383-Imposter Complex with Tanya Geisler

by | Nov 27, 2023 | 0 comments

Imposter Complex with Tanya Geisler

Imposter Complex with Tanya Geisler is a gem of an episode.

What if you can rewrite the story about feelings of imposter syndrome?

What if you could turn the self-doubt moments into power?

What could you achieve then?

That is what me and Tanya are exploring in this magnificent interview.

Imposter Complex with Tanya Geisler

Tanya Geisler is a certified Leadership Coach, speaker, and writer who teaches leaders how to combat their Imposter Complex and lead with ICONIC impact so they can achieve their ultimate goals. 

Ready to tap into your iconic impact? Let’s do this!

What you’ll learn listening to this episode:

  • How to redefine imposter feelings in a way that will make you feel more powerful
  • How to own your authority and create powerful results
  • How Tanya guide her client towards iconic Impact

Mentioned in the show: 

Quiz: Is it you or your diet?

Undiet Your Life Program

Non-Diet Coaching Certification

Connect with our guest:

Quiz: What’s your ICONIC Identity?

Instagram – Tanya Geisler

Facebook – Tanya Geisler

Transcript

GBTF383

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Tanya: This is episode 383 of the beyond the food show. And today we're going to redefine in such a powerful way, the imposter feelings that we are experiencing with an expert on the topic. Tanya Gisler. Stay tuned.

Hello, my sister. I am excited to bring this episode to you because this is one of those episodes where I'm bringing forward the people that are in my life, people that are guiding me, people that are coaching me, people that I follow on Instagram that inspired the work that I do. And one of them is Tanya gisler, she is a leadership coach, a speaker, and she teach very specifically on imposter complex. Now, you've heard me talk about imposter feelings and imposter syndrome for Years overwhelmed, the last 382 episode, and today we're talking about impostor complex for a very specific reason. So one of the thing that I did when I entered Tanya's World is I did one of those quiz, you know, that coaches like me and her have on their website to get to know the work of the coach and get to know if you're the right fit to work with them. And she has this imposter complex quiz. And I couldn't believe the result that I got out of her quiz. And since I had her on the podcast, I thought, You know what? Coach me on the result of your quiz that I did. And it's going to blow your mind what came out of that coaching that she did for me on my own version of imposter complex.

And then we're going to also talk about owning our authority and how to create what she calls iconic impact. Once we redefine what imposter feelings are and how we can think about it from a powerful way, we unfold our authority and our impact into the world. And I'm a firm believer that in order for us to live a fulfilling, happy life, we need to have impact in the world beyond ourself. We need to externally impact the world, not just internal in our own life. So how to find that impact so we can contribute to the world and create good around us and create our own happiness. So without any further ado, my team will roll in the interview with Tanya, which was such a treat to record for you.

Stephanie: Welcome to the show, Tanya.

Tanya: Oh, I'm delighted to be here. Delighted to be here.

Stephanie: I'm excited to have you on and have a conversation about the imposter complex, as you name it, and the imposter syndrome that I've been using the name with because I think there is. A lot of that in my community as women are working through claiming back their power by accepting themselves and their body and a lot of us have had the, what you call the side effect, right? The procrastination and the. Playing small in our life. So what do you define as the imposter complex?

Tanya: Okay, well, it's impossible to not attribute the teachers. So, Pauline Clance and Susan Imes with a clinical psychologist. To coin the phrase imposter phenomenon back in 1978, so they were working with high functioning, high achieving women and academia and notice that these women, no matter how successful they were, seemed incapable of internalizing their success. So any success they had, they would chalk up to luck, fluke, timing, or having somehow managed to convince people they were smarter or more capable than they actually were. Ding, ding, ding, right? Their failures, they were more than able to internalize, but their successes, they would chalk it up to some external factor.

Tanya: So that's really where it begins. And since probably 2010, I've been really deep in the analysis of understanding it from my lived experience, and definitely through the thousands of folks that I've worked with in the tens of thousands I've been speaking with since 2010, 2012, really specifically, I did a TEDx talk in 2012.

Tanya: And that's really been the genesis of this work for me.

Stephanie: So the ability to internalize our

Tanya: success. Yeah. Or the inability to internalize our success. Right. Or like, to look at it from all the external factors. You also notice that I use imposter complex, not imposter syndrome. Yeah. And I know, listen, like, we all talk about it. SEO people are so annoyed with me consistently because people are searching imposter syndrome. however, syndrome suggests a clinical diagnosis. And so when we talk about a syndrome, any of our listeners who have any kind of diagnosed syndromes, you understand what it feels like when a medical term gets co opted. Right? So the idea, like shiny object syndrome. is not going to be found in the DSM IV, right? So, so I just, I would really like to be as precise about language as possible, right? Like, I'm always going to get something a little bit wrong, but this has just been something I've been aware of for a while. And I know folks that have, you know, diagnosed syndromes really do appreciate it. So it's not a clinical diagnosis. It's a phenomenon. It's an experience. Listen, I'm not even sure what Carl or would have to say about me calling it a complex. But I also my friend and coach Desiree Attaway reminds me that it's, it is complex, right?it is a complex, but it's also very complex. And there's a something about the double entendre that makes me feel like I like being reminded about the complexities of this lived experience.

