If you’re on social media, you’ve probably heard the term “imposter complex” or “imposter syndrome”. Today I’m bringing in the “reluctant expert in the imposter complex”, as she likes to describe herself – Tanya Geisler to talk all about the imposter complex.

In this episode, we cover:

  • What is the imposter complex?
  • How the imposter complex shows up in entrepreneurs
  • People pleasing, inclusivity, comparing, and procrastination
  • Perfectionism
  • The way social media expects us to behave
  • How we can become more aware of the imposter complex and recognize when we’re working against ourselves

Read the full transcript

Tanya Geisler 0:00
You know, we are humans human being and we are really lousy judges of ourselves comparing to other people, right? It’s perpetually this, you know, comparing our it’s tried at this point, but there’s nothing better. You know, we’re comparing our be real right with everybody else’s highlight reel. We’ve always done that. Social media just amplifies that in lots of different ways.

Meg Casebolt 0:23
You’re listening to social slowdown a podcast for entrepreneurs and micro businesses looking for sustainable marketing strategies without being dependent on social media. Social media is a double edged sword. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected, but it also can feel like an addictive obligation. And it’s even more complex for businesses, your audience might be right there, but you’ve got to fight with algorithms to maybe be seen by them. So whether you want to abandon social media altogether, or you just want to take a month off, it’s possible to have a thriving business without being dependent on social media. This podcast is all about finding creative, sustainable ways to engage with your audience without needing to lipsync send a cold DMS, run ads or be available 24/7. Let’s get started. Hello, and welcome to the social slowdown podcast. I am so excited to have my friend and mentor Tanya Geisler here with me today. Tanya, thank you so much for being here.

Tanya Geisler 1:22
Delighted. It’s been a high point of this week, let me tell you to seeing this on my calendar I’ve been so looking forward to it.

Meg Casebolt 1:28
I am so excited to have this conversation with you. If you guys have not yet heard of Tanya, I’ll give you just a quick moment to explain your expertise and your approach to the way that that entrepreneurs show up in business and then we can kind of just dive right into what it is that you do best. So please take the floor, Tanya.

Tanya Geisler 1:51
Well, I chuckled because I realized I was gonna have to say the words that I that I find that are still so meaningful to me. I’m a reluctant expert in the imposter complex. I I literally did not go looking for this this experience came looking for me and so I’ve been in deep study deep analysis of it personally, and I you know, Game Changing clients, my disruptor clients for the last 17 years 17 years the How can either canteen, I actually realized that this is the 10th anniversary of my TEDx talk that I did it well in 2012. Obviously, I remember after having done that, maybe three years later, somebody said, Oh, you’re the one who did that classic talk and like three years makes it a classic talk, what is going on? That is the that is my my area of expertise. And like I say I’m reluctant because it like it just means that I have to keep coming up against it time and time again to make sure that my processes are in integrity.

Meg Casebolt 3:03
Yes, because imposter complex, or some people call it impostor syndrome. Same thing, just you know, complex is a little bit more accurate of a term. So I want to acknowledge that in case people are like, Well, I’ve heard of impostor syndrome, it’s never quite goes away, it just morphs and shows up in different ways in our lives at different points in time. So when you say like, this is something that I’ve been studying, both in your client work and also in your own personal development for 17 years got like your, your imposter complex is going to college, Tonya

Tanya Geisler 3:40
sent it off to his dorm room on now, and literally just sent my kid off to university on the weekend. So there’s that. That is the and I actually really appreciate you naming that. That is true. A lot of folks will know this as imposter syndrome. I do you use complex because syndrome suggests a clinical diagnosis. This is not and I don’t like CO opting medical terms, which is the reason we use complex instead of instead of syndrome. So it is just a little more accurate. And folks who have other syndromes, medical diagnoses, really appreciate that distinction. And words matter, as you know, yes.

