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Vulnerability and Imposter Syndrome with Allison Kinnear
Episode 3512th November 2018 • Women Conquer Business • Jen McFarland
00:00:00 01:20:22

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00:00:11Welcome to the third pedal, podcast recorded at the Vandal Lounge. In beautiful Southeast Portland, Oregon, why the third title because even the most badass entrepreneurs gets stuck up and Business Management. Consultant, Jennifer McFarland is your third paddle, helping you get unstuck.

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00:01:18The whole reason why I started voice of our own, the whole reason for it was because I would see women who would not own their voice. They would not speak out. They would keep themselves silent, keep themselves small. People like me and say, can you should say that? I'm really glad you said that and keep themselves kind of hidden in on the down low and all these. Can I curse all these fucking brilliant women? We just like hidden in the shadows.

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00:01:59I just I kept thinking about what is this thing? There is this thing that I do and which I help women show up and different ways. I help women step into their boldness. I help women find a way to step out of the shadows, and that's where voice of Her Own was started. That's why it began was because of that, and considering like our times and like, where we are at. And what is being, I think for many women, what is being called for us to step forward?

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00:02:47That's that's why this whole thing got started. So where is it headed?

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00:03:25there's a lot of complexity and uncertainty around where we are as a society like here in the States, but then also

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00:03:48And it all means, we just don't know what tomorrow is going to bring, right and how do you deal with that in in your business or when people bring that to you, how you handle that? Absolutely. I think what happens is that, we graspers for certainty, we grasped for control we grasp for what is what we can hold onto. A no, and one of the paradoxes in life is that there's never a certainty there. Never has been. There's, there's, there's there is no control, like, we live in both a very fragile and also a very strong place. At the same time. We have a boner ability and fragility in that. Anything can change it anytime.

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00:05:02Letting go.

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00:05:13It's a grasping. It's a grasping at something that you can't hold on. To.

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00:05:33attachments to be okay with not being in control.

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00:06:37Discernment. It's great for problem solving and it's hostile territory our heads. It's just it can be like yeah, Warfare. And so what I do a lot of four with my clients is helping them tap into different kinds of wisdom to tap into different kinds of know and that to me like my most accurate barometer is the body.

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00:08:00but every time I've listened,

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00:08:11It has never failed me.

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00:09:00Even though my brain, my mind is hostile territory. There's no fucking way. I want to get in my body.

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00:09:16because,

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00:09:42That was actually one of the questions I was going to ask. When you first started talking is isn't their value in the shadows. And why are why can't we stay in the shadows there? So much value in the shadows. In fact, one of the things that I have a real beef around. Are people who will say things like, I don't get angry anymore.

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00:10:14Need to find some new circled. There's a lot of spiritual bypassing. There's a lot of people who will say, I don't ever go to those Dark Places anymore. And I think like I just called total bullshit on that because

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00:11:12That's where we get our passive aggressive Eeyore. We get all you know, whatever high-and-mighty or judgemental like all of that stuff starts coming out. Yes or no. Are shadows. For sure. Yeah, that makes sense either. It sounds actually very Stepford wife wife me. If you ever feel like I never get angry. It sounds like there was like in that space. There's actually a lot of like pent-up anger. Yeah, do that. That to me is a recipe for a pressure cooker, a chest pressure cooker. It's just like you put a lid on it and it'll just start to build and build and build until you end up blowing your top. So, and I mean, and that's just not healthy. It's better to have the range of emotions without volatility certainly. But a little volatility isn't bad, but having that range of emotions,

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00:13:11It's if you know, how does, how is that working out for you? And there's summat, you know, it's it's interesting. Some of some of my clients fall into kind of like the super empathic huge heart, completely compassionate people and some others fall on the other end where they're so guarded and their hearts are just like shut off with. It's like no one's coming in but no one's getting out. And part of the work becomes learning for for both ends is especially the kind of hardened heart side is to learn to be to step into that. Vulnerability that if I bet because there's a lot of garden is there's a lot of protection but then you don't get access to like real Joy. You don't get access to deep love you, don't get access to like

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00:14:18And that's true, but I will tell you the first time. I heard brene Brown. I was like, this is fucking weakness on a sadness. Platter.

