably collude. For some people. It's both, you know, sometimes we are like, what is social media? But like some? Is this some, like really profound way to both procrastinate and compare?

Kathleen Shannon 43:11
You just named my Instagram account? Yep.

Tanya Geisler 43:16
So I mean, comparison. Okay. I feel like this has been said so many different times in so many different ways. But I'm still gonna say it, but comparison is absolutely teacher, it's telling you what it is that you deeply desire and what you deeply fear. So I've done some work with Lauren bacon, amazing leadership coach, we created a program called beyond compare a little while back. And what we were looking at was this framework from where we disdain and where we hero worship. And this is a huge part of the conversation for me, because this was when I did my TEDx talk a million years ago, this was the only piece that I had to leave on the cutting room floor, because it's like, it's a talk in and of itself, it's so big, but we leave ourselves when we go to compare, right? And we don't ever, we're never going to be able to measure up to somebody. So we stop, right? So we just we just like stay out of it. Or we start to appropriate the way other our heroes want to behave or act or speak or whatever it is, and we lose ourselves. And we lose ourselves. And then of course, we feel like the imposter. Right? So what's the point? So, but I think it's really important to be thinking about comparison, again, it's a huge topic for me, where we are comparing up and where we are comparing down and then also looking at, again, that fear of success. This is what we are. I get really excited about this because this is where I think it all comes together for me in terms of the fear of success. We have pushed people that we admire off the pedestal. Right, we've done it. That's the sad news. Right? You know, I

Kathleen Shannon 44:58
was I was literally just thinking about Like a lot of what you're talking about right now, makes me understand so much more deeply why we sometimes end up hating the people that we love the most. Exactly.

Tanya Geisler 45:09
I call this actually before we developed our beyond compare work. I call this the canonization to demonization arc, right? It's like the love you, Oh, you're so great. But now I start to feel a little disconnected from you. Where did you go and then shove, right? And we've done it, we have we have done this energetically to people that we admire. And so, no shit. We're afraid of people doing that to us, because we've lived it. So there's this whole tall poppy syndrome piece where people you know, this, it's kind of an Australian context. But it's it's showing up a little bit more in North America conversations. But it's this idea that you know, the tallest poppy is going to get snapped up snipped out the neck. It's a it's an excruciating idea. It's excruciating concept. And, you know, I think we just need to be responsible for where we have done that to others. And then we can start to clean up our own beliefs about that. And remember that we get to design what our success looks like how we choose to stay in connection with our audiences, with our family, with our people with our beloved's. Okay,

Kathleen Shannon 46:17
you know, and this is the part of the imposter complex that's most difficult for me to really embrace is that like, okay, all of these things are lies, and I see it but then if I'm the tallest, Poppy, and I'm still getting cut at the neck, like, if, if consequences have happened, that feels like truth within these lies, it's hard to say, well, these are lies or this was an aspect of leaky boundaries or people pleasing that led to getting chopped down at the neck or whatever. So I guess my next question is our Do you have any thoughts on that?

Tanya Geisler 46:50
Any thoughts on that? Sorry, Emily, go ahead. Well, I

Emily Thompson 46:52
feel like this is just where you need to be a rebel and say, fuck it all and do what you want.

Kathleen Shannon 46:58
I mean, I feel like you're so good at that. That's Emily's that imposter complex strategy is the fuck it all strategy

Emily Thompson 47:07
really is and it works all right for me.

Tanya Geisler 47:11
And so that where you've been cut before, he'll grieve, you know, and do differently next time. Okay, so I get that for you. The, the part of you know, can I trust the praise of others? That gets really that gets very tangled. So your job is

Kathleen Shannon 47:30
Oh, I'm actually good with that one. I mean, I guess sibling, I'm good with the praise of others.

Tanya Geisler 47:34
Okay, okay. But whatever the thing is, that leads you to this place of not being able to trust that others aren't going to do that again. Okay? So that's that might be even

Kathleen Shannon 47:42
like in the context of haters, like you have nothing original to say. And then someone tells you the lie that you fear the most. And they write a review saying you have nothing original to say, and you're like, Oh

Emily Thompson 47:54
shit, I'm just like, fuck it all.