Meg Casebolt 4:15
And the way that we show up betters and being in integrity with our words is very important to me. So I love that you make that distinction. So tell me about how the imposter complex often shows up among entrepreneurs and those of us that are self employed, or freelancers or really, people out let’s put it this way, like people who need to go to bat for ourselves, people who need to show up and talk about how great we are. Because we you know those people who are in corporate person, corporate environments, it shows up differently because you’re, you’re in a space where there’s a hierarchy that has been established, whereas when you have to show up and talk to other people in convince them that you are brilliant and you are an expert and they should hire you and they should buy your thing. There’s a totally different mindset and mentality that goes into that conversation than it would be in a different environment. So talk me through like how imposter complex shows up for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Tanya Geisler 5:19
So I’m going to answer that in a little sideways way. And I want to just a little bit what how the imposter complex works. So, you know, first of all, always attribute the teachers. Imposter phenomenon is the term coined by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne IMEs back in 78. And so they were working with high functioning high achieving women, and saw this through line for their experience that it seemed that no matter how successful they were, they would chalk it up to luck, Fluke timing, or external factors that had nothing to do with them. failures, on the other hand, they were more than able to internalize. So that’s sort of the like, that’s kind of like the landscape. It is important to know, though, that the 78 work done was with largely white women and academics. And we so really became very, very gendered conversation. But we also know that people are going to experience it when they have been systemically excluded, marginalized, within and oppressed. And so I think it’s really important to name that I talked about this from my lens as a white neurotypical, able bodied woman of middle class means living in North America, right? So that’s not going to be everybody who’s listening to this, and certainly their experience, but my job as a reluctant, imposter complex, kind of flatten it and say, Okay, we have to understand what the structural issues are happening concurrently. And when we know that it is precisely the imposter complex, here’s how it’s gonna work. And it wants to keep you out of action. It wants to have you doubt your capacity, and it wants to have you alone and isolated. And so when I talk about how I’ve been in the exploration of this, you know, for me, you know, the bumper from my previous podcast was like, to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So for the longest time, everything looked like the imposter complex to me. And then I realized, no, that might be systemic racism, or systemic oppression

Meg Casebolt 7:24
in general systemic, you know, these these systems of oppression, that are telling us that we are not enough and then blaming an imposter complex to take this external problem and turn it into an internal issue in the same way that like, oh, well just pull yourself up by your bootstraps, right? Like not everything is a mindset issue. Sometimes the world is actually working against you. There is patriarchy, and there is racism. And there are these externalize systems of oppression that have nothing to do with how we feel about ourselves, but they are the way that we navigate through the world. So I’m glad that you identified that, that this idea of imposter complex was first identified in white upper class women. And then it was kind of just trickled down by your personal development gurus, for lack of a better term as this is a mindset issue first, yes, this is actually a structural problem.

Tanya Geisler 8:24
It absolutely can be it’s these. Yeah, it’s the manifestation of lots of different things that are going on. And then so, you know, our job is to kind of strip it away. And again, when we recognize what we’re dealing with as imposter complex super specifically, then we can start dealing with the belly of the beast. So I just think that’s really important to name and sort of frame that up in that way.

Meg Casebolt 8:46
And remind me again to because you said went through them very quickly, imposter complex wants to keep you isolated,

Tanya Geisler 8:52
out of action, doubting your capacity and alone and isolated. And I don’t know why that feels like, just the way that I had to, I just have to think about why that order feels important to me, but it’s like, it’s the out of action probably first, really, because that’s like, it stops you like it was up you and that’s what we see a lot in social media, right? Like, when somebody is approaching social media. It’s, it’s just a no or it’s our and then has this doubting our capacity, and then we are alone and isolated inside of that experience. And so to answer your really great question about why, you know, business owners, entrepreneurs might experience that there are a couple of different ways I could we could go into this. One is you know, as you named for folks who are on a more corporate path, it’s a corporate path like we understand like we see where the the guardrails are, we see what the path is. Whereas as an entrepreneur, the more hats you wear, the more places you will feel incompetent. So it’s like never Thanks. So we you need me to be technically a brilliant coach, I need to also be a brilliant speaker, I need to be a brilliant teacher, I also need to be brilliant marketer, I need to be a brilliant analyst I need like, all of these things that I’m to understand will collude to have me feeling less than. So the more hats you’re wearing, the more places it will show up to let you know that you were not living up to its extraordinarily high standards. It’s also important to recognize that each of these aspects matter to you. So this piece of art here, I was going to air quote, art, but it is actually really like it’s melted crayons, I only have original art that my husband and I have created in our house. I have no imposter complex, when it comes to art on my walls. That’s for fun, that’s for me, I don’t need to be excellent at that. I have no need to be an expert, my yoga practice, but my parenting coaching, my speaking of my teaching, those are the places that it is extraordinarily amplified for me, because those are the places that really matter. So it’s a metric of how much something matters. And then it’s also how many multiple, like how many multiple hats were wearing at the same time, as business owners is very important

Meg Casebolt 11:23
to all, especially when you’re first starting out. And you have to really step into that space of saying like, I am the CEO of this business, but I also like have to do my own books, and I’m doing my own marketing, and I’m doing all of these different things. And there’s this push pull of wanting to be, you know, for lack of a better term, like working on your business, working in your business, but like you are the business for the first many years until you’re successful enough to have other people to work with you. And even then you’re the engine that drives the business to a great extent. And so yeah, I think you’re totally right, that often our our self awareness and our self concept can get tied into the success that we are seeing in our business. And there’s always that feeling of like, oh, but everyone else has it figured out and I don’t

Tanya Geisler 12:18
Sure. I think the other piece here is I want mindful but how I say this entrepreneurial lism

Meg Casebolt 12:29
I think so entrepreneurialism, it sounds right.

