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Podcast Transcript

Taming The Imposter

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:10  
Welcome to "Your Authentic Path to Powerful Leadership" with Marsha Clark. Join us on this journey where we're uncovering what it takes to be a powerful woman leader. Well, Marsha, we made it to the final episode in our little three part mini series on the Imposter Phenomenon with our guest, Tracie Shipman. So welcome back, Marsha and Tracie.

Marsha Clark  0:35  
Thank you.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:36  
Yes, yes, I think our listeners are going to really enjoy this segment today on "Taming the Imposter".

Marsha Clark  0:42  
Well, Wendi, I agree with that. And you know, we've talked about what it is - the cycle, the test, and so on - and then even how it shows up for us in discounting praise, and so on. And now we're going to give them some strategies for what to do with this. So the big finish here, if you will. And, you know, again, I go back to our listeners. It could be you that may be suffering from some of these intense IP feelings or maybe it's someone that you lead or that you love, you know, who may also be suffering from this. So I think it's going to be a really helpful episode. And, Tracie, I want to welcome you back. And are you going to be glad to go back to writing the content and not being the star of the show? I don't know, how do you feel about that?

Tracie Shipman  1:27  
No, I am definitely, so I do love teaching this content and writing for the show. So it will be a relief, though, to go back behind the curtain, so to speak.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:36  
Well, I think it might be helpful if we do just a really quick review on some of the main topics from the last two episodes in the series to bring everyone up to speed.

Marsha Clark  1:45  
Yeah. So the first episode was called "Practically Perfect in Every Way" and it was an introduction of the Imposter Phenomena and Tracie, if you'll share some of the key lessons from that one.

Tracie Shipman  1:59  
Okay. In that one, we explored the origin story behind the imposter phenomenon as it was researched and identified by Drs. Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, including unpacking their description of imposter phenomenon. So it strikes high achievers who don't believe they're actually as talented or skilled as everyone else thinks they are and that their success is more based on luck or relationships or timing, that kind of thing. And that any day now the world's going to discover that they're actually an imposter. So they're hyper vigilant to make sure no one ever discovers that secret - that they're a fraud.

Marsha Clark  2:38  
And in that episode, we also provided a bit of a sneak peek into Dr. Clance's imposter test, which you can access fully in my book, "Embracing Your Power", as well as on her website at And I know we'll talk a little bit more about that test today as it relates to taming your imposter. I think you're gonna share some thoughts on that, Tracie.

Tracie Shipman  3:02  
Yes, absolutely. It's one of the the first strategies that we're going to discuss. And the other thing we did in that first episode was talk through Dr. Clance's imposter cycles step by step. And we dissected that distorted thinking that often underlies imposter syndrome behaviors.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  3:20  
And then in last week's episode, "We Don't Talk About Imposters", you did a deep dive on three of the behaviors that you see a lot in people with high imposter syndrome.

Tracie Shipman  3:32  
Right, we dug into that, that tendency to discount praise or positive feedback, and how people with high IP both fear failing, and go to those extraordinary lengths to avoid failure, and then also experience that ironic fear of success.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  3:47  
Wow, fascinating.

Marsha Clark  3:48  
It is such good stuff. And again, I invite our listeners, if you've not had a chance to go back and listen to both of those episodes yet, you might want to even do that before you listen to this one just so that these strategies are going to have the most impact for you.

Tracie Shipman  4:02  
Oh yes, that's a good call.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  4:02  
So for this third session, I really want to highlight something from a chapter in your book, Marsha, "Embracing Your Power". And Tracie, you just mentioned it. It says, quote, "One of the first steps in the process for healing and stepping fully into all that high achieving power is to identify which IP beliefs are in play and to what degree." So how can Dr. Clance's IP test help our listeners tame their imposter?