Unknown Speaker 47:57
Luck all y'all.

Tanya Geisler 47:59
Here's my best piece of advice about haters. How rhetorically sound is this criticism? How rhetorically sound is this criticism? Right? Like just this is again, it's the you were all or nothing. You know what I disagreed with this perspective, but I can't stop reading it. Screw you. Right. Like, how rhetorically sound is this? Like, why do we allow that to seep into because there's still a bit of the people pleasing? Still a little bit. Cathleen. Still tight? Oh, 100%.

Kathleen Shannon 48:28
Okay, so I know we only have like, Oh, you go,

Tanya Geisler 48:32
okay. So here so, because all the pain, all the pain, all the pain, all the pain, okay? Remember, it has three strategies. It wants to have you out of action, doubting your capacity, and alone and isolated. So simple. What we have to do is meet it exactly where it is. And this works for procrastination, perfectionism, leak boundaries, works for all of it. Your job is to meet the critics. That's perfect that we just came up with the hit the haters, you literally have to meet the critics, the inner critics, the Outer Critics and find out what they're actually here to tell you. And then your job is to be discerning about what you need to keep and what you need to turf. And this is where having an Emily and your life and Emily in my life and then Emily and all of our lives is bitchin because we need to look at how rhetorically sound this criticism is. If it's an inner critic, what is it that what is the value that it is trying to have us hold sacred and oftentimes my friends, it's connection, okay. So get like, this whole just kick it to the curb, whatever. No, that doesn't work. You have to actually get in there, get brave and face whatever the fear is, whatever the inner critic is saying or whatever the external critics are saying, and then take what you need and turf the rest and that is there is no shortcut to that. Okay.

Kathleen Shannon 49:58
Okay, what else

Tanya Geisler 50:02
Once you have have you doubt your capacity. So your job is to remind yourself all that you've done all that you've done, you know, I don't care if it's the seventh grade science B science project or when you dumped his ass or when you said yes. Or when you said, No, I don't care what it is, you need to get super granular about all of the times that you were on this precipice of what you wanted. And you did the hard thing next. And this is so important that we do the inner work before we go to the external once again, because I'm not going to believe you, when you tell me that I'm so rad if I don't know how rad I actually am, right? It's the water off a duck's back. They especially, especially for those of us who are people pleasers, that's totally my tell by the way. So what we have to go inside, we have to look at absolutely everything that we have done, we have to get into a practice that this is super tricky and uncomfortable for us to be looking at our authority, we need to create a daily practice of tracking our wins. You know, in your groups, like how often do people resist celebration

Emily Thompson 51:15
all the time? Oh, all we ever want them to do is tell us something cool about themselves. And it's like, the hardest thing we do,

Tanya Geisler 51:24
the hardest thing to do is the hardest thing to do because it because for them, it's not super integrated yet. So by creating habits and practices of celebrating, that allows us to integrate all that we have done because for the most part, this exercise in and of itself, what have I done? What are the amazing things I've done, it's not been integrated, because they haven't taken the moment to celebrate and to really rest in that moment. And that and round out that cycle of complete exertion is what I mean to say there. Okay, yeah, I

Kathleen Shannon 51:55
love that idea of really cementing that groove of I did this thing by celebrating it. Because it's one thing just write down a list of accomplishments, it's another to really feel it can really feel meant to acknowledge it and honor it.

