The Root Cause Of The Impostor Syndrome And How To Overcome It

embrace yourself imposter syndrome impostor syndrome lead with confidence live with no regret overcoming imposter syndrome Jul 25, 2023
WCP 87 | Impostor Syndrome


Step into a life where you lead with confidence, live with purpose and create a legacy free from regret. When you embrace your authenticity and gain clarity, you may just overcome the Impostor Syndrome. In this powerful episode, host Yanet Borrego discusses the root cause of Impostor Syndrome and shares her personal journey of overcoming it. She shares her realization that she was living a life misaligned with her true self, despite achieving external success. She recounts the pivotal moment when the Impostor Syndrome hit her hardest, leading to a profound awakening. It was then that she made a promise to herself to embark on a journey of self-exploration and rediscover her values, purpose, and inner voice. From clarity to comparisons, Yanet identifies the root causes of Impostor Syndrome. She assures listeners that even the most successful individuals harbor insecurities and face the Impostor Syndrome. By giving ourselves permission to be ourselves, we can lead with confidence and live a life free from regret. Tune in now and learn how to overcome Imposter Syndrome.


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The Root Cause Of The Impostor Syndrome And How To Overcome It

I'm doing something I've never done. It is a first time for me. I'm doing an IG Live and recording an episode at the same time. I had a session with my mindset and business coach and I was telling her, “I have so many things going on. I need to do this IG Live. I have my clients. I need to do my show.” She was like, “Why you don't do the IG Live and the show at the same time?” I was blown away by this idea because I would have never thought to do that. I have to admit that I was a little bit freaked out by the idea but I wanted to try it out.

We are here in this life to take risks, experiment and see how things align along the path. I am also here because I posted in my Instagram stories three different topics and I ask you, “What topic would add the most value to you?” Just to learn yourself and be more powerful and confident. The three topics were, 1) Are you feeling misaligned? How you can align if you are feeling that way? 2) Knowing the root cause of the Imposter syndrome. 3) Knowing the unconscious mind and why it is important in your day-to-day. Why it is important to live an empowered life?

The topic of all of those three, almost unanimously, was Imposter syndrome. This episode is all about discussing the root cause of Imposter syndrome. To be honest with you, there are several root causes. I first want to start with the story of a time in my life when I felt Imposter syndrome the most. I felt deep within myself, misaligned and I didn't belong. I felt that I wasn't enough at the deepest level. Of all the years in my life, this has been the time when this Imposter syndrome feeling was the worst.

That was when I finished studying Chemical Engineering for five years. I have done every single thing that everyone told me success was about. I had a high GPA and plenty of leadership opportunities. I have done 5 different internships in the Ongas industry and landed 2 full-time offers in Texas. I was 23 years old when I started working full-time. I had a six figures salary, which was my dream. My dream was always to support my family and be able to give back.

I was at that moment having achieved every single thing that I put my mind to. A few months after that moment, I felt the Imposter syndrome hit at a very deep level. I felt that whatever I was doing, I wasn't fulfilled. Whatever environment I was surrounded by wasn't aligned with me. Within myself, I was trying to push, tolerate more and convince myself that this was it. I had worked so many years to be where I was. Since I did that, I needed to tolerate this misalignment. Mentally, I did know that it wasn't it. Emotionally, I knew that I wasn't meant to do this virtually the same.

When you don't hear yourself mentally, emotionally and spiritually, your physical body will kick in. Since I was forcing myself so much to be someone that I was not and that I was not interested in being either, I had an anxiety attack. My physical body said, “You are not listening so let me send you another signal that you can listen louder.” That's what happens with yourself and your inner wisdom. You have this inner voice that is talking to you at all times. That inner voice was telling me, “Yanet, this is not it.” I kept ignoring it and pushing it down deep where I couldn't hear it anymore until it had to become louder.


When you don't hear yourself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, your physical body will kick in.


That louder inner voice for me was translated into my first-ever panic attack. I ended up going to the emergency room because my left arm got numb. I swear I was dying. In my mind, I was thinking, “I think I'm going to die. I'm going to have a heart attack or something.” As I was looking back on my life, I realized that I wasn't living the life that I deserved to live. I wasn't creating the reality that would make me excited, energized and fulfilled to wake up every single day. That was it for me.

