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Jen Coken on Imposter Syndrome as a Superpower

Apr 20, 2022

Season 3, Episode 9


Nearly every professional has felt like a fraud at one time or another and the higher you advance in leadership and responsibility, the more likely moments of inadequacy or "being found out" occur.  While the drive to be confident in professional roles can have its benefits, it also tends to raise the likelihood of imposter syndrome emerging.  Jen Coken is a comedian, coach, speaker, and Imposter Syndrome expert. She transforms womxn executives and founders from being stuck and fearful of making the wrong decision, to owning their expertise, having confidence in the direction they’re headed, and the courage to be with the uncertainty.  She shares client examples of recognizing where their imposter syndrome initiated, how it became their superpower, and how they moved through the "fraud" to become more effective leaders.  Hear the different types of imposters and ways to flip your narrative to work more for you.



Jen Coken

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Imposter Syndrome is Your Superpower Workshop

Wynning Your Way For Senior Leaders



Michael Kithcart: 0:00
Hello, I'm Michael W Kithcart, a high-performance leadership coach and the creator of the winning your way framework. Welcome to the Champions of Risk podcast, where I feature business and thought leaders who share stories of triumphs, tough calls, and best practices. So you're better equipped to navigate ongoing uncertainty, take inspired action and define what it means to be winning your way in business and in life. Have you ever felt like a fraud, that you're just waiting for people to discover that you don't know what you're doing? Or what you're talking about? Or maybe that you're not even as good as you? They think that you were? Even when you know, it's not the truth? Do you still sometimes think it? Statistically speaking, nearly everyone has thought along those lines, at least some time, both men and women, it can affect anyone, but it's more likely to affect high-achieving individuals high-achieving individuals who happen to listen to the champions of this podcast, they vary each other. This is why we need to break this down. Research has shown that 75% of women executives have experienced what we're talking about here, which is imposter syndrome. So what is it? And what if impostor syndrome was actually your superpower, my guest today, Jen Coken is going to break it all down for us, recognized by ABC, MSNBC and TEDx. Jen is a comedian, coach, speaker, and impostor syndrome expert. She transforms women executives and founders from being stuck and fearful of making the wrong decision to owning their expertise, having confidence in the direction they're headed, and the courage to be with their uncertainty. Fortune 500 CEOs and seven-figure founders trust Jen to shake things up with no apologies, no Limits at all. Did I mention, she's a comedian? Jen, welcome to the podcast.

Jen Coken: 1:59
Thank you so much for having me here. Michael. It's a pleasure to be here.

Michael Kithcart: 2:02
Oh, I feel like this is going to be a personal coaching session.

Jen Coken: 2:07
It could be nothing lines up that way. That's okay. As long as you're okay. I'm okay. You're okay.

Michael Kithcart: 2:13
And hopefully, this is all right. This is all in the spirit of helping others who are going to be listening to this podcast episode. So Jen, you are a comedian, and you're an impostor syndrome expert. So which caused which?