Tanya Geisler 12:31
Right. It is pretty novel, and entrepreneurship or entrepreneurship, ownership that sounds entrepreneur entrepreneurialism, no. Or ship it as we understand it, is pretty novel. And, you know, so that’s, that’s actually one of the places where where this really butts up against the one of the aspects of imposter complex language we’re gonna get into is how we are tracking next to other people. So again, if you are in a more established profession that’s been around for longer than 17 years, 20 years, whatever, then you know, what the path is, but this sort of, you know, wild west of how people are doing, which is so exciting in so many ways, and so overwhelming, and and, you know, agoraphobia inducing and lots of ways. What, what can I touch right? Like, what’s, what’s mine? What’s mine?

Meg Casebolt 13:38
What’s my right, because 20 years ago, you want to start a business, you’re like, Okay, I went to College of Dentistry, and I’m going to open a dental practice. And in order to do that, I’m gonna go to the bank, and I’m gonna apply for a loan, and I’m gonna get a corporate real estate agent to find me a space. And I’m gonna tell you about hygenist and I’m gonna have this equipment. And I’m gonna have people walk into my office to get their dental cleanings. Like there’s something physically tangible, and financially, there’s like, you have skin in the game, and you have that degree on the wall. And all of that is often required for what I would say is more like traditional entrepreneurship. Whereas I would say like modern entrepreneurship, which is what you and I are engaging in this sort of online business space, like anybody can just throw up a website, hang up a shingle call themselves a coach, or any, you know, anything you can say I’m now a copywriter, because I say so. And the credentialing and the skin in the game and the you know, the you have a certification that proves and there is an identifying body that says that you have done the work like that doesn’t exist anymore. So how do we compare ourselves against anyone else when there isn’t a bank loan that’s going to look at our Business Plan when there isn’t that, you know, that sense of somebody telling us that we have accomplished something.

Tanya Geisler 15:07
Is that is that? And the answer is I don’t know. But I think you know, also, if, you know, literally, when I started my business 17 years ago, I was told to, you know, get make flyers like handing out flyers, that’s, you know, like, that’s just unreal. Like I couldn’t even imagine. Yeah, so and so that’s part of it, too, right? Like, how do you set up a business? And then with all of these different aspects, including social media, and nobody’s figured this out? Like, nobody has figured this out? And also, what we know to be true is that comparison for instance, most certainly predates entrepreneurship, the way that we understand it. Yeah, just, you know, we are humans human being, and we are really lousy judges, of ourselves, comparing to other people, right? It’s perpetually this, you know, comparing our it’s tried at this point, but there’s nothing better. You know, we’re comparing our be real right, with everybody else’s highlight reel. We’ve always done that. Social media just amplifies that lots of different ways. But that does take me to, because I feel like I keep talking around it. If the imposter complex wants to keep us out of action, doubting our capacity, and alone and isolated, it has us hide out and six really specific behaviors. Okay. And this is where I think we do actually have some choices like we definitely have some choices, we have lots of choices, my work actually isn’t about eradicating the imposter complex. It’s about getting comfy with the fact that it ain’t going anywhere. It’s just gonna be. So let’s figure out how to make sure that it’s not the driver’s seat, right. But it’s going to have us hide out and perfectionism and procrastination, and leaky boundaries, and people pleasing and diminishment. And then in comparison, not in that order, necessarily, but those are the ways that it’s going to have us hide out, we don’t want to feel like the imposter. So we go to these behaviors to avoid the experience, right? If my work is above reproach, if it is impeccable in every possible way, the no one will find out that I don’t belong here. No one will find out. So let me work extremely hard. Let me overwork and overproduce and over deliver, and then I’m gonna find out, then all of these things, by the way, are double binds, meaning they get they get to come in and going. So go to perfectionism to avoid feeling with imposter. But then hanging out there. I’m like, wait a minute, why do I have to work so much harder than anybody else? Nobody else has to work this hard. Clearly I don’t belong.

