Overcoming Imposter Feelings with Amanda Cookson.
We were joined by the wonderful Amanda Cookson to discuss, better understand and gain advice on how to overcome imposter feelings.
- Amanda Cookson
- Oct 20 2021
Tom: Hello and welcome to Episode 8 of the Make Things Better Podcast. Today, I have Amanda Cookson on the show. I am really excited to talk to you Amanda and we’re going to crack on and talk about the Imposter Syndrome. Before we get into that, if you don’t mind me asking, how did you get into coaching which you are doing now and do you want to tell us a little bit about your background and what you’ve been up to over the last few years?
Amanda Cookson: So, I worked for a company called Learn Direct for many years in E-learning, Digital, Customer Service and when the department had run and the work came to an end, I wanted to be one of those people who did something amazing with that opportunity with that change. I had always wanted to run my own business, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I was feeling a bit down as well because it kind of didn’t end well so I started working with a coach and this coach asked me lots of questions about what did you like most about your role and I fancied a change and the thing I liked most about my work was those one to one conversations where you are talking to your direct reports or you are mentoring and supporting people and how much I got from that. In thinking about that and the coach I was working with, it struck me that I quite fancied training to become a coach. So, I then spoke to some people who were already coaches to understand where they learnt what they did and there are loads of different coaches and loads of different kinds of training you can do. And I ended up going to I think one of the best coaching schools in the country because the person I spoke to really inspired me and she asked me questions which just got my brain thinking in a completely different spot and I’ve never looked back since. So, I’ve been running my own business, I’ve been coaching people professionally for about 6 years. And every day is joy, I just love what I do. It’s like I’ve never had to work a single day since I decided to make this move. I’m really into imposter syndrome because it was something I really struggled with. So, I’ve been really lucky to interview some world-leading experts in it and work with some fabulous people who kind of struggled with it themselves. So, I feel like I’ve changed my own narrative and story and I’m looking forward to sharing that with you. I’m really into at the moment, it’s going to sound a little bit weird, but a confession. So, if there is a party or a lunch event or we’re down the pub I have always felt like there are people who you look at and you think ‘Omg I want to sit with them, I want to talk to them, I want to be with them’ and I’ve never felt like I’m one of those people. I always feel like I’m the person where they’re like ‘oh god no not Cookson’. So, I’ve been understanding more about your energy and there’s a lovely phrase I’ve got in one of my books I make notes in that your ‘Energy introduces you before you open your mouth.’ And so, I’ve been looking at behaviour and thinking and how that influences the way that you are, the way that you be and how people feel about you. So I’ve been learning loads and having a blast.
Tom: Wow that’s amazing and it’s great to hear. You’re already bringing such positive energy to the show as well. It is cool to hear that the coaching direction came out of something that at first may have seemed like an obstacle or a negative thing, but you’ve actually managed to switch that on its head and have ended up doing something that you’re more happy with now which is amazing. So, before we delve into the imposter syndrome too much, just for anyone out there who’s not aware of this do you want to tell us first of all about what the imposter syndrome is because only until a few months ago, I didn’t know what it was. Allan, our designer at Hive actually mentioned it to me a few months ago and that’s how I learned about it.