Stephanie: I was listening to your TEDx talk before in preparation for this interview, and one thing that struck me right off the bat, as you said, man also experience imposter complex. Talk to me about that. How this shows up in women versus men differently.

Tanya: I mean, it's complex, right? it's very layered. So it really has a lot to do with how we have been conditioned. as you will have heard in the TEDx talk, I do talk about Valerie Young's book, Secret Thoughts of Successful Women. She actually has since then said, I really wish I hadn't have just called it just for women because men do experience it as well. The reality is, any time that we feel, Oh, I've got so many things I want to say, like, which door do I go in? Folks who experience the imposter complex have beautiful values of integrity, excellence, and proficiency. I always think that's really good news. And usually we experience the imposter complex at the precipice of our expansion, at the precipice of something new, meaningful, important. We also know that the ways that we navigate the imposter complex or the ways that it gets it's tripped up are conditioned in some ways. So, you know, we'll talk about this. I'm sure a little bit more, but the 6 behavioral traits that it shows up with our comparison diminishment. People pleasing, leaky boundaries, procrastination, imperfectionism. And even though the conversation around this experience has been largely gendered, we also know that there are different ways in which we are conditioned. It's females, males, And I also want to acknowledge, and I think it's really important that I name for you and for our listeners that I approach this content in this context from my lens of experience as a white neurotypical able bodied woman of middle class means. Everything that I say, you know, other folks are going to experience it differently than I do.

Tanya: Right? So there's a way in which, of course, we are all in the same shared space. We're not having the same shared experience. So, you know, all generalizations are kind of off the table. That said, folks who have those beautiful values are going to experience it. folks who have been different Conditioned and socialized to be outside of the dominant culture are going to have a, more exacerbated sense of it.

Tanya: With permission, I talk about my husband, Greg. White, neurotypical dude of middle class means living in North America. He and I are both in agreement that the world that I live in has been designed for him. It just has. It just has. so for every concentric circle that we are distanced from Greg by gender, class, age, you know, we are going to have an exacerbated sense of it. That doesn't mean that he doesn't experience it. Trust me when I tell you that he experiences the imposter complex because he has those beautiful values. And as long as he continues to stretch himself, he's going to experience it, but it gets exacerbated the further out we are from his lived experience.

Tanya: track.

Stephanie: Totally. I'll present you something and you tell me what you think. So I was in the corporate world before choosing a career of impact, which is to help women with their bodies. I was in the corporate world in a world dominated by men in the retail industry. And I experienced imposter complex with the ultimate symptoms of panic attack, where like Collapsed on stage. And when I look back at that, it was clearly me feeling not good enough in the world of men. And one of the things that I did throughout my glass ceiling breaking career was trying to take less space by shrinking my body. Do you see that presentation of posture complex specifically with women and body size?

Tanya: Absolutely. Absolutely. Particularly in the space of literally diminishment, right? I would say the diminishment, let me just be very clear. If we were to, you and I sit across the table and take the blocks and say, which is more female conditioning is, which is more male conditioning. I would say 100%. Diminishment would have everything to do with female conditioning because it comes back to the language around. Don't take too much space. Good girls don't so on and so forth. Now, again, there's a different context. I told you, I just came back from Norway. folks in the Norwegian culture, men and women all assigned, there is a literally a group of, there's a list of rules called Janteloven, which are really about not thinking that you are any better than anybody else. Do not shine too bright, do not take up too much space. So that's less about a male female. That's more of a cultural thing. So it's like, it makes, it matters where you are, but in the sort of the North American, shall we say that kind of that framework that definitely comes down to a quality of diminishment, not taking up too much space and then what do we do with the, we need to shrink and we start to get literally, we need to shrink. We need to just, yeah. I, and I feel that viscerally. And I have the same, I have a very similar background. I was in advertising. and, you know, I mean, I'd say there are a lot of women in advertising, but not at the very top, not where I want it to be. Right. so yes. and I remember thinking that there was a definite, there was going to be a definite link between my body size and how far I was going to be able to go or not.

Stephanie: It's very interesting. The more I coach women, the more I find the same pattern and in my personal healing. Of accepting my body, what I realized recently. Is that I also heal the imposter complex and became more as what you call iconic, like impact into the world. Like, there's a direct correlation between my body liberation and the impact that I have into the world.

Tanya: A hundred percent, a hundred percent. Oh my goodness. I, on my ready enough podcast. Where I talk to people who have experienced imposter complex at different, intersections than I do. I spoke with Hillary Canavia about fat phobia and how the, and how that relates inextricably with imposter complex. Absolutely could not agree.

Stephanie: So when you talk about moving to iconic impact, right? Yes. Can you define that more for me and the people listening?

Tanya: I will do my very best because it's actually ever evolving. And I actually want to start through a different doorway if you don't mind. And that's because I want to talk about how, you know, the imposter complex, it wants to keep us out of action. It wants to have us down our capacity and it wants to keep us alone and isolated. So it does so by in a couple of very specific ways. we don't want to feel like the imposter because it's a terrible feeling. It's a terrible feeling to feel like you don't belong. and it's part that's, you know, very tribal essential need is to which is why we don't, you know, we fear success as much as we fear failure because on either We are othered than the group.