Meg Casebolt 17:56
Right? So even the behavior that we are using to overcome the feeling of not being enough makes us feel less than

Tanya Geisler 18:03
see why I’ve been exploring this for 17 years. I’m like, every time I call a thread, there’s like, whoa, this new world. For procrastination, you know, same same thing. I’m going to procrastinate. But then in so procrastinating, again, look around, see that other people are, you know, producing great stuff, or when I finally deliver the thing, it’s not going to be up to my own capability. Because all of that fear and worry and recrimination and stress, that means that it delivered not something that wasn’t as great as it could be, which proves to me that I’m the imposter that I don’t belong. Right?

Meg Casebolt 18:43
Right. Other people don’t have to, they don’t have to take that long to do it. So if I can wait and pull something out of my ass, basically, which is what procrastination makes us do, it gets us down to that last minute of production, we don’t do our best work. And we’re like, Well, everyone else can do it without waiting around or everyone else doesn’t behave that way.

Tanya Geisler 19:01
Or we really just do produce something. And then you won’t have to, you know, we either do a job that is really not what we could up to our own standards, or you were just not where it could be. So again, that proves to us that we don’t belong or that we didn’t deserve the opportunity in the first place. Or we knock it out of the park, because that happens to and then we go pack. This is my path. This is how I do my best work by going through all of this. So there’s your mental health challenge, right? I have to go through this stress, worry sleeplessness, anxiety. This is part of my process.

Meg Casebolt 19:38
Oh, yeah, I definitely, especially in university, it was like, Oh, well, if I wait to the last minute to cram and then I get an A then that means that I thrive under these conditions, not that I would have gotten the A if I’d studied, you know, an hour a day for a week. Instead I wait until midnight to start studying and hey, I pulled it off. I can do that again. Right and then it becomes Is this kind of I don’t want to say self fulfilling prophecy, but because it worked once we then rely on that behavior again.

Tanya Geisler 20:06
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And then, you know, all of these have their own different pathways. I mean, for me, I’m a people pleaser. So what happens for me, it’s really important that I use my charm and my likability to make sure that I fit in, you know, but then when I’m given opportunities, I might chalk it up to the fact that they like me, not because I’m deeply skilled, and talented and excellent at what I do. Right. Yeah, I

Meg Casebolt 20:31
definitely feel that one too. Especially like, maybe not even so much that people pleasing, but like, oh, people only hire me because they think I’m fun. Not because they think I’m an expert. Or because they know my friends or because there’s some sort of, you know, friendship, connection versus belief in experience. Mm

Tanya Geisler 20:52
hmm. Yeah, there could be that. Absolutely. And it’s again, it’s the it’s the sense of belonging, but then we don’t it feels like a false sense of belonging. Right. diminishment, so we could go into each and every one of these, but I think the one that most often shows up as it relates to conversation, especially social media is comparison. But there’s also still diminishment. We can’t ignore girdle diminishment. We can’t ignore, you know, boundaries. And yeah, I think I think that’s the let’s

Meg Casebolt 21:21
define diminishment, too. It’s kind of that like,

Tanya Geisler 21:24
I don’t want to say false humility, but like that feeling of everyone else is doing better than me. So diminishment is, it’s like, there’s a hot second, where you actually do believe that you might be doing a pretty good job. But because the imposter complex is so obsessed with us, belonging, right. It’s the reason we fear both success as much as we fear failure. So if I am succeeding, then I’m out front, not part of the pack. And then I become that I might commit as Gay Hendricks says, the senator out shining in the big leap. I might outshine somebody else. And that might have them distance from me. Right. So I did, people will disconnect from me, it’s not safe for me to shine too brightly. So I’m going to diminish. So that’s how I avoid feeling like the imposter. Because I don’t want to feel like I’m out to out front. So I’m going to diminish. But in so doing, I’m going to start to believe I less confident bio, I’m going to start to believe that I don’t deserve to feel good about the extraordinary work that I’ve just done. And that’s part of it, how it keeps us alone and isolated in this too. So diminishment is really literally, like dimming the light. And I think, you know, I think that it’s actually to your point, it is rooted in a value of humility, most of this comes down to how we’ve been conditioned. So our go to, when confronted with the imposter complex, will be predicated in large part by how we’ve been conditioned. So if you’ve been socialized as a girl, or been listening to messages, you know, good girls, don’t brag. Don’t take up too much space, right? It’s not safe. I literally had my mother tell me to moderate my voice. I had this own meanie kind of voice that was from a really high fever when I was there, like an infant, and did a mess and messed up my vocal cords. And so for so many years, it was moderate your voice. And my mother wanted me to sing to show to, to like just, you know, grab the world, but just didn’t feel like it was safe. That was her stuff. Yeah. And so that’s part of that can be part of the conditioning too. So I think, and I guess let’s just go ahead and round it out. We also have leaky boundaries here. Leaky boundaries will show up when we want to belong to the group. But maybe we uphold an opinion. That is not the general consensus. So we might find ourselves saying yes, when we mean no or No, when we mean yes. And in so doing, again, feel like the imposter by doing that.