Amanda Cookson: So, first of all, the imposter syndrome is not a syndrome. It is a collection of thoughts and feelings. It is not a syndrome. So, it is not a medical condition, it’s not like a mental health illness, it’s not a disease. It’s not something you’ve got. It is a way of thinking and being and there are loads and loads of myths around imposter syndrome which I think is super, super unhelpful. It was first discovered in 1978. There were these two researchers – Pauline Clance and Suzanne Innes. They were looking at PhD students and they were looking mostly at women. There were these incredible, intelligent, talented, fantastic women in front of them who were all talking about not being good enough, struggling, thinking that they couldn’t see there PhD through and that they weren’t enough. So, they coined the phrase imposter syndrome. I think one of the myths is that it’s women, this is a women’s thing. It’s not a women’s thing. You can be any gender at all. The research actually shows, and this is getting a little bit more technical, but there are feminine traits that regardless of gender and if you identify as a man or a woman, if you have feminine thinking traits then you are more likely to have imposter feelings than if you have those more kind of masculine ones if that makes sense. The other thing with imposter feelings, I’m going to call them, is that it impacts on high achievers. The reason it impacts on high achievers is that if you are somebody that is a high achiever than you are going to be doing different things, pushing you out your comfort zone, doing more and more and you are going to end up in situations where you’ve not done something before, you’ve not experienced something before and we all have as human being those feelings of ‘Can I do this?’. Now where imposter syndromes are different to self-doubt is that for self-doubt you might think ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve not done this before, am I going to be okay? Am I going to be able to do this? I’m going to do my best, but how is it going to go?’ With imposter feelings, you really struggle to look back on your past and think ‘Do you know what, I am intelligent’. And you tend to have this false belief about yourself, contrary to evidence, contrary to what’s behind you and what you’ve done before, that you can not do things, that you are not capable. So, in that feeling of being an imposter is this sense of not being enough, not being capable, not being able and not learning from past experience. I could go on about this at great length, but I am going to pause for breath as you’re going to ask me a question.
Tom: Yeah, that’s super interesting and I guess a lot of it is to do with maybe the primitive side of the brain, is that right?
Amanda Cookson: Yes, yes, we’ve got in our brain two kind of almond-shaped clusters of neurones called your amygdala and their job is to look out and scan for danger. They do this 5 times every second so ‘Am I safe?’, ‘Am I safe?’, ‘Am I safe?’. And they’re looking for problems. So, you know, we had a chat beforehand just to kind of get really chill and to get to know each other. But if we hadn’t have done that, maybe we’d both be thinking ‘Am I safe?’, ‘Am I safe?’. You know, ‘What does Amanda think of me?’ ‘What does Tom think of me?’ And we’d have all these things going on interfering with our thinking and when your amygdala is activated, you have a neurochemical flood through your brain called Cortisol. And what it does is it shuts off access to that bit of your brain where you can think creatively and positively and to find that kind of forward motion and ways of doing things. So, you end up in this stress state with your primitive, reptile brain, finding all the dangers and all of the problems and you’re pretty stuck.
Tom: Yeah, it can be a dangerous place to be in. I know from trading as well that once that amygdala is activated, you can start to make really dangerous decisions. For example, when shares drop, I know that sometimes that’s when the amygdala can be activated because of all that fear and that’s when people can rush in to selling shares when that may not be a rational thing to do. But it’s because eof that irrational, primitive part of the brain, right? So, going back to imposter feelings, rather than imposter syndrome, do you think it would actually help if this was called imposter feelings more than it being called imposter syndrome? Because the other question I have that relates to that, and I know I am going off the questions I initially planned to ask you so sorry about that, but I am sure you will have the answers. So, one thing I’ve been learning about recently is identity and when you identify as something or someone, then maybe with addiction or an illness that can actually be quite a detriment to your progress in trying to overcome that problem. So, I heard recently with maybe alcoholics that if you identify as an alcoholic then it can be harder to overcome that. So, with the imposter syndrome, that’s almost like you’re having an identity like ‘you have the imposter syndrome’ and that may make people feel like they need to get rid of. But if we always called it imposter feelings then maybe that would just be something that just comes and goes, and people may feel they will be able to just work on it over time and move away from. I don’t know, do you have any thoughts on that? Do you think it should maybe be called imposter feelings than imposter syndrome?
