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  • Writer's pictureCait Donovan

Nina Blackshear: Eliminate Imposter Syndrome in High Achievers

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

Nina Blackshear is an attorney and executive coach who specializes in coaching high power and high potential women to overcome obstacles like imposter syndrome. She experienced burnout while working in a high achieving career at a large pharmaceutical company. Getting let go turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because the blinders came off to reveal the toxic environment Nina had been keeping herself in. She spent the next six months working on herself and re-evaluating her next career moves before getting involved with coaching other high achieving women.

While evaluating the source of her imposter syndrome with a therapist, Nina became aware of her mother’s narcissistic behavior and how it was still affecting her as an adult. Since she was unable to get the desired attention from her mother, she was seeking someone to fill that role even in her professional life. By attributing this mother role to co-workers, she created unhealthy attachments that left her emotionally unregulated anytime these women would provide even remotely negative feedback.

Imposter syndrome is caused by both internal and external factors. There is only so much you can do about the external factors, but you can change your mindset to eliminate the internal factors. Tune into today’s episode of FRIED. The Burnout Podcast for a conversation with Nina Blackshear about eliminating imposter syndrome, stopping the lies, and being unapologetically authentic.


“There are other places to go. There are other places to work. There are other things that you can be doing. It's not just this, you don't have to succeed in this particular place” (11:48-12:01 | Nina)

When you start to compromise the integrity of who you actually are in order to fit a culture, in order to gain an opportunity, in order to achieve in a culture that may not be that interested in your success. That's when that happens. Imposter syndromes also starts to creep in, in addition to the burnout, right? And it feeds on each other like a snake eating its own tail, because the more you pretzel yourself and strive to be something that you're not, the more stressed out you're going to be. And so you add that internal burnout on top of what external factors are creating burnout, and it's a recipe for like bursting spontaneously into flame.” (14:45-15:21 | Nina)

You might feel like an impostor because you are one.” (28:44-28:47 | Nina)

High achievers don't like to tell you that they don't know something. They want to come up with something on the fly in the moment that sounds good, and they're hoping you don't catch that maybe they don't really know as much about it as you think they do.” (30:13-30:23 | Nina)

I really think you can eliminate slash overcome impostor syndrome. I don't think it's something you’ve got to live with like a backpack you carry all the time.” (41:16-41:24 | Nina)

Stop lying, but also unapologetically be your authentic self.” (42:35-42:39 | Nina)

Even if you're not in an environment that’s showing you your value and your worth or appreciating it, you have so much to offer. You have so much to give, you just might need to change the scenery to feel fulfilled, to feel seen, to feel like you're contributing.” (56:42-56:59 | Nina)


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