Meg Casebolt 24:24
Yeah. And I think this shows up for us. You know, those of us socialized by women. There’s a lot of research showing up that like, the invisible labor that we do. Whether it’s you know, when I was working in a workplace, it was like, I was planning all the birthday parties, because it wasn’t part of my job description. But it was just, you know, especially when I was working in a male dominated environment. It was like, well, the architects job is too important, sweetie. So why don’t you go order the cake? Right? Like they were getting paid more than me and I was doing it on company time while I was salaried. So like, sure I’d I’d rather do Do cake then email. So yeah, sure I’ll take on that responsibility. But the way that the leaky boundaries can also show up for us now in our lives is, you know, there were just someone slid into your DMS. And even though you said no, I’m not gonna answer DMS anymore, I’m only going to answer them in a certain time and night. It’s like, well, I don’t want to leave them till morning. Because what if they need something from? There’s a lot of communication things a lot of like, if you’re doing one to one client work, things can roll out a scope really quickly. You are accommodating to people who and you don’t hold those boundaries. You know, it can get really, really messy really quickly. When you really you’re trying to do someone a favor, but in reality, you’re undermining yourself in a lot of ways.

Tanya Geisler 25:50
I was just looking at Cheryl straight I just I hadn’t seen this before. I mean, you know, I always go to Randy Buckley’s teaching on on boundaries. And actually, Stacy Jordan Shelton’s work with boundaries in the bag is just, she’s so good with this hop chop top.

Meg Casebolt 26:06
Yeah, you introduce me to Stacy. And every time I see anything she posts, it’s just truth telling. So we’ll include information about all of this in the show notes, guys, we don’t have to write down what we’re talking about. I’ll make sure to include these resources,

Tanya Geisler 26:19
because the Cheryl Strayed had done this thing that I just because we were great. And we can be great at boundary setting. But we’re not always great at upholding the boundary. Allow forgiveness, like we’ll forgive and then we have to go back to the Senate setting. And that’s why the boundaries can be so exhausting. Anyway, that was just really like I just came across that this morning. I was like, Oh, that is very interesting. We’re challenging, many boundaries right now.

Meg Casebolt 26:44
That is the discomfort of truth that is setting into my stomach as you explain this. Yes, I do know that feeling.

Tanya Geisler 26:51
Absolutely. But I think it’s really important to, you know, first of all, acknowledge that we have these very real experiences. And there is a golden shadow from me, and each and every one of these aspects. And it’s just very well, the self development industry is is a $40 billion. And counting was three $40 billion 30 billion. That was like 2020. So I mean, it’s a lot has happened in two years. So that is a shit ton of money devoted to having people feel crappy about themselves, deeply invested in that. So stop being a perfectionist, you know, stop being stop being a people pleaser. Just stop, just stop, just stop. We can’t, we can’t. Nor do I think it’s helpful to make herself so wrong, particularly given the conditioning. By the way, when you look at Tim Owens, white supremacy culture characteristics, which is, you know, that’s been a body of work that has been revised a couple of times. Perfectionism is the first attribute of a white supremacist culture characteristic,

Meg Casebolt 28:05
right? Oh, shit, Todd. Yeah, no.

Tanya Geisler 28:10
To patriarchy. So

Meg Casebolt 28:11
like in capitalism, yes.

Tanya Geisler 28:15
So it’s, wow, it’s like just in the fascia?

Meg Casebolt 28:20
Well, it’s kind of like, if you when we were talking about these, these systemic institutions happening around us, being able to slap someone on the wrist and say, you know, don’t be a perfectionist anymore is basically the same as saying like, well, just don’t be poor. Right? Like, it’s not that it’s not something that can just be overcome in an instant, because you decide it is to be.

