Gill Caleary - Imposter Syndrome
Man Up / Man DownSeptember 07, 2023x
44:3040.76 MB

Gill Caleary - Imposter Syndrome

Gill Caleary's career spanned 18 years in the highly competitive realms of retail and airports. Throughout her journey, she worked in senior commercial position for various organisations such as M&S and group owned and independent UK airports.

As a female professional, she often found herself as the only woman at the table.

However, at the age of around 39, Gill experienced unavoidable internal turmoil marked by questioning, confusion, disconnect and a sense of suffocation in both her professional and personal life. Overwhelmed by these emotions, she reached a breaking and calmly decided to deploy the emergency slide, exiting her established path, with no whistle, life vest or light for attracting attention.

However it wasn’t the instant relief she expected. She then totally fell apart - emotionally drained, burnt out, and mentally battered.

In this episode we discussed her journey - how hitting 40, resulted in her questioning what she was doing and her decision to work as a consultant, non - executive professional, and coach.

She guides and champions her clients through the process of confronting their own angst and success while fostering self - reflection, self - awareness, and the courage to be authentic. She realised that she was empty at the end of her days and ended up resigning.

However, instead of enjoying some time off, she fell into a big hole, not knowing what to do and had a real crisis of confidence. On the outside she hid her problems and kept up appearance, but her husband realised she was struggling mentally.

Traumatic experiences from her childhood had started to bubble up too. Gill found herself in a bad place, literally falling apart,not getting involved in anything, not wanting to leave the house. She then started therapy.

Gill realised that all her previous roles required an element of coaching and that she wanted to focus on this element and gain more qualifications.

While studying for her master, she felt imposter syndrome in a big way. So what is imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome can be lack of self-confidence, it could be self-doubt, but the key is that there is a profound fear of ‘being found out’. The feeling that someone might burst through the door and tell you ‘We found you out, your time is up’. There is an underlying belief that you don’t have the capability to do your job.

The challenge, David pointed out, is to quantify whether you have imposter syndrome and fear, or whether imposter syndrome is just ‘normal anxiety’ that we feel when we start a new job for instance.

As a coach, Gill is conscious to not label anyone and points out that it’s rare for two people explain imposter syndrome in the same way.

Gill says that there is still a huge challenge to get more people in the workplace to talking honestly about their feelings and mental health.

Gill says a very broad description or symptom of imposter syndrome can be typified as when

Someone notices the love for their job has gone and they feel a “wee bit sick of themselves”. Where the incongruence of being a leader and when you’ve got to where they got to isn’t working any longer, and something has to change.

If you feel like this could be you, feel free to get in touch or reach out to Gill via LinkedIn or her website.

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