Pause On The Play Ep 3

Hello, hello, hello and welcome back to Pause on the Play. This is Erica Courdae, as always it's amazing to see you here where you are challenged to examine your beliefs, question your predisposed notions and consider realities you may be unfamiliar with to understand that they too are real. I am your host and conversation MC for the day here to get the dialogue going.

So there's something that's been coming up in conversation a few times recently and usually when that happens, that tells me that it needs to be talked about. Apparently it's something that's kind of sticking with people and it's time to kind of dig a little deeper and examine that a little bit more. So there's this term called imposter syndrome, and I didn't hear about this until I began to actually be an entrepreneur for myself in my secondary business. Toward the end of kind of the time before I started this business.

So, as a backstory Erica Courdae is my brand where I do coaching and consulting. However, I also own Silver Immersion, which is a beauty brand which I have had for over 10 years and I've learned a lot of business things over the years. But as I began digging deeper into mindset and things like that, and interacting with some entrepreneurs that were in different spaces, that was when imposter syndrome became something that I was aware of.

And the general concept for anyone that may not know is that you are say beginning something new, doing something you've always done or trying to foray into a new area and you get this feeling of, I can't do this. I'm not capable, I'm not qualified, I'm not good enough, I don't deserve this. All of the things begin to come up and it's usually just based around fear. These are things that come up when it is trying to dissuade you. These are things that are coming up when it is trying to, I guess you could maybe even say throw you off the path, but the reality is is that they're pretty much always false. They're not rooted in actual reality.

And most of the times when fear does come up for us, that fear is based around the fear of what if this goes well? What if this succeeds?

Not, "Oh, this is going to go terribly and I'm going to fail." That's not typically what happens. So when these things come up, the concept is kind of that you are getting resistance around being something that you're not and I kind of want to call BS on that, because I'm not too sure I agree with it.

If you think about it, particularly for someone that grew up with any type of abuse or trauma, if you grew up with any types of mindset or thought process ideas given to you in that you are supposed to shrink yourself.

You were supposed to be smaller, your feelings, your wants, your needs, your emotions don't matter, aren't valid and you're basically just made to feel as though you are not important. Then maybe you had to become something in order to make it. Maybe you had to remake who you were at your core in order to survive. And as you go through that concept and you finally hit this point of, I don't want to just exist or just live, I am now ready to thrive, and you're stepping into this next best version of yourself.

Well, what if with that, the imposter isn't who you're becoming, but the imposter is who you are no longer choosing to be?

What if the imposter is the person that you had to be just to get through and now it's just that you're having this dis-ease or this resistance or the strange feeling because this person does feel more aligned with you? It does for more inherent, it does feel more comfortable, but it's very foreign. It's not what you're used to. It's not what you're accustomed to and it's not something that you have been used to stepping into. So, that feels unsettling to an extent. And so this idea that you are trying to become someone that is the imposter, I think you are unbecoming something that isn't inherent to you. Something that you felt as though maybe you couldn't truly step into before because you had to protect yourself in some way, shape or form: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. And you are now stepping into your light.

And in doing that you get this whole, "Oh, okay, this feels strange." But is it really that it feels strange or it's just something that's unfamiliar? What you did before wasn't necessarily good for you. It wasn't the best for you. It was what you had to do and now you are able to make a choice.

So to give an example, when I work with white women around them trying to dismantle their privilege and they are saying that I want to work on implicit bias, I want to work on learning how to spot systemic racism. I want to see what privilege looks like an action. And in doing this, they are now trying to step out of what they've already done because that's what they were given. That's what they were told was the norm. They were told us this was acceptable and they're now saying, "Well, I don't necessarily agree with this. I don't really believe in it." So, now I have to re-do my thought process. I have to recreate what my norm looks like. And in doing that, I have to throw away a lot of what I believed up to this point.

And maybe that is triggering to some imposter syndrome type of feelings, because you've always felt this way and you didn't feel as though you were wrong. But all of a sudden now it's like, okay, I'm trying to be this other person and it can be scary. And in you trying to follow the path of allyship, you realize that you may likely be imperfect at it.

