Imposter Syndrome & Situational Awareness

Imposter Syndrome & Situational Awareness

When I started The Diamond Arrow Group and had to create the website and social media channels, I started hearing voices in my head.

“What are you doing Kelly?! What makes you an expert?”

“Why do you think you are capable of doing this?”

“You’re going to make a fool out of yourself when everyone realizes you’re a rookie!”

Imposter syndrome is real, and it affects a lot of women.

Maybe a big promotion has opened up at your company, or you got asked to tell your story on a stage, or you are offered an opportunity to do something outside your comfort zone. What is the first thing that goes through your head? You might have a split second of excitement before that voice in your head says,

“but if I say yes, they’ll discover I’m not an expert and realize I’ve been faking it all along.”

Dr. Valerie Young has been helping people for decades who struggle with feeling like an imposter. She breaks it down in to four “competence types” in her book, The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer From the Imposter Syndrome and How To Thrive in Spite of It.

  1. The Perfectionist – 99 out of 100 equals failure
  2. The Expert – need to know and understand EVERYTHING, otherwise they’re a failure
  3. The Soloist – needing to ask for help is a failure
  4. The Natural Genius – if they struggle at something on the first try, they’re a failure
  5. The Superwoman/man/student – need to handle it all perfectly and at the same time, or they’re a failure

Do any of those competence types sound familiar to you? For me personally, “The Expert” type is the one I struggle with the most. When I started The Diamond Arrow Group Facebook page, I literally started sweating as I was inviting friends to like the page. That voice kept saying,

 “Who are YOU to say you are the expert at teaching Situational Awareness to women?”

 “Did you get a degree in this field? Did you read enough books?”

 “All these women you’re inviting to like your page are going to think you’re crazy!”

 When I mentioned my struggles to a close group of friends who’d become my sounding board, one of them blurted out, “Don’t you worry that if you DON’T get out there and talk about this, someone might die?”

It was a dramatic statement in stark contrast with my imposter syndrome inner voice, so we got a good laugh out of it, but it also was a light bulb moment for me. The longer I wallowed in my fears, the less opportunities I had to share what I knew and help someone live a safer and more confident life. I shifted that inner voice from “I so nervous” to “I’m so excited!”. Any time that little voice started going to the negative side, I would stop it and think about how excited I was to have the amazing opportunity to share what I knew about situational awareness with other women.

Maybe you have a little voice in your head saying you could never tell a stranger to back off if they got too close. Maybe you worry that if a guy you know started making you uncomfortable, you wouldn’t know how to make it clear you don’t like their actions. Maybe you struggle with self-confidence in your ability to physically defend yourself, so you walk with your head down and avoid eye contact. I totally understand. Let me help you build your confidence so you can move forward and live life on your own terms.

If you want to stop feeling that way, you must stop thinking that way. You got this.

Travel Safety Tips

Travel Safety Tips

I know a lot of successful women who travel not only for work, but also for their own enjoyment. With the release of the Travel Safety Awareness video, a friend suggested I ask other women to share their number one safety tip on video (brilliant idea Jim!). So, with a little help from my friends, here is the video with 7 great travel tips to keep in mind.

1. Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the founder of Retail Minded, author of “Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business” and travels the world to speak on topics facing small business retailers. Her tip helps you avoid the unsolicited hotel employee knocking on your door.

2. The next tip relates not only to your hotel stay, but also anytime you get in an Uber or meet a stranger in a coffee shop. Laura Doonin is a Digital Commerce Strategist, Keynote speaker, Yoga guru and hosts a fabulous podcast called “Whiskey & Commerce”.

3. If you’ve ever dreamed of working from a beautiful co-working space in a foreign country and bringing your family along, Maria Surma Manka is the woman to help you make it happen. Author of “Next-level Digital Nomad: Traveling and Working from Anywhere (even with Kids and a Day Job)” and the blog “Workation Woman”, Maria, her husband, and their two kids have lived like locals in the UK, New Zealand, and Spain. Her travel safety tip comes from seeing this happen in real life.

4. Debbie Hauss is the Executive Director at Retail Touch Points and puts together the Retail Innovation Conference in New York City. She also happens to be my favorite running buddy while taking in the beauty of Central Park or seeing our national monuments in Washington D.C.. With the increased safety concerns for women using ride share apps, her tip is one we can all use.

5. Kelly Radi is the award-winning author of “Out to Sea: A Parents’ Survival Guide to the Freshman Voyage“, motivational speaker and travel enthusiast (she recorded her tip from the airport in Prague!). When you’re visiting a new destination, you will want to keep her travel safety tip in mind while you’re taking in all the sights.

6. The next contributor has lived in Mallorca, Spain and travels to Switzerland and other European countries on a regular basis. Sarah Bader is the Director of Talent Engagement for Roth Staffing Companies and shares her best practices regarding choosing your travel lodging.

7. Since this travel safety tips video started with a Nicole, I thought it would be fitting to bookend it with another Nicole. As the Executive Director of Congregations For Kids, Nicole Taylor is a passionate advocate for Foster Children all over the world. From Africa to Australia to Haiti to one of our favorite places to meet up, New York City- her tip is all about giving the impression you’re a local.

Whether you’re traveling for work or simply exploring a new destination for some well-earned R&R, remember-your safety is paramount. Keep these tips in mind and use what applies to you to have a safe and enjoyable trip.

 Checkout the video below!

“Don’t ever accept anyone else’s preconceived limitations. If there’s something you want to do, there isn’t any reason you can’t do it.” -Amy Dodson