In November of last year, parenting coach Rachel Richards called me to ask if I wanted to join her in a podcast she was starting about parenting teenagers. We chatted on the phone for a while. The conversation flowed, it all sounded super interesting and relevant, and I said yes!
As I hung up, a wave of imposter syndrome flooded over me. As a mindfulness coach and qualified psychotherapist, I know a lot about helpful and unhelpful approaches to parenting teens.
BUT to also talk in public from the perspective of being a parent? One who makes countless daily mistakes with her teens? Whose teens regularly mess up, bicker and game too much? How would that go? I’d expose myself as a fraud!
But thankfully years of mindfulness practice helped me to see these thoughts as the fear mongering thoughts that they are and to somehow park them.
Imposter syndrome is so common. It can so easily keep us small, cautious and be SUCH a killer of creativity.
As with most critical thought mechanisms, its aim is protection. It doesn’t want us to look ridiculous, but can end up being massively over cautious, often crippling our action.
We can’t expect it to just disappear overnight, but can instead:
- notice when it appears,
- remind ourselves that OUR THOUGHTS AREN’T NECESSARILY TRUE!
- have a conversation with it
- even thank it for its concern (if we feel we want to)
- then firmly ask it to take a back seat
I’m always so glad when I haven’t allowed mine to call the shots and I think of all the many crazy and vulnerable things I’d never have done otherwise!
Fast forward to today and we’ve just published our 10th podcast episode and had over 2000 downloads!
It’s been so much fun! I love discussing with Rachel, sharing our ideas, theories and, most importantly, our personal experiences.
Rachel is a former BBC correspondent, amazing journalist and mum of 2 stepdaughters and 2 daughters. She plunges herself into our new topics, researching, reading and immersing herself in new ideas, which she generously shares.
I bring my version of mindfulness, psychotherapy and personal parenting experiences to the table. Plus I drive Rachel insane, by umming, erring and making reassuring noises that I learned as a therapist while she speaks and which I seemingly cannot switch off. And which she then spends hours editing out… 😳
Our intention with the podcast is to have real conversations as parents about topics we think are relevant and challenging, whilst also drawing on our professional skills. We’ve had a lot of wonderful feedback, discussion and interest, which has been the whole point and which makes it meaningful for us.
We laugh a lot and learn a huge amount from each other and, while we share many ideas, our parenting styles and coaching ideas can also be different – which only makes the discussions more fun! I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on her face when, in Episode 1, I revealed that I let my kids draw on their bedroom walls when they were little (I still haven’t shown her the photos…).
Please do have a listen to and/or share our podcast. We love it! In fact, my imposter syndrome now actually admits it was wrong… Plus – and it’s cringing as I type this – is even a little proud 🤫
Here’s the link: Teenagers Untangled Podcast