Amanda Cookson: So, I think you are spot on with your thinking there. So, one of the world leading experts in imposter, she calls it the imposter phenomenon, so she calls it IP. I call it imposter feelings, but I think the important thing, as you mentioned is, if you say, ‘I have imposter syndrome’ you are saying ‘I am an imposter, this is part of me and who I am’. If you can move yourself into the space of thinking I am noticing imposter feelings than they are not you and they are something you can then look at and address. One of the key things for tackling imposter feelings is to change the way you think about yourself, change your narrative. So, I talked earlier about how it’s this false belief, contrary to evidence, that you’re not enough, that you can’t do this, that you’re going to be found out. So, if you can start to change the way you think about yourself, notice your thinking and change your thinking then this is going to have a huge transformation effect on how you are. I think with someone who has really struggled with imposter feelings for most of my career, I mean I’ll give you some lovely example of my fabulous imposter feelings so when I first learnt to coach about the, it was then called the ‘imposter syndrome’ I listened and I took lots of notes and I decided that my feelings I had were not impostery enough to be imposter syndrome. So, I was an imposter about imposter syndrome. And actually, there’s a test you can do, a Klanz index where you can answer questions to measure your imposter feelings, where you are on a spectrum. Because you can have imposter feelings in one area and another area to varying degrees. So, on this scale, I am in the top quarter, but in my head, no this isn’t enough to be imposter feelings. And, usually when I work with client and they start to get ‘hang on a minute, these collections of thoughts are imposter thoughts’, and this is pretty common. It is a relief to have things named and then it’s work to start to shift the way you think and there isn’t a magic wand, it’s about constantly looking at your thinking and being vigilant and changing the way you think about yourself. But, you were talking earlier about when people are stressed or triggered, they do these stupid things and I think it’s worthwhile thinking about what’s that stress response for. So going back to when we could be eaten and our life depended on the way that we thought and behaved, when we are stressed and triggered, it’s because we are seen as being in danger. It’s because it’s life or death according to our brain so our focus completely narrows. What happens is you have these perceptual difficulties where you don’t see what’s right in front of your face. So, if you are struggling with imposter feelings and you are being triggered in this way, you won’t see the evidence of what you are doing well, you will only see what you are doing badly because it shrinks that. And also, the part of your brain that works in the forward-thinking, this is what I am going to do space gets shut off so you are in this problem space. The way our behaviour works, is that our thinking flows like water. So, it is like rivers that have cut through the landscape and are flowing down towards the sea and the more you think something, the stronger that river and that pathway is. So, what you need to do to change from having these imposter thoughts to having these positive thoughts is stopping the water from going in the negative way and start to change the thinking going in another way. You have to keep practicing and practicing that thinking until that pathway is stronger than the old, negative pathway.
Tom: Well, that's a great tip, but I imagine at first it could be quite challenging to kind of change your thinking on it. And how much does like awareness and mindfulness come in and do you think it is hard to overcome these imposter feelings? Or is it something that people can overcome with a few techniques?
Amanda Cookson: I think it's an interesting question because is it hard to overcome? Well, yeah. Is it doable? Is it worth it? Is it something that people can do? Yeah, absolutely. If you think about anything good in life, it takes effort. Um, so the way, and you kind of mentioned mindfulness and one of the key pieces. Um, of thinking that can make a difference in impostor feelings, is this mindful self-compassion. So, it's something that has had a profound effect on me and has really shifted the way that I coach and work with clients. So when you have an imposter thought, so you might say to yourself, ‘I'm not good enough. I'm not capable. Everyone else is cleverer, brighter, smarter’, or whatever it is. You notice that you've had that thought and rather than beat yourself up and say, oh my God, I can't believe I'm thinking this, this is terrible or whatever, you just think ‘Right. Well done me. That was an act of mindfulness. I noticed my thinking.’ And then following this self-compassion process, the next thing you do, is you think? ‘Well, that's just being human.’ We will have these thoughts. We all struggle with our identity, our capability. We all struggle sometimes to see our worth and to value ourselves. And that's just common humanity. And then the next thing you do, and this is the, the beautiful piece is you start to behave with yourself like you would do with a friend who was struggling with imposter feelings. Say for me, when I want to sooth myself, I kind of put my hand here or my chest, other people, I know they like to kind of rub their tummy. Some people like to kind of put their hand on their head, but you just give yourself a little bit of a gentle, loving touch, and you can do this in meetings. Cause no one would know what you were doing. And you'd just talk to yourself really kindly. And you say, do you know what we're working on ourselves? And we're going to have these moments where we don't feel okay. Or we’re struggling with how well we're doing and how we see ourselves? And that's all right. Cause I know you're doing your best and every day is an opportunity to learn and you are good enough, just by doing that every time it completely shifts the way you feel about you and it gets rid of those imposter feelings, but it's think about the water. You're kind of honing a path so to help anyone who's listening and thinking ‘I couldn't do that’. When my imposter, when I really got to understand my imposter voice and the feelings, it was so loud and I would be constantly telling myself that I was shit. ‘Your shit’. This voice in my head, ‘your shit’. And it was so, so common and so kind of pervasive, but I didn't even notice it was there. It was just always there. It was just always a part of me, ‘your shit, your shit your shit’. And I started off by telling it to F off. So then if you can imagine we had this negative voice, me shouting at myself. I'm trying desperately to move my thinking and get myself into a positive space. And it wasn't really working. I was noticing my feelings, but I still wasn't feeling great about myself and moving then into that space of that loving self- compassion and giving myself love. Rather than telling this feeling of being rubbish of not being enough to go away. It's not going to go away. If you ignore it, it's not going to go away. So, it's about then listening, being kind to yourself and changing the way you speak to yourself. And it's just been huge. I feel like a completely different person. And what I'm capable of doing has shifted massively. And I do the same with the clients I work with and it's like a weight has been lifted, but it is work and it is being mindful, and it is sending love to yourself.
Tom: It’s so heart-warming to hear that you've kind of overcome this. And now you seem really enthusiastic about helping other people who are dealing with this as well, because you can appreciate what it's like to be in that zone. The other thing that I think is quite interesting about how at one point you were saying like F off, but if you actually think about what you're doing, there. With that like subconscious habit is you’re actually swearing at yourself or like you're being mean to yourself. You’re fighting yourself if you are approaching yourself from a place of hate, then even though you're trying to fight something that you don't like about yourself, it's still coming from a place of hate. And that's why it probably doesn't work so well. Where-as that compassion, that self-love, that trying to be kind to yourself that is so effective because you're actually starting to love yourself and, you know, you're building up those blocks that over time can hopefully become something even bigger and more effective as well. So yeah, I think one of my questions was how can people combat the imposter syndrome. But to be honest, I feel like we've probably covered that one already.
Amanda Cookson: There are more things. Which I would like to kind of share. So one of them is this changing your self-talk and this self-compassion exercise is just so important. The next one, which is really fundamental as well is to gather your evidence. So somebody who is struggling with impostor feelings, struggles to see their value struggles to see their worth. So, when I first started coaching. You know, ‘Am I good enough. Does anyone like what I do?’. I wouldn't ask for feedback because I was so scared that the feedback was going to be negative. And so coaches have like an ultra-Uber, Jedi coach who supports you in your work, who's your supervisor and you go to supervision. So, my coaching supervisor said to me, ‘Amanda, how do you know whether you're a good coach or whether you're not a good coach, if you're not asking this and not gathering feedback.’ So, I kind of started to ask the question and I was very afraid of what people were going to say. And people said the most amazing things and it shocked me. It really shocked me. And I was kind of honest cause I worked with people who struggled with imposter feelings that I didn't want to ask. And they were really shocked and it turned out to be, you know, a really great conversation. But if you are listening to this, and you are resonating and thinking, yep. I do struggle to see that what I do is enough. I do think other people are better than me. I do sit in meetings and I have something really valuable say, but I don't open my mouth. I do do project work and I look just for the one mistake and I don't hear what people are saying that’s great and is of value. I'm not putting myself forward for promotions and opportunities, because I think other people will be