Don’t postpone joy. Do the thing you are called to do. Do it!
— Tanya Geisler

Episode Summary

What’s up everyone! In this episode, I am joined by Tanya Geisler, leadership coach, TEDx speaker, and the encouraging voice behind Starring Role Playbook. Tanya is here today to share her entrepreneurial journey and how she’s helping women bust out of their Impostor Complex with her course and coaching.

Tanya came to coaching after years in an outwardly successful but ultimately unsatisfying career in advertising. Her fascination about the Impostor Complex, and as someone who personally struggled with it, Tanya created Starring Role Playbook to help people claim the success that is rightfully theirs. Her course is a journey that allows her students to recognize their own potential, empower them to achieve it, and live life to the fullest.

Listen as Tanya shares her magnificent story, how she created Starring Role Playbook, and how her course is transforming the lives of her students. Enjoy!

+ Episode Transcript

Tanya Geisler: I don't pretend to understand absolutely what is best for somebody, you know? So it's a $300 course and if they get -- if they skim through, but they got this one nugget, that is the pebble that's been in their shoe all along, who am I to say no, you didn't go deep enough, right? It literally could be it.

Janelle Allen: Welcome to Level Up Your Course, where we pull back the curtain on what it takes to create learning that transforms lives. You will hear stories from business owners like you, who share their success and their struggles. This is not where you come to hear passive income myths, friends. This is where you learn the truth about building a profitable learning platform. I am your host, Janelle Allen and this is today's episode.

What's up everyone? Today, I am speaking with Tanya Geisler, leadership coach, founder of tanyageisler.com, and creator of the Starring Role Playbook, which we're here to talk about, amongst other things. Tanya helps people combat the impostor complex and step into their starring role. And we're going to talk about her entrepreneurial journey, and the course. Tanya, welcome to the show.

TG: Thanks so much for having me, Janelle. I really appreciate it.

JA: I'm excited to chat with you. I think it's going to be a very interesting chat, but before we get into the deep stuff, we have a tradition on the show called the rapid five -- five quick questions to help listeners get to know you. Are you ready?

TG: I'm ready.

JA: Okay. First one is easy. What did you have for breakfast?

TG: A ham roll-up.

JA: I have no idea what that is. I know you're Canadian, so please explain.

TG: And this is where we start, really? I just am on calls all day, and I just needed a pretty quick protein hit. So, my whole thing is breakfast is the first meal of the day, it doesn't actually matter when you have it. So I actually only need about an hour ago and it's 11:00 now. So, it's just ham with some really delicious cheese and pickle and this Dijon mustard, and that's what it was. Ham roll-ups.

JA: Awesome. Sounds quick and easy. All right, what song or album do you currently have on rotation?

TG: Oh my goodness. Lizzo. We're going to go see her in about three weeks' time. She's coming to Toronto. I'm bringing my whole mastermind group to go see her, so it's a playlist. I don't even know which albums, all the albums. Whatever she's got, I'm listening to it. I love it.

JA: Okay. Question number three. We're going to get serious, we're going to talk about zombies. I don't know how much you think about zombies, but in this scenario, the zombie apocalypse has hit, and you have six minutes to grab three essential items to get you through. And not people, just items, what do you pick?

TG: So it's my ridiculously large citrine, my mother's opal ring, and --

JA: Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, Tanya. Come on, come on, come on.

TG: I wanna say my wedding album, but that’s total nonsense. Oh, my pen! I love my fountain pen.

JA: Interesting collection there, okay. All right.

TG: Are we not actually talking about the zombie apocalypse, because --

JA: We are talking about the zombie apocalypse. So, you’ve got your ring, your pen and I forget the first thing, so --

TG: Yeah, the citrine.

JA: Yeah.

TG: And my husband works for a Red Cross. I know the smart answer is the 72-hour survival kit that I've got in the front closet, like, ready to go. But, you know, I had a ham roll-up today, so this is -- I've got to tell you the three that I -- I also have to tell you, because I'm really disturbed, because my husband let me know that apparently zombies can walk under water. And I've had a very hard time at the beach ever since he told me that.

