Episode 3: Leaping from Impostor Syndrome to More Self-Efficacy


The strategies included in today’s podcast have been career and life game changers for me. Stay tuned to the end, where I include five practical steps toward increasing your self-efficacy.

Think back to a specific time when you faced a challenging conversation or an important meeting. How did you feel at the time?  Were you excited to contribute, or scared to death? Did you question your value and ask yourself why you were invited?


At some point, all women have questioned our value. It has been labeled as imposter syndrome, a self-sabotaging condition that can hold us back from reaching our full potential. It was introduced and then renamed imposter phenomenon by psychologists Dr. Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes.

The syndrome (now renamed imposter phenomenon) is distributed across men and women. It is what we tell ourselves just before we leap into something that is beyond our own level of confidence. People who have it believe they are pretending to be something they are not, or that their career is a coincidence and not due to own capabilities.

At first, I did not believe that there were that many of us suffering from this. I am often surprised during my keynotes and workshops on how many hands go up when I start to ask about self-sabotage.


(03:35): John Gray, the author of Men Are from Mars: Women are from Venus, suggested that we have different levels of self-esteem in different aspects of our lives. Self-esteem is the emotional evaluation of your worth based on a particular situation. So, things that you have done several times and done very well will give you higher self-esteem.

Things that are new to you, or you have never done before will give you lower self-esteem. Now take that concept to the next step.

We struggle because we can have high self-esteem in one area and not others. Women tend to want to be 100% prepared before we stretch a new direction; but the conversations we have with ourselves sometimes prevent us from stretching.

I encourage you to really think about what you are saying to yourself, especially as it relates to your goals. Are you convincing yourself? Are you not ready, or are you pushing through even though you are afraid?


(07:03): It was not until I started my mindfulness practice in 2016 that I understood how the mind drives us to frequently live in the past or the future and not the present moment. Oftentimes you need to be aware of the moment to minimize the mind chatter. 

Free Video Course: 10 Lessons I Gained From My Mindfulness Practice

In Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In: Women, Work in the Will to Lead, there is a quote that aligns perfectly to this podcast that highlights the thoughts of imposters at work with limiting beliefs impacting their career trajectory. Sheryl found research like mine that many women are in a standstill or stuck in middle management. We have not stretched to our true capabilities because we feel like we are not ready. Here are the five steps I often implement when my mind chatter and internal stories prevent me from reaching or stretching.

9:22 Step #1

9:42 Step #2

10:03 Step #3

11:00 Step #4

11:39 Step #5

Let us talk about how to leap and grow into more self-efficacy.

Thank you to our Podcast Sponsor: Daily HarvestClick Here For $25 off your first box


(13:59): Have you heard of self-efficacy? It has been a game changer for me. The National Center for Women in Technology researches self-efficacy and women in STEM careers. They have determined that women who stay in their STEM careers longer often have high self-efficacy. This was incredibly interesting to me as I was researching both my books. Self-efficacy was a new term to me. It is essentially the individual belief in our own capacity. What I love about self-efficacy is that it can be learned, and this was not completely evident to me initially in my career.


(17:48): Let OTHER people tell you no. Put yourself out there. Many organizations often do not hire you when you raise your hand for the first time. I have heard executives say, they want people to apply for a couple of internal jobs to make sure they really want to take the next step in their career. I believe that each “no” is closer to a “yes.”


(18:40) How are you going to be stretching this year? What are you doing today, tomorrow this week that you were not planning to do?  Now that you know more about self-efficacy, are you excited to put yourself out there and grow?  Since self-efficacy is learned, the more stretching, the faster it will grow. Move from the imposter syndrome and imposter phenomenon we talked about earlier, to more self-efficacy using the five steps above.


If this helped you, share it with a friend. We need more women to know about this. And remember to rate the podcast so more women can find it.

Thank you for joining me. And I look forward to meeting you back here next time.



Books Mentioned

  • Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, Sheryl Sandberg
  • Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex, John Gray
  • The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know Hardcover, by Katty Kay &  Claire Shipman