4 Strategies for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as a New Coach

Imposter Syndrome

4 Strategies for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as a New Coach

Starting your journey as a coach is thrilling, filled with the promise of transformative work and the potential to impact lives profoundly. Yet, alongside the excitement may lie a shadow of doubt—a niggling feeling known as Imposter Syndrome. 

This internal conflict isn’t unique to you; it’s a shared struggle across the profession, making you question your place in the coaching world. 

In this article, we outline 4 strategies to help you in managing and overcoming Imposter Syndrome in coaching, setting you on a path to feeling more confident and capable as a coach.

Understanding Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome can be described as an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. 

This feeling is particularly prevalent in new coaches, who may worry they lack the experience or skills to make a significant impact on their clients’ lives. “Symptoms” include persistent self-doubt, fear of not meeting expectations, and a belief that any success is more down to luck than skill and effort.

Importantly, Imposter Syndrome is common among many professionals, regardless of gender, background, or the type of coaching they specialise in. 

Recognising that you’re not alone in these feelings is the first step in dismantling their power and moving forward with confidence.

Let’s take a look at the four strategies you can employ to overcome Imposter Syndrome.

Strategy 1: Cultivate a Growth Mindset

One effective strategy to combat Imposter Syndrome is embracing a growth mindset

A growth mindset, as popularised by psychologist Carol Dweck, is the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed and that we do not have fixed abilities or characteristics.  

This perspective is invaluable for new coaches, as it fosters resilience, encourages learning from feedback, and supports the ongoing development of coaching skills.

Recognising that we are not limited to our current state, we can allow ourselves to focus on our growth and improvement rather than our current “deficiencies” as we perceive them.

Action Step: Begin by challenging fixed beliefs about your abilities. Celebrate your progress and view every coaching session as an opportunity to learn and grow. 

Strategy 2: Embrace Feedback, Supervision and Mentoring

Supervision, mentoring and feedback play crucial roles in a coach’s professional development. 

They’re not just tools for improvement; they’re fundamental to building a more robust and realistic awareness of your strengths and real areas for growth. 

Here’s why they’re so important:

The Power of Feedback

Feedback, especially when it’s constructive and specific, provides clear insights into your coaching style, effectiveness, and areas where you can improve. 

It helps you see yourself through your clients’ eyes, revealing the impact of your coaching on their journey. 

Whether it’s positive affirmation or constructive criticism, feedback is a mirror reflecting your coaching capabilities and areas for growth.

Enhanced Self-Awareness: Regular feedback increases your self-awareness, allowing you to understand your strengths and pinpoint areas for development.

Improved Coaching Skills: It offers an opportunity to adjust your techniques, experiment with new approaches, and refine your coaching style, ensuring you provide the best support to your clients.

The Value of Mentorship and Supervision

A mentor or supervisor who has navigated the coaching journey can offer invaluable guidance, support, and encouragement. They can share lessons from their experiences, helping you avoid common pitfalls and fast-track your development.

They will also ensure you focus on aspects of your coaching practice that you might be unaware of.  For instance, you might focus critically on your use of a specific coaching technique, whereas the supervisor may help you see the positive and nurturing nature of the coaching relationships you form.  

Noticing your blind spots, both “good” and “bad” can broaden your self-awareness, moving you from Imposter Syndrome to reflective practice.

  • Guided Learning: A mentor can provide tailored advice and learning opportunities, helping you focus on what matters most in your coaching practice.
  • Emotional Support: They offer emotional support and reassurance, which is particularly valuable when you’re doubting your abilities or facing challenges.
  • Networking and Opportunities: Mentors can introduce you to a broader network of professionals, opening up opportunities for collaboration, learning, and client referrals.

To make the most of mentoring, supervision and feedback:

  • Actively Seek Out Feedback: Don’t wait for feedback; ask for it. After each coaching session, invite your clients to share their thoughts on what worked and what could be better.
  • Choose the Right Mentor: Look for a mentor whose coaching style, values, and success resonate with you. This alignment is crucial for meaningful mentorship.
  • Seek out a supervisor: Find a coaching supervisor who you resonate with and who works in a similar field.  This space for reflection will be invaluable.
  • Be Open to Learning: Approach feedback and mentorship with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Defensive reactions can block valuable insights and growth.
  • Implement and Reflect: After receiving feedback or mentorship advice, implement the suggestions and reflect on the outcomes. This cycle of action and reflection is key to continuous improvement.

By embracing feedback and mentorship, you not only enhance your coaching skills but also build confidence and resilience, setting a strong foundation for a 

Action Step: Seek feedback after sessions and find a mentor who aligns with your values. Allow their guidance to clarify your path, transforming advice into practical opportunities for growth.

Book a Call with an Animas Coach Consultant to Explore the Course and Becoming a Coach

Strategy 3: Strengthen Your Competence and Confidence through Continuous Development

The relationship between competence and confidence is foundational in the coaching profession. 

As you enhance your skills through continuous learning and practice, your self-belief strengthens, underpinning a virtuous cycle of growth and confidence.  

The concept of lifelong learning is critical in the coaching profession, where methodologies evolve, and the understanding of human behaviour deepens. Continuous development ensures that coaches remain effective, relevant, and able to provide the highest value to their clients.

