Imposter! The Natural Genius, The Soloist and The Expert (Part 3)

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IWD 2019 Make It Happen Event Marbella

According to the latest global trends, though happiness as a business owner averages an eight on a 1 to 10 scale (with 10 being the happiest) for both males and females, only 33% of women report their happiness at 10, compared to 38% of men. (source: https://www.guidantfinancial.com/small-business-trends/women-in-business/)

Why is that? Far too big of a question to address right here right now, but a lot of it has to do with YOU, with your mindset and how clear you are on what you want.

Let me ask you…
๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธWhen you’re faced with a setback, does your confidence tumble because not performing well makes you feel ashamed?
๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธDo you firmly feel that you need to accomplish things on your own?
๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธAre you constantly seeking out trainings or certifications because you think you need to improve your skills in order to succeed?

If so, you’re going to want to keep reading as we explore the remaining 3 Imposter Syndrome Types so that you can take a good look in the mirror and see how you can battle these and up your happiness and success factors.

Recap: Imposter Syndrome

This is the third part of this Imposter Syndrome series. In Part 1 we kicked things off with Mindset Coach Joanna (JoJo) Ellis and looked at how Imposter Syndrome can block you from stepping into your power, essentially giving you the ability to get out of your own way.

In Part 2 we introduced 5 types of Personality Types – The Perfectionist, The Superwoman/man, The Natural Genius, The Soloist, and The Expert, all coined by Dr. Valerie Young, Author of The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It.

We focused on the first two, and now we’re going to dive in the remaining 3…

The Natural Genius

This type of Imposter believes that they are a natural genius to the point that they judge their competence based on not only how EASY it is, but also how FAST it is, as opposed to their efforts.

In other words, if they take a long time to master something, they feel shame. Brene Brown talks about shame in her research – Have you seen her talk on Netflix? Highly recommended!

Ok, so the Natural Genius is the type of imposter that sets their internal bar impossibly high, just like perfectionists. The main difference here is that they don’t just judge themselves based on ridiculous expectations, they also judge themselves based on getting things right on the first try. When they’re not able to do something quickly or easily, this is when the imposter starts to take over.

Let me ask you…

  • Are you used to excelling without much effort?
  • Do you have a track record of getting straight A’s or gold stars in everything you do?
  • Were you told frequently as a child that you were the smart one in your family or peer group?
  • Do you dislike the idea of having a mentor, because you can handle things on your own?
  • When you’re faced with a setback, does your confidence take a dive because not performing well provokes a feeling of shame?
  • Do you often avoid challenges because you feel uncomfortable trying something you’re not great at?

If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, it’s time to for battle!

How can you battle the natural genius imposter?

To move past this, try seeing yourself as a work in progress. I say this a lot: It’s about the journey, never about the destination.

Accomplishing great things involves lifelong learning and skill-building for everyone, even the most confident people. Rather than beating yourself up when you don’t reach your impossibly high standards, identify specific, changeable behaviours that you can improve over time.

For example, if you want to have more impact through your work and yet you don’t feel confident about public speaking, it’s much more productive to focus on honing your presentation skills than swearing off speaking in public as something you’re just not good at.ย

If I can overcome my fear of public speaking, so can you! This is Ali Meehan, Founder of Costa Women and co-host for The Make It Happen International Women’s Day Event in Marbella this year.

One of the most proudest moments in my life! Can’t wait to hear about yours too!

The Soloist

This type of imposter sufferers from feeling as though asking for help reveals their phoniness. It’s OK to be independent, but not to the extent that you refuse assistance so that you can prove your worth.

It’s when it turns into stubbornness, you know what I mean?

No? ok, let me ask you…

  • Do you firmly feel that you need to accomplish things on your own?
  • I don’t need anyone’s help. Does that sound like you?
  • Do you frame requests in terms of the requirements of the project, rather than your needs as a person?

If so, your soloist imposter is messing with you.

How can you battle the soloist imposter?

Like we said, it’s ok to be independent, but not when you start getting emotional about it. Not being able to manage your emotions in life and in business is just not an option.

Best way to combat this is to start building your self awareness. You’ve already started today, so keep it going.

Feeling your emotions sounds simple, but it’s something a lot of us have conditioned ourselves to suppress rather than process. So if you start feeling negatively or imbalanced, you’re likely feeling frustrated, annoyed, short tempered, aggressive even, sad, discouraged, not good enough, like you’re all alone in this crazy world… all of these feelings are like clues.

Journaling is going to help you work through these emotions and will also enable you to tap into your subconscious to see if you can uncover where or when you learned the behaviour(s).

Your senses along with essential oils can also help balance emotions. I use a particular Feelings Set with 6 specific essential oils once every quarter using a 30 day ritual – life changing. 

The Expert

Going back to the Make It Happen International Women’s Day Conference in Marbella this year, there was another guest speaker, Tiina Wilen, talking about experts.

Her discussion touched on how it is common to see women especially shudder at the thought of saying that they’re an expert in their field. It’s hard enough sometimes to take a compliment! 

The Expert Imposter measures their competence based on what and how much they know or can do. They truly believe they will never know enough, and they fear being exposed as inexperienced or unknowledgeable.

Let me ask you…

  • Do you shy away from applying to job postings unless you meet every single educational requirement?
  • Are you constantly seeking out trainings or certifications because you think you need to improve your skills in order to succeed?
  • Even if you’ve been in your role for some time, can you relate to feeling like you still don’t know enough?ย
  • Do you shudder when someone says you’re an expert?

If you said yes to any or all, then this is something you want to focus on changing. 

How can you battle the Expert Imposter?

100% without a doubt and absolutely true: there is always more to learn. Striving to bulk up your skill set can certainly help you make strides professionally and keep you competitive in the job market.

It’s when you take it to the extreme that there is this tendency to endlessly seek out more information which can actually be a form of procrastination.

Start practicing just-in-time learning. This means acquiring a skill when you need it, for example, if your responsibilities change rather than hoarding knowledge for (false) comfort.

Realize there’s no shame in asking for help when you need it. If you don’t know how to do something, ask a co-worker. If you can’t figure out how to solve a problem, seek advice from a supportive supervisor, or even a coach or mentor. Mentoring junior colleagues or volunteering can be a great way to discover your inner expert. When you share what you know it not only benefits others, but also helps you heal your fraudulent feelings.

The best advice on this is to find your purpose, that inner desire that lights you up. If you’re not sure how, I’d love to help – Learn more here.

Wrapping things up

I always say this, it’s 80% mindset, 20% strategy.

No matter the specific profile, if you struggle with confidence, you are not alone. To take one example, studies suggest 70% of people experience imposter syndrome at some point in their life.

I certainly did, and I can identify with all the different types at one point in my life, but I’ve done so much inner work that I can say that I’ve developed an unstoppable mindset and I’m so much stronger for that, mentally and physically, and also so much more successful and happy.

If you’ve experienced it at any point in your entrepreneurial venture, you’ve at one point or another chalked up your accomplishments to chance, charm, connections, or another external factor.

How unfair and unkind is that? Take today as your opportunity to start accepting and embracing your capabilities.

You are enough right now, and you can do anything your heart desires.

Life Strategies with Nat – Episode 19

If you missed the live show on Tuesday, feel free to catch up by clicking the link below:


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