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“Why you should get the facts.” With Candice Georgiadis & Kate Christie

Imposter syndrome is a feeling, not a fact — get the data before you go too far down that rabbit hole. Make a list of your achievements, your successes, your qualifications, your wins big and small and genuinely reflect on them. Every time you start to doubt yourself, get your list out and read it. […]

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Imposter syndrome is a feeling, not a fact — get the data before you go too far down that rabbit hole. Make a list of your achievements, your successes, your qualifications, your wins big and small and genuinely reflect on them. Every time you start to doubt yourself, get your list out and read it.


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 Kate Christie

Kate Christie, founder & CEO of Time Stylers, is a Time Management specialist, International Speaker, best selling author and leading media commentator. Kate has worked with thousands of clients, from top organisations through to individuals to help them maximise productivity to ensure success across work, family, community and life. As a single mum and successful entrepreneur, Kate understands the unique challenges women face when trying to support their families, thrive in their careers and achieve personal fulfilment. More importantly, she knows how to overcome these challenges. Me First is her fourth book.


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’?

Myname is Kate Christie and I am the CEO and founder of Time Stylers. I am a time management specialist, best selling author, and speaker. I work with high performing organisations, teams and individuals to maximise individual time spend and minimise organisational drag through smart time investment strategies. I am a single mom to three (mostly) amazing teenagers — so I know first hand how hard it is to manage the ‘juggle’. We have 2 dogs, who the kids promised to love, cherish and obey — but it seems like I’m the only one who ever walks them. My fourth book, “Me First: The Guilt-Free Guide to Prioritising You”, just hit the shelves, which is exciting!

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?

I am one of a generation of women who was told I could have it all. And it worked. By my early 30’s I was a senior executive in an ASX Top 100 company. The sky was the limit. However, the wheels started to wobble between the years 2000 and 2003 when I had three babies in three-and-a-half years. And while I maintained the pace for a few years, it eventually all came unstuck.

It was a Monday morning and I delayed my departure for work so that I could drop my son at school. Other moms do this all the time, right? So, there I was, in my beautiful black suit, red lipstick, high heels and with snot from my shoulder to my knee with a hysterical child clinging to my leg because it was ‘cupcake day’. (I don’t know who comes up with these ideas — it certainly isn’t working moms.) Clearly, I did not have any cupcakes. Later, radiating guilt, covered in snot and thinking about the 25 years of cupcake therapy my son would need, I rushed late into my first meeting. The room went silent. Everyone around the boardroom table looked at me and then looked at their watches, and then they resumed the meeting. And I had the profound realisation that I was the only member of the executive leadership team who didn’t have a full-time wife.

As working moms, motherhood is a massive part of our lives. And because we spend so much time second guessing ourselves in our capacity as mums, it should come as no surprise that feelings of self-doubt start to creep into other aspects of our lives. And then we start to question our abilities professionally: Am I any good at this? Do I deserve to be in this role? Will people realise I’m a fraud?

What on earth had happened to the promise that I could have it all? I felt cheated, lied to, robbed, exhausted, set up and a complete failure who, having tried to fly the flag, had in fact dismally let the sisterhood down.

Shortly after this experience I resigned from my fantastic job because I felt I had no choice. I could either have a brilliant career or be a brilliant mom — but not both. I was wrong — of course — but this period of time taught me to reframe my relationship with time and led me to my passion: smart time management. At Time Stylers my focus is on teaching high performers to reframe their relationship with time so that no-one ever feels forced to choose between two things they love for want of time.

In retrospect, this was the best lesson I could have learnt, because it opened up a whole new world for me.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

My back story is very relatable — I am a busy single mum juggling a business. I am not perfect, I have made plenty of mistakes, but I have also been resilient and courageous and have kept pushing myself to be the best possible version of me and to create the best life for my kids. I am just so ridiculously passionate about great time management that my energy and enthusiasm is infectious. Time Stylers is all about finding you time so that you can live your greatest life.