better than me. Then start to collect feedback, start to collect all of that evidence about what you do and what you do well. Because that will make it much harder for that little imposter voice in your head to tell you you're rubbish, because you can then look at all of this evidence. And the other thing that's really important as if you are listening to this and you're thinking, well, I don't have any imposter issues, but so-and-so does, then your gift to them is to give really specific feedback. Because quite often and like, when my mum would say, ‘oh, Amanda darling, you're wonderful. You're lovely you’re amazing. You’re just so amazing’. And actually, that's useless. It's so vague. And it just sounds like a load of old fluff. So when you tell someone this is brilliant, what’s brilliant? What specifically makes it brilliant to you because if you can be granular and specific, so the way that you described X or this particular aspect of your code or whatever it is, then people can really hear and understand what they do well. So that's it. Feedback is really important. So, when I'm working with clients who are really struggling with imposter feelings, I suggest start to collect, you know, make a spreadsheet, collect all of that feedback. And when you're having a bad day, when you, the voice that you're not good enough is so loud and kind of trying to work with yourself with love isn't working, look at your list, look at what everyone else is saying, and that will really help to lift it. And the other thing that's really important is that when you are struggling with impostor feelings, Any problems, any issues, you know, like with retrospectives, you know, delving into this could have been better, that could have been better, really comfortable space. What did you do? Well, what can we celebrate? What are the successes? ‘Um, um, well, you know, it was just luck or other people did it’, you know, when you hear that kind of brushing it off. So quite often, people say that for people with impostor feelings, it's like, kind of Teflon for positives and everything just slides off because they're not going to listen to that. Whereas it's Velcro for all the negatives. So, again if you are struggling with imposter feelings, celebrate your successes, I've got to, which is just embarrassing. But if I do something that's gone well, I will celebrate and I'll go ‘Yes!!’ because I really want me to notice I did that and I did it really well. And then for clients, when they're trying to like, you know, ‘it was nothing, it was just a tiny thing’. I'll make sure that's really celebrated so people can feel and get a sense of their successes and the things they do well. So it will help them recognize they can do it and relish that positive feeling. And again, you think about this river flowing, you are further strengthening that image, that identity, that you are good enough, that you can do it, that you are capable.
Tom: Yeah, that's amazing. And, what I was thinking about, when you were talking about getting external feedback is actually like what's going on there is you've got the primitive brain and one individual's primitive brain coming up against reality. It’s literally coming up against what's actually going on in reality from a rational point of view, probably a rational point of view coming from a wide range of people who are actually celebrating your success in whatever it may be. And it's like, if you actually think about that. Like one is just so much more like powerful than the over, or at least it should be, but it's not because the primitive brain, like how that works is so, so powerful as well. But, you'd like to think that the more external feedback you receive, the kind of smaller those imposter feedings would become. And so I can definitely see how that would work. And then as you say, as well, like celebrating your own successes and the more you do that, then hopefully that can become a subconscious habit where you can actually start to recognize that you're doing well, because that's the other thing with like the subconscious is it may just be picking up on all the things that you're doing wrong. This can happen to me quite a lot is I definitely notice the things I've done badly more than all the things I've done right? Like I've been editing the podcast I did previously this week and I was like, oh geez, why did I say that? Why did I say that? And it's like, well, okay. Yeah. I said four or five things wrong and I’ve dwelled on that for a huge amount of time or thought about that too much, but then it's like, well actually what about the other 90% of the podcast, which is fine. And it's like, yeah, probably I should maybe appreciate I've actually done okay there a bit more. And it's the same with this podcast. When I look back, I'll be like, oh, why didn't I let Amanda kind of tell us more about combining the imposter syndrome before I try to be like, ‘okay, we've covered that. You know?’ So it's like, I recognize that straight away and it's like, I'll probably dwell on this later, but hopefully I can use some of your techniques today to overcome that already you see. So that's so helpful. Anyway, one of my questions was actually how influential is the subconscious and sort of habits when it comes to imposter feelings?