Jen Coken: 2:30
Well, neither cause the other I've been a comedian since Oh, my gosh, 2005. So when I lived out in Denver, I used to like, you know, made it my business for about 10 years, like performing every week, performing every week. Then I got married, and my ex had little, little kids. And so going on stage at midnight, or one o'clock in the morning does not do well for getting a little kids up dressed, getting breakfast in them, getting them in the car, getting them to school, you know, so I hopefully wasn't giving them coffee while I was trying to drive the car. So, you know, comedy, for me has always been a part and parcel of who I am the way that I coach people when I'm speaking. You know, comedy is this moment where a comedian is telling a story or relaying a story about themselves, there's this moment of tension, and then they make a little joke at their own expense. And people are able to laugh because that moment of tension, they're seeing themselves in the comedian like, Oh, my God. Yeah, I think that way, too. I always integrate that with my coaching. Because some research has shown that any new behavior takes something like 600 repetitions to stick some research has shown when you add play, it gets reduced to 12. So I love Wow, yeah, right. 600 To 12 to 12. So I love adding humor and playfulness. Now, what's interesting for me is, I didn't even know imposter syndrome existed or even think about it till about 2018 2018, something like that. When I had a really, really tough year, I was coaching for a big Fortune 100 company that had a toxic workplace culture. And I was not able to stay grounded in who I was as a coach, because I've been a coach 25 years. So I wasn't able to navigate that and found myself in retrospect, sucked into that toxic workplace culture. And it wasn't until I realized what was happening through one of my coaches that I distinguished where impostor syndrome showed up for me and here's where the comedy and the imposter syndrome really hooked together. Everybody has a unique version of impostor syndrome. I say that and why say it can be your superpower? So what I found over the years working with women and coaching hundreds of women and some dudes, but mostly women, because that's my passion because of what I went through and we always coach, right people that were that the who we were previously kind of thing What I find is that something there's some incident and originating incident that happened somewhere between zero and 12 1314. That becomes this defining moment. For me, it was when I was six. So I had a crush on Keith Birkby. He was super cute wore glasses just like me. And so did my friend, Michelle Cook, administer. And we decided at six how we should figure out who he liked, was by chasing around the schoolyard very precocious six year old chasing her on the schoolyard in the snow in Michigan and pushing him in the snow and then seeing who he would kiss. So we did that. And he kissed Michelle and he looked at me and said Eww! Heartbroken. Six years old, was the first time your heart was broken. I was six it was good burpee on the playground. And so and all my friends, you know, all the other kids were watching and laughing, huge embarrassment. And the brain doesn't like negative emotions. The brain is constantly trying to figure out how do I save you? How do I make sure you don't get eaten by a dinosaur or embarrassed any of those negative emotions? And so who I became to make up for it, my strategy was be the funny sidekick. And I became the class clown. And by the way, my whole career, while it was coaching, I was also in politics, and it was all about push, I got other people elected. I pushed other people's agendas. So when I went into business for myself six years ago, that's when this whole thing reared its ugly head. And so when I was able to unlock that I was able to separate what actually happened, which is Keith said ewww! and people laughed. Yeah.

Michael Kithcart: 6:37
So basically, that could probably be a mantra for a lot of us, right? Keith, who pretty much sums it up. in anybody else's experience. They might change. But, exactly,

Jen Coken: 6:56
And that and that's what I say to people. Look, I was talking with a client a couple of weeks ago when she was really upset. She wasn't a client yet in the thick of things. And she said, I just feel so unworthy. I just feel like I don't deserve my success. And I and she go in this isn't been going on very long. It's recent. I said, Really? When did it start? She took a pause and said, oh my god at Christmas, my sister reached out and said, What do you want our budget to be for Christmas gifts? I said $100. She said, Oh, that sounds like a lot in that moment. She took that to mean her sister didn't think well of her. She just was driven to be the best but never really satisfied and didn't deserve success. And all these things that she made up and all her sister said was, that seems like a lot for you. I said, What if she that was her way of saying I love you? So that's key, we make up stuff. Yeah, we make up stories. We want to learn how to separate fact from fiction.

Michael Kithcart: 7:49
Yes. You mentioned that you really kind of discovered impostor syndrome and what it was because of this toxic work environment you're coaching in but the years kind of surprised me, right? Like 2018, 2019, because it just feels like now, imposter syndrome just gets brought up all the time. So what is it? What does it really?

Jen Coken: 8:17
Yeah, well, what is impostor syndrome? Why is it keep getting brought up?

Michael Kithcart: 8:20
What is it first? All right.

Jen Coken: 8:22
So the definition was discovered and distinguished by two researchers back in the 70s, who said that it was an experience of feeling like a fraud by highly successful people. Suzanne Imes, Pauline Clance. I'm sorry, I'm, as I always get her last name wrong. And at that time, they thought women had it more than men because men had more testosterone. And that was a confidence hormone. But as you said, In the beginning, when we were introduced to this topic, 70 75% of all, everyone who's in a leadership position, a high achiever, really anyone has had the experience of feeling like a fraud or an impostor at some point in time. I think it's just become, unfortunately, has become a way of labeling people, which I don't agree with. And people want to shy away because it's negative. I don't see impostor syndrome is a negative look, earlier today. I was working on some messaging last week with my team, and we had this huge epiphany. And one of my team members wrote this blog, and I'm crying and bawling. Because finally, I feel like, you know, for six years, I've had my own company, and we've been dancing around the message, and what's the right thing? And I'm like, Oh, my God, this is it. I said, but can I be this braggadocious? And like, the content writer goes, well, I don't know. Jen Coken would say if you don't experience imposter syndrome, at some point in time, you're not playing a big enough game, but it was like, Don't you use my coaching on me. Stop that! But that's the thing is that because the brain works the way it does, you know, 50 to 60,000 thoughts a day. 80 to 85% are negative 90 to 95 percent repetitive. It's constantly determining threats. So when we stretch ourselves when we are the only one in the room where it happens because so few women are in these high-level leadership positions, so few women have six-figure companies, they don't, you know, only like 12% of women-owned businesses make it to six figures in 3% to seven figures. There's very few people that look like us and women of color as a whole, even bigger deal, right? Because there's even fewer at that point. We want to try to fit in, we think nobody can understand us. We feel that fear, which isn't necessarily real at all that fear. It's the fear of, you know, well, what happens if I get too successful? What if I sabotage myself? None of that fear is real. And I think it's so big right now because people have like glommed on to it as this label as a negative thing. And I'm here to turn that sucker on its head. Yep, exactly.

