Remember that you would never be where you are today if people didn’t believe in your abilities. You earned your success and you are the expert in your field.
As a part of our series about how very accomplished leaders were able to succeed despite experiencing Imposter Syndrome, I had the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth Koraca.
Elizabeth Koraca is a Career Strategist and Media Contributor in Los Angeles & New York City. She helps business professionals improve their image, messaging, and personal branding. She coaches and trains executives to reach their full potential by using a proven step-by-step program to sharpen presentation, interview, and communication skills. Representative clients include professionals at Google, Square, Facebook, Morgan Stanley, Pfizer, and many prominent New York-based hedge funds.
Previously, Elizabeth was a TV News Anchor for Reuters, where she ran the New York US/China TV business News Desk. She has interviewed hundreds of the world’s top CEOs and investors, such as Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, Jim Rogers, and Wilbur Ross. Elizabeth is also a TV Contributor and a regular on CNN, Fox News and Cheddar TV. Her advice has been featured in print publications New York Magazine, NASDAQ, Entrepreneur and more.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?
In 2006, I left my homeland of Canada to head to New York City to fulfill my dream of becoming an on-air reporter. However, my enthusiasm was met with a barrage of rejection and criticism. It was a powerful blow, but one that fueled my drive and persistence. I soon got my big on-air break with a job in the Bronx, and not long after that I was offered the position of financial TV journalist at Reuters working at the global network level. It was the beginning of an auspicious career. Today I leverage the skills I gained as a TV anchor and the formal education I gained through professional coaching programs to empower people across industries to take charge of their careers, grow their revenue, expand their client base, and shed personal insecurities.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
An interesting story from my career was the transition from television anchor to career strategist and host. When I was a TV anchor, I learned how to simultaneously ask critical questions of my sources while putting them at ease in front of the camera. My favorite part of the job was giving them the tips and tools to speak with confidence on air. It was so rewarding! Many years ago I too was very nervous and fearful of public speaking and I never wanted anyone to feel the way I used to feel. One of the main reasons I transitioned into a career coach was so I could help people with their strategy and get exactly what they want.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
With clarity of vision, I show my clients how to identify blind spots, cultivate relationships, and self-promote without seeming inauthentic. I’m intimately familiar with the pressures of the financial world and the rigors of New York’s daily grind and have helped high-powered executives conquer anxiety and taught shy, aspiring leaders to speak with authority. I’m meticulous in my execution, but approach each of my clients without judgment, guiding them to a new purpose with a firm but patient voice. I show my clients how to overcome adversity and seize the spotlight they thought was out of reach. With my guidance, the unassertive gain direction, and the lone wolf becomes the leader.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My good friend Bobbi Rebell, author and certified financial planner, helped me get to where I am. She was a fellow former Reuters TV Anchor. On air TV news can be very competitive and when I first got to Reuters, Bobbi was warm, welcoming and supportive. She showed me the ropes and taught me everything I needed to know about how their television department worked. Bobbi is the type of person who will always make time for you no matter how busy and in demand she is. I am so grateful to have Bobbi as part of my professional network.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the experience of Impostor Syndrome. How would you define Impostor Syndrome? What do people with Imposter Syndrome feel?
Imposter syndrome is when you feel that you have succeeded because of sheer luck and not because of your experience and qualifications. It’s also the fear that people will find this out, and you’ll lose what you’ve rightfully earned. Much of feeling like an imposter is self-doubt.
What are the downsides of Impostor Syndrome? How can it limit people?
These are the downsides of imposter syndrome:
- Setting impossibly high standards for yourself. Thinking every task you perform has to be done perfectly.
- Affects your job performance. Imposter syndrome has been associated with anxiety and depression.
- Increased self-doubt.
- Persistent fears of failure.
- Spending too much time trying to prove yourself in your career that your personal life suffers.
How can the experience of Impostor Syndrome impact how one treats others?
If you are experiencing imposter syndrome, your confidence is not high and that lack of confidence is going to come out when you interact with other people. The downside is people may not have the confidence in you. If you do not believe in yourself and feel that you shouldn’t be in that role — that can hurt your career progression.
We would love to hear your story about your experience with Impostor Syndrome. Would you be able to share that with us?
I experienced imposter syndrome early on in my career, and I’ve learned that you don’t have to put up with this feeling forever. A big part of it was I was comparing myself to those who had more experience than me and that made me feel that I didn’t deserve to be there. Looking back, I realize that I should not have compared myself to others. The only comparison you should be making is that of your own growth and progress.
Did you ever shake the feeling off? If yes, what have you done to mitigate it or eliminate it?
Yes, I most certainly did shake it off. The more experience I got in my field, the more I practiced, the more confident I became and the more I realized I have what it takes and I deserve to be there. Having strong mentors also helped me progress in my journey. Investing in myself by hiring a career coach and doing the exercises to boost my confidence was also key in shaking that feeling off.
In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone who is experiencing Impostor Syndrome can take to move forward despite feeling like an “Impostor”? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Recognize you are not alone. About 70% of people experience similar feelings at some point in their careers and it can be beat.
- Ask yourself if is this helping you or holding you back? Stop worrying about what could go wrong. Let it go!
- Take actions in the present moment. Remind yourself daily that you deserve to be where you are. Focus on what you want (like your goals) and what you can do to get there.
- Remember that you would never be where you are today if people didn’t believe in your abilities. You earned your success and you are the expert in your field.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. It’s not productive. As the saying goes, “comparison is the thief of joy.” Focus on your own growth and not others.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
One of the biggest things people do that hold them back is fixating on the past which takes them down a black hole of negativity and lack of control. There is nothing we can change about the past, but we can empower ourselves — only look back to learn from the mistakes that we made. Focusing on the present and setting goals for our future is how we remain in charge and in control. When we feel like we are in control, the sky’s the limit and we can lead a more purposeful and fulfilled joyful life.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
I would love to have lunch with Lester Holt, the host of NBC Nightly News. I was once an intern at NBC Nightly News many years ago and grew to admire the program. My family watches Lester every night! I love his reporting style, sincerity and care and concern for others.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!