Tanya: So we don't want to feel like that. It feels terrible. So we're going to hide out in specific behaviors, procrastination, perfectionism, diminishment, comparison, people pleasing, leaky boundaries. So we all know that those are bad and slapping bad. Just stop doing that. Just stopping people. Please. They're stopping a perfection. Stop comparing yourself. Come on now. And you know, the self development industry. Let's face it, it's a 44 billion industry. That is a lot of money invested in making people feel like shit about themselves. So, it's really, it behooves the industry to make people feel terrible. So, all the books about stop doing all of these things.

Tanya: So, I like to look at it a little bit differently and say what if we actually looked at those behaviors as the relational traits and attributes that they actually are. What if we looked at the fact that, yeah, your perfectionism means you deeply value excellence, that your people pleasing actually means that you value inclusivity, that you compare yourself because connection reigns supreme with you. You're a procrastinator, or you procrastinate because you value discernment. You have potentially leaky boundaries because you are deeply generous with your resources, your time, your care, your compassion. Your diminishment simply has a lot to do with your value of humility. And so when I look at that through that lens, that we do these things that we've been made to feel so wrong and so bad about, the door for what becomes possible is open. and so I look at, you know, I talk about leadership and I'm a leadership coach. When I look at those values of excellence and, you know, humility and inclusivity and generosity and connection, my heart opens. that's the kind of leader I intend to be. That's the kind of leader I wanted to be. So leveraging the golden shadow that these identities hold, or these, these behavioral traits hold, where, that's where it's possible.

Stephanie: Ooh, a little bit of Francais. So, let's give an example to people, because I did your quiz. I watched TEDx, and I did your quiz. Yep, yep, yep, yep. So the quiz will be in the show notes for people to do and invite everybody to do. I was shocked. I got the trait of healer

Tanya: and interesting. I know. Oh, well, that's interesting.

Stephanie: So I'd be very interesting because like. Obviously, I've had a huge transformation in the last 11 years. So I'm like corporate high end, like vice president personality to who I am today. And then it says that my leaky

Tanya: boundaries. I have boundaries.

Stephanie: You sure you do. So talk to me about this result and what that could potentially mean.

Tanya: Oh, that's so interesting. If I were being, as I'm being really honest, I would say if I'm being honest, I'm always being honest. as I'm being really honest, that is not what I would have Guests for you. I feel like you've got excellent boundaries. in fact, I wanted to acknowledge your boundaries, because I think we don't have enough good models of excellent boundaries.

Tanya: And I do think that you have them. So it just makes me wonder when that shows up. You know, I feel like you have a very strong value of integrity. And I feel like you show up quite authentically. So a couple of the characteristics that I'm usually on the lookout for, how loyal people are being to their vision and how well they honor their word to themselves as much as to other people. So that may, that's it, right? Sothis quiz is intended to open up a portal to, yeah, you might have a, you might have a handle on this, but where else? Yes,

Stephanie: that's that's exactly that's exactly because I have the boundaries like I have in my business and personal. I've got excellent. They weren't there before, but there are now, but I think it's more how I honoring myself versus others. I think that's the

Tanya: big piece here. Yes. Yeah, you will show up for absolutely anyone, everyone. I know, you know, we just met and I know that when you say you will do a thing, you are going to do that thing. and because of your very strong value of service. Purpose, right? you might even put my desires or wants in front of your own. So it's probably not. Listen, for the most part, we're not talking about pushing a boulder up a hill. We're talking about little pebbles in the shoe. So that's for you to pay attention to that little pebble in the shoe that says, okay, so am I honoring my word to myself as much as I honor to other people that matters.

Stephanie: Here's how it shows up. It's in my. The program of the service that I offer to the world and wanting to put out a product and offer that can fit everyone at a price that can fit everyone. And now I'm at the place where it's taking too much time from me. Right? Like I'm making other people like my client as such a passion to help them. But it's now beginning because the business is increasing that it's becoming more hurtful to me. Like I haven't figured out how to put boundaries there.

Tanya: Exactly. Which is exactly where the healer comes in because your job as a healer is to remember to put yourself in your own circle of care. That's the job.

Stephanie: And sometimes the cost to do that is a difficult decision.

Tanya: huh. Yep. Not having to make some uncomfortable nose right that not to just that it's not even a right fit but you're you're at an inflection point. And what got you here isn't going to get you there and that requires even more discernment, and then recognizing so that it's those boundaries and it's always evolving, so you might have great boundaries compared to where you were before, but you just did a new at this new inflection point at this new level of your expansion. It's going to require different from you.

Stephanie: AndI love how you talk about inflection that next level up.

Stephanie: Would you say that imposter complex? Because of our socialization and for me, particularly around body will show up at every level.