JA: Very cool. Well, it's good to know your husband is, you know, involved with the Red Cross and all of that. So it sounds like you're good.

TG: I got it. I got it. I got it.

JA: All right. Question number four, if you were not doing the work that you're doing now, what would you be doing?

TG: That's just mean.

JA: How is that mean?

TG: Because, this is like the amalgam of every job that I would ever want in the entire world rolled into one. So that would be like asking, you know, to pick your favorite child. You know, I guess I'd probably be a school teacher, you know, I'd be a school teacher. Like just so much big love, respect and yeah, that's probably what I'd be doing.

JA: Yeah. Agreed. Lots of respect for teachers. Okay, last one. What is the hardest lesson you have learned, so far, as a business owner?

TG: Non-attachment.

JA: Okay. All right, so speaking of being a business owner, tell us about your journey, your entrepreneurial journey. How did you get here?

TG: So I started in advertising and you know, when the Twin Towers came down, I was helping launch a drug over in Ottawa. And it was just this moment, and everybody has their own moment about, you know, where they were and what the disaster just had us all feeling. And I was trying to comfort folks. I was trying to keep an eye on the situation, blah, blah, blah. It was kind of a PR role, but kind of not. And the president of the company -- I won't name the company -- kept trying to keep focus on-- his words were, "If we can dollarize the number of people with Alzheimer's…" Janelle, swear to you, I don't know what he said after that because I went down the hall and I threw up. And I was like, my soul is not here, I don't know where it is.

So I went through this process of trying to understand when I was at my best, when I was in flow, when I was helping, the most useful, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And through that process of analysis and brainstorming and gathering my people, I discovered this thing called coaching that wasn't really a thing back in 2007. I mean it was, but for the very elite. So, it was that kind of life is very short and we are here to serve a greater purpose, believe. And I knew that I wasn't living up to my potential. I did a big long look. Interestingly, at least to me it was interesting, this helping folks to find what they were really good at had been my superpower all along. So, I started to tap into that and used a lot of the tools that I had helped them to figure things out, to help myself to figure things out. Again, by drawing on understandings of folks all around me, were able to reflect back when I was really powerful and really useful, really helpful and in my own soul again.

So that just that just led me here, and I started coaching in 2007, 2008 and, pretty quickly, I started working with folks who were functioning at a very high level. And I noticed this very specific screw line that was riveting through their belief about themselves, and it was just this impostor complex. And, in 2012, I was invited to do a TEDX talk. And when I needed to land the plane on a particular body of work or a particular point of discussion, that’s the impostor complex that fascinated me the most, and that really helped me to focus my body of work on what I teach and talk about now.

JA: Yeah, I mean we hear that phrase all the time. We hear impostor complex, that term. What does it mean?

TG: I would start with a history lesson because I'm a big fan of attributing to teachers, but impostor phenomenon is actually the term coined by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes back in '78. So, they were working with these high-functioning, high-achieving people, and they saw, just like I had seen, that these people couldn't seem to internalize their successes. They would over-identify with their failures and they were not able to identify with their successes. And, so they started to make quite the study of it. So, it's that experience and feeling like it's just a matter of time before this all crumbles beneath you, it's just a matter of time before they find out you're not quite as skilled or talented as they had previously believed. It's all about this generalized other.

I mean, there are 12 various lines (?) that we can talk about until the end of time, but it's really this experience of discounting your successes and over-identifying with your failures that has you staying out of action, doubting your capacity, and feeling alone and isolated. So, my body of work is really helping people to overcome it, but really it's more about having a faster recovery, because it's not something you ever really fully eradicate any more than you can fully eradicate fear. It's kind of a traveling companion. Then, you know, there's good news that comes along with it. If you experienced the impostor complex, that means that you are high functioning with strong values of mastery, integrity, and excellence right? And it means the thing that you're working on is really deeply important to you. It matters.

