the podcast recap episode with aj & rory vaden

Ep 375: What Is Imposter Syndrome and Do I Have It | Michelle Chalfant Episode Recap

Listen to the episode below

After our incredible conversation with therapist and entrepreneur, Michelle Chalfant, we wanted to take a closer look at imposter syndrome and how it affects our lives.

To start, we define what imposter syndrome is, how you can find out if you have it, where it comes from, and how it disrupts our lives.

Then, we tackle some solutions for overcoming limiting beliefs including slowing down and taking control of your emotional health, adopting positive affirmations, and moving through life with desire and intention.

If you feel like you are living as a fraud, then please tune in, this one is for you!

Key takeaways from this episode

  • Today, we will be looking back at the conversation that we had with Michelle Chalfant.
  • Defining imposter syndrome.
  • How to know if you have imposter syndrome.
  • Where imposter comes from, and how it disrupts our lives
  • The importance of slowing down and taking control of your emotional health.
  • Why positive affirmations are vital.
  • How to move with desire and intention to conquer your limiting beliefs.

Tweetable Moments

“Imposter syndrome is simply believing that you are a fraud.” — @aj_vaden [0:03:37]

“What do you tell yourself? What do you allow yourself to believe about yourself that is blatantly not true? What lie do you believe about yourself that maybe you’re not even aware of?” — @aj_vaden [0:04:44]

“Sometimes, the things that we need the most are things that we don’t give ourselves permission to do.” — @aj_vaden [0:11:12]

About Michelle Chalfant

Michelle Chalfant is a licensed therapist, master life coach, author, podcaster and motivational speaker. Her work has helped people all over the globe get unstuck, find their true self, grow their self-worth and improve their relationships, creating a life of true freedom and empowerment!


Michelle’s podcast, The Adult Chair®, has over 7 million downloads and is ranked in the top 3% globally. Blending simple psychology and grounded spirituality, her work gives people the practical tools and techniques they can use to access their personal power and transform their lives.


With more than 25 years of experience as a therapist and coach and extensive training in diverse self-healing methods, Michelle’s mission is to bring healing to this world through online courses and her coaching certification program, where she trains others in her signature coaching model that is designed to bring fast transformation through experiential work.

