The World’s Biggest Imposter

Suparna malhotraCoaching, Confidence, Leadership0 Comments

I’m the worlds biggest imposter.  I’ve just written an article about this. Ever since all around me are other articles and workshops about the imposter syndrome. I no longer feel that I too had some instances where I have felt that any success achieved by me is merely down to luck, and that any minute now I will be found out.

The thing is I now feel like an imposter all the time. I’ve always been told that I’m confident and that I give the impression I can do anything. It has been hard to admit my own internal struggles with confidence.

That in order to feel confident a lot of work has gone in beforehand. When I was at the top of the world thinking this is it, nothing can stop me now it suddenly changed again. The process begins again to get to the next level of confidence.

This week I volunteered for a charity known as Spark Inside and I co-delivered a workshop at HMP Wandsworth for the first time in 3 and a half years. The workshop is about understanding the process of change and the aim is to help young men and women under the age of 24 to understand they have a choice.

A few years ago I was a drawn to this work because I believe with all my heart that there is always more to a story than meets the eye. It was a steep learning curve the first time I went into prisons. To see ‘them’, the inmates or our clients as humans and learn to look them in the eye. To realise they are normal, lovely people who happen to be on the other side of the law.

To be astonished by the skills and minds they have, that given half a chance to run a legitimate business they would be making waves in today’s business world. Learning that they have feelings, fears and sensitivities just like any of us.

One of the most powerful tenets of coaching is to hold one’s client higher than they hold themselves. Holding them to their highest potential. This is what makes coaching powerful, and this is the very thing I lost. To me it felt pointless to intervene for just these few weeks and then nothing.

Their fate seemed sealed. Honestly, I felt hopeless for them. As a coach I might as well hang up my proverbial boots.

Only, I’m not ready to do that just yet. Fortunately, once I got started the feeling started to dissipate and I saw them once again as talented humans with a potential to change their lives for the better if they chose to. Just like the rest of us.

They surprised me by beautifully modeling leadership skills. Such as showing up for the sake of the learning of the other participants, they demonstrated courage and spoke up thus giving the others permission to speak. They stood up for their cellmate, they showed vulnerability.

Being an imposter or feeling like one implies a feeling of falseness. For the first time I can say, I’m an imposter and feel 100% genuine. Accepting, and admitting my many imperfections, my lows along with my highs I feel more authentic than ever before.

I’m an imposter because I’m going through life, trying, failing, disconnecting, learning and beginning the cycle again.

This will be my last blog of the year. Thank you so much for having been with me these last months. Wishing everybody a bright and Merry Christmas and all the very best for the New Year.

If you would like to speak to me about any of the issues I talk about, or indeed anything else please email me at

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