The Role of Continuous Development in Coaching

Continuous development in coaching involves engaging in a variety of learning activities that broaden your knowledge base, improve your skills, and keep you updated with the latest trends and techniques in the field. This approach to professional growth is essential for maintaining the quality and effectiveness of your coaching practice.

As an example, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) promotes ongoing professional development through its requirement for Continuing Coach Education (CCE) credits. This requirement serves as a model for how structured learning activities can contribute to a coach’s professional growth, ensuring they meet the highest standards of coaching practice. 

However, the principle of continuous development extends beyond formal requirements and is a fundamental aspect of professional excellence in coaching.

Action Steps for Continuous Development

  • Pursue Diverse Learning Opportunities: Look for workshops, seminars, conferences, and online courses that align with your coaching goals and interests. While CCE credits are specific to ICF credentialing, the broader concept of seeking diverse educational experiences applies universally.
  • Implement New Skills: Actively incorporate the insights and techniques learned from your educational activities into your coaching sessions. This practical application is crucial for refining your approach and evaluating the impact on your clients.
  • Reflect on Your Growth: Keep a journal or log of your professional development activities, including the successes and challenges you encounter as you integrate new knowledge and skills into your practice. Reflection is a key component of learning, allowing you to assess your progress and identify areas for further growth.

Emphasising continuous development in your coaching practice, illustrated by the ICF’s CCE credits, underscores the importance of lifelong learning. 

This strategy is vital for any coach aiming for excellence, demonstrating that the journey of professional and personal growth in coaching is never-ending and always evolving.

Imposter Syndrome in Coaching

Strategy 4: Build a Supportive Community

One of the most effective strategies for overcoming Imposter Syndrome as a coach is to join and engage with a supportive community. 

Such a community offers not just encouragement and shared wisdom, but also a vital sense of belonging that can directly counteract feelings of fraudulence and self-doubt. 

In the journey of coaching, where Imposter Syndrome can often lurk in the shadows of your achievements, a network of peers provides a powerful antidote through mutual support, understanding, and validation.

Why a Supportive Community Matters in Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

  • Offers Encouragement and Reassurance: Joining a community where coaches share their own battles with Imposter Syndrome provides much-needed reassurance. It powerfully counters the isolation of these feelings by highlighting that such experiences are common and surmountable.
  • Shares Wisdom and Experiences: A supportive community serves as a wellspring of collective wisdom, sharing strategies that have helped others face and overcome Imposter Syndrome. Adopting these insights into your own practice can equip you with practical tools to tackle self-doubt.
  • Strengthens Your Sense of Belonging: Engaging with a community reaffirms your identity as a coach and your deserving place within the profession. This sense of belonging is crucial for silencing the internal narratives that fuel Imposter Syndrome, reinforcing your achievements and the value you add to your clients’ lives.
  • Boosts Professional Growth and Confidence: Active participation in community discussions, workshops, and mentoring not only enhances your professional development but also bolsters your confidence. Each skill mastered and insight gained from the community helps dismantle the underpinnings of Imposter Syndrome.

Action Steps for Engaging with a Supportive Community:

  • Connect with Diverse Coaching Communities: Explore both local and online forums, groups, and professional associations dedicated to coaching. Engaging with communities that reflect a broad spectrum of backgrounds and coaching styles, such as those offered by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), enriches your experience and support network.
  • Actively Share and Participate: Openly discuss your journey and challenges with Imposter Syndrome and welcome the stories and solutions of others. This exchange not only enriches the community but also strengthens your professional identity and resilience.
  • Engage in Events and Training: Seek out and attend workshops, seminars, and conferences. These aren’t just opportunities to learn—they’re also platforms for forging connections with fellow coaches, sharing support, and building camaraderie.
  • Embrace Mentorship Opportunities: Offer and seek mentorship within the community. This reciprocal relationship enhances your learning, offers new perspectives on your capabilities, and highlights the impact you have as a coach.


As you start your coaching journey, remember: overcoming Imposter Syndrome is not just about dispelling doubts; it’s about embracing your growth, both personally and professionally. The strategies outlined here serve as milestones on your path, guiding you towards embracing your role with confidence and authenticity.

Start with one strategy to combat Imposter Syndrome. Whether it’s learning from feedback, enhancing your skills, or connecting with peers, each step contributes to your development.

For those looking to deepen their learning, consider exploring events and training that focus on professional growth. Animas offers a range of opportunities designed to support coaches in building confidence and competence. Engaging with these resources can be a practical way to address Imposter Syndrome, providing you with insights and skills to enhance your coaching practice. 

Discover more about how these opportunities can support your journey at Animas Coaching Events.

Your journey as a coach is a testament to your courage, empathy, and commitment to growth. By embracing vulnerability and authenticity, you create a space for transformation—both for yourself and those you guide. 

Remember, you’re not just building a practice; you’re nurturing a community where change, growth, and transformation flourish.

Author Details
Justin is a professional writer and researcher and explores topics of coaching, coach training and personal development.
Justin Pickford

Justin is a professional writer and researcher and explores topics of coaching, coach training and personal development.

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