So, really, my work is about helping people to recognize that, but also recognize their own potential, recognize their own capacity and get into action in spite of the fears. That's my work.

JA: Yeah. In a moment we're going to talk about Starring Role Playbook, but first, I want to get into, you know, you just did a wonderful job of defining what the impostor complex is. What are the benefits of tackling it? Because I love that you said it doesn't really go away. That's something that I tell people who are starting out with business, and they're feeling overwhelmed. I'm like there's always going to be something that is making you, you know, little bit overwhelmed.

TG: Yeah.

JA: So, why deal with this? What am I going to get out of it?

TG: So it's less about the impostor complex specifically, and more about how it presents. So, it's really about belonging, right? It wants to make sure that you belong. So it's going to have you fearing success as much as going to have you fearing failure, right? It's part of a tribal need to belong. So, we -- to avoid feeling like that impostor, we're going to hang out in certain specific behaviors, and these are hyper-familiar to everyone listening. So, big love, big compassion as you kind of, like, as you recognize yourself in what I'm about to say.

It's going to send you towards having your boundaries be leaky. It's going to send you towards people-pleasing. It's going to send you towards perfectionism and procrastination and comparison and diminishment. So, these are all actually places that we go to hide out. So, we actually hide behind our perfectionism so that we don't get called out for being the impostor. But engaging with our perfectionism, by really, you know, working two to three times as hard as anyone else around us, all we do is we look up and go wait a minute, I must be the impostor, because I'm working two to three times as hard as anybody else. So, clearly, I'm the impostor. So, it colludes with our confirmation bias.

So, the impostor complex in and of itself, it's a thing, and then it has us hiding out in these behaviors. And these behaviors keep us from doing the things that we want to do. It sends us into a place of comparison, which sends us into overwhelm. And again, these are the double binds. We go to hide out in these behaviors, but, by doing so, by engaging in perfectionism, by engaging in people-pleasing, all we do is validate our feeling that we're the impostors. So, for me, I'm a people pleaser. I just am. I -- it's really important to me that, you know, people like me. And so, what that means is how I make sure I stay part of the group.

JA: Mm-hmm.

TG: But when I get opportunities, I'm going to chalk it up to just having been liked, right? they're just being nice. They just like me, they want to make me feel good. I'm going to discount the fact that I'm actually deeply, truly skilled, excellent and talented at what I do. Again, so that’s how that double bind works. So, I think it's really important to just kind of know where your tick is, and be able to approach it from there. So, it's these behaviors that are going to keep you away from the thing that you're wanting to do. I also think it's important to kind of sidebar here a bit and say, you know, engaging in perfectionism, engaging in people-pleasing, these are not necessarily bad things, "bad things," you know, they actually come from pretty pure places, you know?

If you're a people pleaser, you might have a strong value of, you know, inclusivity. Your desire, if you compare, it might be because you really desire a connection, you're really relational, you know? Your perfectionism is probably more about excellence than a lot of other things, and procrastination can be discernment. So, I think that in the self-development space, we can come down pretty hard on these behaviors, like 'Stop being a perfectionist!' and 'Stop people pleasing!' and stop -- and that would be lovely, but the truth is there's some honey in this behavior. Your diminishment has a lot to do with your value of humility. So, my job is to help people kind of caLiBronte that, and flip on the light to have them see where that’s getting in the way of what they're here to do.

JA: Gotcha, okay. So, it sounds like, you know, one of the benefits of tackling this and doing the work, which is something that we were talking about before we started recording, is this awareness of the behavior. Of, as you said, the ticks and being able to work with it.

TG: Yes. Yes, es, yes, yes, yes. Also really important to say that, you know, the impostor complex, when we really flatten it, it can be a pretty universal experience, and another place of nuances. It does impact people differently, depending on where you sit on the spectrum of privilege, you know? So, depending on how marginalized or oppressed one is, they're going to experience it differently, right? So, as we think about the center of the universe being, you know, the white, able-bodied, cis-gendered, middle-class, neurotypical male, every concentric circle that we are differed from that person, we're going to feel it in a more pronounced way. And I just think that, again, that’s really important, because I think we tend to just really flatten it and say everybody experiences it the same way, and that’s not quite true.

