Beyond The Waiting Place: How to Turn Imposter Syndrome into Action 👊

New month, new start, right?

We often see the dawn of a new month as a chance to reset, make small changes, or commit to something fresh. But here’s a little secret: any moment is perfect for beginning anew, not just the start of a month, week, or even a day.

 

In working with women leaders at all ages and stages, both highly seasoned and as green as can be, one common thread ties them all: the battle with inner doubts and limiting beliefs.

Astonishingly, 75% of women executives experience imposter syndrome, holding them back from truly stepping into their potential. And it’s not just in the boardroom; 89% of women skip out on life’s meaningful moments when they don’t like what they see in the mirror! Imagine the experiences and connections we miss out on because of these self-imposed limitations.

 

Now, if you can at all relate, let me assure you, you’re in good company.

And there’s even better news: there is a way out!

 

Many of us find ourselves in what I like to call ‘The Waiting Place’—a concept I borrow from the wise Dr. Seuss. It’s that all-too-familiar zone where we’re just waiting:

Waiting for a train to go

or a bus to come, or a plane to go

or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow

or waiting around for a yes or no

or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting…

 

We’re waiting for the perfect moment, for fear to subside, for everything to be “just right.” But life is happening now, in the midst of the waits and pauses.

We spend a staggering amount of our lives waiting in the literal sense. Did you know the average person will spend roughly 650 hours waiting for buses, trains, and other forms of transit. Six months waiting in line, and the equivalent of 22 weeks on hold over the phone.

That’s a LOT of time waiting!

While technology might shave off some of this external waiting, there’s a far more dangerous and detrimental kind we impose on ourselves. This internal waiting – postponing action towards our goals and dreams – is entirely within our control, and yet, it’s costing us even more time.

I’ll be honest – I’ve visited ‘The Waiting Place’ more than I care to admit. But I’m now on a mission to ensure others break free from this cycle sooner rather than later.

Why do we end up here? Fear, perfectionism, comparison, self-doubt… the list goes on. But in the meantime, so does our life.

 

Here’s the real kicker: life has already begun. It’s happening right here, right now.

 

So, what can we do? Here’s a straightforward, simple, albeit not easy, three-step process to break free:

 

Awareness:

Start by getting curious about your thoughts and fears. Identify where you might be holding yourself back. No judgment, just observation.

 

Acceptance:

Embrace where you are, and more importantly, choose it. Full ownership of our current state is the first step towards change. (And trust me, I have spent a LOT of time wishing my reality wasn’t so… but all of that time only cost me more time…)

Action:

Now, the crucial part — taking that first step, no matter how small. What tiny action can you commit to in the next 24-48 hours that moves you even a fraction closer to where you want to be, or what you want to do?

Maybe it’s penciling in time to explore that dream vacation, or find out where you can learn how to roller skate. Perhaps it’s setting reminders on your phone to drink more water. It might even be reaching out to have that brave conversation you’ve been putting off for far too long.

 

Are you ready to step out of ‘The Waiting Place,’ and into your bravest, biggest life?

 

I dare you to start today. Because if not now, oh brave one, then when?

You’ve got this, and I’ve got you.

 

Carol's name in cursive

 

P.S. If you’re on the brink of something big, and need that extra push or some tough love, I have a few exclusive spots open for women ready to play bigger. Feel like this could be you? Message me and let’s hop on a call!

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Carol Schulte

Carol is a published author, has been featured in numerous magazines and podcasts, and is a returning guest expert on Rogers TV. Having lived and worked in 16 countries including Ashrams in India and vans in New Zealand, rocked dreadlocks in Thailand and shaved her head for breast cancer, she certainly walks her talk and brings a global perspective to all she does. When she’s not traveling or speaking on stage, you can find her volunteering as a bereavement facilitator, training for her next triathlon, or practicing her serious carpool karaoke game.

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