Tracie Shipman  4:37  
That, to me is the beauty of the assessment is that you literally have those 20 behavior or belief statements that lay that groundwork for taming, for creating that taming strategy. So if our listeners go out and they take the assessment, they can look for those statements where they scored the highest so you know, their fours and their fives. And so for me, I focused on my fives because I mean, honestly, there were so many of them in the beginning, and I had a few that were connected. And then one more and. I chose those first, because they really were causing me the most suffering, I guess. They were the ones that I thought if I could just work on reducing the negative impact on me, I might have more joy in life, and I might be excited about stepping more into my power, instead of dreading it or avoiding it.

Marsha Clark  5:31  
Yeah, and Tracie, I just want to interject that that's such a key to why this content is so important. It's not just about identifying imposter thoughts or behaviors, but it's the 'so what', what is the impact if you figure out what your fours and fives are, you know. For my coaching clients who have the high IP scores, the 'so what's' are relief, I mean, it's like a burden that's lifted, just having a name and a list printed out in front of them, the thoughts, the beliefs that have been causing them so much anguish, and many of them for their entire lives and careers. So for others, you know, it's the empowering feeling just being able to slay those mental dragons one at a time.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  6:14  
Mental dragons. Wow.

Tracie Shipman  6:17  
I think that the assessment, and what the assessment and the imposter cycle both of them do, is that they give our listeners a blueprint to start building a strategy for taming the biggest, most problematic areas. And I will add, I do a huge caution for people with, especially with high IP, is that by their very nature, right, they think they've got to tackle everything all at once. And that could also get really incredibly overwhelming. So I always coach people, just pick a couple key areas, and I really do recommend that they look for those that are the most problematic for them, right? What would I need to do or believe to go from 'very true or often' down to 'sometimes', right, from that five and four down to a three. And so for example, like I chose three to focus on consistently. And so first was my tendency to discount praise and not soak it in and I have been working on that for quite some time, many years. And it's much better. I mean, I really have. I've dropped from a five to a three on that one.

Marsha Clark  7:25  
So was there a particular reason that that was one of the first ones? I mean, you said you had several fives, so why that one?

Tracie Shipman  7:32  
For me, it was very strategic because my inner critic is so loud and really does try to drive my thoughts multiple times a day, which, you know, pretty much steals my joy all day long and keeps me from stepping into my power. So both. So I decided that I had to prioritize dealing with her. And so when I went back and looked at the statements in the assessment and the areas in the IP cycle that were my biggest challenge, they were all tied to my inner critic.

Marsha Clark  8:01  
That makes sense.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  8:02  
Yeah, this is one of the things that I remember from my own Power of Self class. And then you talk about it in the book, Marsha, where when women first learn about the imposter phenomenon and when they see the IP cycle or take the test, they're often a little emotional about the results, aren't they?

Marsha Clark  8:21  
Well, that's absolutely true, Wendi. And it's a really powerful moment when the women in the program start to look around the room, and they I'm telling you literally look around the room, and recognize that they're not the only one who feels this way or that's been silently suffering from high IP for their whole lives. And it's a bonding moment. You know, the worst thing you can do for a woman, one of the worst things is isolate us. So, you know, not only among the women with high IP, but with some newfound allies as well, those women who may not have all the fours and fives but who want to be supportive and understand better what it must be like to really, or excuse me, rally through a successful career with, with that carrying that heavy load.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  9:12  
Yeah, I like the part in the book where you suggest that when someone discovers they have high IP, that they might also have friends or colleagues or maybe even family members who have been holding on to these feelings also, but are afraid to share them. So you encourage them to take the initiative and bring up the topic, share their IP test with others and even share their score as an opening to the conversation.

Tracie Shipman  9:40  
Wendi, I think that that whole idea of being vulnerable about your own IP thoughts and feelings, it is definitely another strategy for taming the imposter. You know, it's about bringing that shadow part of yourself out into the open and shining just a warm, loving light on that.

Marsha Clark  10:02  
I like that.