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00:15:14An end by few that's that could be one maybe two people. So it's important when we are showing our, our vulnerabilities that we're doing it in trusted places.

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00:15:36And that is not always our families of origin like the families, if he grew up in, it's it's you no more than likely not in the work place.

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00:15:59It's really if you have one person that's huge.

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00:16:17But I used.

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00:16:27Explain that to me a little bit more, like vulnerability is a superpower.

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00:17:08And taking the plunge to say, I'm going to start a business.

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00:17:32A most people who take that Plunge.

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00:17:50No way. Now. I've had to learn the hard way around. Are some people in my life who I have opened up to and and it's backfired, you know, where I haven't exactly gotten what I needed from that situation. People either this mess. It's going to be okay or ignore. Or oh, I got one better than that are like I see your pain and I'm going to raise you like that kind of stuff but there's something really amazing when somebody can just be there with you. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, that's, that's magic. Right? Like, that's the that's when vulnerability and you can be with someone who can just be in that vulnerable space with you.

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00:19:26Yeah, like Zach. Those are the people that you're like.

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00:19:51Yeah.

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00:19:58Imposter syndrome and confidence and these things all seem to really be interrelated to me, solutely vulnerable. If you feel like a fraud.

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00:20:21I mean, kicked D. Are you following me on this leg? It does. If you feel like a fraud, but then you can put up that veneer and not let anybody in and like you just deny.

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00:20:51I guess I should just back out.

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00:21:07It shows up. It shows up a lie. I get it. One of the things that struck me around imposter syndrome. When I first encounter is funny. I didn't even know that the term imposter syndrome existed until years after I'd already kind of like found my path and dealing with it.

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00:21:29I mean, I remember seeing.

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00:21:46And she said, oh wow. Google and I said, yeah, so I'm going to be moving and we're not going to be able to to do this any longer and she said, wow, you must be really good at what you do. And I said, oh, no, not really. And she said, what do you mean not really? And I said, I mean, I'm good enough, but if they only knew if they only knew, I feel like such a fraud because I'm sure the person who cares for their children has to be a total failure.

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00:23:23Decision making.

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00:23:29And then I started working for Google and was promoted within a year to managing a team of 18 people.

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00:24:36Is that it's messy, but it's messy, like, art. It's messy. Like there's Artistry. There. Is there? An art is not.

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00:25:29Like I want to be really clear about what is expected of you right now.

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00:25:57When we communicate with people.

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00:26:17They're they're trying to communicate but like really being sensitive to the other person's needs the whole time. And so then the message comes out all convoluted and confusing and the other person doesn't like hair the message.

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00:26:50And that has a scrape because it's clear but it's not tight because we affected has is total devastation people maybe get completely defeated or maybe they get really defensive and push back. But there's something about the way it's delivered that it that they rebelled against because they're not being seen as a human to another Super blunt person like, like I'm like, kind of like most people get that and I like the fuk you say, you know, that you don't go cry or they.

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00:27:44Yeah, it doesn't fly for a lot of people, exactly. And what I

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00:28:01Even if it's hard. As long as there's enough, I see you as a person in there then they can kind of take the painful Clarity message.

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00:28:17Okay, and is this how it is? Because this conversation started around leading a team as a manager. But is this how it is? You think that Continuum? I mean, that's just in life. Absolutely, right? And then and then and we all are on different parts of that Continuum. And we don't often speak for myself. I don't often stay and not like sweets that we have our comfort zones. Right? We have our places are home bases that were like you are snuggly blankets that we can be in on that compassionate honesty spectrum. And we have to

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00:29:20Because to me, what I always think about is you do what works.

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00:29:46Then you got a chance to do what works like, absolutely. I agree.

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00:30:01But most of the time, yes, I think you need to meet people where they're at and walk with them so that you can communicate. And in fact, I would say that many of the problems that we have, especially on the political Spectrum are around this.

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00:30:21That ideas.

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00:30:53That we need to work on.