Michael Kithcart: 10:57
Okay. You mentioned that people like women, especially when we don't see ourselves in a lot of the roles, we tend to be the only ones in the room, the higher we go up into leadership roles and everything. What about other like societal, systemic issues are contributing to the actual condition of imposter syndrome?

Jen Coken: 11:21
It's the patriarchy baby. You know, I mean, it in many, many ways you think about, we look at epigenetics, and how we are born into a patriarchal society in our DNA are the cells and the memories of all those women who came before us that were treated as property, right, your Hope Chest that you gave to your mate when your father married you, we carry that stuff with us in our DNA. And the way business has been structured was traditionally founded by white men. So there are certain structural pieces that add to that I think more as more and more women get into positions of leadership, as more and more black and brown people get into positions of leadership, you're seeing a higher emphasis on community, and interdependence, and being vulnerable and having that be okay. Because for a long time, you weren't allowed to be vulnerable work. I want women to show up with all of themselves. All yours, be yourself. Because there's only one you and we need that leadership. From women at the top. Absolutely. Yeah.

Michael Kithcart: 12:32
What happens when the feedback that you get as a female executive is like, Yes, I'm being my true authentic self, and then it comes off as that's too much? You're intense, you're intimidating, you are overbearing, you know, just like all these words that have shown up on performance reviews for you. So sometimes you're right, so sometimes it feels like it's a little bit dangerous to have my true authentic self show up. And so what are you gonna say about that?

Jen Coken: 13:12
Find a new job. That's like my show.

Michael Kithcart: 13:16
That is the right environment for you.

Jen Coken: 13:18
It's not No, no, it is not. Look, I was told I was too much. I was extra, get over it. And what people say about you is none of your business. what others are saying about you is it's their stuff, not yours. What other people say about you, is absolutely none of your business, what you say about yourself makes that your business, be able to go to sleep at night, be able to look in the mirror that comes up on our performance review, and has no place in my book to be on a performance review. In my opinion, especially if it's written down. That's one thing but to say to somebody, huh? I'm too much. I'm extra. I'm too direct. How would you like me to be? You'll get your answer. And then you'll know when to start looking. Thank you for giving me that gift of sharing with me how you would like me to be because that's not me. And I'm going to be unique to myself.

Michael Kithcart: 14:13
When you're working with people on impostor syndrome, I'm curious, like, how often as you're unraveling it, is there a discovery that in this thought process of like you're not good enough and things like that, that it really stems from? You're not showing your true self like you're holding back? Where's that tension? Within that, that syndrome? Well, is it not there?

