Everything You Need to Know About My Imposter Syndrome Career Coaching - Part 2

Updated: Feb 8

Are you looking to understand more about my Coaching Programme, "Banish Your Imposter and Discover Your Naked Confidence"?

Then you've come to the right place! 😁

In this blog post I answer all the questions you might want to ask about:

  • the client: who is this Programme for, and more importantly NOT for; what makes someone coachable; and do I work with men and women (yes), etc?

  • the process: how much time do you need to invest; how are sessions set up, etc?

  • the coach (me!): what qualifications do I have; why did I become a coach, etc?

  • the investment: eg can you pay in instalments; is there a refund policy; will I help you ask your organisation to fund your coaching, etc? (The answer to all of these is yes btw!)

  • and the results: how quickly will you see results; can I help you with a specific issue, etc?

You might want to read the whole thing, or just to dip into the sections that you have questions about.

This is best read in accompaniment with Part 1 last week which was all about what exactly is included in the Programme (click here to read it).

I hope you find it useful - and if I have missed any of your questions, get in touch and let me know! or do please come to find me on LinkedIn 😊


✴️ Who is this Programme right for?

This Programme is right for anyone who is struggling with Imposter Syndrome, and they want to find ways to overcome it, so that it doesn’t continue to hold them back and prevent them from fulfilling their potential with ease.

My clients are usually successful and ambitious professionals. Some have just achieved a major career goal, taking on a position with a lot more leadership and management responsibility than before (for example, I work with clients who are in their first job as Managing Director of an organisation, or as Head of Department).

Some are progressing well, and have their sights set on higher things (for example, I work with clients who are at senior levels in large organisations, and know they want to keep moving up the career ladder, or clients who already run their own successful professional practice, and want to keep growing it).

Some are coming back into the workplace post-redundancy, or a career break, and want support to make that transition as effective as possible so they can quickly thrive back in that professional environment.

But what they all have in common is a struggle with their inner critic, which leads them to unhelpful habits, or self-defeating behaviours.

And this is something I work with them to change.

✴️ What is Imposter Syndrome?

There are a number of definitions of Imposter Syndrome, but the one I like best is: “a persistent feeling of being unworthy of one's status or success" [Collins Dictionary]

This feeling of unworthiness can be conscious - the aspect of Imposter Syndrome we’re most familiar with, where someone is aware of feeling like a fraud and fears being “found out”.

This is the voice in your head in meetings stopping you from speaking up; or going in circles afterwards beating you up for saying (or not saying) what you did; or pushing you to take ever more courses because you need objective evidence of your expertise.

But that feeling can also be unconscious, and drive behaviours like overachieving, overworking, or not asking for help, wanting to prove to yourself (and everyone else) that you can do it.

You may not be conscious of feeling like a fraud, but that deep-rooted sense of unworthiness drives dangerous patterns of behaviour.

It can also manifest itself in unproductive behaviours, such as struggles with overflowing inboxes, or “dropping things” - that negative voice is closely connected with negative habits, which undermine our abilities to perform to our best.

It’s hard to set firm boundaries with ourselves, and crucially, with others, when we don’t value ourselves and our time sufficiently.

I specialise in helping my clients banish their Imposter, in whatever form it takes, and instead discover their Naked Confidence. (To find out more about what Naked Confidence is, please have a look at my website!)

And if you'd like to know which Imposter you are (there are five main types), please click here to take my Quiz.

✴️ Who is this Programme NOT right for?

Coaching can help anyone improve their life and career - that’s the magic of coaching.

However, this programme is specifically targeted at people with Imposter Syndrome, struggling with their inner critic and its impact on your career.

If you have a strong internal cheerleader already, this Programme is not for you.

Plus, there are also characteristics, behaviours or beliefs that will mean the coaching will not be as successful as it could be. (I talk about this in more detail in my blog article, “What You Need to be Coachable”.)

This programme is not for you if:

  • you don’t WANT to change

  • you’re not open to guidance

  • you don’t believe you CAN change

  • you aren’t willing to be open and honest with me

  • and most importantly, you aren’t committed to taking action.

I can’t fix you.

This is a journey we walk together, but YOU have to do the work.

✴️ Do you work internationally or just in the UK?