JA: You know, related to that, and then we'll get into Starring Role Playbook, is that phrase 'Fake it 'til you make it,' which is just great. I mean, because this idea of, you know, who gets the privilege of faking it until they make it? Which is something that I had to finally point it out to a few people, and it was a lightbulb moment. But, I love that you said that, that there's all these concentric circles depending upon where you are.

TG: Yeah, thanks for naming that. I get myself -- so, I've got these '12 Lies with the Impostor Complex,' and lie number 11 is: you're going to have to fake it until you make it. You would not believe the crap I get for that. It's exactly to your point. And the truth is, you know, any time that we're colluding with the impostor complex, we're just going to exacerbate it, but yeah. That is highly privileged perspective to be standing in.

JA: Definitely. All right, so we've been talking around it. Let's get a bit deeper into Starring Role Playbook. So, it is an 11-week self-study program for taming your impostor complex. And I know that this is deep work, so before we get into the work, and some of the process, let's talk about who is the course for? Who's the target learner?

TG: They are the person who is in the exploration of their impostor complex. They recognize it, they've heard. They saw the names, like, oh my God, that’s totally me and what do I do about it? Because so much of it, you know, ever seen that Bob Newhart sketch about -- oh my gosh, I'm going to botch it now. I'm terrible at telling jokes and all the things. There's this Bob Newhart skit and he's basically like a therapist, I believe, and somebody comes in and they're presenting what's like deep, heavy stuff. And he's like well, just stop, just don’t feel like that. And I feel like a lot of the conversations around the impostor complex have been that very like 'just stop.'

So, this is for the person who is past just stop as kind of unhelpful counsel, and really wants to dig into and understand what's happening here, so they can have, like I say, that faster recovery. They can flip that light on faster and go, oh, all right, I see what's happening here and I have some choices to make.

JA: I'm so that person who's like, well, just don’t do that thing. So, I wasn’t familiar with that sketch, but I felt a little attacked, so…

TG: I'm sending it your way.

JA: Well, you know, the other thing I wanted to say, because you saying that and then me identifying with that made me realize that’s why I had to stop one-on-one coaching, because I'm not very good at it. That part of it.

TG: You need to know, just in a mini takeover here, that’s pretty funny.

JA: But you are a coach, and what I want to ask is how does this course situate with your coaching? So, in other words, who is a better fit for the course versus your coaching?

TG: Self-starters that are really, you know, do-it-yourselfers. Originally, it was direct over the 11 weeks, and we had just far too many people who were like no, I need to knock this out in a weekend, and I'm like oh, right, good luck with all that, and bless you. Like, because it's a technology to be mastered, right? So, by all means, have at it, read through, do the exercises, but it's a technology that you come back to time and time and time and time again. And that’s why -- that is my greatest love of this program and this course is that it is always there for you. It doesn’t matter, every single time you are up in precipice of your next evolution, it's there for you. It's the same questions. It's the same analysis, it's the same things that you need to do time and time again. Doesn’t matter if you're about to take the stage or write the book or negotiate or any time the impostor complex is showing up, this process will walk you through exactly what you need to do. Because it really hits on the impostor complex wanting to keep you out of action, doubting your capacity, and alone and isolated.

So, it's very instructive and also very experiential, so that’s when I say, like, people, like, oh my gosh, if you can do this in a weekend, hats off. And some do. So, I'm a LiBron, so you're like just stop, I'm like hmm, let's look at all of the different ways that this is happening. Let's look at all of the things that are in between. So, I find it fascinating that there's a certain kind of person who's going to just bang it out over a short period of time, and there are other folks that have been working on it for three years. And will email me -- three, is that right? Maybe two and a half years. Two and a half years later, saying like I've just discovered this, I'm on, you know, I'm on this week. And I'm like I love that, I love that they're boring taking it at their own pace, because it's intended for you to drop in and really do some deeper analysis when you kind of hit a root.