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00:31:02It's really around love and that the more on an earlier episode, when I talk to Kalina. It was throw more love with the problem not less and I don't think it matters. What problem that is. I have the mug. We're in the battle damage today. So it's upstairs. And that's the mug and I was in New Mexico. And is this beautiful like Earth and mug that an artisan in New Mexico. Like in Taos where I was at had made and it's just it just says you throw more love of the problem that last and when I saw it in this Gallery, mean I just started crying, you know, it was just like it just spoke to me. And it is the most unusable mug in the history of mugs weights. And I use it all the time and it like burned my hand because it has no handle like to drink coffee out of a mug that has a freaking handle. However, I love it.

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00:32:09We talk about things like politics or me to or women and gender and Men. I do think that we're at we are talking about a lot of

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00:32:39And it becomes black and white, and we live in a maddening world of Grey.

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00:33:07And what I mean by enter Contender is that part of you that's just like, I just want to show up and do amazing work to my show up as my best self, like and just crush it that boxer in the ring. And now that's just kind of bouncing around being like, yeah. Come on. Let's do this. That part of us and I had my journey ran, imposter syndrome where I went down the rabbit hole where I was so it's funny. So I had that conversation and then I did and I'm trying all these ways to kind of like keep my head above water and I got a boss. That was the physical embodiment of every negative thought I had ever had about myself.

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00:34:06I don't know if this is the right job for you. I don't know if it's right career for you. And I totally went down the rabbit hole with that, and I got to the point where that's all I heard, you know, imposter syndrome wise to you impostor syndrome says, oh, don't pay attention in the performance review. To all the positive remarks. Only hyper focus on the negative comments. Only hyper-focus on the areas of development pay no attention to all that plus that whatever people are just being nice, that kind of stuff. Imposter syndrome is something whispering to you saying only pay attention to the fear, only pay attention to the negative, only pay attention to the critic.

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00:34:57I went down the rabbit hole of believing that even though everyone around me was saying things like you're being too hard on yourself. Gosh, you really beat yourself up, don't you? Oh, I wonder if, you know like you're really great and I do like yeah, whatever whatever my critic knocked me.

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00:35:17And it was the contender that said, I need to start my own business. This is bulshit.

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00:35:29My husband is like I never want to go back to my place. I don't like he walked in with me. Sobbing.

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00:36:06I,

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00:37:08And just continue to breathe just felt like laughable and I was like, I'm just afraid, I can figure things out. We're good at figuring things out. I figure things out, we'll figure things out and that was when I started to be like, okay.

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00:38:25Was once I learned to kind of get a handle on those tiles.

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00:38:39Is governed by fear?

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00:38:52Okay, if we can't change somebody else and that I think about is we teach people how to treat us.

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00:39:06You know, I think one of the reasons why my boss was such a physical embodiment of my negative thoughts. Part of, it was her stuff, but part of it was I I went right into my Victim mode.

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00:40:16Show up, pushback, show up. Come on.

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00:41:03And for me, like I said, Boulder building is my compassion or is my vulnerability is my superpower. And for her vulnerability was like SWAT, that shit away. You keep that Under Wraps, vulnerability is a weakness. You shut it down and I here, I was saying, there's another way to be where we're vulnerability. Can be your superpower. It can be the the thing that brings people together. It can be the thing that creates amazing work that can happen to and I think the way she treated herself and she actually ended up admitting that to me was like, the way she treated herself is the way. She was. She saw us at that one point because she had a realization that she was treating other people, the way she treats herself. Would you sleep, which is why when people are judging you, one thing. That's why I always try to keep in the front Forefront of my mind. It's like, people are judging my parenting. That's because they are feeling insecure about their parenting.

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00:42:16how to say, like,

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00:42:26Yes, it is.

