My Final Cure to Impostor Syndrome

Cure to Impostor Syndrome

A team member resigned. The manager’s response offered empathy, curiosity, and rationality all at the same time, just like a coach. This manager is a client whom I have been working with for many weeks now. We worked on his personal development, not how he coaches others. And yet, something must have transpired through those hours spent together, that he started applying the coaching techniques he saw I used.

I deeply appreciated what was at work: his wonderful traits of always being curious to learn and open to change; I also knew that I had played an instrumental part in his development of self-awareness. Still, this impact was beyond me. Deep down I knew, I’m just an ordinary girl with no wisdom spectacular, what did I have to pass to others? And who am I to elicit such change in another person?

Instead of feeling an inflated ego, that very moment I found myself insignificant – a feeling many of us hold, that we are trivial or inadequate for the expectation of our role.

At that very moment, a client’s question struck me. She wrote: “I always feel inadequate for my job despite my years of professional training. What should I do?” Maybe because I was always searching for an answer to this question, the answer came to me unexpectedly. Till now, I still get a chill from the way it emerged, both physical and spiritual.

I literally saw a line of people behind me, those whom I drew important lessons from: They are my teachers, ex-colleagues, coach trainers, clients, authors of great books, family members – all the people who passed me life lessons that I could only process over time and gift others when I managed to decode.

I realized that for all that knowledge I imparted to my client consciously or not consciously, I did not own them from a start. I am just part of that very long line, continuing this legacy. I feel connected to something much bigger than me. I just saw that I had been wrong all along. I thought knowledge, just like skills, money, and network, are assets and instruments for me. But no.

I am an instrument of knowledge. Knowledge is not an instrument of mine

I used to think I play my tunes on the guitar of life – but maybe I am the guitar that life plays its tunes on.

What this says is immensely humbling:

“I” do not matter.

The “I” renews and evolves every moment. Any effort to judge it becomes rigid and temporary in such dynamism. No one can capture the true capacity of a changing thing. Therefore, how much or how little I know at this moment does not matter. How strong or weak I am at this moment does not matter.

And “I” do matter.

“I” matter lies in the choice I make, and the actions I take. I choose to pass on the baton, not holding back for fear of me being too small. I choose to ignite the fire within the next person. I choose to act in the authorized domain by choosing courage, not choosing the fear of being wrong.

“I” do not matter. What I choose to do matters.

I feel grateful to the client who inspired this experience and the client who asked this question. They are now also the people behind me whom I drew my answer from, for imposter syndrome.

I choose to write this down to do my part and pass the baton down.

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portrait_Yolanda Yu_YL_r

Yolanda Yu

  • 𝗣𝗖𝗖 ICF Certified Executive Coach
  • 𝗣𝗲𝗮𝗸𝗣𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲ᵀᴹ Career Coach
  • Ex-Visa Ex-Alibaba business leader
  • 🐧Penguin Author
  • Ex-Headhunter