So, I'm not sure if that was like the clearest way I could have answered that, but one of my favorite things about it is the fact that every time we do any feedback, there is not one stand-out module week, exercise that everybody loves. It gets people at all different places. So, folks who have a hard time acknowledging what they're capable of, folks who have a very easy time with that, they have a terrible time asking for help. It meets lots of different people at lots of different places, and, right across the board, they're going to be self-starters and DIYers.

JA: I want to come back and talk about the structure and the process. But first, let's answer some simpler questions. How long did it take you to create it and when did you first launch it? What year?

TG: It came together very quickly, and this doesn’t seem very fair, because I know there are going to be folks that are listening that will feel like I had an unfair advantage, and perhaps I did. It was a live program that I had been running, so it was a function of taking the materials that had worked really, really well and then putting them into this digital format. So, the actual creation of the course itself was very shockingly easy. Is that really what I want to say there?

JA: It's what you said.

TG: Yeah, it's what I said. There was a lot of -- there was a lot of self-doubt, there was a lot of questions, but the actual mechanics of it came together quite easily and I also had huge support from Marie Pooland of Dokey and it's on their platform. So, I was super, super fortunate to have that kind of support as well. So, it came together quite quickly. Now, I'm really wanting to make sure -- March 2017, yeah.

JA: Okay, 2017. I love that you said you taught it live. That’s something that I teach my students to do when they go through my group plan, is to teach it live. So many people want to go straight into a self-study course. Why did you teach it live and what were the benefits of doing it that way first?

TG: It just felt an integrity to me, you know, given particularly the nature of what it was, the impostor complex, it really was important that I see in real time what was coming up for folks, and to be able to address that in a kind of what to expect when you're expecting kind of way. So, part of the course is not teaching videos so much as here's what you can expect to come up for you energetically and emotionally as you navigate this. You know, don't make yourself wrong for experiencing this, this or this, and don't make yourself wrong for not experiencing this, this and this. And that was really important to me just from my coaching sensibility and the LiBron that I am, I want to make sure that there's lots of space for people to feel the complexity and all of the nuance of this pretty complex complex.

JA: Well, and just to interject my learning designer brain into the mix, it's also important from a learning standpoint because there's three domains of learning, you know? As you may know, there's the affective domain, which hits on all of those emotions and everything, that we do go through the mindset stuff. And oftentimes, that’s ignored. Most people want to stick with the cognitive domain of just information, information, information, and that's not really what gets the transformation. You have to address, here's some things you're going to feel. Here's some ways that you can get through that, so the people can get to that goal. So, speaking of the goal, what is the goal of this program? What should I be able to do upon completing the program?

TG: Can I sidebar for a second?

JA: Sure.

TG: I loved that. I love that. Like, your deep understanding of how this design works. I mean, I think that's, I think it's beautiful. I think it's brilliant and I have huge respect for that. You said affective domain, cognitive and what was the third?

JA: The third one is pschomotor. I usually pronounce it psycho-motor to remember the spelling. It's all one word and it really just means 'the doing.' And in many ways it's a bit outdated, because it has a lot to do with mechanics of, but also doing things.

TG: Okay, cool. Thank you. Oh, beautiful. I appreciate that. So at the end of working through this process, again, my desire is that it is a technology that somebody comes back to again and again and again every time they're at this precipice of their expansion. So they can go through and they can say, okay so I understand why this is important to me, because it's inextricably linked to this aspect of me, which is very valued space, so I call it right of joy, and then I know that the next couple of places, it's going to try to keep me out of action, it's trying to gut my capacity, it's going to have me keeping me alone and isolated. So, there are specific things that I need to do within the context of those objectives, and these are the strategies that I've learned through the Starting Role process.

