I can self motivation - cutting the lett

Overcoming anxiety, imposter syndrome and gaining confidence

The situation

  • Laura worked for herself but had, as she said 'lost her mojo'. Even though she wasn't employed, she still showed signs of feeling like an imposter in her profession. She attributed any past success to things that had nothing to do with her. She didn't feel confident about her ability to win work, didn't feel she was good enough in her own right and was feeling anxious about the smallest things every day. She was constantly imagining and planning for worst case scenarios. 

 

What we did

  • Set up an 'anchor' so that Laura could easily change her state whenever she got anxious  When we first started the session, and as Laura told me about her issue, it was clear that she was in 'survival' mode. She was feeling stressed and her 'fight, flight or freeze response' that we developed for dealing with bears and other threats was now in full flow. She needed to get into a calm place to be able to think clearly during our session. I talked her through how to go into peripheral vision, a state that allows you to feel calm and centred and we set up an 'anchor' so that whenever she said 'relax' to herself, she would go back into that state she had just learnt.

  • Tackling imposter syndrome and confidence Imposter syndrome is really about not feeling 'good enough' in whatever way you define that to be. If you feel good enough and you acknowledge that you'll cope when things don't go according to plan, you can feel confident. As with the case study for Fiona, a trip down memory lane helped Laura to notice how much she had achieved and how much she had coped with in her life. She was able to recognise her strengths, her confident self began to return and the imposter began to disappear.

  • Tackling anxiety​

    • Laura could still imagine the worst case scenario at the drop of a hat, so although she felt she could do the things she needed to do now, she still imagined catastrophe around every corner. ​

    • We were quickly able to trace back to where this pattern had started. During childhood, Laura had some nasty shocks that had been deeply upsetting and shook her world. Nothing was certain after that and her 'awful-ising' pattern was an attempt to protect her and make sure she was always prepared.

    • We explored how well this strategy was working for her and what else she could learn from those previous events and others like them that could help her do something differently going forward. This learning gave her different options and a new thought habit to install.

The result 

Laura

  • Had an immediate tool she could use that would get her back to a calm state whenever she began to feel anxious or stressed.

  • Her confidence was back and she recognised she had what it took to be a success in her profession in her own right. She stopped feeling like an imposter.

  • She had a different way to think about the future and not feel anxious about it. One that would allow her to relax into the present and focus on what was important to her in the moment. And she saved lots of time and energy by not constantly planning for the worst case scenario.

What my client said 

I would recommend some 'Mary Magic' to anyone. She is warm and constructive and I felt extremely comfortable and supported, even when I wittered on I didn't feel judged, just understood.

 

The peripheral vision anchor has been really useful, as was remembering what I have achieved. I realise now that I'm very capable, worrying won't change the outcome and if the worst happens I'll deal with it as I always do. So I'm confident, able to control anxious thoughts as they arise and can ignore my negative internal monologue.

 

I feel I've benefited a huge amount. I'm earning, I'm calmer and more confident. It's no coincidence that since I met Mary, I've gone from not having the courage to pitch to anyone, to having more work than I can handle.