I work solely over Zoom (and have done since I started my business, way before coronavirus!). This means I coach people from my next-door village, and also all over the world.

I have clients in Jakarta, New York, Texas, Geneva, Berlin and Vienna. (Plus, I also deliver training internationally: from China and Hong Kong to India, South East Asia, and the Middle East.)

The only constraint is from time zones, but so far we’ve always managed to find a time that can work for both of us.

One of the aspects of my business I love the most is the opportunity to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds.

✴️ Who is your typical client?

I have a personal and unique relationship with each of my clients, but there are some common themes.

  • More of my clients are women than men, roughly three quarters, but I do work - and enjoy working - with men (in fact, one of my longest-standing clients is male).

  • Most of my clients are between 30 and 50, but I also have clients who are in their early twenties, and in their early sixties.

  • Most of my clients work in a professional capacity in some way: civil servants and policy-makers, some with areas of specialism like communications; lawyers, architects, engineers and designers; administrators and managers in charities. But I also work with entrepreneurs, who want support with overcoming their inner critic while driving forward their businesses, especially working in areas like Training, Education, or Diversity and Inclusion; or those who are on a career break, and are looking for support in confidence around either their next, or their long-term, career goals.

  • About half my clients have school-age children.

  • More of my clients are based in the UK than abroad, but I have clients all over the world.

But there are some core attributes they have in common, where their values align with mine:

  • they want to make the world a better place in some way - they want to have an IMPACT

  • they recognise they are being held back by their inner critic

  • and they are willing to take action to change that.

I am enormously lucky to be trusted by some incredibly inspiring people to support them on their journey to Naked Confidence, whatever their individual circumstances.

✴️ Do you work with men and women?

Yes, more of my clients are women than men but I work with both (see above).

✴️ Do you work with any industry, or specific ones?

Most of my clients work in a professional capacity, and often in an area of service (civil service/ policy-maker; charitable sector; or training and education).

However, I do work with people from any industry.

Plus I also have clients who I am supporting to set up their own businesses.

I’ve recently starting working with a highly-specialised project manager, and part of our first session involved me developing my understanding of his specific context, because I do need a base-level of understanding to be able to coach and mentor him to success in his career.

But in no way do I need to become an expert in someone’s industry or business to be able to help them.

What I am expert in is helping someone overcome Imposter Syndrome and thrive in their career - and that can be applied in any context.

✴️ What makes someone coachable?

Not everyone is coachable - and that’s why I have a free intro call with all prospective clients before we agree to work together.

As I set out above, to be coachable, you:

  • WANT to change

  • are open to guidance

  • believe you CAN change

  • are willing to be open and honest with me

  • and most importantly, you are committed to taking action.

✴️ What’s your approach to Equality and Diversity?

I am a strong supporter equality and diversity, whether that’s gender, race, ability or sexuality.

I’ve had clients from all backgrounds, and love the different perspectives I can learn from them.

I have a particular interest in supporting gender equality: I believe the world benefits with more women in positions of power and influence, and the overarching mission of my business is to help women fulfil their potential, and succeed at the highest level.

Plus, following the death of George Floyd in 2020, I started a programme of pro bono coaching for BIPOC women.

I've just finished a programme with an African-American pro bono client to help her move into Diversity and Inclusion consulting, as I believed strongly in her mission. I am now setting up a pro bono coaching programme for a BIPOC UK Civil Service FastStreamer, to help them get the best start possible in their career.


✴️ How much time do I need to invest?

The Programme consists of 7 sessions, each 75 minutes long, and these are usually held fortnightly (to get the right balance between time between sessions to process and practice, and keeping momentum up).

However, as with most things, you get out what you put in!

If you just turn up to those sessions and do nothing in between, you will not get as fast or deep results as someone who practices between sessions.

On average, you might have 1-2 hours of actual homework each fortnight (eg worksheets, or doing some analysis or writing I’ve asked for). But this is tailored to you - if you really can’t manage it because of the pressures of work and other responsibilities, then we manage without.

However, the big effort between sessions will be putting into practice the mindset tools and techniques you learn.

This is not something that takes extra time per se, but it does take effort to challenge your negative thought patterns, and to remind yourself of your new, more empowering thought processes.

