Fake it till you make it, they say. In more recent day quotes it goes “faith” it till you make it. I prefer to faith it over faking it. But self doubt as a new coach can be debilitating to the point of quitting. That’s why Imposter syndrome has to be dealt with before it cripples and crushes you to the ground. Today I’m sharing my early day lackluster results as a hypnotist. And how feeling like fraud can be mitigated completely even if you’re a brand new coach.
Can I be totally honest with you?
Until very recently, I had no clue what imposter syndrome was. It was not a word in my vocabulary.
That is not to say I had no self doubt or insecurities. I was in my early twenties when when I started my private hypnosis practice.
I worried that people wouldn’t take me seriously. “Why would anyone want to take a twenty something year old seriously?”
“Surely, hypnosis seems to have very high results rate but what if it doesn’t work for my next client”
“What if I’m not a good enough hypnotherapist and they don’t get anything out of it”
When it came to business, I was always insecure and full of doubt whether or not I will get consistent clients.
It was a never ending loop of “what if” that kept me anxious and worst of all, from enjoying my work.
Despite these insecurities I NEVER felt like an imposter or fraud. Want to know why and how? I’m sharing my secret today. Keep reading.
I still remember the day when my first client walked in to the office. She came to me for weight loss. I can’t give you much information due to confidentiality. But let me tell you this, I was worried sick if I could ever help her get the results she wanted. She had one too many conditions preventing results and doing some of the things I would normally prescribe.
And yet, after every session, she left my office feeling good, and she came back to each session with small but great progress.
How did I make that happen?
I immersed myself in learning about her conditions, how to work through them and adjusted my work to suit her needs.
Key learning point of the story: If you don’t know and are unsure about something, read and gather knowledge.
Working with a tool like hypnotherapy, one that has a higher results rate than your average methods surely helped keep my confidence up.
Research shows hypnosis has a recovery rate of 93% in just 6 sessions. Whereas other modalities such as psychoanalysis and behavioral therapy 38% and 72% recovery rates and can take up to 600 sessions!
However, every client is unique. So when someone didn’t resolve their problem within the first 3 sessions, in my early years I used to get antsy. I felt frustrated. “What am I doing wrong?”
Working with small business owners and new solopreneurs, I have worked with many clients who wanted to overcome procrastination.
The topic of procrastination has always been an interesting one under hypnosis.
When I first began almost 10 years ago as a hypnotist, I used hypnotic scripts. Sometimes I would use a script written by someone else , or I would write my own. Sometimes I came up with with hypnotic patters on the spot.
But for some reason clients weren’t responding to these as they would for a different challenge.
I was starting to freak out a little. “Why is this not working”
But instead of feeling like an imposter for not being able to help my client in the first session, I dove in to acquiring knowledge. I read up everything I could regarding the topic. I continued my hypnosis education certifications and learnt a few things I could try.
This is when I truly learned how to use parts therapy for procrastination.
So when the next procrastinating client came in, I tried this new methods I had learned. It worked!
The second client, worked wonderfully with her too.
And then something interesting happened.
This next client’s procrastinating part just wouldn’t budge. There was no motivation to stop the procrastinating behavior. No matter what I tried, it just didn’t seem to work.
I was starting to feel impatient after the 3rd session. My frustration just made me want to throw this woman out of my office. “Why isn’t she responding to this work?” ‘Oh my god, it MUST be me, I don’t know what to do anymore”.
I can see how at this point, something like imposter syndrome would creep in and cripple you.
But no, that word didn’t exist in my reality. Luckily, growing up on the side of the world, no one ever uttered those words to me.
So instead of immersing myself in a nonsensical syndrome that keeps you shackled and makes you give up, I went back to the books. Learned some more techniques.
This time, instead of using the techniques one at a time, I developed a new style that was unique to me. A mix of hypnotic techniques and my spiritual knowledge from having grown up in the south east asia under the influence of buddhism.
It helped me calm down, be patient with the client. To let her take time on her journey. The result was tremendous. Another happy client.
Key learning point: Knowledge is even more powerful when you add a dose of YOU to it.
What kept imposter syndrome out of my life over the years really comes down to two things.
- Continuous learning.
Think about it. Why do you feel “I don’t know what I’m doing”. Or “I’m not sure if I can deliver results and meet the high expectations of my new client”.
It is either a gap in knowledge or lack of confidence that makes you feel this way. Fill that gap.
This is why I’ve taken many speciality certifications, and always take time for continuous education. With it, I’m empowered to show up for my clients without self-doubt. Instead of “I don’t know” I can confidently say “I know! And if it doesn’t work there’s another way, I can figure it out”.
Knowledge is power.
Whether it’s going back to school, getting a certification or simply reading books, always keep learning.
Application of your newfound knowledge is just as important as gathering it. And confidence is a key element in the formula or delivering results for your clients. If you couldn’t apply and use the knowledge in a way that benefits, what’s the use of it? That’s why it’s important to not just be “gathering knowledge” but learn skills that are easily applicable to your line of work. And apply that skill with confidence.
Yes, these are my secrets to never having imposter syndrome.
Learning skills and applying them confidently has always been the key to never having to feel like a fraud.
When people said “I’ll be your guinea pig” many years ago, I was able to say I don’t need one because I knew what I was doing. It also helped to have used hypnosis on myself for self-confidence.
So my friend, if you ever feel imposter syndrome looming on you, take a long deep breath and go immerse yourself in knowledge. Learn and grow. Apply with self confidence.
You got this!
PS: If you want to add hypnosis as a new skill set to your coaching tool box, I have created a comprehensive resource that teaches 5 hypnosis techniques anyone can use to 10X client results in just 14 days – you don’t need to even hypnotize the client to make these work! Check it out here.