Tanya Geisler 52:09
And that's the thing, you know, that's the most important thing is the how that, you know, every time I have this conversation, sometimes I really don't understand the correlation between, you know, winning that award and this new, incredible endeavor that I'm about to set off. And but the truth of the matter is, it's again, like reminding yourself when you stood at this precipice and saw that the the party was on the other side of the resistance, right? That's your job is to, is to go, Okay, well, I think I want to do this thing, and then when I leap, what happens then I get what I want. So that's what we want much more of please and thank you. And then once we've actually taken that time, and I mean, like sustained time, then we can start to gather the testimonials, the reference letters, the sweet tweets, the the the loveliness that other people say about us and collect that, and I still have this yaman a folder that I created, like six years ago, where it's all these incredible things that people write, and it's a touchstone for me, it really is, and I was, um, I mean, hundreds and hundreds of people have been doing this ever since. But, and I mean, I'm sure you guys have your own version, we have breadboards we have whatever it is, but like when we actually gather it, the you know, that the imposter comics has to say about our inabilities just crumbles beneath the weight of all that we've done and that people have to have reflected back to us, but we have to go inside first. And then finally, it wants to keep us alone and isolated. So our job is to get social. And joining communities like yours have badass best friends who are able to lift each other up, name the lies that we suffer with, or so that we can, we can tell on each other and create some accountability. You know, I struggle with people pleasing. Call me out when you see me, you know, going to my towel of people pleasing. You know, you've just named it for each other procrastination comparison. Like, be up each other's knows about that. But it really can't. Our job really is to be in community around us.

Kathleen Shannon 54:18
Yeah, and you can be in community even if you're an introvert. Hmm, yep. Maybe that's a lie that the imposter complex tells us is that I can't hang out with people or connect because I'm an introvert. I think it's how we connect

Tanya Geisler 54:31
right? Which is our job then is to figure out how to how to be connecting with others.

Kathleen Shannon 54:37
Love, Tania, it was so good getting to speak with you. Thank you for joining the show you have a wealth of information to offer on the imposter complex. where can our listeners find more?

Tanya Geisler 54:49
Tanya geisler.com and then you can sign up for this nifty four video series that's really an imposter complex primer goes a little bit deeper into what we're able to cover. Today, even though today was super, super fun, thank you guys.

Kathleen Shannon 55:04
And finally, what makes you feel most boss?

Unknown Speaker 55:08

Tanya Geisler 55:09
I know, I'm supposed to answer that really quickly. But you know, the thing is, I was thinking about this the other day, my experience of sovereignty feel it makes me feel most boss. And I was thinking about that in a very specific way last week, my life had just piled on top of itself. You know, there was elder care stuff, child care stuff, business stuff, new opportunity stuff. And I was like, in the middle of all of it, and I thought I made this happen. This is amazing. My dream isn't my ties on the beach, necessarily. My dream is this to be able to have it all and manage it all and feel sovereign in that and that makes me feel so boss.

Emily Thompson 55:51
Great answer. Thank you so much for coming to hang out with us. Totally my

Unknown Speaker 55:56
joy. Thank you both.

Emily Thompson 56:00
We have gotten so much amazing feedback over the years from listeners about how our podcast has helped them start to grow and uplevel their businesses. So we want to celebrate you. Here's the boss we're celebrating this week.

Unknown Speaker 56:13
Hi, my name is Devin Strickler and I am being boss. I am one of the owners partner with my husband behind love light and legacy of love light and legacy.com and this week, we're celebrating the overall completion we did our very first spiritual retreat online this past Saturday, and it went fantastic. I have never held anything like that before I've been doing you know periscoping and Instagram lighting and and we decided to jump in and hit the risk I hired a few other amazing instructors as well. And with the beautiful backing of my husband, to watch our two children, I took the day off from being an entrepreneur to really coach women into self care practices and practical application of spirituality. So it seems kind of small but it's super big to us and it was something that just made our shop are weak and this time being that our shop is only a year old now. Just so brilliant and juicy. So thanks being boss.

Kathleen Shannon 57:20
If you're feeling boss and when to submit your own boss moment or when go to WWW dot being boss club slash I am being boss. This episode of being boss was brought to you by fresh books cloud accounting, thank you to fresh books for sponsoring us and you guys can try it for free by going to freshbooks comm slash being boss. Thank you so much to our team and sponsors who make being boss possible our sound engineer and web developer Corey winter. Our editorial director and content manager Caitlin brain, our community manager and social media director Sharon lukey. And are being countered David Austin, with support from braid, creative and indie shop biographies.

Emily Thompson 57:59
Do the work. Be boss and we'll see you next week.