Tanya: Exactly. hope I don't smug when I say that, but that's almost by design, right? It's sometimes when people say, I don't experience the imposter complex. What I'll say is. Hi, when was the last time you really swung out because that it is going to show up on the precipice of something new, something that matters, something that is important. So if you're kind of going along and you're just, you know, you're doing the same old thing. No shame if that's the case, but that you're not going to experience imposter complex there. Right. Which is not a bad thing. Listen, I, you know, you see this artwork here. Yeah, I've got art all around the house that my husband and I have done together. I have no imposter complex around that. Care? I do not need to be proficient or excellent in my art. I just enjoy it. I don't need to be, you know, completely proficient in my yoga practice. I enjoy it, but it's going to show up in the places where I am stretching myself and the places that are deeply meaningful to me. And my parenting, my coaching, my speaking, my writing, that's where it's going to show up. And you know, I was in Nashville two weeks ago. And there was a, an experience, you know, October 7th, it just happened. And there was a lot of words not said about what was happening in the world. And I could just feel it. And I had been mentoring some people and I thought we need to acknowledge this. we need to acknowledge that we are really struggling. to find humanity right now, I'm not a meditation coach. I'm not, and I actually wasn't even the keynote at this event. So I was, I keynoted it a couple of times. So it was actually the resident mentor. And I said, listen to the organizers. I need to, we need to take a couple of minutes here. So it led us in a meditation, silent moment, presencing our feelings, you know, just a quiet couple of moments. And I have not experienced the imposter complex in such a large way in a while, because that was a huge edge for me. And it was so interesting to be able to, because that, because I'm not that meditation, you know, I'm not a, I'm actually not a, you know, trauma informed coach. So the idea of taking on this role, cause there wasn't anybody else to take it on that just rankled everything because it was a stretch and because it mattered so much. So when I stood there and I led these 200 people in this quiet moment, I mean, my hands were shaking in ways that. You know, I sat on it. I was on a stage the other day that the Nobel Peace Prize winners won. I didn't feel the same level of imposter complex as I did when I was just trying to bleed a bit of quiet because it's not and because it mattered so much. So sorry to belabor that point. But it's at the edge of our expansion. And it actually had realized, it had been a while since I felt that shakiness that the impostor complex can bring. And again, I don't think it's a bad thing. I think it's a reminder that we have this deep value of integrity and we want our work to matter and to do things that matter and that are have meaning.

Tanya: I

Stephanie: love how and I, because in coaching I do the same thing, like the bodily symptoms are just messages of realignment and how you speak about the imposter complex. That's just. Realignment and guiding you to like, have those conversations and be the mentor that has those very difficult conversations that are, you're not skilled for, you just know that you need to have it.

Tanya: I'd say, you know, at the top of almost every conversation or the top of every speaking keynote that I do, I'll say, the reason this work matters to me is, how are we going to have the conversations that really matter? The risky conversations. If we can barely talk about the things that reside in the wheelhouse of our excellence.

Tanya: How can we talk about social justice if we can barely say, you know what, I'm a really great coach. Like, how are we going to do that if we can't do the things that we have? We have incontrovertible proof that we are excellent at what we do, and yet we're still going to have these conversations. We need to have the proficiency in doing the difficult things, and we need to be able to stretch.

Stephanie: Yeah, because as you're saying that I'm reading my notes, owning your authority, which is really what the iconic impact is, which is really what imposter complex is trying to stem us away from is owning our authority. And as we evolve, our authority will always increase

Tanya: and evolve. Yeah. Absolutely. You know, there are a lot of things, I think, back to a lot of the things that, you know, I might have said, you know, when I was first starting out that I don't, that I've evolved. I won't say that I don't believe them anymore, but they've evolved. So as long as we're growing and evolving, we're always going to be hitting these different places and it's going to show up differently, at every level of our expansion, if we're doing this anyway.

Stephanie: Yeah. And if we're doing it in alignment to contribute and have an impact into the world.

Tanya: Yeah, absolutely. So we talked about the healer. So, you know, I'm so excited for folks to do the quiz. The quiz. You know, for me, I'm a host because I present with people pleasing. Stephanie, I want you to just really, really love me. I want to make sure that you and I feel really, really connected. Right? So there's a way in which my people pleasing. you know, I've always been something of a people pleaser. I'm a Libran. I want people to like me. I, you know, that's just the way it is. I also want to feel, have people feel very deeply included and seen and Comfortable in my presence, this makes me the host, that's my iconic identity, that of the host, which means that when I'm at the front of that stage, I'm going to make you feel seen, known, included, part of it.

Tanya: I also put on a heck of a good party and a heck of a good retreat. So that's helpful in my business to remember those things about myself. So the quiz is intended to help folks in their business as well. you know, those who are perfectionists. lean into your value of excellence, which shows that you know, really that CEO part of yourself really wants to be explored and expanded upon. So I'm excited for folks to try the quiz.

Stephanie: So, and we're closing this conversation here, would you say the best place for people to get to know you more and know your work more is the quiz? And then I think so.

Tanya: I think so. You know, I'm a host. I want you to show up and receive something as soon as you get to meet me. So yeah, do the quiz. Absolutely. It's tanyageisler. com slash quiz. And then of course, feel free to connect with me any place on social media. I'd love to hear what people came up with. And then just like yours, you know, they don't necessarily always get the thing that you want, or think that it's going to be, I mean, who doesn't want to be the visionary? Who doesn't want to be the CEO? Yeah. but there's always some honey in there to be explored. So I hope that's helpful for you as the healer.

Stephanie: Yeah. And what's the podcast name again? Because people are listening

Tanya: to this on the podcast. Yeah. Ready enough. Ready enough with Tanya Geisler. So that's where I stop. I'm going to speak with other folks who have experienced imposter complex at different intersections than I have, because I'm not the teacher for everyone on this particular topic, right? so that's a great place to go. It's been on hiatus because the last episode we did was with Deepa Iyer, who was talking about, Different roles inside of social change. And I thought can't be talked. So we're about to, yeah, we left it there. We're like, that's good night, Cleveland. so we're rebooting it with just with Tanya Geisler. So that's going to be happening soon, but by all means, the conversations that are over, in that series are really deep and meaningful. So thank you so much for having me here today.

