May 27, 2021

What Everyone Ought to Know about Imposter Syndrome with Sonya Reece

What Everyone Ought to Know about Imposter Syndrome with Sonya Reece

Imposter syndrome is an experience many of us feel whether it’s at work, home, or elsewhere. Not feeling “good enough” creeps in when we feel like we need to do better or be better, especially when we begin to compare our experiences to those of others. In this episode, you’ll hear tips and reminders that we need to tell ourselves to take control of that inner voice and the stories we tell ourselves that hold us back. 

In this episode, I’m introducing you to Sonya Reece. She’ll be telling the story of how she has overcome imposter syndrome and how she’s helping her clients take action to take back their confidence. Sonya is a certified professional coach with many years in self-development education, leadership training, and accountability coaching. As a coach, she helps the creative-minded professional clear mental clutter & turn DREAMS into PLANS, one fun project at a time. She’s also a senior graphic designer turned project manager with 20+ years as a creative, working for a major technology corporation.  

Timestamps: 

[3:27]: How Sonya used self development as a tool for healing

[10:22]: How to change the inner voice and stories going on inside our heads

[14:39]: The one reason why we keep listening to our negative inner voice

[15:37]: Bragging isn’t bragging if you’re showing up to who you truly are

[25:05]: Stepping out of our comfort zones varies from person to person; do what’s best for you

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For more information on the Make Time for Success podcast, visit:

https://www.maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com

 

Connect with Us!

Dr. Christine Li -

Webssite: https://www.procrastinationcoach.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/procrastinationcoach

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/procrastinationcoach/

Sonya Reece -

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soreece8/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sonya-reece/

Transcript

Christine Li:

Hi everyone, welcome back to the show. This is Episode 24. Do you find yourself struggling with imposter syndrome or those little nagging voices inside your head that remind you to stay safely within your comfort zone? Well, today's guest Certified Professional coach Sonya Reece is here to share with us her tips and strategies for keeping your mind clear of those little Gremlin voices that threaten to hold us back. Basically, our topic today is imposter syndrome. Personally, I think Sonya's methods are all wise, loving and fun at the same time. And I think you're going to love them too. There are two things that Sonya and I wanted to mention that we didn't get to in the actual interview. One is that there's a KPMG study that showed that 75% of women executives expressed having felt imposter syndrome at some point in their careers. So Sonya wants you to know that no matter where you are in your career, if you're feeling imposter type feelings, that's normal, and that you don't need to hold yourself back because of those feelings. The second item is how to stay in touch with Sonya. I forgot to ask her that at the end of the interview. So my apologies, you can find her on Instagram at SOREECE8. So that's the Add symbol, S, O, R, E, E, C, E, and the number eight. That's where I enjoy her Instagram lives and posts again at Cerise, eight. So definitely follow her there. Let's go listen to all that Sonya has to teach us right now. Hi, I'm Dr. Christine Li and I'm a psychologist and a procrastination coach. I've helped 1000s of people move past procrastination and overwhelm so they can begin working to their potential. In this podcast if you're going to learn powerful strategies for getting your mind, body and energy to work together, so that you can focus on what's really important, and accomplish the goals you want to achieve. When you start living within your full power, you're going to see how being productive can be easy, and how you can create success on demand. Welcome to the make time for success podcast. Welcome back to the show. Today, I'm so excited to welcome my brand new friends and wonderful colleague, Sonya Reece to the show. She is a Certified Professional coach, who has worked with people to help them design their big plans for themselves and to reach them. I'm so excited to have her voice on the show today. She also by the way, as a history as a senior graphic designer, and a project manager. So she brings all this history to the show, you're going to love her wisdom. Thank you for coming onto the show. Sonya,

Sonya Reece:

thank you so much for having me. I'm thrilled to be here with you.

Christine Li:

So can you start us off by telling us a little bit more about yourself and how you got so interested in the topic of personal development?

Sonya Reece:

Sure. So the thing that got me into it, where I took my very first official self development course, I was on a job that I hated. It was a job that most would think would be the perfect job. It was a entertainment company, or Christian entertainment company. And I went in thinking, oh my god, this is the greatest thing ever, because we are going to be changing lives. What I did not consider is that humans were running the company. So that was part of it. But not the whole thing. One of the other things was that I felt like oh my gosh, I keep coming up against this thing. Like there's this self sabotage self and posed roadblock or something. And I've always been interested in not only interpersonal relationships, but my relationship with myself what makes me tick, what makes other people tick. And so I just, I was fed up, I was just so done with myself, and you know, the people that I worked with, and so a beautiful person came in to support me. And she told me about this particular company that does the self development courses. I signed up and The rest is history as they say.