Tracie Shipman  10:03  
Just being really honest and transparent. And that can provide some powerful support and build that sense of community once you discover those other imposters who are floating around the organization.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  10:13  
Okay, so shining a warm, loving light... what are you shining the light on?

Tracie Shipman  10:18  
So I don't want to get too woowoo here, but I'm really just talking about those parts of ourselves that are driving our imposter thoughts or feelings that, so in my case, that inner perfectionist or that inner critic who's driving so many of my negative beliefs. And I know it's going to seem counterintuitive, but one strategy for dealing with your imposter is to embrace it. Acknowledge it as it was an important part of your early development, right, your imposter self, that self that believes you have to be perfect or you're not nearly as awesome as everybody says you are, or whatever variation of that theme you might have. It showed up as a protective mechanism.

Marsha Clark  11:09  
Yeah and I think that's a typical coaching situation that we run into, you know, people are often tempted to try and ignore or deny those imposter feelings or thoughts and, you know, like, trying to squash them or, you know, to make them go away. And that's where we're very clear that the last thing you want to do is to stuff this down and not, you know, address it. And we believe that there's really healing in acknowledging and honoring that imposter voice. And within boundaries, of course, but I just think that's really important.

Tracie Shipman  11:44  
Yeah, you bring up a really good point about there's a possibility of healing when I'm able to acknowledge and honor that tiny voice in my head that's whispering all those imposter thoughts.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  11:56  
Aren't there some questions in the "Embracing Your Power" book in this chapter that our listeners can use for taming imposter thoughts? I think these questions are specifically targeting that inner critic voice. But could they probably be applied to any of those IP thoughts or beliefs?

Tracie Shipman  12:15  
Yeah, they probably can. The questions are specifically inspired or were inspired by the work of Dr. E.V. Estacio. And it's from her book, "The Imposter Syndrome Remedy", that we took her original questions and added a couple others. And to me, the practice is to pay attention, kind of notice what you notice, right? Notice when that critical or super protective thought starts invading my brain from that inner critic, and so the questions or prompts are, you know, what is the critic saying? What phrases keep rolling around in the background? And what could this voice or self be trying to protect me from? Why is it showing up and where are these views coming from? Another question is, when do I first remember hearing this voice, this protection kicking in, right, and why is it saying this? And specifically, why now?

Marsha Clark  13:15  
You know, Tracie, those are really powerful questions and they're variations on questions used by professional coaches to help, you know, our clients dig deeper and uncover not just imposter thoughts, but just limiting thoughts or beliefs. And, you know, a couple of others that I think about are, how is this serving me and how is this not serving me to hold on to this thought whatever it might be.

Tracie Shipman  13:41  
It's a little like Byron Katie's "The Four Questions" in the work and where she says that one of the questions, I think it's like the third or fourth question, which is, who would you be if you didn't believe?

Marsha Clark  13:51  
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I love that.

Tracie Shipman  13:54  
If I let go of this story, this this, you know, inner critic story, for me to let go of that, then who would I be? It just, it just makes me think of like, when I had braces on my teeth, and then the first time the braces came off, every time they would take that wire out and I would instantly think, 'Oh, my teeth are about to fall out of my mouth', right, because the inner critic is the brace, is the wire that holds me together and keeps me protected. And when that inner critic goes away, what am I likely to do? I might do something crazy, you know, like step into my power. I mean, those are very, those are coaching questions, to be honest. Yeah. And I really like using them to help tame that inner critic. And I will say a couple of weeks ago, my critic flared up, she took over. I was prepping for a workshop that I was going to deliver in person. And she was working overtime to try to prepare me for what she was convinced was going to be a dumpster fire.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  14:55  
Okay. "She" is your mental critic. Is your mental inner critic a "she" and then what happened?  

Marsha Clark  15:02  
And did and did you use your questions to tame her?

Tracie Shipman  15:06  
Actually, yeah, I do practice, I try to practice what I preach. Yes, she's a she.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  15:11  
Does she have a name?