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00:42:40yeah, that was a bad choice of me saying that what you said was like the completely wrong thing to say, I was like

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00:43:02But he wasn't saying it was judgement. He was just

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00:43:11So funny because sometimes it's received as judgment. Yeah, well

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00:44:12Nonverbal cues that are so quick that we don't even see them or become aware of them. And

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00:44:46Amy Cuddy, TED talks about how people get BOTOX to to be happier, but it actually found that it makes them sad or because they can no longer have that nonverbal reflection of showing happiness, which gets flashed back to the person. They're talking to. Wow. So if somebody is having that, so you see your boss and you get all freaked out because you don't want to see your boss, right? And she sees that and like shows it back to you and it shows up in a different way than verbally. Yeah. Yeah, we forget that. That tenseness, that all of that. Nonverbal self stuff that we carry around. But then when it's shown back to us, either, either if with Compassion or with judgement,

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00:46:05With the Studies have shown is that women before asking for a promotion, will make sure that they hit all one hundred percent of the Criterion for that promotion before they ask for a promotion and four men on average. It's 60% true of women versus men applying for jobs. Yes. Most men are like, whatever. I might not know how to do half that shit, whatever they apply. Anyway, we're as most women expect Perfection. Exactly. And I think, what part of that getting into our bodies part of what building confidence is, is trusting in our resourcefulness.

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00:46:54You like you don't know anything. And if we believe that lie, if we go down that path of that fear place, that's not to say that we start like, showing up with our balls hanging out all swagger like and just so, you know, everything amazing at everything. It's it's not saying that because it's saying,

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00:47:52And we don't allow ourselves to.

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00:48:05I trust to go with the flow, even though things or two. I think she'll start to kind of find our way.

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00:48:29Yeah, so there's no right or wrong decisions. There's no good or bad decisions.

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00:48:54Feel like I had a client this week who was saying how she made a mistake at work and where she went to immediately was.

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00:49:11A little dramatic. But and yet very real, very real, like it's a real feeling right? And and she acknowledged it was a dramatic statement as a dramatic thing to say, but like that's the, that's the Roaring innerfield. I've had that feeling. I mean, I'm not being as I was aware of how it sounded kind of a second. And I think that that's part of it. Is that for me. It's like when I feel that

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00:50:06how dare you and because there are no dead ends and because like I said before we live in a maddening world of Grey there is no black and white and

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00:51:21About what my client. She said, you know, cuz I'm really struggling cuz I feel like somebody else should be in this position because I made this mistake and I still will. What did you do? After the mistake was made and she's like, well, because of our work has learned that I shouldn't spend a lot of time beating myself up over it that I should take action and move forward. So what I did is instead of apologizing to every single person who sent me an e-mail, triaged it, and I sent one email to everyone saying, hey, I just discovered a mistake and an error. I'm in the middle of fixing it and I will get back to you individually after it's resolved and she's like him. So I did, I went through fix everything and then I started going to every person saying, you know, hey did this with me and she said

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00:53:09That's why I let you know. I don't actually do people say, what's your worst failure? Like in a job interview? I always about he stumped by that and

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00:53:28Because I always just going to learn from it. I kind of ride through it and I learn from it and I just move on. I don't think of it as like a horrible failure. Like, I just keep going. This is a difference. You know, when I was driving into my studies around imposter syndrome. This is this right here is a significant difference.

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00:54:25There's a great care around, never making a mistake and a mistake is an indication that they are a fraud and then other people will find out and then they will be exposed and then their life will end the trail of thinking that starts happening with when you're suffering from imposter syndrome. It's like no mistakes can be made ever at all. And that's what drives the perfectionism. That's what drives the long hours. That's what drives. So much of the micromanaging. That's what drives the procrastination. Well, I should never really do it because, you know, like, do it if I do, it'll be wrong. I'm going to fail or if I do, if I'm going to be perfect and they're going to find somebody else, so they'll find me out or maybe I just need another degree. Maybe I just need one more certification.

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00:55:34I trust in my ability to figure things out. I trust my ability to like be resourceful.

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00:55:53Thinking I was a fraud, you know, it's so interesting. Listening to your boss.

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00:56:10Or was she still affected by it being at Google?

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00:56:38Women in Tech. And what they deal with is that not being good enough. Not being heard interrupting telling you what to do. Making you prove it. I'm not a lot of. That is not listening to that, and I'm like, that's a woman in Tech situation, paying it forward woman to woman because maybe that's how she felt like she needed to earn her chops. Exactly. And I think that is so spot-on. I think that's exactly where it was at and what I was so fascinated to learn about with imposter syndrome, this comes from Valerie, Young's work, is that it is not, you know, it feels so personal when it's happening to you, even though it can be. So pervasive.