Stephanie: Thank you for being here. And it's, the first conversation, hopefully of many. Thank you.

Tanya: I love that. I love that. Thank you. Thank you.

.

Imposter Complex with Tanya Geisler

Tanya: This is episode 383 of the beyond the food show. And today we’re going to redefine in such a powerful way, the imposter feelings that we are experiencing with an expert on the topic. Tanya Gisler. Stay tuned.

Hello, my sister. I am excited to bring this episode to you because this is one of those episodes where I’m bringing forward the people that are in my life, people that are guiding me, people that are coaching me, people that I follow on Instagram that inspired the work that I do. And one of them is Tanya gisler, she is a leadership coach, a speaker, and she teach very specifically on imposter complex. Now, you’ve heard me talk about imposter feelings and imposter syndrome for Years overwhelmed, the last 382 episode, and today we’re talking about impostor complex for a very specific reason. So one of the thing that I did when I entered Tanya’s World is I did one of those quiz, you know, that coaches like me and her have on their website to get to know the work of the coach and get to know if you’re the right fit to work with them. And she has this imposter complex quiz. And I couldn’t believe the result that I got out of her quiz. And since I had her on the podcast, I thought, You know what? Coach me on the result of your quiz that I did. And it’s going to blow your mind what came out of that coaching that she did for me on my own version of imposter complex.

And then we’re going to also talk about owning our authority and how to create what she calls iconic impact. Once we redefine what imposter feelings are and how we can think about it from a powerful way, we unfold our authority and our impact into the world. And I’m a firm believer that in order for us to live a fulfilling, happy life, we need to have impact in the world beyond ourself. We need to externally impact the world, not just internal in our own life. So how to find that impact so we can contribute to the world and create good around us and create our own happiness. So without any further ado, my team will roll in the interview with Tanya, which was such a treat to record for you.

Stephanie: Welcome to the show, Tanya.

Tanya: Oh, I’m delighted to be here. Delighted to be here.

Stephanie: I’m excited to have you on and have a conversation about the imposter complex, as you name it, and the imposter syndrome that I’ve been using the name with because I think there is. A lot of that in my community as women are working through claiming back their power by accepting themselves and their body and a lot of us have had the, what you call the side effect, right? The procrastination and the. Playing small in our life. So what do you define as the imposter complex?

Tanya: Okay, well, it’s impossible to not attribute the teachers. So, Pauline Clance and Susan Imes with a clinical psychologist. To coin the phrase imposter phenomenon back in 1978, so they were working with high functioning, high achieving women and academia and notice that these women, no matter how successful they were, seemed incapable of internalizing their success. So any success they had, they would chalk up to luck, fluke, timing, or having somehow managed to convince people they were smarter or more capable than they actually were. Ding, ding, ding, right? Their failures, they were more than able to internalize, but their successes, they would chalk it up to some external factor.

Tanya: So that’s really where it begins. And since probably 2010, I’ve been really deep in the analysis of understanding it from my lived experience, and definitely through the thousands of folks that I’ve worked with in the tens of thousands I’ve been speaking with since 2010, 2012, really specifically, I did a TEDx talk in 2012.

Tanya: And that’s really been the genesis of this work for me.

Stephanie: So the ability to internalize our

Tanya: success. Yeah. Or the inability to internalize our success. Right. Or like, to look at it from all the external factors. You also notice that I use imposter complex, not imposter syndrome. Yeah. And I know, listen, like, we all talk about it. SEO people are so annoyed with me consistently because people are searching imposter syndrome. however, syndrome suggests a clinical diagnosis. And so when we talk about a syndrome, any of our listeners who have any kind of diagnosed syndromes, you understand what it feels like when a medical term gets co opted. Right? So the idea, like shiny object syndrome. is not going to be found in the DSM IV, right? So, so I just, I would really like to be as precise about language as possible, right? Like, I’m always going to get something a little bit wrong, but this has just been something I’ve been aware of for a while. And I know folks that have, you know, diagnosed syndromes really do appreciate it. So it’s not a clinical diagnosis. It’s a phenomenon. It’s an experience. Listen, I’m not even sure what Carl or would have to say about me calling it a complex. But I also my friend and coach Desiree Attaway reminds me that it’s, it is complex, right?it is a complex, but it’s also very complex. And there’s a something about the double entendre that makes me feel like I like being reminded about the complexities of this lived experience.

Stephanie: I was listening to your TEDx talk before in preparation for this interview, and one thing that struck me right off the bat, as you said, man also experience imposter complex. Talk to me about that. How this shows up in women versus men differently.

Tanya: I mean, it’s complex, right? it’s very layered. So it really has a lot to do with how we have been conditioned. as you will have heard in the TEDx talk, I do talk about Valerie Young’s book, Secret Thoughts of Successful Women. She actually has since then said, I really wish I hadn’t have just called it just for women because men do experience it as well. The reality is, any time that we feel, Oh, I’ve got so many things I want to say, like, which door do I go in? Folks who experience the imposter complex have beautiful values of integrity, excellence, and proficiency. I always think that’s really good news. And usually we experience the imposter complex at the precipice of our expansion, at the precipice of something new, meaningful, important. We also know that the ways that we navigate the imposter complex or the ways that it gets it’s tripped up are conditioned in some ways. So, you know, we’ll talk about this. I’m sure a little bit more, but the 6 behavioral traits that it shows up with our comparison diminishment. People pleasing, leaky boundaries, procrastination, imperfectionism. And even though the conversation around this experience has been largely gendered, we also know that there are different ways in which we are conditioned. It’s females, males, And I also want to acknowledge, and I think it’s really important that I name for you and for our listeners that I approach this content in this context from my lens of experience as a white neurotypical able bodied woman of middle class means. Everything that I say, you know, other folks are going to experience it differently than I do.