Some will not apply. Some will be so deeply ingrained to me, I don’t even need to think about them, but other aspects, like celebration, the reason I don’t celebrate is the very reason I doubt my capacity. Because I don’t allow myself to really root into what I've done. How I've succeeded, what I've delivered, what I've survived, what appealed. So, you know, each and every person, like I said, they're going to have their own edges to be worked in the context of this, so that every time we're at this precipice, they can say all right, I recognize that this is a realistic objection or I recognize that this is an inter-critic objection. So, if it's an inter-critic objection, now I have the tools. If it's a realistic objection, I just know that there's some gaps I got to fill.

How am I going to go ahead and do that? All right, I got the strategies here.

JA: Yeah.

TG: So it's really about being able to apply and reapply and reapply the strategies.

JA: Yeah, this sounds like very much a process-oriented program as opposed to more of an outcome-oriented program. And that’s a shift that I had to make as an instructional designer coming from an academic background. A lot of what I would help create were courses that were focused on outcomes -- you'll do this by the end of it. And if it's outcome-based, that means I have to complete the course. What I have found is, for many courses, completion is not a requirement for transformation, particularly for process-oriented courses. Where you're doing some very deep transformational work, and just the act of doing the work is going to help you to achieve some transformation. So, music is a great example.

I've spoken to a few musicians and the act of knowing how to, or getting guidance in how to approach a song is a process. And you don’t have to do every lesson and course. I think of Bob Reynolds, who's a saxophonist, and he has a program. You don’t have to do every single lesson that he's created, but you're going to learn that process and it still translates. So, again, I'm geeking out, but I really love when I speak to people who have process-oriented courses, because it's such a different way of thinking about learning. And we get so focused on completion.

TG: Yes, yes, yes, yes. Well, here's the thing, we do. And then we feel this kind of strange, yeah, we feel a sense of accomplishment, but the ego wants to want more than it wants to get. So, sometimes we put our flag there, but we get there and it's like oh, we're here. Now, I just feel ina or whatever it is that I'm feeling. So, yeah, thank you for illuminating that for me, because that absolutely helps.

JA: Yeah, transformation is not a checklist and I think that it's good to remember that at times. Okay. So speaking of transformation, one thing I wanted to come back to is you said you started off dripping out the content and then people wanted to just get it done. Were there any differences in the types of results or the comments and feedback when you made that change?

TG: Well, not surprisingly. The folks who sort of blasted through it, checked it off, not to use your words, and there wasn't much more engagement from that point forward. We weren't really -- it was sort of like, all right, I got this. And so, we did follow up and try to dig a little bit deeper. So I would say that if you kind of blasted through it, I don't know that they were having the same transformation that folks that took their time and paced accordingly did.

Now, the reason I allowed, I wouldn't say my integrity to wobble around it, what I really mean is, you know, this -- my idea was it was going to be this 11-week drip thing and, normally, I don just change my mind given what people are asking for. But I thought there were enough people that were really curious about what that would look like that I thought they know something that I don’t know. And, you know, again, they got the information. All I could do is imagine that a few years later, it's just working through them on some levels, which I believe that it is. But I know that there are definitely places that require much deeper analysis, and if you're not willing to do the deeper analysis, then the transformation isn't quite as enduring. But I would say that that’s a certain kind of person that really wanted to check that box and they're allowed to do that.

JA: It's hard to walk that line. I love this conversation, you know, because you're walking that line as a teacher who understands where those points of stickiness are. Where those times when you do need to stop and take your time with the process, you know that. But you're also walking that line. On the other side of that is listening to your audience's request. And if you're getting multiple people saying hey, I want to do this, I want to do this easier, responding to that call.

TG: Yeah.

JA: And that’s a hard one. You know, for me personally, with my group program, I know this process, it is a process, and I'm sticking to this is the structure. You know, we're going to take the time. But sometimes I do wonder, well maybe I should -- but I think you're right. I think you hit on something is that a lot of times, people who want to just do it quickly, they are going to do it quickly and they're not going to get the same depth of transformation and results. Because they're treating it very much like checking this off, I did that, what's the next thing?