Jen Coken: 14:43
So it's you it's distinct for me because the work that I do with my clients is I take them on an embodied meditation to get back to the moment where impostor syndrome, what I call their originating incident. So I had to When I do a master class or a workshop four times a year with six women at the table, okay? And I'm currently on between session two and three, it's only three sessions. But it is life-altering for people. And I'm working with this woman. And what we got to know she was about eight or nine she was at and going through the meditation, I tell people just go with a memory that you have, don't try to make it mean anything, don't try to search for answers, because that's your mind your ego trying to search for that. And that's also your subconscious, we actually want to get to the level of your superconscious, that divine inspiration where you're connected to your intuition and, and who you truly are. So she gets this memory of being at her aunt's house, and her little cousin was giving away all these name-brand clothes, and they didn't have a lot of money. So everybody's picking through it. And she picks up a pair of white jeans. And her aunt says, Oh, honey, those will never fit you. You're too big. So she makes it a point to go into the bedroom. And she said I did everything I did the jeans wiggle, I took a hanger and put it in the thing like we used to do when there was no given our jeans back in the 70s and tried to get it up and she couldn't get on, get them on. And I said well, how did that make you feel? She said I was embarrassed. They said yes. And there's a way you're brain doesn't want you to feel embarrassed. The brain doesn't want to experience those negative emotions, the brain is smart, it's going to figure out how to solve the problem. So who did you become? So you never had to deal with embarrassment? Again, she goes, I got really determined and driven I was going to show them. I said exactly how does that work, super successful businesswoman. But let me tell you something, she's never satisfied with her results. Because it doesn't come from a place of choice and a place of power. And what was really beautiful is last week, she sent us a picture of her and a pair of white jeans because, for 40 years, she wouldn't put on white jeans. And she went out and got a pair and she looked gorgeous. And that's what she was wearing. And now she has the opportunity and possibility of being successful and feeling that instead of trying to be as successful on top of being determined to avoid feeling embarrassed. So it's getting back to that acorn, that nugget of truth and of gold. And as far as I can tell, most people have three or five of these little nuggets that drive our whole lives then you have an upset nine-year-old drive in your life like you want that that person can't even reach the pedals. You don't want that person behind the wheel of the car.

Michael Kithcart: 17:18
Yes, such a great thing. That story was just explained a lot. Yeah, it just does. Are there different types of imposters?

Jen Coken: 17:30
Yes, and there are many books that have been written on it. And what I see is generally it's people who are people pleasers. Now, this is something that I recently discovered, which is you know, fight flight, or freeze. There's also something called fawn, which I'm like, Oh my God, that's me where you fawn over people to get them to like you. Uh-huh. And then there's a possum, where you just want to play that and get people to leave you alone.

Michael Kithcart: 17:57
Oh, great. So you're fun. I'm probably a possum.

Jen Coken: 18:01
Yeah, I'm definitely a foreigner. And so it's people who you know, are trying to get it right. They gotta get everything. These are the people pleasers, the perfectionist, the procrastinators, I actually have a quiz that's based on Dr. Valerie Young's book, where she looks at competency types ways that people have become competent. And she names five types, the perfectionist, the natural genius, everything comes really easy. I'm Superman or woman, people that are defined by their work, the soloist, the person who's got to go alone, and not ask for help. And then the expert, the one who's consistently going after credentials and more knowledge before they can feel like they are an expert. I kind of tweaked those because I found that everybody is a little bit unique in their expression of it. So you can try to fit into those. Or you can say, you know, mine's unique. Let me do this embodied meditation and figure out, but the quiz will give you a lot of insights for yourself. And that's Gen koken, which I'm sure you can put in the show. You'll put that in. And then what do they call it? The notes on your potshots? Yeah, the show notes, the show notes? Yes. No.

Michael Kithcart: 19:07
Yes. technical term. Yes. Right. Okay, that's great. I hope everybody that listens, takes it and then posts what they are. Mean. That's one way to just like, let's get on with this. What are some of the common triggers that you most often hear from women that kind of put them interesting?

Jen Coken: 19:31
Yeah, it's either in their relationship to authority. So someone you know, as a young kid, like everybody is in a position of authority, you know, your teachers, your parents, etc. So it's something like my friend's aunt who said, Oh, honey, those will never fit you. Well, I'll show you. I'm gonna do everything I can to get into him and you know, so it's your relationship to authority and how it agency and at the age of five, six and seven or eight or nine, whatever it is, you're everyone else was more thorough. At the New Deal, you're supposed to listen to them. So case in point, I had a client early on who brought a C home on a test. And her dad was kind of a gruff guy. And like what's up with the C and Dad, it's average, give me 1500 words on mediocre, and bam, she was embarrassed. She felt like she had to please her dad. So she wrote the essay. But she had to get it right because she never wanted to be embarrassed again, which propelled her to great heights. However, it shows up in her relationship with male authority figures, compared to another client who was in a class with in the fourth grade, and she was new to the school and everyone was picking a subject to speak about. And she was a little shy, so she hadn't raised her hand yet got toward the end, there were two words, she raises her hand and says, I'll take baths, and everyone in the class laughed, and some kids said, That's bass. Now, I said to her, did you give the speech? Yeah, I got an A on it. Did you ask your teacher for help? Absolutely. So her trigger with impostor syndrome is not about her relationship with authority. It's her relationship with peers, not fitting in, and not belonging. So there's different and this is part of the work I do in the cohorts that I teach the three cohorts, once we get to that nugget of gold, you know, the truth will set you free, but we'll make you mad. First, once we get to that nugget of gold, then spend time noticing what the triggers are, what are the situations we are in that comes up? So you can start to get good at catching it and being a witness to those thoughts and practice nonreactivation being an impartial witness to those thoughts rather than being reactivated? Which you're not even being reactivated?