Christine Li:

And this was how long ago? That was in 2009. Okay, so grateful for that woman coming. Yes, life. I am so grateful for her. Yes. wonderful story. I love these stories of my guests. So thank you for sharing that. What was the effect? If you don't mind of the coach? on you at that time? How did she help you, personally and professionally? How did things change after you got involved with that coach in that program that you discussed?

Sonya Reece:

Yeah, well, first game, the program. It helped me separate, like fact, from fiction, because I was making these stories up in my head about certain scenarios, certain people, even about the thoughts that I was having in my head, I was believing them to be true. They were just little chatter, you know, that we all have about certain things, I was able to separate myself from those thoughts, and those limiting beliefs in just those thoughts that weren't serving me. So that was the first thing. And then someone there introduced me to my coach, because I was having a very rocky relationship also. And the biggest thing that I can recall from that time is that she helped me get past the pain and everything about that relationship. And so it was like record time for me, where previously, I had just oh my god, like, if you could imagine me just laying back on a chaise lounge with my hand on my forehead, like, Oh, my God, you know, all of that just just for the longest time. But anyway, she was able to just get in and help me fast track, the processing, and the getting over and the getting through of some of the hardest feelings and emotions at the time. And it wasn't like it was shorthand, or I took a shortcut, I actually did the work. She just helped me get through it so much faster.

Christine Li:

I love that story, too. I love that part of the story. Because it really is just such a reminder to us all that when we keep things to ourselves, or when we keep the struggle locked in inside of ourselves. It's kind of like, there's no sense of time, being rice, we're gonna stick in with that struggle as long as we need to write because it's our lives and we want to take care of ourselves. But why not speed up the journey? Why? sharing our thoughts and our struggles and our feelings with someone else? Of course, someone with capabilities? Yes, take care of you. But yes, you're gonna save yourself a lot of time. So me making that journey through to the other side?

Sonya Reece:

Yes, yes. I'm so grateful for her. She's still my coach. Since I think 2011 I believe 2010 or 11? Wonderful.

Christine Li:

Is she the one who encouraged you to become a coach yourself? Can you tell us that she

Sonya Reece:

is. I for about two years, I was like, Oh, no, that's not for me. Even though I have always been fascinated by interpersonal relationships, and at one time wanted to become a psychologist myself, even though I had all those feelings. The thing that was having me say no, was because I was comparing myself to my coach, someone who's been a coach, like 30 years, I'm like, Oh, my god, there's no way I can possibly be as good as her. But she saw something in me and still sees something in me that had her say that you know what you want to consider becoming a coach. And

Christine Li:

interesting that you would delay even though you're probably excited by the idea, yes. You've always been interested in this type of work. But you would delay thinking, well, I can't be as good as her because she's so good. Right?

Sonya Reece:

I ran from not just delay. Okay.

Christine Li:

Now that you've described your backstory, yeah. And the journey that you were on and the realizations that you had, could you share with us some of the ways you what you've learned professionally now, and how you work with your clients? How do you now help people to get rid of their own inner chatter, and to help them see things more clearly so that they can get out of their bad situations, or they're uncomfortable situations a little more quickly?

Sonya Reece:

Yeah, one of the main things that I rely on is the ability to separate fact from fiction. And I'm using air quotes here. Because our minds, if we let it, we'll make up all kinds of stories. It's like a story making machine. And it's almost like a gremlin. It's like the I don't know if anyone remembers that movie. But it's like this cute little animal, right? It comes in peace, you think, to help you and protect you and all of this, but then, you know, after a while, if you feed it enough, and it gets a little mad, things can go haywire. And it becomes a little monster. I think, prior to my coaching or learning about this, you know, I thought that my thoughts were true. Everything that came up into my mind that had to be so well, that's just the way it is, well, no, not necessarily. So separating your true self, your higher self, your godself, from the meaning making machine, the thoughts inside of your head, being able to separate that. And if it's not lining up, if it feels off, there is a disconnect between who you really are and who you believe yourself to be. And so, as imposter syndrome kind of makes us away into it. It's not being able to see your own greatness, your strength, your power, and not trusting your own capabilities, even though there's proof. But something in your mind is telling you that I'm not good enough. I don't have enough experience, which is what I was telling myself. All of those things can kind of get in there and wreak havoc, if you let it.

Christine Li:

Yes, absolutely. You're just making me think that those Gremlins and those stories when they're starting to wreak havoc, also probably lead us to self sabotage? Yes, where you start doing things that you don't even know how you got there, how you made that mess. I'm going to share with our audience the string of nightmares that I put Sanya through, because my equipment was just failing me and I wasn't using my equipment, well, just in terms of setting up this very podcast. And she was so polite, and so patient, and I was just feeling just not together.