So to get the best results, the time requirement is not large - but it does require committed, regular and consistent effort to change your thought patterns.

This is because of something called neuroplasticity - the way the brain literally changes its biologogical make-up depending on the thoughts you think.

To find out more about this, read my blog, "How to Use Neuroscience to Help Your Career".

✴️ How does it all work? (How are sessions set up etc?)

After our intro call, we agree a date for our starting session.

I send you a calendar invitation with a Zoom link in it, the Contract, plus a Pre-Coaching Questionnaire (to dig a bit deeper into your goals for our journey).

I also send you an invoice with terms as we agreed on our intro call - either payment in full up front by you or by your organisation, or in instalments. Plus we set up our WhatsApp!

Then, once we've started the Programme, at the end of each session we agree when we will have our next session.

The aim is fortnightly, with some leeway depending on diaries or holidays.

I tend to see clients in one of three slots during the day: late morning (c 11am), early afternoon (c 2pm), and - when I’m not homeschooling - mid-afternoon (ie c 3.30pm). I will send you a calendar invitation for the next session, with the Zoom link attached.

Most people have already downloaded Zoom, but if you don’t have it I can give you instructions on how to do that.

Then all you have to do at each session is to click on the Zoom link, and be let into our coaching room where I will be waiting!

✴️ What happens in a session?

I always tell me clients, these sessions are YOUR TIME, for you to use how you want.

We start our journey by agreeing the priorities you want to address or things you most want to change during the Programme, and I will shape the sessions with those goals in mind.

However, if you have a short-term crisis - a difficult decision, an issue with a team member or a colleague - and you want support with that during our session, that’s what we will do.

We will review progress towards our overarching goal throughout the journey, with a special focus at the mid-point, and make sure we finish with you having made the most progress possible.

✴️ How long does a session/ the Programme last?

Each session lasts 75 minutes (I found one hour just wasn’t quite long enough to review , make progress in the session, and set homework and goals for next time! 75 minutes is just right for me. )

If we have sessions fortnightly, this means the Programme takes around 3 months.

✴️ What if I need to change a session?

That’s fine - I know life and work diaries change and stuff happens!

I ask for 48 hours notice if you want to change a session (24 hours if it’s due to illness).

My diary does get full so I will do my best to provide you with a suitable alternative, but there may be a bit of a delay.


✴️ What is your background?

If you want to read the my full story, please click here for my blog, "The Tale of Kirsten Goodwin".

For the potted version, read on...

I had my first panic attack in a meeting, three weeks after starting my first proper job. I had my second on the way to work the next morning. I went on to build a highly-successful career in the UK Civil Service, travelling in Tony Blair's cavalcade, negotiating for the UK in Europe, and as Head of Strategy in the National Crime Agency. But all the while, I was continuing to suffer, in silence, terrified I’d get found out. ​ It took years of self-discovery before I finally realised how I’d been undermining myself through my negative internal voice and undermining limiting beliefs. I learned powerful tools to free myself of these, and create instead my own internal cheerleader - and I went on to thrive in my most difficult role yet. I had discovered my Naked Confidence™. ​ I re-trained as a coach, so I can now use my career experiences and coaching expertise to transform other ambitious women's self-doubt into unshakeable self-belief. ​ That's my mission: to help you discover your Naked Confidence™ too - so you can succeed in that high-level dream job with the salary to match.

✴️ What qualifications do you have?

Apart from my university degrees (MA in Ancient and Modern History and MSt in South Asian History from Oxford), my formal coach training was delivered by the man who invented the Lightning Process, Phil Parker, at his Training Institute (PPTI).

I tested a number of different coach training providers, including ones certified by the International Coaching Federation.

But ultimately I chose to train at the PPTI because I experienced more profound transformation during my taster with him than with the others.

If I wanted to become a coach, I wanted to become the best coach I possibly could, and get my clients the best possible results. (And I haven’t been disappointed.)

My qualification is Coach, NLP Practitioner and Hypnotherapist, and I use all of these skills (plus my career expertise) in our sessions, as appropriate.

I am fully insured and registered with my professional body, the British Institute of Hypnotherapy and NLP.

✴️ What is your coaching mission?

I believe the world is a better place with more women in positions of power and influence.