Links Mentioned

Michelle Chalfant | The Adult Chair

Michelle Chalfant on LinkedIn

Michelle Chalfant on Twitter

Michelle Chalfant on Facebook

Michelle Chalfant on Instagram

Michelle Chalfant on YouTube

AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on Twitter

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn

Rory Vaden on Twitter

Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

Brand Builders Group Free Call

Brand Builders Group Resources

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Stitcher

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Apple

AJV (00:03): Hey, allI don’t even know if I can talk, I just had one of the most insightful and enlightening conversations about what it means to be an emotionally healthy adult. And I need that. Like, I need that. And it was like such a really great conversation about as adults, do we make time and space to feel the feelings that we have? And then to actually sit down and talk about where did those feelings come from? Are they true, are they not true? And what do we do about these? And how are these feelings causing success or problems in our lives? Or, you know, and, and some of these, it’s like, how are they affecting our relationships or how are they causing havoc in our relationships because we don’t even realize what they are? And so as a part of this conversation the question came up, what is imposter syndrome and how do you know if you have it right? AJV (01:09): So I thought this was really good because a part of being around tons of people who are creating content and building businesses and doing things that are exceptionally important to their lives, and they believe in them deeply, that also comes with some insecurity, right? Because the more willing that you are to put yourself out there, the more, the more vulnerable you have to be and the more vulnerable you are to negative commentary which can cause problems on your mental wellbeing your state of emotional health it, it just doesn’t feel good to go, Hey, that sucks. You suck. I don’t like that. Though nobody likes that. So what, what do we do about it? And so I, I love this conversation. They said that imposter syndrome, I simply believing that you are a fraud. That you are ill-equipped to do the job or task at hand, although, right, and this isn’t a part of any formal definition, although you have the necessary expertise, experience, credentials to do exactly what you’re doing. AJV (02:24): You, you are capable of doing it, but you have feelings of like, I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough, I don’t know enough, I don’t have enough experience. I don’t have enough time. I I, whatever it is, it’s you allow yourself to believe that you are fraud even when you’re not. And so we talked about, well, where does that come from? Where do these feelings come from? And then how do we overcome them? And a huge part of it is just recognizing your own limiting beliefs of what are the things that I actually believe to be true that are not true? They are not true. And so I’m just gonna pause for a second introspection moment here and go, what do you tell yourself? What do you allow yourself to believe about yourself? That is blatantly not true. AJV (03:28): Just gonna sit in this awkward silence for just a minute. What lie do you believe about yourself that maybe you’re not even aware of? That’s a limiting belief. And through this conversation I shared that over the last several weeks that I have really been struggling with like, am I capable of doing the job at hand that I have as c e o and co-founder of Brand Builders Group? Am I capable of doing that and being a great mom to two toddlers and being a good wife to my husband and being a good friend and dedicating enough time to the Lord as I walk in my Christian faith? And do I, does that leave any time for me? It’s like, can I do the job and not work 80 hours a week? And where does that leave me? Because the truth is I’ve been struggling with that. AJV (04:22): I had a recent emergency surgery and I have not been able to get back to my normal workplace, which has caused my, caused my workload to grow and grow and grow. And my time is less and less and it makes me feel like I’m not equipped to do the job. It makes me feel like I’m incapable of, somehow I’m different than I was six weeks ago. Or something has changed in me that doesn’t have have it in me anymore. And I had not really paused and taken the time to go where this is coming from. And what lies am I saying? What lies am I believing? And I think a part of this conversation really comes down to it’s like, do you even recognize the lies that you believe? Do you even recognize that you have limiting beliefs that you say to yourself and you literally speak out into the world without even realizing? AJV (05:15): It is a limiting belief. It is a lie that you have allowed yourself to believe and it is holding you back. And I think awareness, consciousness of this is the first step of, of overcoming these limiting beliefs, which ultimately can result in imposter syndrome, right? It’s like I’m sitting here as the c e o of Brand builders group. I’m going like, can I imposter? Like, am I equipped for this? Like, can I do this? Deep down knowing I was built for this, I’ve been training and working my whole life for this. Like everything leading up to this is, is God preparing me to do the work that he has for me? And also knowing that I’m not doing this alone God is working through this and I have an amazing husband and a partner and a staff and a team and coaches and mentors. AJV (06:02): I am not doing this on my own. So where is this nonsense coming from? And here’s what I can just tell you in my own journey through this conversation, and not just one conversation. But it’s, I have literally said out loud, I don’t know a hundred times over the last six weeks, I just don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough time. That is my limiting belief. And until I took a moment to have a conversation about what was going on, I did not even realize that I was literally suffering from imposter syndrome, allowing myself to believe I’m a fraud. That I’m incapable of doing something that I’m fully capable of doing while simultaneously allowing and even repeating it out loud, a limiting belief, speaking it into the world, letting it control my life and my thoughts and feeling more ill-equipped every single time I say it. AJV (06:57): I don’t have enough time. That’s not true. . I have the exact same amount of time that I did six weeks ago prior to this surgery. How I’m using that time may be different, but I have the exact same amount of time that is a lie, and I’ve got to call it what it is. It’s a lie. It’s not true. I’m in a season, a short season in the scheme of things, of reallocating time to d different areas of my life that need it more than others. And I have allowed myself to feel guilty and shameful about that. And I’ve tried to work harder and longer, thus more exhausting myself because of it. And he said, that’s what we do. And we, we don’t believe in ourselves, right? We, we work, we try to do our way into being better to being more worthy, more valuable, more important. AJV (07:54): And we just can’t work ourself into that because you already are right? There’s nothing that you can do to make yourself more valuable than you already are. I am just as worthy and just as valuable. If I work 80 hours a week or eight hours a week or zero that is my, my doing is not what makes me worthy. My doing is not what makes me valuable. Who I am is what makes me worthy. Who I am is what makes me valuable. And who I am has nothing to do about the hours and the minutes in my day. It has everything to do with do I believe it for myself? Do I believe in myself? And do I believe that God has a plan that he is working on me and through me to do that? And do I believe in him? Y’all, this is like a life-changing conversation. AJV (08:45): And so maybe this podcast interview that I did with Michelle Shon was really just for me. And the interesting thing, and I didn’t tell her this, but I’ll tell everyone else who’s listening. I almost canceled it today because I have a, a sick baby at home and I’m so behind and I’m like, I just need to postpone it. I just need to reschedule. I don’t have time for this. But I didn’t, I don’t know why, but I didn’t. Mainly cuz I’m looking at my calendar going, what am I, where am I gonna move this to? And I I’m so glad, , that sometimes the things that we need the most are the things that we don’t give ourself the permission to do, which is to take an hour and have a conversation about what it means to be an emotionally healthy adult. AJV (09:26): To feel the feelings that you have to recognize what is true and what is not. And then to speak truth to the lie, which is what I got to do on my own podcast interview with Michelle . And not what I’m telling you about. So here’s my encouragement. Here’s the gist of this particular shorts recap. Take a moment right now and allow yourself to feel the feeling. Recognize what is true, recognize what is a lie, and then speak truth into the lie. And for me, I have the time. The time has not changed. That’s a lie. I am capable, I am prepared, I am called to it. And I just needed to write that down, to say it out loud and then to speak actual factual evidence and to prove that somehow the, you know, 24 hours in a day did not change over the last six weeks. AJV (10:34): There was 24 hours, then there’s 24 hours. Now that’s not new and different. I have the same team, the same staff. Everything else is the same, but my feeling about it has changed. And that’s what I can control. That’s what I can own. That’s what I can write down. I can think about it, I can speak truth to it. I can write down the evidence to it. I can make a plan and I can move forward. We can all do that. But it takes time and it takes space and it takes desire and intention. What it doesn’t take is you vegging out and going, I don’t wanna talk about it. I’m just so tired. I’m gonna go, go get a glass of wine and I’m gonna pop on the TV and I’m gonna watch a show. How about instead of doing that, we take these five minutes and we go, what is true? What is a lie? And what is factual evidence of truth in my life when it comes to this certain thing? So I hope right now you’ll just give yourself five minutes. Anything that is calling your attention will be there in five minutes. But give yourself five minutes right now to go, what is a limiting belief in my life that I’m allowing to wreak havoc on my belief in myself and my relationships and everything around me? And start making a change about it right now? AJV (11:53): Cuz it really could only be five minutes. Awareness is the first step. So take five minutes and see where it gets you. We’ll see you next time.

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