Sonya Reece:

And when you said string of nightmares, I didn't feel that at all. But

Christine Li:

in my heart, that's what was going on. There are sometimes ways in which our behaviors are reflecting some sort of thing inside. And we can't always be control of our actions. But I love how you describe, we have the true self, then we have the meaning making machine, we have the Gremlins that are always lurking there. And sometimes this leaks out into how we might be behaving or how we might be coming across to other people. Right, and that we are actually doing ourselves a disservice by not sticking more with our true self. And what we know feels right to us. Yeah. When we can we like lose those opportunities sometimes.

Sonya Reece:

Yeah. And it takes so much practice. I know it did for me. It's like building a muscle, being able to say, okay, little Gremlin I hear you, but I'm not gonna feed you today. It's like acknowledging that it's there. But not going down that road, you know, not going down that dark path or dark road with that thought. Because the farther down the road you go, it's harder for you to get out.

Christine Li:

Yeah. What is your theory about why we stick with the Gremlins rather than sticking with what we think might be like, Oh, I really want that and this is really me.

Sonya Reece:

Oh, well. I think people believe that it's the safe route. It's familiar. It's, well, there's no way that this particular thing can be true. I'm just gonna stick with what I know. And I know I'm right. You know, when you hear your mind saying something, you know, I know I'm right. There's no other possible scenario here.

Christine Li:

And so the end result is that you end up safe, but you're also end up staying small. Yep. So how do you encourage your clients to go big?

Sonya Reece:

Well, you've got some great questions today. One thing that I do help encourage and invite my clients to do is to keep a brag book. This is something to where you celebrate yourself. This is your genius. Everybody has their own version of genius, and brilliance. And it's recognizing time and time again. Frequently, I might add just how badass you are. And a lot of people want to shy away from what they call bragging. But it's not bragging, it's just showing up to who you really, truly are. That's something that I learned from Regina Thomas shower, it's truing up to who you really, truly are. It's not about big upping the next person or being better than it's really recognizing and celebrating yourself. And when you're conscious of that more often, you have less time to doubt yourself. And even when you do have those times of doubt, you can reach into that brag bag and say, Oh, yeah, I forgot all about that thing I did. And that happened to me recently, I was invited to put in an application for a leadership program at my job. And I was trying to come up with see this is where I was not living up to what I preach, I was trying to come up with these instances to where I was showing leadership. And so I had some, but there was one particular thing that a co worker messaged me about. And it was a program that I put together for our mentees at our job for summer internship program, I had totally forgotten about it. Because mind you in 2020, we didn't have any interns. So I totally forgot about this program that I put together in partnership with other people in other departments. So put together this day for all of the mentees to come and, you know, get loved on by the professionals. And long story short, totally forgotten about that. And when I remembered it, I was like, oh, wow, that is one of the biggest things I've done at my job. recognized by our cmo and a lot of the leaders in the company, one of the biggest accomplishments I totally forgot about, I was having a little bit of doubt. And so what I encourage my clients to do is to recognize their own brilliance and keep it top of mind. And it's kind of like girding yourself, and laying a foundation for strength. In those times when you are filling those doubts in that's where you can come back to anytime you're feeling it. So that's one of the first things that I do to encourage them to go big and step outside of their own comfort zones and, and just prepare them and share with them that when you get ready to do something big, know that that Gremlin is going to come out. Because it's fighting for survival. It feels like it's really protecting you. And it sounds like your own voice, but it's really not you. And I share with them that that voice likely won't ever go away. But it will get quieter and quieter and quieter with time. And the more that you build that strength and gird yourself, the voice won't be as strong, and it won't have that much of an effect on you.

Christine Li:

I love it. I tell my clients. It's just a fleeting feeling. Yeah, you're gonna put off all your hopes and dreams for a fleeting feeling. Oh my Yeah. So true. Do you have any practices or tips for how to think bigger, how to just creatively imagine yourself? You know, with all the successes with all the right moves. I'm just curious how you tend to work with people too. Sure.

Sonya Reece:

So first of all, I had to realize that that doesn't come easy for me. One as easily as it does for me. So being a graphic designer, we are trained to think big, we're trained to brainstorm and think outside of the box. And so, back when most designers designed for print, we had something that was called a print budget. Well, when we did a brainstorm, we did not consider any constraints. Until we got to Okay, well, now we got to actually take this thing to print. But the thing about dreaming, and brainstorming is, if you try to figure out the how, when you're trying to dream, you're just gonna kill all the creativity, all of it? Well, it's considering putting all of those constraints, all of life's issues and all of your limitations to the side, if just for a moment, and allow yourself in, give yourself permission to think bigger, rather than edit yourself. And that's a lot of times what society tries to have women do is to edit ourselves down. No, dream as big as you possibly can. Little by little by little by little, and it takes practice. It takes a little bit of training, it takes some encouragement, it takes giving yourself permission. But in time, with practice, you'll be able to dream bigger and bigger and bigger. And often tell people also that, and this is not a religious statement, it's, you know, the God of your understanding. Dreams are way bigger than you can ever imagine. So yes, dream big, and also leave a little room for magic to happen.

