October 11, 2022

Finding Your Imposter Syndrome Origin Story with Sheryl Anjanette

by Hacker Valley Studio

Show Notes

Sheryl Anjanette, Author, Speaker, and CEO & Founder of Anjanette Wellness Academy, comes down to Hacker Valley to discuss and promote her new book. The Imposter Lies Within covers Sheryl’s work with the intersection between business and mindset, and invites professionals to reconsider and reprogram their brains away from imposter syndrome. Using her findings personally and professionally, Sheryl walks through the origins, explanations, and potential remedies for imposter syndrome in this episode.


Timecoded Guide:

[00:00] Discovering imposter syndrome’s origin story 

[05:04] External triggers vs the inner critic

[13:59] Imposter syndrome & Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)

[21:11] Reprogramming your brain to heal from the imposter phenomenon

[27:34] Fearing firing as an unrealistic response to the inner critic


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Thank you to our sponsors Axonius and Uptycs for bringing this episode to life!

The Axonius solution correlates asset data from existing solutions to provide an always up-to-date inventory, uncover gaps, and automate action — giving IT and security teams the confidence to control complexity. Learn more at axonius.com/hackervalley

Uptycs, analytics for the modern attack surface, observability for the modern defender. Check out Uptycs by visiting them at uptycs.com


What is the origin of imposter syndrome? 

Defined and named in the early 1970s, imposter syndrome impacts each person in different ways depending on a variety of personal experiences, including gender, upbringing, and income status. Despite the experience varying from person to person, Sheryl explains the set of symptoms still remains strikingly similar, no matter who is suffering from imposter syndrome. This has made the phenomenon relatively easy to identify with, as many struggle with a lack of belonging, self worth, and self confidence.

“In the early ‘70s…researchers called it the imposter phenomenon, but they had only studied women. For quite a long time, people thought only women experienced feeling like an imposter, but recent studies have shown that men and women experience this almost equally, just differently.”


Do you see imposter syndrome as a negative construct of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)?

Outside of the office, Sheryl incorporates Integrated Hypnotherapy in a large majority of her coaching work and explains that a large majority of that has involved delving into NLP, or Neuro Linguistic Programming. NLP emphasizes the importance of what people tell themselves. What someone actively lets themselves think has the power to become true to their brain. When someone thinks they are an imposter at work, they end up accidentally using aspects of NLP, which causes their brain to believe they are an imposter. 

“Our conscious mind is only 10% of our reality, 90% is below the surface. When we can start to make the unconscious conscious, when we can do the deep dive and go back in and look at our programming, we can see where the code went bad and change that.”


What are the steps of reprogramming your mind away from these imposter thoughts?

Reprogramming someone to actively deny and work against imposter syndrome thoughts requires a deep dive into emotions and an understanding of an internalized past. Sheryl explains that being present, taking deep breaths, and allowing your perspective to shift out of your head and into your body are all steps that need to be taken in this reprogramming process. This process is powerful and new, but Sheryl promises it doesn’t have to be difficult or uncomfortable. 

“Get very, very present in the moment and then, just feel yourself drop into your heart. Feel yourself drop into your heart, it's only an 18-inch journey, but it's something we generally don't do very often. Get out of our head and into your heart.”


For anyone that's dealing with imposter syndrome, is there anything that you would want to tell them to help them understand the power within?

Sheryl sees a large majority of professionals struggle specifically around the idea of not being good enough at work and being an imposter at risk of being fired. Imposter syndrome can convince anyone of this idea because it doesn’t rely on experience as evidence, according to Sheryl. Instead, someone suffering from imposter syndrome has to acknowledge that the idea of not being good enough and being fired is just an idea, not reality. 

“As you go into your heart and into your observer role, ask yourself: Is this real? Where's this coming from? And then, tell yourself a different story. ‘I'm good. Everything will work out. I think that's just a pattern that I've had for a long time. I'm going to assume the best.’”



Keep up with our guest Sheryl Anjanette on her website, LinkedIn, or via email: hello@sherylanjanette.com

Purchase Sheryl Anjanette’s book, The Imposter Lies Within, on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Connect with Ron Eddings on LinkedIn and Twitter

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