Tracie Shipman  15:14  
Yes she has a name. No, she in my brain, her name is Piper because she's perfect. Her name is Piper and she's perfect. But she's also about 11 or 12 years old. Oh, okay. So just imagine your like First Communion, sitting there with a little white gloves, hands folded, hair in ringlets, she is just perfect. Yeah. So she has a whole, I have a whole journaling page of pictures of Piper and the things that she says. And so I do use those questions. And I use them, and I also use the practice of extraordinary self compassion when I get into those spirals. And so between those two, in that case, you know, when I was all caught up in my spiral, I was able to bring my attention back to what I was working on, how I really was prepared, and how if I could, you know, just lean into my three decades of delivering workshops, everything was going to be fine.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  16:18  
You mentioned self compassion, and I know that's also a strategy from this chapter in Marsha's book. So  what specifically did you do that is considered self compassion?

Tracie Shipman  16:32  
So as soon as I realized I was spiraling and that basically, Piper had stolen the keys to kind of my mental bus, because she gets to drive my bus a lot... but she had stolen the keys. And so instead of like, then on top of that happening, instead of adding shame or guilt to the situation and beating myself up for, you know, letting her in and giving her any headspace handing the keys over, I reminded myself one, she's there for a reason. She's there to teach me something or to protect me from something, almost like a yellow caution sign, right, like if flashing yellow sign. And I noticed what was happening really quickly in the cycle and I was able to manage that before she completely shut me down and I got caught into the full, like IP cycle. So my kind of self compassion was I had a little celebration and had celebrated that milestone and the mental shift that kicked in in that moment.

Marsha Clark  17:33  
Oh, good for you. I really, I like the advice from this chapter. And, I do think it's worth sharing with our listeners that for many people with high IP that they've been building and living with these beliefs for quite a while, and you know, even decades and that shifting these deeply embedded beliefs doesn't happen overnight. I often say to my clients, if it took you 50 years, 60 years, 45 years, whatever it is to get there. You're not going to flip a switch and change overnight and that those new thought patterns won't even necessarily stick immediately. And, you know, if any of this is sounding familiar to our listeners, I want to recommend that you allow yourselves the same learning curve, the same leeway, give yourself the same patience that you offer others around you and extend extraordinary grace to themselves. And, you know, I'll quote our dear friend, Susie Vaughn, you know, "Strive for grace and not perfection". One of my favorites. Yeah.

Tracie Shipman  18:35  
And that makes me think of a quote of one of my other favorite authors, of course, besides Marsha Clark, is Debbie Ford. And one of the things that she had said was this idea of, you know, every part of ourselves, every aspect within us needs understanding and compassion. And if we're unwilling to give that to ourselves, then how can we expect the world to give that to us?

Marsha Clark  18:35  
Amen. Amen. So true.

Tracie Shipman  18:41  
You know, Debbie Ford, in all of this journey, especially over the last 20 years studying imposter phenomenon, Debbie Ford became this great resource for me whenever I felt like I needed to do a deep dive on any of the shadow work of you know, what was happening, this especially inner critic and the work of exploring the side of myself that I was trying to ignore or deny or shove into a box and lock up. And sadly, she's no longer with us, but so much of her work is available on the internet. So for anybody  who this is registering with, you know, I highly recommend that they check her out. And you know, there are hundreds of resources out there on practicing self compassion as well. And so I think it's a key strategy for anybody struggling with high imposter phenomenon. So one of my very favorite resources of Debbie Ford's and it's a book that she wrote called "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers" and the subtitle to that is "Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance and Dreams". And it's my go to and so she has another quote in there that I grabbed specifically for today. So I'm sure that's why she's top of mind for me today.  And she specifically said, "Your life will be transformed when you make peace with your shadow. (Like in this case with my inner critic.) The caterpillar will become a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly. You will no longer have to pretend to be someone you're not. You will no longer have to prove you're good enough. When you embrace your shadow, you will no longer have to live in fear. Find the gifts of your shadow and you will finally revel in all of the glory of your true self. Then you will have the freedom to create the life you've always desired." So embracing my shadow, right, all those thoughts and feelings of being an imposter, they lose their power over me.