It also taught me that I didn't need to wait until a crisis hit or I hit rock bottom to make decisions that were aligned with myself. I wasn't trusting myself. I didn't know myself at that moment so I ended up having a panic attack. Also, I was tolerating so much mental and emotional pain. To me, that was such a big moment in my life because after that, I committed and promised myself that I was going to put the maximum effort to get to know myself, who I was and the things and values that I aligned with.


I remember Monday after that, I went to my supervisor and said, “I had a panic attack. It wasn't anything serious but I am working on getting to know myself. I am going to find an organization within the company.” I want to stay in the company that I resonate the most with. I'm feeling fulfilled by the work I do. Thankfully, this supervisor was supportive. Whatever happened, happened and I was able to transfer to a different organization.

Before that, I did a lot of work on myself because I didn't have clarity about who I was. In my life, until I was 23 or 24 years old, I never put in the work to get to know myself at a deeper level. I didn't know what I stood for. In my college year, I was given exactly the curriculum and every class to take and requisite to meet. I never asked myself, “Yanet, what do you stand for? Whom do you want to be?”

Many times, we think that those questions are for children. We ask them, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” We often forget that we as an adult are growing up every single year. We have aspirations and visions to fulfill but we don't know what those aspirations and visions are unless we define them. That's why the root cause of the Imposter syndrome is a lack of clarity on who you are and what you stand for.

Have that clarity on your values and who you want to be spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. What are the things that you want to be doing that fulfill you? Whenever you have clarity, you start gaining more self-respect, self-worth and self-love towards yourself. It doesn't matter what other people might say. You start showing up more confidently because you taste what alignment feels like. When you taste that alignment, you'll never go back to the same.


If this episode resonates with you, I want to invite you to join my free and live masterclass, Permission To Be Powerful: Learn To Lead With Confidence and Live With No Regrets. This free class is happening on August 9th, 2023 at 6:00 PM Central. You will learn the strategies and mindset shift that has helped my coaching clients align to their authentic selves and leave a life of abundance and fulfillment. You will learn how to stop faking it until you make it so you can finally show up authentically. Overcoming comparison and jealousy, effectively communicating boundaries and also speaking up with confidence.

At the end of the masterclass, I will also share how you can work with me if you're ready to embark on this self-discovery journey. Through my aligned coaching program, I've helped clients accomplish dreams that they never thought were possible, like manifesting an executive leadership position and moving across the country to their dream state, attracting their ideal romantic partner, overcoming the Imposter syndrome, creating side businesses and so much more. If you can't make it live, no worries. Sign up because I will be sharing the recording. I cannot wait to see you there. Let's go back to the show.


I remember the organization that I chose to experiment with after engineering was a supply chain. Something that I knew I wanted to devote my life to was the development of people. I wanted to be part of a services-oriented organization. From engineering, I transitioned into a supply chain in the same corporation that I was in.

When I transitioned, I didn't know much about the supply chain. I had never negotiated an agreement with the supplier. I didn't have the skill to be in a supply chain but I had the drive and desire. Supply chain at that moment was taking me closer to the long-term vision of wanting to support people and work on communications, influence and leadership skills.

Since I loved what I was doing and I aligned with my values, who I was and my deeper purpose, I was able to do way better in a supply chain than back in engineering. Let me tell you. A lot of people were like, “Yanet, if you're going from engineering to supply chain, that is a step-down. You're not going to earn the same. You're going to suffer in terms of the financial piece.” I truly believe that when you do something that you love and are aligned with, abundance will follow. You love it so much that you do so much better than staying back.

A few years after, I was doing so much better in the supply chain that the people who stayed back hating their engineering jobs had lower salaries than myself. That's why you got to trust your gut and go with what feels right. It's going to feel scary at first. It always does. Every time you are going to do a transition, change or move, if it's to a different state or a new relationship, whatever that is, fear is going to be there. The most important part is to learn to predict that fear will be there. That fear is a sign that you're doing something new outside of your comfort zone. When I'm coaching my clients, I call this fear emotional soreness.


Learn to predict that fear will be there because that fear is just a sign that you're doing something new, and you're outside of your comfort zone.