Michael Kithcart: 21:42
Once you have that awareness, then you can do something about it and say exactly, I'm gonna go back just a little bit to this. You know, now all of a sudden, imposter syndrome is everywhere. Even though it was coined, back in the 70s. So sometimes, I'm in these situations in coaching sessions where women in particular will rattle off. They have impostor syndrome, along with everything else. You know, I'm a perfectionist, and I'm a workaholic. And I have a fear of failing. And I this and I'm that, right, like, all in, they all get rolled up into this. Here are all the things that are wrong with me. Now, how do we fix it? And it's just kind of it's like, I'm curious about it, right? I'm like, What, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, like, where did all this come from? Like, why are you all of these things? When I, we, we've been talking about this. And as we've been going along, it feels like there's a connection to all of them. It's not like they're isolated things. But you mentioned imposter syndrome. There's this there could be a sign of perfectionism out of it, or that's, but it's almost like it's a result of, rather than a cause of, I don't know, I'm just playing this a little. Yeah.

Jen Coken: 23:03
I mean, I think we are constantly as humans seeking out answers and more information is never going to make a difference. I don't care if you said, you know, I know I have listened to equals MC squared. No, it's not because you're still dealing at the level of learning. And as smart as your clients are, if that was the answer, they'd be free, they wouldn't need you. That's why people hire coaches because we can hear things in the unheard we can hear what isn't being said. So all this is like rambling up. No, that's you're no, it's none of that. Now, what's more, interesting to me is that you came to all these conclusions because conclusions never make a difference. It's being able to be in wonder, and curiosity and being able to, you know, be with uncertainty. I always think of Brian or Maria's railcar, and his quote about learning to love the questions, like locked rooms that you have yet to have the key to because you're not ready to know the answers. But when they you well, as long as you learn to love the questions, because that's the brilliance of the human mind is we have our best aha moments when we're working the way scientists do, right? When we bump up against things and problems and solutions and awesome push, we see some we hadn't seen before that we never considered so your clients may have all the answers, but none of that is leading them to the pot of gold. That's why they need you. That's why they need me.

Michael Kithcart: 24:22
Yes. Wow. That's a beautiful way of saying it. A lot of times we'll get to the point of like, so how is that working for you? Like what's working what's not because you're, you're getting something out of it, otherwise, you wouldn't keep doing it. Right. Right. And, and that they will usually open a few doors, as you say, Yep. On the other end, some may want to resist that impostor syndrome label. So how do you help both like the self describers like I just meant, oh, and also the avoiders like, oh, No, that's not me? Well,

Jen Coken: 25:01
I mean, look, we're our own worst enemy. And we're also the ones who know ourselves. Well, you know, again, I think what people are shying away from is being labeled. So I've had plenty of people that have gotten on into I used to do just an introductory workshop to impostor syndrome. They're like, wait a minute, I micromanage Wait a minute, I don't like delegating. Wait a minute, I don't like asking for help. You're telling me those are hallmarks of imposter syndrome. Yeah, all those are pieces of impostor syndrome. So you could say, I suppose that everything's part of impostor syndrome, of feeling like a fraud, or feeling like you're not enough, I suppose, you know, are you avoiding because it doesn't resonate with you? Are you avoiding it because you don't like being labeled? Are you avoiding because you're unwilling to look at your stuff, we are always, you know, authenticity and author come from the same root word, we are the author of our journey, which means that the good, the bad, and the ugly, the brain wants to protect the thing. It's the brain which is you so it doesn't want to have those negative thoughts. So my guess is that's why people are avoiding it. They're avoiding it. Good for you to keep avoiding it. Let me know how that goes. Right.