Tanya Geisler 28:44
That’s it. So if that’s your natural tendency, and I’ll read again, again, like basically you, our entire life is devoted to people telling us how wrong we are. I did a real about this a couple of weeks ago, I was like, you know, I decided that I was going to be either really rough couple of weeks for just various reasons. I was like, today, I’m going to only speak to myself with extraordinary kindness. And this is not normally something I have to like, work on, because I’m pretty generous with myself over 17 years of his work. But I went onto social media, and I was like, Oh, wait, let me get this straight. I’m drinking my coffee wrong. I’m doing my To Do Lists wrong, my parting my hair wrong. And like everything was about like all of the ways that I was doing myself wrong. And it was like, there was 10 minutes. I was like, no. So I mean, I do think that that I’m super not interested in contributing to that you’re wrong because you are a perfectionist. But I think it’s really helpful to recognize is that what sits underneath each of these aspects is what I call it, the golden shadow and also your leadership edge. So as a perfectionist or somebody who identifies with perfectionism, You know, that really means that you value excellence. If you’re a people pleaser, that means that you have everything to do with inclusivity. As a somebody with leaky boundaries, you deeply, deeply value generosity. If you are somebody who diminishes you value, humility, comparison actually has everything to do with your value of connection. And as a procrastinator, you value discernment. And when you look at those attributes, those are the kinds of leadership attributes that I’m here for. Right? Excellence, inclusivity, humility, generosity, right, like connection. All of these are so beautiful, and show us another way forward, or an opportunity moving forward. And I just, I find that really, really exciting. And let’s also say to, particularly humility, and particularly that people pleasing that can lead that is from a place of inclusivity, it can also be a function of safety. If you’re somebody who has been oppressed, if you’re somebody who has been marginalized, if you’re somebody who has been systemically excluded, it is part of your survival, to make sure that the dominant culture, whatever that is, whether it’s in an ecosystem or whatever, that you belong, so those, that’s where that all comes from. So again, making us wrong for it is I don’t even have a word for it. It’s just it’s it’s gaslighting extraordinaire, so

Meg Casebolt 31:42
he’s just gonna say the systems that are telling us that we are inferior are also the systems that are telling us that we are wrong for feeling inferior. So it’s two sides of the same coin. And the more guilt you feel, or shame, really more so than guilt, I would say the more shame you feel for these behaviors that are meant to help with with survival, the more harmful that’s becomes, like a just tie keeps tying itself around itself. Oh,

Tanya Geisler 32:14
I know. And then the other thing too, is that, you know, once you so so our self development story, like, here’s here’s a here’s a procrastination hack. Here’s this hack. So we think we’ve actually dealt with this structure of it, we haven’t, but we can get the next thing done. Sure, for sure. But then we make ourselves wrong when it comes up again, right. But we have to understand that it’s part of something significantly bigger, and that we have to continue to work our way at it. So just again, you know, I really think about this my work as not eradicating the imposter complex, just turning on the light switch a lot faster, and having what the Buddhist monks call a faster recovery when it does show up. Yes.

Meg Casebolt 32:55
And I think also, I want to dig into very briefly like, one of the ways that these six traits can be activated, I mean, to say that instead of triggered can be activated, by the way that social media expects us to behave. So that feeling of comparison itis feels like the most obvious direct correlation of your looking like you said, it’s someone else’s highlight reel, and you’re looking at your own life and going well, I can’t live up to that. So why, you know, you kind of have that, that shame about your own decision making, and how you want to present yourself. And I think a lot of people are also completely understanding the procrastination of like, let me just endlessly Doom, scroll through Twitter and just read all the things because it gives that sort of dopamine hit that comes along with new information gathering. But let’s talk about some of the the leaky boundaries of social media and the the diminishment of social media, because that’s sort of the opposite of what we’re often hearing about. We’re hearing about people kind of bragging and shining a light on everything they do. But we don’t see that isn’t diminishment, because because that’s what the diminishment is. So let’s talk through some of those pieces. Right?