So if you've been used to being very sure-footed, very assured, very certain of what you put out and how you lead and how you navigate things. And all of a sudden now this feels scary and foreign and you feel unqualified. Well, maybe this is your imposter syndrome.

Maybe this is you hitting a point of I have to undo everything that I thought I knew about myself in order to redo this, to feel as though I am aligned with the values and beliefs that I truly do hold, I have to show them.

Because when you run from allyship, because you think that you're going to do it imperfectly, and let's be honest, this is all a journey. It's not a destination. When you run from that, what you are doing is you are now creating this area of I am going to quietly accept and be complicit in these things because I'm not going to do anything because I'm afraid to do it wrong. So I'm not going to do anything. That's not how that works.

Because the people that you say that you are trying to be an ally for don't need you to be quiet and sure before you are finally willing to step up. Enough time has passed. That ship has sailed. So, that is a place where imposter syndrome may be kicking up because it feels inherent to stand up and step up and speak out.

Yet it can also feel like can I do this? Am I equipped to do this? Am I doing this wrong? Is this the way that I do this in order to really honor the cause? But if you don't try, guess what? You won't ever know. Babies don't decide, "Well, I don't want to fall, so I'm just not going to try to walk." They fall and then they figure it out and then they get up and eventually they walk, they run. And that's just a part of the process.

So these things that keep you playing small in these areas that you likely, you know, don't play small like this in other parts of your life. This basically is a call for you to question how important is this to me? How uncomfortable am I willing to be? How willing am I to truly question the thoughts and feelings and beliefs that I have been instilled with up to this point to say, no, I don't abide by it. I don't believe in it. I don't stand by it and I'm going to start anew and do it differently.

How willing are you to make that large of a shift and a change? Does it resonate that highly for you? Does that really put you in a place of feeling aligned? And so that's a place for you to, as Brené Brown will tell you, kind of have that curiosity around things. And I want you to really think about it. I want you to question it. I want you to dig deeper and go below the surface on that.

And ask questions with it. Ask friends, ask family. Speak to someone that does not look like you. The people that you say you want to support, talk to them about it. Because while I cannot speak for anyone else, I can speak for myself in saying that I would much rather someone come to me with an open and authentic heart, willing to do the right thing and possibly make a misstep it's a teachable moment than to simply be quiet and complicit.

That helps no one. I don't want that. That is not what I speak for. That is not what I stand for. That is not what I instill in my children. That is not how I lead. So, I will never tell you that that is something that you should aspire for in how you choose to lead and live your life.

So that being said, I am calling you up to show curiosity around the possibility that imposter syndrome is showing up in your journey to allyship. And that's just one example. If there are other places in your life that you feel as though you are shedding that part of you that was an imposter to become the authentic version of yourself. Let's talk about that. Have that conversation, because I want to know how this truly serves you and how it's showing up so that you can create that change and begin that forward motion.

So, if you loved this Pause on the Play, this is just one of the iterations of how I use conversation to create connection. The Conversation Workshop is another. This is a series where I talk with a guest, very similar to what I did today, about topics like diversity and inclusion within your marketing or even creating diversity within wellness spaces. The difference is we also give you space to have a live Q&A with us so you can get support.

These conversations are not complete without you. Hop on over to, check out the show notes for the information and links as well and register for the upcoming episode so you can get personalized support to further your growth.

The conversations we have here are to normalize the challenging things and make them a part of your normal exchanges. This is how we remove stigma and create real change and connection, cross lines and recreate boundaries to support, not separate.

If you enjoyed this podcast, show me some love by subscribing, sharing it with a friend or leaving us a review. Reviews are the fuel to keep the podcast engine going. Let's get more people dropping the veil and challenging their thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Speaking of keeping it going, if you don't already follow and engage with us over on Instagram @EricaCourdae, come on over there and do that. I really want to talk with you, so DM me and let's do this. I love being here and creating the bridge for you to walk over to become the change that you want to see. So join us next time and until then, keep the dialogue going. Bye.


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