You there, impostor!

Featured image for “You there, impostor!”

{first_name}. A monologue in half an act:

One facilitator, trembling in her pencil skirt,

In fair Australia where we lay our scene,

With sheer will did break from nigh obscurity

And get clients who pay her fee.

Ok, torturous rendition of Shakespeare aside (you’re welcome, btw), I was the poster child for Impostor Syndrome when I started out.

No matter which way you slice it nor what you do for work, thinking “who am I to do this? Why would anyone listen to me?” bites us all at least once.

“But Tanya, you were the first Master Certified facilitator in Australia and you managed and trained the facilitators for years and you presented the 12 month follow up program to The Breakthrough Experience…”

You charmer. Trust me, my put togetherness now is not how it always was.

Allow me to demonstrate:

Transport yourself to 12(ish) years ago. Back to the Wild Wild West of the personal development industry (giddyup!)

Life coaches were being taken to court.

There was a giant fuss about accreditation.

Selling info products was still a relatively new thing at this point, too. (So you couldn’t just whip up an online thing and launch it.)

The term “life coach” was new, too.

“Sorry you’re a what? Like my son’s basketball coach but for my life? Oh, I just remembered I have to feed my cat. Later. *whispers* whacko.”

(Which was fair. Life coaches were everywhere. And most of them got into it because it was their way to heal themselves, not because they wanted to truly serve others. Hence the industry trainwreck.)

Marketing yourself was scary AF.

You had to fight tooth and nail for every shred of self-certainty and belief. Never knowing if that shred was going to be ripped from your heart by a Herald article or another coach’s (probably well intentioned, but stupid) actions.

It was all one giant experiment. One where the parameters changed daily, because the market did.

We tried to figure out what worked and didn’t to get clients… and prove we could truly help people.

I attended and hosted hundreds of seminars & webinars (on GoToWebinar. Yes, I’m that old)…

…spent thousands on shouty, annoying advertising

…networked like a mofo (which always felt contrived at best, dirty at worst)

…And watched the big seminar promotion companies swallow the little guys whole… and then watched their live event ‘pitchfest’ model crumble.

(Remember that? Ew.)

As if the environment wasn’t shaky enough, I was straight-outta-the-training new to facilitating and learning my craft.

Barely had any experience. No Facebook group. No brand recognition.

Oh and the cherry on top?

Other students had been not only studying but facilitating with the Demartini Method for 15 years already by the time I came on the scene.

(Big fish, small pond.)

Who the hell was I to waltz in and start claiming I could do this stuff? Shouldn’t I have joined the back of the queue? Waited my turn? Deferred to seniority?

(Any of this self-talk sounding familiar?)

All this to say:

If self-doubt and fear could nourish starving children I could’ve cured world hunger in like, a week. Two, tops.

So the $1million BHAQ (Big Hairy Audacious Question), {first_name}, was:

How do you become a trusted authority in the middle of this shitshow? And more importantly, get paid for it? Especially when you’ve not even had a chance to prove you can really do it… to yourself?

Fast forward to today and well, clearly things turned out pretty great.

I get to consult with leaders of companies, communities, and I get to work with the incredible Maximum Growth community every day (that’s you, {first_name}. Look sharp!)

Most importantly though, I’ve been doing this gig long enough now I can dodge impostor syndrome.

But it takes work.

I knew that if I just kept showing up, starting conversations, embracing the cost of growing my craft and my brand… to become truly worthy of my dream payday (and career)… that it would happen.

And you know what?

It was scrappy for a few years.

Like those street urchins fighting over a stolen loaf in Oliver Twist.

You’d get a client for one session, and then they’d ghost you. Or you’d host a cracking workshop and no one would buy coaching afterwards. You’d charge bargain basement prices and get drabs, not hordes (even though you were offering your absolute best stuff, which the gurus charged 10x your fee for.)

All of which is like refined sugar for Impostor Voice in your head.

But trying, failing and persisting – that’s how you become known for the thing you love.

(As long as you show up authentically and decide to take responsibility.)

Even more importantly, it’s how you myelinate the ‘certainty pathways’ in your head. Proving to yourself you can be and do and have all the things you want. (And say, buh-bye to Impostor Syndrome.)

Reaching out, talking to mentors and potential clients, keeping your eyes peeled for insights, sharing yours… consistently sharpening your craft on the whetstone of you.

That gives you credibility and poise well before you earn the Master Certification (or equivalent in your industry) and clients who don’t even blink at your pricetag.

If I could give you just one impostor-syndrome busting, client-attracting secret no matter if you’re a facilitator, plumber, real estate agent or still figuring out your next step, (I have more, but this email is looooong already) it would be this:

Serve with what you have right now.

Constantly develop your skills. If not on your clients, on yourself. Because you are your best client. Make mistakes and learn from them. ‘Fail’ a lot. Reach out to others who look like they’re where you want to be and where possible, pay them for their time. Makes their wisdom stick better.

That’s how every single ‘try-fail-learn’ cycle becomes an evolution for you.

And with that evolution comes growth in not only your skills, but your certainty. (And your worth.)

Thankfully, it also avoids the rather morbid fate that two star-crossed lovers endured. (Bonus points if you got that my opening monologue was lifted from Romeo + Juliet 😉

No homework today.

Go out and shine your light.



Leadership Coach & Master Certified Demartini Method Facilitator

BAppSoSc (Counselling)
Maximum Growth
One on One and Group Coaching Available