Tanya: Right? So there’s a way in which, of course, we are all in the same shared space. We’re not having the same shared experience. So, you know, all generalizations are kind of off the table. That said, folks who have those beautiful values are going to experience it. folks who have been different Conditioned and socialized to be outside of the dominant culture are going to have a, more exacerbated sense of it.

Tanya: With permission, I talk about my husband, Greg. White, neurotypical dude of middle class means living in North America. He and I are both in agreement that the world that I live in has been designed for him. It just has. It just has. so for every concentric circle that we are distanced from Greg by gender, class, age, you know, we are going to have an exacerbated sense of it. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t experience it. Trust me when I tell you that he experiences the imposter complex because he has those beautiful values. And as long as he continues to stretch himself, he’s going to experience it, but it gets exacerbated the further out we are from his lived experience.

Tanya: track.

Stephanie: Totally. I’ll present you something and you tell me what you think. So I was in the corporate world before choosing a career of impact, which is to help women with their bodies. I was in the corporate world in a world dominated by men in the retail industry. And I experienced imposter complex with the ultimate symptoms of panic attack, where like Collapsed on stage. And when I look back at that, it was clearly me feeling not good enough in the world of men. And one of the things that I did throughout my glass ceiling breaking career was trying to take less space by shrinking my body. Do you see that presentation of posture complex specifically with women and body size?

Tanya: Absolutely. Absolutely. Particularly in the space of literally diminishment, right? I would say the diminishment, let me just be very clear. If we were to, you and I sit across the table and take the blocks and say, which is more female conditioning is, which is more male conditioning. I would say 100%. Diminishment would have everything to do with female conditioning because it comes back to the language around. Don’t take too much space. Good girls don’t so on and so forth. Now, again, there’s a different context. I told you, I just came back from Norway. folks in the Norwegian culture, men and women all assigned, there is a literally a group of, there’s a list of rules called Janteloven, which are really about not thinking that you are any better than anybody else. Do not shine too bright, do not take up too much space. So that’s less about a male female. That’s more of a cultural thing. So it’s like, it makes, it matters where you are, but in the sort of the North American, shall we say that kind of that framework that definitely comes down to a quality of diminishment, not taking up too much space and then what do we do with the, we need to shrink and we start to get literally, we need to shrink. We need to just, yeah. I, and I feel that viscerally. And I have the same, I have a very similar background. I was in advertising. and, you know, I mean, I’d say there are a lot of women in advertising, but not at the very top, not where I want it to be. Right. so yes. and I remember thinking that there was a definite, there was going to be a definite link between my body size and how far I was going to be able to go or not.

Stephanie: It’s very interesting. The more I coach women, the more I find the same pattern and in my personal healing. Of accepting my body, what I realized recently. Is that I also heal the imposter complex and became more as what you call iconic, like impact into the world. Like, there’s a direct correlation between my body liberation and the impact that I have into the world.

Tanya: A hundred percent, a hundred percent. Oh my goodness. I, on my ready enough podcast. Where I talk to people who have experienced imposter complex at different, intersections than I do. I spoke with Hillary Canavia about fat phobia and how the, and how that relates inextricably with imposter complex. Absolutely could not agree.

Stephanie: So when you talk about moving to iconic impact, right? Yes. Can you define that more for me and the people listening?

Tanya: I will do my very best because it’s actually ever evolving. And I actually want to start through a different doorway if you don’t mind. And that’s because I want to talk about how, you know, the imposter complex, it wants to keep us out of action. It wants to have us down our capacity and it wants to keep us alone and isolated. So it does so by in a couple of very specific ways. we don’t want to feel like the imposter because it’s a terrible feeling. It’s a terrible feeling to feel like you don’t belong. and it’s part that’s, you know, very tribal essential need is to which is why we don’t, you know, we fear success as much as we fear failure because on either We are othered than the group.

Tanya: So we don’t want to feel like that. It feels terrible. So we’re going to hide out in specific behaviors, procrastination, perfectionism, diminishment, comparison, people pleasing, leaky boundaries. So we all know that those are bad and slapping bad. Just stop doing that. Just stopping people. Please. They’re stopping a perfection. Stop comparing yourself. Come on now. And you know, the self development industry. Let’s face it, it’s a 44 billion industry. That is a lot of money invested in making people feel like shit about themselves. So, it’s really, it behooves the industry to make people feel terrible. So, all the books about stop doing all of these things.