Tanya Geisler 34:11
I think it’s I mean, when I think about social media, I think a lot about how folks aren’t posting about. So I think for some reason, it feels important to name this. Part of the, you know, actual frauds don’t feel like frauds. Actual imposters don’t feel like imposters. So what we are actually worried about is the complete opposite of everything that is contrary to our nature. So where we have lots of proof points of our capacity. You know, you mentioned if you’re just starting out in the business when you’re starting on the business because you know that you are deeply capable and all of these things that make you technically Excellent. And that’s the reason you built this business in the first place or that you are building this business. Sure, there might be other areas and gaps that you need to fill to be served. But you actually have data points that show that you are deeply capable. Your confidence, however may be here with somebody who has the exact opposite experience. It’s called the Dunning Kruger effect. He goes, yep, lots of confidence, no abilities here, no capacity. But trust me when I tell you, they are not sitting around thinking I might be an imposter. So don’t worry about them. Okay. But the fact that people are in the exploration of Yeah, I do feel like I always discount my successes. I over identify with my failures. Every time something good happens. I chalk it up to luckily, timing or having deceived somebody into thinking I was capable, more capable than I actually am. Then we’re cooking with gas here. Okay. So because I think that it’s easy to say like, so when we compare ourselves to somebody who seems to completely have it all. I don’t know, that is no comparison. It’s like polenta. Okay. We just like takes on the taste of whatever the sauce is. So comparison is like just like the new most normal thing like, how are we tracking? How are we measuring up. But if I am putting somebody way high above me, and I really have to give props to my friend, Lauren bacon, we did a big body of work on this called beyond compare. But if I put somebody like up on this pedestal, that’s a very tricky place to put them. And it also distances us but if I can look at that person, or not that as far as and then say, okay, so here’s what I admire about them. But here’s where I feel disconnected from, that’s going to be so much more helpful to to have them, allow them to be a teacher to us, to let us know, what we admire inside of them also exists within us. Conversely, when we distain somebody when we look down on them and go, look, look at that, like, over promoting apps, what you’re showing us is what we don’t want, but there’s still an aspect that we appreciate about it. So like, so pull out what it is, that is the, you know, the golden nugget for you, okay, I want more of this, I want less of that. But we can only see these aspects in each other because we have them in ourselves, to dial up or to dial down. So I think it’s just really important to think about, you know, we’ve heard this before comparisons a teacher, it’s not the first time anybody’s heard that. But what’s it teaching you and what are you learning from it? So I think a lot about how it stops us from getting onto social media. And from that perspective, if you have that perfectionist tendency, well, you’re not going to post unless it’s perfect, right? You’re not going to post because you’re stuck in procrastination, you’re not going to post because your value of diminishment is you know, it’s it’s it’s big, and you don’t want to you don’t want to shout from the rooftops, you’re not going to post because what will people think, right, that people pleasing might show up? What will or you know, am I over promising or good people going to show up in my DMs and am I going to be able to uphold my boundaries, probably safest to just not. So that’s often where it’s, that’s where I see it really coming up into the social media aspect where we are, it’s keeping us from posting it’s keeping us from sharing, you know that 12 lies of the imposter complex in line number four is you have nothing useful, original or valid to say, and when we believe this, we pass up opportunities to share our world changing wisdom. Not here for that. Nor are you I know that to be true. The ways that I see it, like right off the bat that just stop people from posting in the first place.

Meg Casebolt 38:52
And then of course, or emailing or blogging or starting that podcast or finding a way to tell whatever your brilliance is to showcase it. You don’t feel like you have enough to say or that your your thoughts on this are not valued.

Tanya Geisler 39:12
Yeah. Yeah. So I think it’s helpful to look at those behavioral traits for instance, and go Alright, so my my predisposition, is to be a perfectionist. I invite people to consider that value of excellence and then to work with what I call an iconic archetype because you can’t spell iconic without IC twice, it’s gonna get you come in, and it’s gonna get you going, right? The moment you decide that you can be iconic, the imposter comes like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. What did you just say? And then the longer you’re in that role, whatever that is, you know, I love to talk about roles. The imposter complex is gonna get you near the end. Like, what? That’s it. That’s all you’ve done. Because the ego wants to want more than once to get But I digress. So tell So to think about what that iconic identity might be, so if it’s perfectionism for you, then I invite you to consider the CEO archetype or iconic identity. Not because the, but because we know sorry, let me say it a little differently. We know that CEOs have to, can’t get it all done, they have high standards, the CEO that we can imagine, has a very high standard, that they cannot get it all done. So yes, they will delegate to other people to be certain. But if they don’t have the means for that, they will recognize that iteration is a huge part of the process. Right? It’s that fail fast from Seth Godin goes into, like all that all the time ago. So there’s always going to be a version to point out, and that’s what CEOs have to know, they cannot get stuck in the weeds of perfectionism. That’s the great paradox. So that makes sense. Yeah. So like, because you said a lot of people think of themselves as CEOs. But I think that we think of CEOs is like, just this, like top where they’re not where it’s just like everybody else is doing things. But we also know that they have to get messy to have to make mistakes. That’s the only way progress happens. Yeah. So each and every one of these different behavioral traits have their own identity that will help move people forward. So if you’ve got that value of diminishment, you know, and that humility is the part that keeps you from, you know, sharing what needs to be shared, the visionary is the identity that I would invite you to try on, what if you actually have this really big world changing message, which we believe you do, and it’s not about you at all. And we just need you to get that idea out in front, and you can hang back, and then you can go up to meet it, right? But you can’t, like it’s you can’t hoard your good shit, you just can’t as the visionary. But if you recognize that, and then you recognize that this idea is so much bigger than you, it doesn’t actually matter how long your reel is, or what music you put it to just doesn’t write your