I absolutely love working with high performers, like Kelly — the CEO of Australia’s fastest growing city. She has a massive job, is constantly available and works incredibly long hours. Kelly asked me to work with her after she was appointed CEO: ‘Kate helped me reframe my time — it was a game changer for me. In part I think it was just external validation from someone else that it’s ok to be a mom and an executive and that I needed to focus my time where it was most needed at any given time, and if the was with my daughter, then that was ok.’

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 dad has been the biggest influence on my career. He has encouraged me every single step of the way. He is not one for lots of noise and carry on — he is just a constant, quiet, positive influence in the background. He has had my back my whole life. He is the first person I share my business wins with and he is the one person I can rely on for level headed advice. I am 50 and he is 79 and we talk every day.

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 an unkind voice of self doubt. Outwardly we have all the trappings of success, but we are not able to internalise our successes. Our internal dialogue is one of self doubt: I am faking it. I really have no idea what I am doing. And it’s only a matter of time before someone comes up and taps me on the shoulder and quietly asks me to leave the room without making a scene.

What are the downsides of Impostor Syndrome? How can it limit people?

Self-doubt can be limiting when it comes to managing your ‘today’, but when it threatens your capacity to explore wonderful new opportunities ‘tomorrow’, it is unforgivable. No-one ever said on their death bed: I’m so happy that I left those opportunities on the table because I did not think I was good enough.

How can the experience of Impostor Syndrome impact how one treats others?

It should motivate us to be compassionate, understanding and kind, however I am not sure that it aways does.

We would love to hear your story about your experience with Impostor Syndrome. Would you be able to share that with us?

I have literally been winging motherhood from the day I found out I was pregnant 20 years ago. Am I a good mom? Will my kids have friends? Will my kids do drugs? Will my kids be good at sport? Will anyone play with them? Am I present enough? Are they happy? Am I setting the right boundaries? Am I a mom of a friend? Do other people think I’m a good mom? Do my kids think I’m a good mom? Am I a good mom?

As working moms, motherhood is a massive part of our lives. And because we spend so much time second guessing ourselves in our capacity as mums, it should come as no surprise that feelings of self-doubt start to creep into other aspects of our lives. And then we start to question our abilities professionally: Am I any good at this? Do I deserve to be in this role? Will people realise I’m a fraud?

Did you ever shake the feeling off? If yes, what have you done to mitigate it or eliminate it?

After resigning from my job to be a full time mom, I had the time to think and reframe my time. Could I honestly live my best life in a state of fear and always wondering if I was ‘good enough’?

I constantly remind myself that every single one of us needs to wing it from time to time. But just because we have a few less-than-entirely-authentic moments, does not mean that we are living a completely false existence. It’s time to back yourself — you do know enough and you are good enough!

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.

If and when you are seized by imposter syndrome, remember these simple truths:

  1. Imposter syndrome is a feeling, not a fact — get the data before you go too far down that rabbit hole. Make a list of your achievements, your successes, your qualifications, your wins big and small and genuinely reflect on them. Every time you start to doubt yourself, get your list out and read it.
  2. When opportunities arise that you think you are unworthy of, remember that if you say No, someone else will be lining up (potentially someone less worthy than you) and they will have the courage to say Yes. They will jump and then build the parachute on the way down and you will look on and think, That could have been me. Stop coming second. It’s time to be first.
  3. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your daughter when she shares with you her feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt.
  4. Know that one day, maybe when you are 40 or 50 or older, you will wake up to the realization that you actually have been good enough all along; that you do know what you are talking about; that you don’t need validation from anyone else to make this so; and that there is nothing to fear. So why not own it now?
  5. Never forget: we all wing it. You are a high achiever for a reason. Don’t waste any more time being anything less. Take a deep breath, get over it and jump.

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. 🙂

Work from home. Embrace the opportunity COVID-19 has presented us with — both men and women can maximize our productivity working from home while being available to our children. Less lost time to the commute, lower emissions, happier families, productive workers. Win. Win. Win.

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 meet Reece Witherspoon and gift her a copy of my new book ‘Me First: The Guilt-free Guide to Prioritising You”.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

https://www.facebook.com/kate.christie.92

linkedin.com/in/kate-christie

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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