Tanya: So, I like to look at it a little bit differently and say what if we actually looked at those behaviors as the relational traits and attributes that they actually are. What if we looked at the fact that, yeah, your perfectionism means you deeply value excellence, that your people pleasing actually means that you value inclusivity, that you compare yourself because connection reigns supreme with you. You’re a procrastinator, or you procrastinate because you value discernment. You have potentially leaky boundaries because you are deeply generous with your resources, your time, your care, your compassion. Your diminishment simply has a lot to do with your value of humility. And so when I look at that through that lens, that we do these things that we’ve been made to feel so wrong and so bad about, the door for what becomes possible is open. and so I look at, you know, I talk about leadership and I’m a leadership coach. When I look at those values of excellence and, you know, humility and inclusivity and generosity and connection, my heart opens. that’s the kind of leader I intend to be. That’s the kind of leader I wanted to be. So leveraging the golden shadow that these identities hold, or these, these behavioral traits hold, where, that’s where it’s possible.

Stephanie: Ooh, a little bit of Francais. So, let’s give an example to people, because I did your quiz. I watched TEDx, and I did your quiz. Yep, yep, yep, yep. So the quiz will be in the show notes for people to do and invite everybody to do. I was shocked. I got the trait of healer

Tanya: and interesting. I know. Oh, well, that’s interesting.

Stephanie: So I’d be very interesting because like. Obviously, I’ve had a huge transformation in the last 11 years. So I’m like corporate high end, like vice president personality to who I am today. And then it says that my leaky

Tanya: boundaries. I have boundaries.

Stephanie: You sure you do. So talk to me about this result and what that could potentially mean.

Tanya: Oh, that’s so interesting. If I were being, as I’m being really honest, I would say if I’m being honest, I’m always being honest. as I’m being really honest, that is not what I would have Guests for you. I feel like you’ve got excellent boundaries. in fact, I wanted to acknowledge your boundaries, because I think we don’t have enough good models of excellent boundaries.

Tanya: And I do think that you have them. So it just makes me wonder when that shows up. You know, I feel like you have a very strong value of integrity. And I feel like you show up quite authentically. So a couple of the characteristics that I’m usually on the lookout for, how loyal people are being to their vision and how well they honor their word to themselves as much as to other people. So that may, that’s it, right? Sothis quiz is intended to open up a portal to, yeah, you might have a, you might have a handle on this, but where else? Yes,

Stephanie: that’s that’s exactly that’s exactly because I have the boundaries like I have in my business and personal. I’ve got excellent. They weren’t there before, but there are now, but I think it’s more how I honoring myself versus others. I think that’s the

Tanya: big piece here. Yes. Yeah, you will show up for absolutely anyone, everyone. I know, you know, we just met and I know that when you say you will do a thing, you are going to do that thing. and because of your very strong value of service. Purpose, right? you might even put my desires or wants in front of your own. So it’s probably not. Listen, for the most part, we’re not talking about pushing a boulder up a hill. We’re talking about little pebbles in the shoe. So that’s for you to pay attention to that little pebble in the shoe that says, okay, so am I honoring my word to myself as much as I honor to other people that matters.

Stephanie: Here’s how it shows up. It’s in my. The program of the service that I offer to the world and wanting to put out a product and offer that can fit everyone at a price that can fit everyone. And now I’m at the place where it’s taking too much time from me. Right? Like I’m making other people like my client as such a passion to help them. But it’s now beginning because the business is increasing that it’s becoming more hurtful to me. Like I haven’t figured out how to put boundaries there.

Tanya: Exactly. Which is exactly where the healer comes in because your job as a healer is to remember to put yourself in your own circle of care. That’s the job.

Stephanie: And sometimes the cost to do that is a difficult decision.

Tanya: huh. Yep. Not having to make some uncomfortable nose right that not to just that it’s not even a right fit but you’re you’re at an inflection point. And what got you here isn’t going to get you there and that requires even more discernment, and then recognizing so that it’s those boundaries and it’s always evolving, so you might have great boundaries compared to where you were before, but you just did a new at this new inflection point at this new level of your expansion. It’s going to require different from you.

Stephanie: AndI love how you talk about inflection that next level up.

Stephanie: Would you say that imposter complex? Because of our socialization and for me, particularly around body will show up at every level.

Tanya: Exactly. hope I don’t smug when I say that, but that’s almost by design, right? It’s sometimes when people say, I don’t experience the imposter complex. What I’ll say is. Hi, when was the last time you really swung out because that it is going to show up on the precipice of something new, something that matters, something that is important. So if you’re kind of going along and you’re just, you know, you’re doing the same old thing. No shame if that’s the case, but that you’re not going to experience imposter complex there. Right. Which is not a bad thing. Listen, I, you know, you see this artwork here. Yeah, I’ve got art all around the house that my husband and I have done together. I have no imposter complex around that. Care? I do not need to be proficient or excellent in my art. I just enjoy it. I don’t need to be, you know, completely proficient in my yoga practice. I enjoy it, but it’s going to show up in the places where I am stretching myself and the places that are deeply meaningful to me. And my parenting, my coaching, my speaking, my writing, that’s where it’s going to show up. And you know, I was in Nashville two weeks ago. And there was a, an experience, you know, October 7th, it just happened. And there was a lot of words not said about what was happening in the world. And I could just feel it. And I had been mentoring some people and I thought we need to acknowledge this. we need to acknowledge that we are really struggling. to find humanity right now, I’m not a meditation coach. I’m not, and I actually wasn’t even the keynote at this event. So I was, I keynoted it a couple of times. So it was actually the resident mentor. And I said, listen to the organizers. I need to, we need to take a couple of minutes here. So it led us in a meditation, silent moment, presencing our feelings, you know, just a quiet couple of moments. And I have not experienced the imposter complex in such a large way in a while, because that was a huge edge for me. And it was so interesting to be able to, because that, because I’m not that meditation, you know, I’m not a, I’m actually not a, you know, trauma informed coach. So the idea of taking on this role, cause there wasn’t anybody else to take it on that just rankled everything because it was a stretch and because it mattered so much. So when I stood there and I led these 200 people in this quiet moment, I mean, my hands were shaking in ways that. You know, I sat on it. I was on a stage the other day that the Nobel Peace Prize winners won. I didn’t feel the same level of imposter complex as I did when I was just trying to bleed a bit of quiet because it’s not and because it mattered so much. So sorry to belabor that point. But it’s at the edge of our expansion. And it actually had realized, it had been a while since I felt that shakiness that the impostor complex can bring. And again, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think it’s a reminder that we have this deep value of integrity and we want our work to matter and to do things that matter and that are have meaning.