Michael Kithcart: 26:15
Okay. You talk about how you can use imposter syndrome as your superpower. Yep. So how does

Jen Coken: 26:23
Well, it's the work where people what I that work? was describing earlier about the woman in the white jeans, right, where she became determined, and that's bankrupt. But at the same time, her determination has, she's already had one, or two successful companies, and she's working on her third. So being determined isn't bad. It's gotten her to great heights, it just hasn't been fulfilling. So I help people see that the way they've tried to make up for, you know, or the way the brain has attempted to strategize so it doesn't feel embarrassed or thwarted or disappointed, or all those things. Those ways of being and acting are their strategies for success. They're just not fulfilling. So now, can she choose to be determined? Because it's a choice? Rather than as the result of something or as the effect of something?

Michael Kithcart: 27:20
Because framing it differently can change the outcome.

Jen Coken: 27:23
Yes. And that and that. Yeah, absolutely. And that's the new viewpoint, right? That's the new viewpoint that somebody can have as we're reframing the conversation. However, it isn't reframing. I don't know, I don't know how to say this. Like, on one hand, you could say it's reframing. But it's not like we're taking this book and turning the cover over taking a book and you're looking at the front cover, and I'm reframing it by looking at the back cover. No, no, we're tossing out the book. And now it's lipstick because we're getting to the root of something. And we're disappearing, that thing we're chiseling away at. It's like Michelangelo when he was asked, How did you discover David? And he said, David was in the marble the whole time, I just had to carve away everything that wasn't him, the angel was in the marble all along. So as the angel in the marble for each of us, it's the ability to be able to chisel away and let go of that which doesn't serve, which is the work that I do with my clients. So it's reframing. Yes, but I don't want to use that. It's a paradigm shift. You know, it's a new paradigm. So reframe to me means you still have the frame. You're just switching up your viewpoint.

Michael Kithcart: 28:28
Yeah, changing the angle. And this is more of an overhaul. Yep, got it. And I love that. It's like you're letting some parts disintegrate and just having something new form out of it. Even though there's still some familiarity around it.

Jen Coken: 28:44
Yeah. And then that's that familiarity, I think sometimes is what people why people want to avoid it. I have a dear friend who I love and she never wants to do any work on herself because she's afraid at the end of the day, she's gonna find out something horrible like you're amazing. How could you even okay, I get it but this that's her particular brand of crazy we all have our brand of crazy you know what I mean? We all feel like I got my brand you got your brand that's her brand new crazy. I think that avoidance is like there's always a way through we just have to be willing to go.

Michael Kithcart: 29:15
Right sometimes that fear is that you'll lose your edge because it has provided so much success for you. Right that driving force it has so if I let that go if I you know shift around it. Well, I still have success and so well. I'll use like your, your comedian, industry, the right community, sometimes we'll have substance abuse and then it's like, okay, if I acknowledged that I'm an alcoholic, and I'm no longer drinking, will I still be funny?

Jen Coken: 29:48
Will I still be funny? And you know, it's so interesting. I'd been taking voice lessons for the last six months, which has been fun. And I've always I've sung here and there, but I can not It had even one drink before I sing because it changes your vocal cords. Now, you know, people like Oh, I'm gonna take a quick shot to lose myself before I go up on stage. I cannot do any of that. Because I'm not present. And presence is the biggest gift you can give anybody. So when you're present in singing there, you can connect with your emotion when you're present in comedy, you're much more attuned to the room. So that edge they think they have isn't an edge. It's you've seen Hamilton? Have you seen Hamilton? Yes. I only saw it on Disney. And I was so happy to do that during the pandemic. And there's an I got enamored with Lin Manuel Miranda, I'm like, How does this brain work? How does a human being think of those things? And I started researching him. And I found this documentary that was made here in the gut and that guy who directed it, and a bunch of the people that starred in that were part of something called I think it's called freestyle love machine. And they would do these performances where like, people would popcorn and they start rapping about popcorn. And it was all to hone that edge. And there was one guy who is a well-known comedian now, who was supposed to be Hamilton in the show. Wait, delimiting? Well, Miranda, would he play Hamilton? Or was Aaron Burr, he was supposed to be Aaron Burn and burn. Okay. It was supposed to be Aaron Burr in the show. But he was an alcoholic, and they were trying to practice and he was more interested in partying and they just had to leave them behind. And he talks about it in this documentary called freestyle love machine. And it's so heartbreaking. But at the same time, it's what got him sober. And that's why today he's a successful comic. So you know, people think that they're gonna lose their edge, but it's all a load of QA.