Amanda Cookson: It’s huge. For me, I'm an NLP master practitioner and one of the things that you are trained in is that how everyone experiences reality is completely unique to them. So, you and me, we're here on this podcast, the people listening to this, although we've all got a shared experience, we will all be experiencing it completely differently, depending on where our head's at, because our experience is the thing plus our thinking about the thing. So, imposter feelings are experiences with this negative thinking about those experiences, that it's not good enough, that there’s a problem, that should have been done better it’s judging yourself. It's kind of wrapping fear around situations. And once you change your thinking about a thing, then it completely changes your experience. And when your experience and your thinking changes, then actually what comes to you in life and the opportunities that you have and how happy you are and how successful you are changes. So it's absolutely fundamental. I mean, when I first worked, so I trained as a teacher and then I went away and I did a master's in Sheffield. And one of my first jobs was working at the national center for popular music, which is this like this big lottery funded museum that launched in 2000 and it was an utter failure, so much so that we had this big guy that came up from London and I was education manager at the time. And so we were all asked to think about why had the center fails? All the kind of leaders went out the room and we all sat around. And it really sticks with me about the importance of your brain and your subconscious and experience. So, I have been thinking these exhibits don't seem very good. And there was this one thing called soundscapes, which said it would transport you onto the stage of Wembley. And I'd love to be a pop star. I really would, but I sing like a rusty gate. So, it's one of those, you know, unrequited things that, you know, I really wish I'd love to have been on a stage. And when I was at university or my mainstream bands and they were like ‘Amanda, Amanda be in our band’, but I can't play anything, I can't sing. So it just never happens. So I was really looking forward to this experience of being on the stage and Wembley, and I thought, do you know what the cinema sounds better? There must be something wrong with my ears. Yeah. So, everyone else must have the kind of days that the pop stars have and I've got the wrong kind of ears. So this guy who’d come up from London and he was asking us, what do we think? And so I kind of put up my hand and I said, yeah, ‘Well, I don't think this exhibit is very good’ and I kind of explained what I thought and I was sat at the front and I remember there was about 30 of us. So, there was like everybody who worked behind tills and on the canteens and supported the exhibits. Everybody, apart from management was there. And, he said ‘Oh thanks Amanda, does anyone else think the same as Amanda?’ and I looked and every single person's hand had gone up. Everybody thought the same as me. And we all felt like imposters because it was such a cool place. And, the exhibits were being created by real life pop stars from our youth who we were like really in awe of, so we'd all just assumed if we didn't like it, if we didn't get it, it was about us. It was our ears it wasn't the exhibit. So, this guy kind of saying it, completely changed our experience because it lifted that feeling of being an impostor. And it made us realize that actually our opinions were valid. If we had have spoken up earlier, maybe something different would have happened. And that maybe it wasn't the fact that that the museum failed, but I think it partly failed because people were afraid to say what they thought and how they felt. We were all so intimidated and giddy by it. So, its really changed my personal belief system and given me kind of confidence. You know, if I think something I'll say it because I maybe the only person that's voiced it, but there’ll be a whole other bunch of people that think the same. And the thing about impostor feelings is for an organization, it creates a lot of waste. So, you've got people with talent who aren't going for opportunities, who aren't putting things forward, who aren't giving their whole self, who aren't sharing their kind of thoughts and ideas. And you don't want that, because organizations fail when they don't get to access that collective wisdom. And when they don't get to harness the talent of the people they've got with them. So I've had people kind of say to me, and I've done talks about this. ‘Aw Amanda my imposter syndrome. It keeps me real, you know, it stops me from getting big headed and if I didn't have it, you know, I'd be a bit of an arse’ and there is no benefit to imposter feelings. All they do is they keep you small. They keep you quiet and they keep you in a space. Like you mentioned earlier, where you're not giving love to yourself. You're not seeing the beauty of who you are and what you can offer you’re just seeing lack, and there's nothing good about that.
Tom: So how can people question their own thoughts a bit more and maybe actually become aware of that, like this is the first step of all of this, but how do you get to that place where you are actually aware of yeah, I'm having this imposter thought or feeling.