Tanya: I

Stephanie: love how and I, because in coaching I do the same thing, like the bodily symptoms are just messages of realignment and how you speak about the imposter complex. That’s just. Realignment and guiding you to like, have those conversations and be the mentor that has those very difficult conversations that are, you’re not skilled for, you just know that you need to have it.

Tanya: I’d say, you know, at the top of almost every conversation or the top of every speaking keynote that I do, I’ll say, the reason this work matters to me is, how are we going to have the conversations that really matter? The risky conversations. If we can barely talk about the things that reside in the wheelhouse of our excellence.

Tanya: How can we talk about social justice if we can barely say, you know what, I’m a really great coach. Like, how are we going to do that if we can’t do the things that we have? We have incontrovertible proof that we are excellent at what we do, and yet we’re still going to have these conversations. We need to have the proficiency in doing the difficult things, and we need to be able to stretch.

Stephanie: Yeah, because as you’re saying that I’m reading my notes, owning your authority, which is really what the iconic impact is, which is really what imposter complex is trying to stem us away from is owning our authority. And as we evolve, our authority will always increase

Tanya: and evolve. Yeah. Absolutely. You know, there are a lot of things, I think, back to a lot of the things that, you know, I might have said, you know, when I was first starting out that I don’t, that I’ve evolved. I won’t say that I don’t believe them anymore, but they’ve evolved. So as long as we’re growing and evolving, we’re always going to be hitting these different places and it’s going to show up differently, at every level of our expansion, if we’re doing this anyway.

Stephanie: Yeah. And if we’re doing it in alignment to contribute and have an impact into the world.

Tanya: Yeah, absolutely. So we talked about the healer. So, you know, I’m so excited for folks to do the quiz. The quiz. You know, for me, I’m a host because I present with people pleasing. Stephanie, I want you to just really, really love me. I want to make sure that you and I feel really, really connected. Right? So there’s a way in which my people pleasing. you know, I’ve always been something of a people pleaser. I’m a Libran. I want people to like me. I, you know, that’s just the way it is. I also want to feel, have people feel very deeply included and seen and Comfortable in my presence, this makes me the host, that’s my iconic identity, that of the host, which means that when I’m at the front of that stage, I’m going to make you feel seen, known, included, part of it.

Tanya: I also put on a heck of a good party and a heck of a good retreat. So that’s helpful in my business to remember those things about myself. So the quiz is intended to help folks in their business as well. you know, those who are perfectionists. lean into your value of excellence, which shows that you know, really that CEO part of yourself really wants to be explored and expanded upon. So I’m excited for folks to try the quiz.

Stephanie: So, and we’re closing this conversation here, would you say the best place for people to get to know you more and know your work more is the quiz? And then I think so.

Tanya: I think so. You know, I’m a host. I want you to show up and receive something as soon as you get to meet me. So yeah, do the quiz. Absolutely. It’s tanyageisler. com slash quiz. And then of course, feel free to connect with me any place on social media. I’d love to hear what people came up with. And then just like yours, you know, they don’t necessarily always get the thing that you want, or think that it’s going to be, I mean, who doesn’t want to be the visionary? Who doesn’t want to be the CEO? Yeah. but there’s always some honey in there to be explored. So I hope that’s helpful for you as the healer.

Stephanie: Yeah. And what’s the podcast name again? Because people are listening

Tanya: to this on the podcast. Yeah. Ready enough. Ready enough with Tanya Geisler. So that’s where I stop. I’m going to speak with other folks who have experienced imposter complex at different intersections than I have, because I’m not the teacher for everyone on this particular topic, right? so that’s a great place to go. It’s been on hiatus because the last episode we did was with Deepa Iyer, who was talking about, Different roles inside of social change. And I thought can’t be talked. So we’re about to, yeah, we left it there. We’re like, that’s good night, Cleveland. so we’re rebooting it with just with Tanya Geisler. So that’s going to be happening soon, but by all means, the conversations that are over, in that series are really deep and meaningful. So thank you so much for having me here today.

Stephanie: Thank you for being here. And it’s, the first conversation, hopefully of many. Thank you.

Tanya: I love that. I love that. Thank you. Thank you.

 

 

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I’m Stephanie Dodier – Clinical Nutritionist, Intuitive Eating expert, host of the Going BeyondTheFood podcast, and Creator of the Going BeyondTheFood Method™️, which was born from my own journey with chronic dieting & body image and has since grown into a global movement.

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