Michael Kithcart: 31:38
Okay, I gotta find that documentary. That sounds,

Jen Coken: 31:41
it is amazing music. Yeah, love it.

Michael Kithcart: 31:44
Okay, before you leave us, Jen, do you have a few tips that for people so they could even work by themselves to start flipping that narrative?

Jen Coken: 31:53
So I don't like tips. However, I just recently did a blog post, introducing what I call the power code, which is a way, of breaking things up. And I'm doing some social media posts about it now. And power is an acronym that stands for pursue the facts Own Your story is exactly what we were talking about earlier. Witness your thoughts. That's that being that impartial witness and just noticing them going by E is empower your choice. Because see, when we pursue the facts, we separate fact from fiction. And we can begin to practice nonreactivity and notice the thoughts going by were present. When we're present, we can choose how we're going to respond to a situation that's what I call response-ability, your ability to respond. So you want to empower your choice, and are is for reflection, rinse and repeat, keep reflecting this is never a one-and-done. This is a lifetime of discernment, a lifetime of noticing the stories, you're making up a lifetime of choosing to empower yourself by choosing how you're going to show up as a happy, carefree, driven, determined direct, human. But it's all about choice at the end of the day, because when we're present, we have the power of choice. That is why I don't know about you and your practice how often are you reminding people that they have a lot more choice than they think they do all the time? All this but you know, it'd be in for you. And me too, when we're in the thick of it doesn't feel that way does it? We're like, I felt that way. Just literally a month ago. I said, I said to my team, I'm like I can't do our quarterly meeting. I need to just talk with my coach because I'm afraid I'll get my neck on you right now. I want to get on a plane to Bermuda go over the triangle and disappear. Because I heard that's the thing. I was just in the thick of things. So we all go through it. It's having the coaches around us to go to my coach said You're taking too much information from other people. Do you know what works best for you tap in we need those. No, right.

Michael Kithcart: 33:59
That's a good reminder. Yeah, yep. I love it. Jen, what are you a champion of?

Jen Coken: 34:06
I am a champion of a world of people at home with themselves. That's all I want is for people to feel at home to feel their uniqueness, their magic, and be expressed in the world.

Michael Kithcart: 34:20
That's beautiful. You give a lot of ways that you know resources. We'll put those in the show notes. But tell us how we can follow you as well.

Jen Coken: 34:30
Yeah, a couple of ways to go to my website, There will be a pop-up for you to get on my email list. I send out nuggets of wisdom a couple of times a week on there. You can also go to quiz Gen kochen And then I also have a Facebook group make impostor syndrome your superpower I don't do a lot of necessarily a lot of spot coaching in there but I go live once a week to drop some truth bombs in there too. So you can always get with me there and then you know LinkedIn means the Instagrams, those things, the socials, you're everywhere. I'm like savoir faire and impostor syndrome. I'm everywhere but in a good way.

Michael Kithcart: 35:12
Jen, thank you so much for being a guest on the podcast. I enjoyed this conversation and learned a lot.

Jen Coken: 35:17
Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Michael Kithcart: 35:22
Hey, before you go, did that impostor syndrome episode resonate with you? Well, according to statistics, it probably did, right? But beyond that, wouldn't it be great to have ongoing support to help you overcome self-doubt while also learning techniques to improve your leadership impact? I thought so too, which is why I'm getting ready to kick off winning your way for senior leaders live and in person right in Minneapolis. Now winning your way for senior leaders is for women who are in mid to upper-level management, have been leading teams for years, and are either not getting any professional development, or what's being offered doesn't match the level of leader that they want to be. So I created winning a way for senior leaders to provide a leadership development experience that is just for you. If you are a woman, in senior leadership in the Twin Cities, it is nothing like what you have gone before gone through before. It is leadership transformation from the inside out. It's a monthly in-person peer group. It provides a year-long discovery of learning, elevating leadership effectiveness, and designing what success looks like for you so that you're winning your way in your whole life, with your whole self. It's leadership, it's well-being, it's business, it's mindset. It's community. It's a connection. Oh my gosh, I'm just so excited about this. And we're kicking off soon, like May 11. It's limited to 12 senior leaders who are committed to reaching a new level of growth for themselves and others. This is not a networking group. This is full contact, apply what you're learning along the way, type of transformation. So go to Michael W For more details, and I look forward to talking to you soon.


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