Do you ever feel like you are an imposter? Do you worry about people finding out that you are not as confident as you seem?

I speak to a lot of people who feel as if they will be found out, they feel like imposters (hence the term ‘Imposter Syndrome’) including those who are really successful in their careers.

One person with Imposter Syndrome I worked with was a Chief Executive who on the surface was confident, motivated and inspirational. On the inside, she had self-doubt and did not believe she was capable of anything. She doubted her right to lead and was certain that other people could tell that she was an imposter.

Other people looking at her thought she was amazing and of course, she was. She just couldn’t believe it about herself.

I worked with her on a number of levels including one to one in executive coaching sessions and during NLP Practitioner training.

During an executive coaching session, she identified that she had an internal voice that was telling her she didn’t know what she was doing, that she knew nothing about business.

She realised it sounded like her Dad and was repeating generalised beliefs that he had about women in the business world.

You may have noticed similar internal self-talk that may be criticising you or doubting you. Of course, these voices are all part of you and very normal. However, this internal self-talk can really have an impact on how you feel and behave. The phrases your self-talk keep repeating are internalised versions of messages you received during your childhood. These create the beliefs you hold about yourself.

Using NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) I coached the CEO in this example, in a simple technique that allowed her to change the qualities of this voice.  She made the voice sound silly so she could no longer take it seriously.

By changing the quality of the voice I was able to help her change the impact of her internal self-talk.  Thus removing her ‘Imposter Syndrome’.

Within a month she noticed significant changes in her confidence and her ability to value herself. As an added bonus it also improved her real-time relationship with her Dad as she became better able to filter out his negative opinions and focus on the good part of the bond she had with him.

NLP has a lot of simple immediate applications in both the workplace and your personal life that can help you to make a significant change in how you feel about yourself particularly with issues such as imposter syndrome.

Creating change from Imposter SyndromeThis client also chose to take the full NLP Practitioner training with us so she could develop a set of self-coaching skills that would help her on a day to day basis.

Do you ever feel like something is holding you back? Maybe you even recognise that imposter syndrome is something you experience too?


If you would like to find out how to develop your own self-coaching tools or to gain some personal coaching

email me at to arrange an initial, free discovery phone call.

Melody Cheal MSc MAPP
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