Christine Li:

Can you expand on the little room for magic to happen? I sure can. Because I really, and I think I want everybody who's a real world example.

Sonya Reece:

So I was pushing myself outside of my comfort zone doing Instagram lives. And they are not comfortable for me, but I do it. So I was on about, I don't know, five minutes, I was like, in my truck was okay, I'm gonna get on and get off really quick before anybody sees me. But at least I can say I did it. And one night, Christine came on. And I was like, procrastination coach. And I was like, I know, you know all about this. And the beautiful thing about that was that when I allowed myself to go outside of my comfort zone, magic can happen. And you can meet new and beautiful friends like Christine. And things just start snowballing, just by taking that one small step. Other things just open up.

Christine Li:

Yes. And I'm going to tell my side of that story, because I saw Sonya making a beautiful circulatory board, and talking about movies, and looking so calm and compose and cool. And I would never have known that she was somehow nervous, or that she wasn't an old hand at doing these Instagram lives. It just goes to show you that your nerves are just again, fleeting feelings, the presence of your nerves does not in any way indicate the quality of your behavior, or the nature of your potential, or how much fun you can have on an Instagram Live. The potential is always wide open. And like Sonya, so beautifully said before we shrink it back, we tamp it down. We tell our stories to make sure that we only see the dark corner of the possibilities rather than the big beautiful sky above us. And I just love talking to Sonya because she's like this bright light, about possibility and going for it and trying new things. And being a badass because we're bad assets. There's no doubt it's not just our baseline. It's the whole story. That's right. Yes. And of course we're sharing this badassery with you, dear listeners, because you're included in this party. Amen. So, what tips would you have for our listener? Who might be really nervous about stepping outside their comfort zone? What little push Can you give or what piece of faith can you give them?

Sonya Reece:

Well, what I would start off by saying is, please, don't compare yourself to anyone else. And don't compare any steps that you make to anyone elses. I heard this at a seminar, and so I can't take the credit for it. But the way that she explained people stepping outside of their box is that for some, you may take a small step, and it'll look like, you know, a champagne bottle just bursting out, you know, champagne is going everywhere. It's like big, and people are like, Oh my god, I want to do that. But for someone else, it may be just like a couple of little bubbles. If you pour like champagne in the glass, like a little bubble. One is no greater than the other because everyone's stepping outside of the box is going to look different. So what I say to that is, whatever it is, take one small step, you don't have to go from zero to 10. All at once. You can go from zero to one, from one to two, from two to three. That's what I was doing with my lives. I was like, let me just show up. If I can make five minutes Oh my God, I'm doing great. I think that night I met you I did like four minutes and 37 seconds. But it is to be celebrated no matter what. So anything that you do to get yourself that much closer to a goal that much closer to the real you the big queue. The God like you and again, the God of your understanding the person that you really and truly are. Any step you make is to be celebrated, no matter how big it is, or no matter how small. It's still to be celebrated. So I say be easy on yourself. No comparisons. do your very best. You know, no matter how small it is,

Christine Li:

even if it's one champagne bubble, go for it. Right? Dear listener, you are not watching me and Sonya on video looking at each other, but I've been high fiving her this entire conversation. Sonya, thank you for bringing your loveliness and your wisdom and your sensitivity about these topics to this episode. But I'd love and thank you for helping me to encourage our listeners to go shine. And to go have fun. Yeah, and to go be free. Don't let the Gremlins hold you back anymore. Am I right? That's right. So thank you, Sonya, for joining me today. It's been such a pleasure.

Sonya Reece:

It has been an absolute honor to be here with you. Thank you so much for inviting me.

Christine Li:

Thank you for listening to this episode of The make time for success podcast. If you enjoyed what you heard, you can subscribe to make sure you get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website make time for success podcast.com for past episodes, show notes and all the resources we mentioned on the show. Feel free to connect with me over on Instagram too. You can find me there under the name procrastination coach. Send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes you've been listening to. And let me know any topics that you might like me to talk about on the show. I'd love to hear all about how you're making time for success. Talk to you soon.

Sonya Reece

Certified Professional Coach

Sonya is a a certified professional coach with many years in self-development education, leadership training and accountability coaching. As a coach, she helps the creative-minded professional clear mental clutter & turn DREAMS into PLANS, one fun project at a time. She’s also a senior graphic designer, turned project manager with 20+ years as a creative, working for a major technology corporation.