I'm working with a physical trainer. Shout-out to George. When you go to the gym and you're exercising that muscle, the day after, you feel sore in your physical body and you feel good because you were like, “I worked hard yesterday so I feel sore.” That happens also in the emotional body. When you're about to make a big decision or make a change or a transition, you are going to suffer emotional soreness. That emotional soreness, unfortunately, we assigned a negative meaning to it. The next time you feel that fear, when you are going to try something new or align, celebrate it because that means that you are growing in the right direction.

I'm going to discuss several root causes of the Imposter syndrome but lack of clarity is number one. When you have the clarity of what you stand for, who you want to be and the things you love about yourself, you start being more confident, powerful and unapologetically you. That's what we want to get. The second one is in the most ancient part of our brain, we have been programmed to fit in. I'm going to tell you why. Back in ancient times, we used to live in tribes. Living in a tribe and feeding in was safe. We have evolved and we don't live in tribes anymore.

Community is super important. I’m not saying the opposite but we don't live in tribes and depend on tribes to survive. It's important to understand that even though we have evolved in our society, the ancient part of the brain is still afraid to not fit in. That's when awareness and consciousness come into place because you know that is not true.

It's safer in society to be yourself and be authentic. I truly believe that we have so much stress and anxiety because we are not allowing ourselves to just be who we are and be just authentic. We are afraid of what people might say, not fitting in, judgment and failure. The only thing you need to succeed, be confident and powerful is if give yourself permission to be yourself.

There are several root causes but the third root cause of Imposter syndrome is comparison. I have another episode on comparison and jealousy. That has been one of the episodes that have been the most downloaded. Comparison is a real challenge that we all struggle with. I always tell my coaching clients, “We cannot compare the back end of our lives to the front end of people's lives.” With technology and social media, we are all putting the highlights of our lives. We are all successful and fulfilled in social media. When you look back, which is the backend of your life, you start focusing on the insecurities and fear you have.

Let me tell you, I've coached every single level of leaders in corporate who have their businesses. It doesn't matter what the front end looks like. They all have insecurities and fears. They all face Imposter syndrome. The Imposter syndrome to me should be called the self-discovery syndrome because it's a more empowering term. At the end of the day, it's all about getting to know yourself and standing up in your light because only when you align with your values and who you want to be is when you're going to be truly powerful.

The fourth root cause is one of my favorites. Have you heard of the phrase, “Fake it until you make it?” When I was working in corporate and I interned, I didn't fit in because I was the only one from Puerto Rico with an accent. I was advised a lot to fake it until I made it. I'm not the only one. We have heard this phrase everywhere. The issue with this phrase is the language is presupposing that you got to be someone else to succeed.

You got to fake it and fit in somewhere else because clearly, you are not a fit. Language is highly subconscious. We say things without becoming aware and being intentional and conscious. Language carries a lot of weight because the more you repeat things, the more of a belief you create in your mind that you are not enough. When you are telling someone or yourself all the time, “Fake it until you make it,” what are you telling to yourself? “I'm not enough. I got to be someone else to succeed.”


I was listening to this episode with Lewis Howes and Jay Shetty, two of my favorite people. They were talking about this concept. Lewis said every framing that I loved. He said, “Instead of faking it until we make it, why we don't talk about facing it until you embrace it?” Face it is your fears. One of the biggest fears we have is that if we are ourselves authentically, we are not going to be loved and accepted. How would we know if we have never tried fully to be ourselves? We have been worrying about feeding into that box and focusing on faking it.

I want to give you permission to show up authentically with courage. Let's be honest. It requires you to be courageous to show up just as you are and press that live button as I did. Give yourself permission to be yourself. With that, I want to invite you to my masterclass. It's free and it's going to be live. We are going to be interacting and have so much fun. It's going to be on August 9th, 2023 at 6:00 PM. It's all about this topic of giving yourself permission to be powerful.

It’s called Permission To Be Powerful: Lead With Confidence and Live With No Regret. Imagine that you're on your deathbed. When you look back at your life, you want to make sure that you have lived authentically fulfilled, in abundance and with no regrets. I hope you enjoy this episode and I hope to see you in the masterclass. Sign up. It is going to be powerful. Thank you so much for reading. Bye-Bye.


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