Marsha Clark  20:59  
Right. You know, it reminds me of a personal story. Peter Koestenbaum has written many, many books and you know, is my leadership guru that really helped me to step into my own power, to acknowledge that I had it and step into it. And we were having a conversation once and I was telling him about some hardship in my life. And he said, I call it the black goo story. And he said, the first time that oil came up out of the earth, the first response was it will destroy our Mother Earth, right? It's going to cover the surface of the earth, and it will end the world as we know it. And instead, today, oil is one of the most powerful energy sources in the entire world. And so the metaphor for me in all of that was, how do we take the black goo that happens in our lives and make it an energy source? I mean, that was just a very different perspective on what to do with the black goo.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  22:08  
Wow. Yes, reframing sometimes and choosing, choosing to make the choice to accept situations that are that are in front of you instead of fighting them, just going to a place of observation or education, i.e. what can I learn from this and then moving forward from that. I think that's key to help us not spin up, not let Piper take over the bus, if you will.

Marsha Clark  22:41  
Take it back, though. Your life will be transformed when you make peace with your shadow or your black goo, right? And then you'll have the freedom to create the life you've always desired. I mean, it goes right back to that beginning and ending quotes of the statement that you offered.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  22:59  
Yeah. I know there are a few other strategies in the book that you talk about, Marsha, taming the imposter. So what's one more that either of you can share with us today?

Tracie Shipman  23:09  
I would offer up that, and I think it's related to what we've already talked about today, but it's the strategy of owning our strengths and celebrating success. Right. And I think we've covered that topic in other podcasts. In fact, you guys were just talking not too long ago about things you were celebrating. But for women who struggle with high IP, it is extra important that they get just super clear on their strengths and non strengths, but from a non judgmental perspective. And so if any of our listeners has high imposter phenomenon, it's it's critical that they change their self definition to one that focuses on and acknowledges cumulative accomplishments that she's achieved over her lifetime, her strengths, her gifts, her core worth, without getting caught up in any singular performance metric that's tied to a discrete task  or a talent on any given day.

Marsha Clark  24:12  
Yes and I think it's another really important point to emphasize for our listeners. If you're suffering with the imposter syndrome, you really need to be open to gathering information about strengths and non strengths and using whether it be the Strengths Finder assessment or just seeking feedback and, you know, leveraging coaching, if that's a possibility for you, and then look for themes and trends over time because a lot of that data can help you better form an accurate and a neutral story of who you really are, centered on those strengths versus focusing and putting all of our attention on the non strengths. And you know, I'm also mindful that we have our magnets that we offer up with a lot of the Marsha-isms. And it's the 'What else could be true?' and I think it's another way of kind of the reframing that you're talking about. I've got this inner critic and this inner story playing in my head that I'm not enough of this or too much of that, or whatever it might be, what else could be true? What else could be true? And if that gives us an opening where rather than move to the default, but name it and then be able to say, could it be different? Could it be different?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  25:31  
That reminds me of one of my favorite lines from this chapter of the book. "People around you, especially those who acknowledge and value your gifts and contributions, are going to try and tell you how awesome you are. Let them." Period, end of story, mic drop. Just let them and let that kind of wash over you.