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00:58:15She, why am I not surprised?

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00:58:43You, you don't, when you start mixing and mingling with the rich white guys, with the people who are always confident. You're kind of like, like how did I get here? This must have been black. This must have been these these these people just for being nice to me the or whatever the whatever the thing we tell ourselves.

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00:59:12With all the stuff that we've absorbed over time, all the beliefs that we've absorbed every time.

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00:59:32Yeah.

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00:59:51I'm just kidding. I've done it but it would be a lot more fun if he's if it was just an elope. Janice.

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01:00:33You can't unsee this way. Everybody else can dogs, see that?

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01:00:55Do you have to go somewhere at hit rock bottom? Where at down the rabbit hole of? You're not good enough. You have no skills. You are not smart or intelligent. I had hit rock bottom, bottom and kind of went. Okay, where do I go from here? I can continue believing that, or I can believe a different story. So I decided to believe what the people closest to me, were telling me the people who really knew me and love me. You were telling me like, you're really amazing, really smart. You should maybe stop beating yourself up, like, all of that kind of stuff and started, like slowly tapping into that. Like, what? The question that I remember asking myself is what if I'm not afraid.

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01:01:54Because if we can so easily swallow, I'm a total fraud but it's really a really made me pause to be like, okay, wait, I'm so wet. So I had this amazing co-worker Janice Kaiser. She's incredible. Just retired from Google and she's, she's written books, and she's just so smart and Rott. Solid, and so kind, and so, generous and compassionate, and just strong. She's just one of those people that kind of everybody, loves and so articulate.

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01:03:34Not that say I wasn't a good employer but like I wasn't or employee but I was I just wasn't showing my best self my best work. So how could you if you just said? You're beating yourself up all the time. Yeah. It's like nothing could really come through. And so here was at this meeting. They were like 40 people there in attendance and I had to say my stuff and you know, what's happening inside my head. That's what my inner dialogue, sounded like. Oh my God. Oh my God, you have to talk, like you're already in trouble. Like I don't like you might get fired. Level Janice. Janice, Janice Janice, this other part of me, reared up and said,

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01:04:52Just put it out there and deal with the consequences later. So, I did, I was able to like that's how I found the tin tiles. Switch on my inner critic. I was at that point. I'm like, nope. I'm turning you down by saying Tatiana's. That was my way of turning down that inner critic and turning up that in a container. That was just like just say it to do your thing. And so I did. I thought it was kind of a tricky topic. I was getting a lot of feedback. I had. I had filled a bunch of questions and I just did it uncensored without second-guessing myself, right? No apologies. No, apologies just straightforward and you not that meeting ended and Janice makes eye contact with me and be lines over to me and I'm like, no other like Janice like,

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01:06:01I just wanted to say that was amazing. I've never heard you talk about your work like that before. That wasn't going for edible. There were some really hard questions and you answer them beautifully like it away that I like, would never have thought of answering those questions. It was so like, wow, you handle that. So amazingly, great job and then what's the weather? Like in the Kim Sanders like phuc? Yea, it's slowly. Going to. It was like more, like it may be second-guessing myself. Every second of the every nanosecond is not helpful.

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01:07:28What does people can feel that? Absolutely, they can witness it and it's terrible like as an audience whenever you're kind of rooting for the person on stage. Usually. Oh, yeah, usually usually you don't want to see them, get all awkward and Bailey.

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01:07:50You want them to succeed?

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01:08:07So I just encourage everyone to find their inner. Fuck, Janice, you know, it's a way to help battle The Imposter syndrome.

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01:08:22You stood up to the challenge.

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01:08:56I will figure it out if the fall out if the shit hits the fan and the Fallout happens, then I will deal with that. Should that moment come?

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01:09:56Thank you for listening to the third pedal podcast. Be sure to catch every episode by subscribing on iTunes, to learn more. Check out our website at www.ge.com. The third pedal podcast is sponsored by Foster growth. LLC online at ww.w., Foster growth.