TG: And, so the non-attachment that I was speaking to earlier is like this one painful thing that I keep coming back to is this is work that has come through me. And I'm allowed to own certain aspects of it, but I don't pretend to understand absolutely what is best for somebody you know? So, it's a $300 course, and if they get -- if they skim through, but they got this one nugget that is the pebble that's been in their shoe all along, who am I to say no, you didn't go deep enough, right? Like, it literally could be it. Like, recognizing that their entire being is set up for connection and that is the reason that their relationships are the way that they are, or that they behave in a certain way, and that starts to shift everything, all right. Sweet. Fantastic. So that’s the LiBron, right? I have like lots of room for both and.

I will say that, because this is the impostor complex work, it's more like the go-getters, they're doing their thing, sometimes wonder if they're getting the transformation that is my desire on their behalf, but that doesn’t necessarily need to be their agenda. That is the thing as a coach, right? We're supposed to be allowed to hold in this very contained presence, but not rigid way, our client's agenda. But they get to have whatever experience they want to have. I will say that it's more like, for me, my favorite part about the playbook is that there's no behind. So, in a lot of the group work that I do, and I'm not sure if this happens with you, your group work, a huge place of suffering for people is, you know, I'm falling behind, I'm feeling badly about falling behind, which is one of the ways that the impostor complex likes to show up, right? And like other (inaudible)from other people. And it's highly coachable and it's like very much because it links to the imposter complex. So, when it's in a group setting, it comes up a lot, but with the playbook, there is no behind, right?

You're like, you are doing this yourself, you're pacing it. Can you honor your word to yourself? That’s the biggest question.

JA: Yeah and that’s a big one. And that’s a big one. And it's one that a lot of people need help with. So, I think we've been talking around it, but Kathy Sierra, if you haven't read her book it's called Badass. It's a great book on learning and user experience, but she talks about stuck zones, where people get stuck and how to support them. So, where are the stuck zones in this program?

TG: I think it is around community. So, as much as folks are self-starters, I think that the community piece has been sticky and tricky. And I think that that's why the videos that I've done where I say like, just so you know, here's what comes up for other people, I think that that to your point, of the affective learning domain. It's also relational. So it's important for people to know, like other folks are experiencing this. It might look different for them based on their lived experience, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, but I know that I'm not alone in this process and it's still hard to do without a communicate. That’s just the truth of it.

JA: Yeah.

TG: So, for that reason, we offered office hours, you know, every month. We stopped doing that after a fashion, but they worked until they didn’t. So, after a certain time, the folks that started just to come to this work seemed to be fine without it, but I've always offered to pair people up in accountability partnerships as part of it. And that’s always been quite the going concern. People are pretty happy to have an accountability partner to go through this work with. So I think it's community as a sticking point.

JA: Accountability is a big thing. And I, I've found with my group program, a lot of people are drawn to the program because of that. I think we've come to terms with our human nature and we know that we do need that accountability partner. Before we get to the final three questions, what have you learned? What have been challenges that you have had throughout this process and what are the learning moments for you?

TG: I think it's really just not being attached to the outcome. Not having somebody's success look a certain way. I would have to say that that's probably true, not so much in my one-on-one coaching, but in my group program as well and definitely with the Starring Role Playbook. I think that is really releasing myself and recognizing and trusting that they're getting exactly out of it what they need to. And, you know, I spent a lot of time being very concerned that people weren't engaging with it the way that I wanted. I realized how much of that was me and my own ego, and if I just like let that go and know that folks are getting out of it what they want, that we've given as much support as we possibly can in a digital context, that people are going to reach out. I mean I always say that your people want you to succeed, let them help you. I hope that people know that I am their people and that if they need something, there are all these different ways that they can have different touch points with support and with resources.

So, really trying to be as supportive as possible without needing to have an outcome look a very specific way.

JA: Yeah.

TG: Because again, this stuff gets so meta, because that is impostor complex. The impostor complex, you know, requires certainty. It requires things to be this way. If it's not a total success, then it's a dismal failure. So, really having to separate myself from that. And any outcome, any kind of engagement, anytime you're going to invest your time and your resources, your energy into this kind of analysis, gold's going to come. And how much of it is really up to the user.