Tracie Shipman  25:58  
I do love that. I love that too. And, I mean, since we're kind of, you know, doing all of our favorite quotes and questions, one of my favorite questions is and Marsha, it's really tied to what you just said, what if it's possible that all the good things people are saying about me are true? It's not really what else is possible? What if it's actually possible that it's true. And so it does remind me also of, you know, the whole Tom Thibodeau thing where he said he's gonna confront me with my goodness, talked about it in the last episode, and how he opened up the, you know, the Master's in servant leadership program. I'm going to confront you with your goodness. And so, you know, maybe a quick test for our listeners, or at least it was for me is, if I can accept the gift of positive feedback offered to you as an affirmation of my fundamental goodness. Am I willing to do that? Yeah. Right? And then maybe even the last question I have for everybody is, will you dare to celebrate your unique gifts and successes with that same or maybe even greater energy and determination that you want to use in order to keep yourself small? And can you understand how IP might actually be holding you back and how it could be a key, understanding it, how that could be a key to unlocking your power?

Marsha Clark  27:21  
Well, I love that question, too. And, you know, I'm kind of when somebody gives me a dare, I'll show you I'm bound and determined I'm going to prove it, but to myself actually, more than others. But it does prove to others, so I think that's important.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  27:37  
We focused today our attention on the individual strategies for taming the imposter. Now Marsha, I know you want to make sure we address the organizational or systemic perspective on addressing imposter phenomenon before we wrap up today.

Marsha Clark  27:56  
Yeah, I do. And thank you, Wendi, for pulling that in. And, you know, I want our listeners, I want to be sure and clarify, you know, is that the imposter phenomenon, like any, you know, label or classification has its upsides and downsides when it comes to understanding and improving our performance or, you know, managing our experience. And very recently, I read an HBR article, Harvard Business Review article, and it gave me really a different lens through which to view this imposter phenomenon. It came out in February of 2021 and it was written by Ruchika Tulshyan and Jodi Ann Burey, and I hope I'm pronouncing their names correctly. And it was published by the, or in the Harvard Business Review. And the article was entitled, "Stop Telling Women They Have Impostor Syndrome". Well, of course, that caught my attention immediately. And in their article, they advocate for a focus less on the individuals and trying to, quote unquote, "fix women", but to create an environment that fosters a number of different leadership styles and where diversity of racial, ethnic and gender identities is viewed as just as professional as whatever their current model might be. So to me, it brings in the essence of diversity, and inclusion.

And as I said, in the book, I very much agree with their point, and I don't think it's an either/or. I think it's a both/and. There are individual things to address and there are organizational things to address. And my view is that we're always thinking and working, you know, within the context of individual, interpersonal, team, organizational and societal, you know, call it conditions or situations and we've got to diagnose it at the right place in order to intervene in the right way. And I do believe that the greatest changes can always occur more quickly when we work at all those levels. And you know, I often refer to it as the foreground in the background, it's like how a camera lens changes focus depending on what is important to capture in the photo. And at certain times, I think the individual is the focus or is in the foreground, while the other levels are operating in the background. And at other times the organization is in the foreground, while the other parts are operating in the background. And as a leader, as an authentic and powerful woman leader, you want to create a culture where everyone can bring their strengths and talents to the workplace and respect the many different styles and ways of working to get things done.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  30:49  
So we talked earlier in this episode about childhood and things that happened in childhood might be laying the groundwork for imposter phenomenon. Now I'm hearing that imposters might feel that they're that way because of their organization or system. Is it a both/and or is it an either/or?

Marsha Clark  31:13  
No, I definitely think it's a both/and. And I've got coaching clients and program participants who are beginning to realize they may not be the imposters they thought they were or that they had been told they were in whatever form that might take. And they're strong and powerful women who are leading and they're stepping into their power in systems that can't or won't accept them for who they are. They're threatened by them. They're intimidated by them. They're overwhelmed by them. They're competing with them. And they're, you know, putting them in a one down position as a way of gaining control over the competition.

Tracie Shipman  31:54  
I totally get that. I mean, it's easy to think you're an imposter in a system if it's continually sending you messages that you don't fit in.

Marsha Clark  32:02  
Yeah, and you're doing it wrong, or that you're doing it, that your different way doesn't work.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  32:06  
Right. Right. Still so much work to do.

