Goodbye Imposter Kristin

Apr 18, 2022

I’ve always been intimidated by women with a lot of letters behind their name - MD, PhD, Ed.D, JD, DDS, Founder, CEO, VP, President.

Those women are real leaders.

Those women are accomplished.

What could those women possibly learn from this Life Coach? Well the universe decided it was time to let go of that story.... 

We are going to my husband’s 25th medical school reunion in 2 weeks.We were married in medical school (actually, I put him through medical school) so I know all of his friends. Actually, they were not his friends, but our friends.

And, while I have been looking forward to reuniting with so many I’ve also been a bit timid about seeing the women doctors. You know, because they have an MD behind their name. They’ve provably saved 100s of lives and delivered 100s of babies and solved 100s of medical mysteries. Will they still be the fun, gorgeous women from 25 years ago, yes, but this time, they will be superior to me. I mean, I've helped a few women... Well, yes... most create impressive lasting results in their life, but it was all them ... and I'm just lucky that I only attract high achievers so of course they get great results and ... blah blah blah.

I may coach on imposter syndrome, but it does not escape me either, until last week. And then something powerful happened ...

I overheard my husband, Lewis, having a conversion with a good friend from medical school he hadn’t talked to in 10 years. They were playing catch up. At some point Philip asked about me and I heard Lewis say, “Man, she is doing amazing things. Remember when she became a counselor? Well now she has added life coaching to her work and Philip, one conversation with her can change your life."

Wait... what did he just say? Oh my gosh. I started to blush and leaned in so I could hear every word Lewis was sharing. (and might have started texting our daughters and my coaching besties...)

"Philip, most of our problems are thoughts not circumstances man, but we think they are facts. And we are sabotaging ourselves man.” (Yes, he overuses the word man, but it's kind of cute.)


Then Philip pushed back about his asshole chairman actually being an asshole. This is a fact Lewis. And, Lewis proceeded to do a model with him. It is a fact that he is your chairman. Your thought is that he’s an asshole. You feel resentful and then how do you show up? (Is Lewis trying to take my job?) And their conversation went from there.

Next Philip wanted to know if I was making money. Lewis replied, “Listen she is making more than she ever made working for someone else.” 

Then Lewis asked for Phillip’s email so he can sign him up for my blog. “You will learn so much.”

I sat in awe. Grateful to my cheerleading husband, but also letting his compliments sink in and feel real to me too. In awe that his version of me may be the actual version and my imposter version has overstayed her welcome.

Where are you hiding your strengths? Where are you playing small? What are you dismissing about yourself that you know to your toes you are extraordinary good at? Who cares if the strength wasn’t earned by a degree, a promotion or an award. Who cares if others are doing "even more impressive" things than you. OWN IT.

That one talk has completely shifted how I plan to show up at reunion. Does it change the awe I have for the women docs? Nope. But, it does recalibrate how i think about myself. "One conversation with her can change your life."

So, two weeks from now, I will walk calmly into reunion (that's a lie... there is nothing calm about me. I will bounce into reunion) and not hide my expertise. I will have some intimate conversations, revel in the successes of those around me, and celebrate all the wins. I know we rise by lifting others and I so will commit to doing so, knowing that the more I celebrate these change makers the more likely we all rise.

And I will be doing so beside my new Director of Marketing, Lewis Dabney MD.