Have you ever been presented a big professional opportunity that excites you yet appears meant for people smarter than you? You might feel intimidated and experience what is known as "Imposter Syndrome." What this means essentially is that you feel less qualified than other people who are usually taking on these types of opportunities. As a result, you doubt yourself deep inside and you likely either painfully push forward or decline the opportunity altogether.
Wouldn't it be amazing if what you call Imposter Syndrome is actually a gift to bring out your inner genius? I have found that it is...for women. And I have tested this theory on myself and with my clients. To get to the gift of Imposter Syndrome is as simple as asking one profound question.
Intellectual Understanding: Why the Question Works
Before we get to the magical question, some context will help you intellectually understand why this question is so effective for women.
First, it is important to celebrate when you recognize Imposter Syndrome because the diagnosis itself is clarifying and helpful! When identified as the root cause of blockage against an opportunity, you immediately gain insight. Imposter Syndrome indicates that you believe you are being an imposter or pretending to be something you're not. Symptoms include thoughts of being unworthy and feelings of anxiety.
Second, it is important as a woman to identify a feminine pathway to heal Imposter Syndrome. This is so because the often-cited medicine for Imposter Syndrome is masculine-oriented and so feels unnatural and hard for most women. The most common masculine prescription for Imposter Syndrome is to "push through" and "fight" your feelings to "claim your seat at the table." This advice is great ... if you are someone who thrives at work in your masculine energy (being aggressive, goal-oriented, focused, logical, linear, and competitive).
If as a woman you thrive at work in your feminine energy (being nurturing, feelings-oriented, fluid, creative, and collaborative), a feminine approach to Imposter Syndrome will feel more natural and easeful. In the feminine, rather than push past your feelings, you lean into them. Listening to and trusting your feelings works better for you as a woman because your emotional nature is your feminine power. Your emotions serve as your inner compass and tell you when you are on track or off. So, when you recognize Imposter Syndrome in yourself, the feminine wisdom is to pause and listen to feelings that signal you are being inauthentic.
Spiritual Magic: The Question and How to Work with It
If you want to heal Imposter Syndrome through your feminine energy, the magical formula is one question that sends you on a healing pathway.
To heal Imposter Syndrome, ASK:
If I trust the feelings inside of me, where am I actually being an imposter?
Your examination of this question is a profound one. Your answer guides you on one of two pathways:
(a) If your feelings of Imposter Syndrome reveal that you don't actually want the opportunity but are examining it merely because you think you should want it, you are healed by letting the opportunity go.
(b) If your feelings of Imposter Syndrome reveal that you're approaching the opportunity in a way that is not authentic to you, you are healed by approaching the opportunity from your Feminine Genius.
When (b) is your experience that means you think you will succeed to win the opportunity only if you approach it in the way others do, a way that is outside your genius zone. That line of thinking is painful because that is you telling yourself to be an imposter. Faking your way through anything is unnatural and rightfully feels hard because you are not meant to exist in the world wearing someone else's ideas. Rather, you're meant to shine in your own genius.
In this way, Imposter Syndrome truly is a gift that helps you as a woman feel your inauthenticities and reconnect with your Feminine Genius, which is your innate talent + your feminine energy combined to help you heal the world through your work. (Read more here about Feminine Genius here).
You now have a tool so that when Imposter Syndrome takes you over, you can free yourself. As you ask the magical question and trust your feelings, you ignite a meaningful exploration inside of yourself about why you feel the way you do. And as you come to your answer, you feel immediate relief wash over you. This is because you embrace permission to show up as your true self, and that is the best medicine of all time. And, as for the outcome, you can let go and lean into faith trusting that the opportunity will be yours if it is in alignment with who you really are and who you are becoming!
About the Author
Hi I'm Gina Marotta, and I can help you step into your higher calling. My unique body of work is about "feminine genius" which includes bringing your innate talent + feminine energy (spirituality, creativity, intuition, feelings, and fluidity) into a career focus that changes people's lives for the better. I serve from extensive study in the divine feminine, as well as 20+ years experience as a leader in multiple industries. I have worked professionally as a lawyer, a nonprofit managing director, and an entrepreneur; and I bring all that experience and wisdom to you. You will find me quoted and interviewed often as a career expert in media outlets like Thrive Global, The Huffington Post, American Bar Association Magazine, Barron's Next Magazine, and WGN Radio.