Marsha Clark  32:09  
Yes. Yes. And I'll go back to and we've got to know better to do better.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  32:15  
So ladies, it's hard to believe it but we're coming to the end of this three part little episode mini series on imposter phenomenon. Are there any final profound concluding thoughts you want to add for our listeners as we wrap? I know, for me, my biggest "aha" has been, you know, this idea that we were just talking about now that imposter phenomenon, because I caught that article back in February of 2021, that it might be the organization actually creating a culture and behavior that's forcing women to feel that way. So that's a big "aha" for me.

Marsha Clark  32:55  
Well, and I'll add this. When I think back to Dr. Clance and Dr. Imes did their work in the 70's and I graduated high school in 1970. The 60's decade and the 70's decades were big decades for women. So we were just beginning to really do research around women, understand women, bring women into the picture, right, of whatever picture it might be. And now I do this fast forward to, you know, some 40 to 50 years later. And as we have continued to do more research, and bring more women into the story I think we're going to continue to uncover more about what part of it is individual, what part of it is organizational or societal. And that I hope the rules are changing so that there is more acceptance of what  women bring to the table. So I just want to offer that it's the perspective of having lived a long time and living through those decades and living through where we are now in a very conscious and intentional way. So now as far as the as you call them final and profound concluding thoughts... No, I really want to first of all, thank Tracie for being with us for these three episodes and I want to give her the opportunity to really close this out here. Yes, final thoughts by Tracie Shipman.

Tracie Shipman  34:33  
So I think to wrap up I think we talked a little bit about self compassion. And for me I have a practice that has been really powerful and it's basically to kind of insert myself into some of my most favorite poems or or scriptures or anything like that. And so, if I were to do something like that with like even the Debbie Ford quote that we had earlier, it is to insert myself in it and make it about me. (Yeah). And so it would sound like this if I did that. It would be "My life will be transformed when I make peace with myself and the caterpillar in me will become a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly. I will no longer have to pretend to be something I'm not or someone I'm not. I will no longer have to prove I'm good enough. When I embrace my strengths and talents, I will no longer have to live in fear. Find the gifts of my imposter side, and I will finally revel in all the glory of my true self. Then I will have the freedom to create the life I've always desired."

Marsha Clark  35:45  
That can be the poem that really captures the essence of "Embracing Your Power." Yeah, I mean, it really hits at the heart of it. It's a beautiful sentiment. And you know, I encourage our listeners to write their own, you know, mantra or poem or, you know, reminder for taming their imposter. And, you know, read it daily. Yeah, you know, you talk about things that you have, all of us have stuck on our computer monitors or whatever, but read it and take it in and, you know, it lays new neural pathways because the inner critics and the stories in our heads are there because we've let them, you know, be heard again and again and again. And it's really about creating a new inner voice for ourselves and things like that. And literally reading and repeating them daily lays new neural pathways that quiets the others.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  36:43  
So another powerful, powerful episode. Thank you both for these enormous lessons and deep lessons on imposter phenomenon.

Marsha Clark  36:45  
And Wendi, thank you. I love your questions and how you lead us through the episode, keep us on track, and you know, Tracie, you sharing your expertise and personal experience, your willingness to be vulnerable and share, you know, dare I say the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful and the progress and you know, the possibilities. Thank you. Thank you both.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  37:20  
Well, thank you, listeners, for joining us on this journey today of our authentic, powerful leadership. Please download, subscribe and share this podcast with your female leader friends and your men friends (we like men too) wherever you like to listen and please visit Marsha's website at for links to the tools we talked about today. Subscribe to her email list. Please get her book "Embracing Your Power" and follow her on social media.

Marsha Clark  37:53  
Well, and I add my thank you to our listeners today. And we hope these three sessions have been insightful and useful and valuable for yourselves and for those people in your lives that relate to what we've talked about in this imposter phenomenon syndrome. Let us hear from you. And we clearly want to be here to also support one another. So here's to women supporting women!

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