JA: I definitely agree. And I think that's a great segue into our final three questions. The first one is easy. What's next for you? Anything exciting coming up?

TG: Well, I just launched my podcast. It's called Ready Enough, and it is all about lie number seven is the impostor complex -- of the impostor complex is you're not ready yet. So this is the one lie that it's giving us a little bit of leeway, a little bit of latitude. It's saying you'll be ready one day sweetheart, but that day just isn't today. So I'm all about tackling that and having discussions with people who are ready enough to do magnificent things, recognizing it's not going to be perfect. And lots of conversations around what impostor complex isn't. You know, when it's, when it's the impostor complex and when it's racism, when it's transphobia, when it's alcohol abuse, when it's something else. So there's a lot of unpacking there and it's tinder, it's tricky in some ways. It's lots of fun and it's entirely imperfect, but I'm totally ready enough for it. So there's that.

And the Starring Role Academy, which has been my nine-month program, is now going to become Evergreen, which I'm excited about and taking this conversation forth with me as we continue to finalize the structure of it. So that’s going to be coming in December. That's really exciting. Yeah, those are the top two things that I'm most alive about right now.

JA: I'm excited. I can't wait to share it with the listeners when this goes live. I'll make sure we link out to it. I'm excited. I can't wait to share it with the listeners when this goes live. I'll make sure we link out to it.

TG: Thank you.

JA: So where can people find out more about you and your work?

TG: So, a great place of your own curious of the impostor complex. I would love for you to try the quiz that I've created that'll help discern if there is a behavioral trait of the impostor complex that's in the way -- diminishment, comparison, people pleasing, leaky boundaries, et cetera, et cetera. That's at tanyageisler.com/quiz. Everyone in social media @TanyaGeisler, and that quiz is a great place though to start to understand what might be in the way. One of the options by the way, or one of the results is you don't need me, because it's not always in somebody's way, like you might experience it, but it might be handled.

And that's a beautiful thing to recognize too because I'm also aware that there is so much conversation about the impostor complex happening right now, and some people must be feel like, all right, I know it's a thing, but it's not my thing. Fine. So be it, you know, move on. Like that’s a beautiful thing. So, I think that’s actually really helpful for some people as well to know, like, the reason it's not in your way is that it's not in your way. you’ve got some tools around it so that’s great. So, the quiz is a great place to start and tanyageisler.com is my home and I'm @TanyaGeisler everywhere else, like I said.

JA: Awesome. Last question for you, Tanya, what is your why? Why do you get up and do this work?

TG: My mama had a mantra, and that was 'don’t postpone joy.' And she passed away at 59, and I really got that after she died. And that’s my big why, don’t postpone joy. Like, do the thing you're called to do. Do it. Do it. Do it. You're ready enough.

JA: And we're going to wrap there. Tanya, thank you so much for being on the show. I think this show is going to be transformational for people in so many ways, so thank you for sharing your story, your experience and your insight.

TG: Thank you, Janelle. It's my absolute honor. Thank you.

JA: All right, my friends, that is my time. Remember, before you can level up your course, you must first level up your mind. As always, thank you for hanging out with me for another great episode. I do not take it for granted. I am Janelle Allen and this has been Level Up Your Course. Peace.

Episode Highlights

00:55 Getting to know Tanya Geisler, Rapid 5 Questions

04:47 Tanya's entrepreneurial journey

07:29 What is Impostor Complex? - "Fake it 'till you make it"

14:47 Tanya's course (Starring Role Playbook) - who is it for?

19:26 Starring Role Playbook - creation and launching

20:36 Benefits of teaching the course live

22:51 Starring Role Playbook - course goal and student's journey

31:12 Where students get stuck and how Tanya supports them

33:01 Challenges and learning moments as a course creator

34:53 Exciting things coming up from Tanya, website link

Connect with Tanya

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