The Whole View, Season 3 Ep 43: Imposter Syndrome w/ Cathy Heller

Welcome Cathy Heller to the Whole View! This week, Stacy and Cathy break down imposter syndrome and offer listeners actionable steps they can take to combat it.

Find Cathy: 

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Key Takeaways


  • Cathy hosts the popular podcast, The Cathy Heller Podcast (formerly Don’t Keep Your Day Job), which has about 35 million downloads and has been featured in Forbes, Variety, Entrepreneur Magazine, HuffPost, Inc Magazine, Business Insider and several times by Apple podcast.
  • Furthermore, Her book Don’t Keep Your Day Job was released in November 2019 with Macmillan. It’s filled with inspirational stories from people in her community who have taken control of their life’s journey. Cathy’s book goes into detail about how to find the work you’re meant to do, grow your business, and wake up to a life you love. Her second book,  Abundant Ever After, will be published in 2023.
  • Cathy works as a business coach, mom, podcaster, and songwriter who specializes in helping women create wealth and next-level happiness.
  • Cathy says she didn’t get to where she is today because she’s “lucky” or special. Utimately, it’s her deep understanding of the principles of abundance and how to create a beautiful life sharing your gifts and passions with others.
  • On this episode, Cathy joins the podcast to dive deep into imposter syndrome, what drives us to feel like an imposter, and what we can do to combat it.

Imposter Syndrome

  • Acording to a Psychology Today article, “People who struggle with imposter syndrome believe that they are undeserving of their achievements and the high esteem in which they are, in fact, generally held. They feel that they aren’t as competent or intelligent as others might think—and that soon enough, people will discover the truth about them.”
  • When we’re caught in a system where we constantly feed ourselves an idea that to finally feel like we are not an imposter, that we are the “real deal”, we have to earn a certain amount and do a certain thing. Unfortunately, with that idea, we’ll never attain it, it will always allude us. 
  • Furthermore, we are all constantly figuring out how to get back into “the zone”.  Cathy wants us to be able to feel focused, present, full, and joyful. And in that place, there is no imposter. The imposter is in the place where everything is outside, on the other side of achievement.
  • Cathy wants students that are willing to play with things, innovate, take risks, have things to edit, and make things that are mediocre. She wants people to leave the tendency to try to be this perfect person at the door, because it’s not gonna serve them.
  • Ultimately, we live in such a performance-driven society that it creates this false sense of what needs to be produced, which creates an imposter syndrome.
  • A Harvard Business article states, “Imposter syndrome is especially prevalent in biased, toxic cultures that value individualism and overwork.” [source]
  • Cathy says we also live in a very miserable world because it’s “me” focused., and thinks it needs to be more “you” focused on some level, because truly that is selfish. When people take care of other people it feel so good.

Topics Discussed

  • A good manager or supervisor can help tame imposter syndrome. From KPMG study [source], “When asked which dynamics within the workplace were most valuable to help reduce feelings of imposter syndrome, 47% said having a supportive performance manager and 29% said feeling valued and being rewarded fairly”. Additionally, “to overcome imposter syndrome, 72% of executive women looked to the advice of a mentor or trusted advisor when doubting their abilities to take on new roles.”
  • Stacy identifies with the following excerpt; however, she only has been able to have that perspective after walking away from a of corporate role. She thinks it’s helpful for others to hear the lived experience so many of us face:

“Imposter syndrome took a fairly universal feelng of discomfort, second guessing, and mild anxiety in the workplace and pathologized it, especially for women. As white men progress, their feelings of doubt usually abate as their work and intelligence are validated over time. They’re able to find role models who are like them, and rarely (if ever) do others question their competence, contributions, or leadership style. Women experience the opposite. Rarely are we invited to a women’s career development conference where a session on ‘overcoming imposter syndrome’ is not on the agenda.” – Harvard Business Review article

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Note: Stacy and her guests are not medical professionals. This podcast is for general educational purposes and NOT intended to diagnose, advise, or treat any physical or mental illness. We always recommend you consult a licensed service provider.

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