Meg Casebolt 42:02
thought leadership can be a message and a platform that is larger than you as an individual. And by leaning into the impact that your thought leadership can have it almost like takes your ego out of the conversation. And in an ideal world, obviously, we’re still gonna struggle, every single step of the way. The possibility, right,

Tanya Geisler 42:23
this is this is what becomes available when we recognize that, you know, if we look at the fact that, you know, as a sage, that’s what you would be if you’ve got a lot of procrastination going on, then you really value discernment hallelujah, right? Because don’t we need a lot more,

Meg Casebolt 42:40
we all use more discernment, please, my gosh, a world where we are constantly being inundated with all the things that we need to do and watch and read and complete. And no, I had somebody in one of my groups recently say like, these are the only three books I’m going to read for the rest of the year, I’m going to read one book a month, and that is it. And just having that sort of like essentialist approach to things is so powerful,

Tanya Geisler 43:08
so powerful, and we don’t have enough models of that, right? That’s that’s part of it, too. We don’t have enough models. And coming

Meg Casebolt 43:13
as someone who read like 200 books a year, I was like three books. But that’s those are like romance novels. That’s not like self development and self improvement work. That’s very different than, you know, the kissing books.

Tanya Geisler 43:28
Lincoln is Yeah. So each one of these has their own there. There are different ways to approach how you share your message based on the way you relate to the your imposter complex. And I think that’s just real, I find it very helpful for folks to know what that is.

Meg Casebolt 43:47
So wrapping things up here, what’s like the the kind of overarching message of you know, people don’t need to abandon social media, like abandoned all you enter here, right? But how can we take you said earlier, like, that’s where the gas happens. That’s where we turn up the gas turn up the heat feel like we’re in this echo chamber, and this powder keg, like how do we just turn down the gas on this field?

Tanya Geisler 44:12
I mean, I feel like this is not going to be deeply original, but finding your way and your way is nobody else’s way. Right? It hasn’t been done the way you would do it because you haven’t done it yet. That’s kind of the point. And we’re are always looking for models of possibility. But it’s not like when we look at that model, you know, we’re gonna do it exactly like them. It’s, it’s okay to just do that cherry picking. But we have to look at what our own strengths and values all of that definitely come from. I think it’s really helpful to understand which one of these behavioral traits how it trips us up, and then really root into that leadership edge that is embedded inside of it. So as you know, if you are people pleaser, your identity is that of host gather people, that’s what you do really beaut roughly. So that might be a different way of you approaching social media. So it’s really just like the ways in which you come alive. And you’ll know those because you think that they’re a problem. They’re not. They’re not there.

Meg Casebolt 45:14
They’re your leadership. golden shadow. You said, which I love. Okay, people want to hear more from you follow you get to know you better, what’s the best way for them to connect

Tanya Geisler 45:24
Tawny geisler.com. And the very first thing you will be able to do there is to find out which one is your iconic identity. So there’s a quiz obviously, because I mean, long cleanses. I am mostly because I think we I think we like iterated that quiz. You, me and Lacey were like, right, like, how

Meg Casebolt 45:41
do we get people to not come in and be like, what’s your biggest problem? Because that’s not the goal. That’s not the feeling we wanted to have. That’s not the shareable thing. But being able to say like, what’s your archetype? What’s your iconic identity, you can go learn that you can share it, you can start a conversation in your world around some of these topics.

Tanya Geisler 45:59
That’s it. That’s it. I do hang out some on Instagram. But I would definitely hop on there and do that. And then just then see, see what comes up for you. And then and then find me on social media and get into conversation with you that way? Yeah. All right.

Meg Casebolt 46:13
Sounds great. Thank you so much for being here. I’m so thrilled to have had you for this conversation.

Tanya Geisler 46:17
Thank you. Delighted to be here. Thank you for the invitation.

Meg Casebolt 46:23
Thank you so much for listening to the social slowdown podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe or come on over to social slowdown.com and sign up for our email list. You never miss an episode. We’d also love if you could write a review to help other small business owners find the show you can head over to social slowdown.com/review Or grab that link in our show notes for easy access. We’ll be back soon with more tips to help you market your business without being beholden to social media. Talk to you then.

Please forgive any typos as this transcript was automatically generated by otter.ai.

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