Amanda Cookson: So a great way to boost awareness is to just write your thoughts. So I'm a big fan of going with just a pen and paper, and I do something called free writing. So every morning I write a couple of sides of just whatever I'm thinking. And sometimes I might be thinking about, you know, how great everything is and how excited I am about various projects. And sometimes I'm thinking about an opportunity I might have missed or maybe something I could have done better. And I've just used that to really get a sense of what am I thinking? So, for me, when I started working on myself, it was around these imposter feelings, you know, as we're talking about not being enough. And, actually as I've started to do more and more writing and more and more self-discovery and understanding, underneath my not being enough is actually that sense of love and not loving me and not liking me. And I can go and think about, you know, we could talk for hours about what happened in my childhood and and you don't need to know it. And you don't necessarily need to pick open all the wounds you've got. But once you start to understand what's going on for you, you can then start to change your thinking. So, if you're saying I'm not likable. Well, how am I likable? Who does like me? Where's that evidence and start to do that work and having a coach and you can coach, you know, in groups, online, you can do all sorts of things, gives you some accountability because you meet someone regularly. You can also have a close friend that you work with, but it's just about being disciplined. So that when you have thoughts that are really not helpful or constructive, you take action, but also being kind, because actually we all struggle. We all struggle with love and connection, and we all want to be seen and recognized and accepted. It's just part of being human. And some of us have got more of a struggle than others. And it's just about taking action so we can be the best version of ourselves and make the most of, I guess the opportunities that are in front of us, cause your relationships with your partners, your friends, your work, colleagues, everything shifts when your relationship with yourself shifts.
Tom: Yeah, start with yourself. That's what I think another podcast guest actually said on here before to me, which I kind of agree with too, and just to kind of wrap things up. So, what I find amazing is like you were in a situation with a job where things maybe didn't work out and you had to leave, right. And you actually turned that into such a positive so that went from a positive to a negative. And then the same sort of thing has actually happened really with your impostor feelings in the past, in a way anyway, because I guess you would have learned and grown and become so much more aware and delved into the imposter syndrome so much, gone on to speak to experts on this as well, international speakers and whomever else, learnt so much. And then being able to actually come on like this podcast, right? Write plenty of blogs. I'm sure you've been on other podcasts and spoke to so many people, helped so many people with like having these imposter feelings and that all kind of came out of struggle in the first place. Right. So you've managed to turn that negative into a positive. I think that's a nice thing to kind of end this podcast on is how, yeah, people may be struggling with this right now, but there is an opportunity to actually turn this into a positive thing by becoming more self-aware more aware of your thoughts, by journaling and developing healthier habits, which can result in people becoming even more confident than they ever possibly could have been if they weren't aware of this in a way. So I think that's really amazing. And my final question for you, Amanda, is what can people do to make things better?
Amanda Cookson: What can people do to make things better? So, for me, think about your life, your experiences, your relationships. How are you getting on at work? The feedback you get from work, everything as just data. It's just feedback. So your circumstance doesn't create more circumstance. So if you are not doing very well at managing people at the moment, you've got really difficult feedback around the way that you communicate with others, now whatever it is, that doesn't mean that you're stuck. It's just data. So, what you need to do to make things better is if you are doing stuff and you're getting good results, good feedback and stuff you like - do more of that. And if you're doing stuff where you're not happy, it's not giving you what you want - do less of that. And there are people, books, skills, therapists, coaches, mentors, friends, all sorts of things, and support that you can put around you to help you do more of what you want. And do less of what you don't want. It sounds like the most simplest, stupidest thing to say, but it's so true. Just treat everything, the shittiest day in the world. Feedback. The greatest day in the world. Feedback
Tom: Yeah. That's really great advice. And I think detaching from things, and maybe not labelling them as good or bad, but using them as data and analyzing that to learn from it, to make the next day better. I think. Yeah. That's, that's amazing advice really. Where can people find you, Amanda, if they want to hear more?
Amanda Cookson: I'm on LinkedIn and Twitter, so I can share my kind of links and I'm going to make a little pack as well. So people can download a free pack that's got more information about imposter syndrome. It's got some information about the brain and it's got the notes from the speaker who I was talking about, this international expert on imposter syndrome and what she said as well as a link to a couple of blogs.
Tom: Thank you so much for coming on. And I really do hope people can learn something from this episode. I hope you have enjoyed reading this, I appreciate you and have a great, wonderful rest of your day.
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