This is a blog about a relationship break up.

Not directly about career or job search yet totally about career and job search and, specifically, imposter syndrome.

The phrase of the day- “I feel like a fraud.”

I haven’t totaled it up, but I can confidently say that of all the women I’ve coached over the years, 90% put imposter syndrome as one of the top things they want to coach on.

Imposter syndrome may come in different forms:

  • Not feeling confident
  • Afraid to negotiate
  • Unsure how to ask for what they want
  • Comparing themselves to others and coming up lacking
  • Minimizing their accomplishments
  • Having a hard time receiving feedback— overly sensitive to feedback or making feedback mean more than simply an opportunity to learn and grow
  • Assuming they aren’t adding enough value to a project
  • Believing they aren’t good enough just as they are

After a recent imposter syndrome conversation, I remembered a very significant event that I believe has made a real difference in my ability to not fall victim to fraud complex.

I was in college, and I’d been dating a guy for a few months.

I was crazy about him and believed it was mutual.

Then, out of the blue, he told me he had moved in with his sister… three hours away!

I couldn’t make sense of this. How would we see each other? Didn’t he miss me already like I was missing him? I wasn’t interested in just seeing him on occasional weekends. I wanted to spend all of my free time with him and thought he felt the same.

I decided that it had to mean something was wrong with me.

I wasn’t enough somehow.

I must’ve said something, not said something, done something, not done something to drive him away. Maybe I wasn’t pretty enough, fun enough, cool enough … fill in the blank enough.

I knew I just needed to change something about me and then he’d realized my value and worth.

Yet, he was still hours away and he didn’t seem to have any real desire or urgency to hash through the whys of his decision or to address what we might do to fix our relationship.

As they say, he just wasn’t that into me.

But at the time I did not get that concept. I felt frustrated, confused and very sad.

So sad that I didn’t get out of bed for a couple of days.

Then one Monday morning I walked downstairs to my mom’s room and said “Mom, I think I need to talk to someone. I can’t seem to get myself out of bed.”

My mom, my hero, jumped into action and called a therapist she knew who was able to get me in that afternoon.

I remember very little about my one and only session with this man.

I know he asked me about the situation that brought me there. He asked me about my plans, what I enjoyed and then, at the end of the session, he said something like “Laurie, here’s what I know for sure. You are bright and intuitive.

You care deeply and you have so much going for you. I don’t know this guy, but I can tell you with 100% confidence that if he chooses not to be with you, it’s his loss. ”

BAM! In that moment I felt fully seen. I knew that what he said was truth.

I was all of those things and because someone didn’t see it, or want me for all their own reasons, it didn’t change those truths.

And now, when faced with perceived rejection, feelings of being less than what’s needed, feeling uncertain or afraid, I remind myself of these truths.

If your boss, your colleagues, people who are interviewing you, can’t see your brilliance it’s their loss.

“It’s their loss.”

When I say this to myself, I see it as a reminder of the truths reflected back to me by that therapist. Whether it’s really a loss to them doesn’t matter. It is the power in me that the phrase evokes that matters.

  • Didn’t get an interview. “It’s their loss.”
  • Another person got the offer. “Oh well, their loss.”
  • Not selected for that glamour project. “They may not know it it yet but BIG MISTAKE. Their loss.”

Here’s the magic in that phrase…

Not only does it help after something didn’t go as planned but it also gives you that boost of confidence you need when walking into new or scary situations.

It is perfect for when you’re feeling outside your comfort zone like when negotiating, asking for a promotion, starting a job search or deciding to totally switch up your career.

Your value and worth are always there even if others can’t see it. And if that is the case … well, it’s their loss!

TIP: Coaching is a great way to clap back to your imposter syndrome and set yourself up to fully believe in your value and worth no matter what.

How My Relationship Breakup Cured My Imposter Syndrome