Your Decision to Strive is the Very First Step

* I have a feeling you’re going to adore this guest post by life + biz coach, Tanya Geisler. I had the pleasure of doing her ‘Step Into Your Starring Role’ course earlier this year and holy hell, this woman is brilliant. And, seriously, she just R A D I A T E S warmth. Pop over to her online haven and say hi.


Back when I was invited to do a TEDx Women talk one of the very first pieces of information I had (other than it.was.a.TEDx.TALK!) was the theme of the day:: “The Space in Between”. Ah… yes. It was as if my Rachel, my beloved hostess here kissed me on the cheek, smiled into my eyes and said, yes, Dear One. You’ve got this.

And of course, she was would have been right. Because, as we all know, that Rachel is one smart cookie.

So I wrote from there. The Space in between what we think and what is real. I started with the intention of tackling ALLLLL inner critic voices. (I aim high.) Then, once I did the full role call of every last critic voice that I’ve ever met in those dark metaphorical alleyways, and added those of my beloved clients, honestly, it felt like just NAMING them would get me to the 18-minute mark, never mind creating context and identifying tactics.

So I decided to confront the biggest, baddest, gnarliest and arguably, the most pervasive one around:: The Impostor Complex.

I know you, you high-functioning, high-achieving, high-performing beautiful In Space Between reader. I know that you have experienced it. I know you have had moments of: “Ohmygoshwhatiftheyfindout ___________”. (Fill in the blank with “I’m not supposed to be here”, “I’m a fake”, “I just got lucky”, “I don’t really know what I’m doing”, “everything I’ve pulled off was a fluke” and so on.)


Oh, Gorgeous One. With everything that I have and everything that I am, I can promise you this:: You are NOT alone. And thousands of your sisters reading this on laptops, iPhones, iPads all around the world just breathed a collective sigh with you when they read those four words, too: “You are NOT alone.”

So I wrote the talk from the place of my own grief and my own sadness. For all the (many) times I stopped myself short.  For all the times I’ve witnessed brilliant women (and men) around me stop themselves short. Out of fear of being found out. Or out of fear of pushing their luck. And then I wrote from the place of my unbridled frustration. And I got mad. It has become unacceptable to me that people are holding back from their good work. That they are playing safe, small and meek.


I’ve designed a continuum intended to move you from feeling like an Impostor towards claiming Authority in your area of genius. You can check out my TEDx Talk above, but I really want to share with you the very first step. It’s where so much of the honey is at.

Grab a pen + your journal, and let’s do this, shall we?


The first step:: DECIDING TO STRIVE


Yes, yes, yes, yes.

This is where it begins. The decision. The proclamation. The commitment. The line in the sand. You are here. Where is there?

Name it. Decide that you are going to step in, up and out. For real. (I know this feels scary… but it’s just you, my words and your writing… we’re completely and totally safe).

Get your pen ready and take a deep breath.


So, what’s the path you’re embarking upon?

// Are you heading towards seeing your name in lights on Broadway?

// Garnering the attention from O’s peeps?

// Inking the deal on the TV Show?

// Opening the yoga-tango studio/juice-bar?

// Writing the book?

// Launching the very business that has never been done?

That, loves, is your THERE. Oh. SO. Good. Goosebumpy, in fact. Just rest here for a moment. The very thing you’ve been avoiding is right here now, looking up at you from the journal. Your desired path. Isn’t it breathtaking? Isn’t it gorgeous and brilliant and so, very, very YOU?



Now, I’m going to ask you to do something else that may feel scary. It’ll be okay.

Right now, write out the following sentence in your journal:

I know that it’s my path to claim because I am a genius at…

(Really… go ahead. Claim the very thing people are always thanking you for as it relates to your path. Name all the ways this path is the culmination of all that you are and all that you’ve been.)


Why is this so important to you? What is this desire honouring?

(This may take a while, and that’s cool. This path honours so very much. You’re about to stop being a spectator and about to become a do-er. YES. And truthfully, this had better be important. It’s a long path. State why. We’ll wait for you.)

Notice how much lighter you’re feeling already. Expressing your deepest desire is cathartic like that. Ahhh.

A word about the ego:: It wants to want more than it wants to get. So, this to say, once you get even this close to completing the book, getting O’s call, opening the doors on your studio, your ego isn’t naturally going to want you to rest there. It’ll already have its sights set on the next path, the next stage, the next book. And shitty as that can feel, it’s really the name of the game for high-functioning, high-achieving, high-performers. It’s the edge that you are perpetually sharpening.

So here’s what I highly (HIGHLY) recommend…


Finally, reverse engineer your there and identify markers that you can observe, commemorate, or dare I say it, celebrate (and decide how you WILL celebrate each milestone along your path).

Got all of that? Excellent. Remember, you are always either moving towards your there, or away from it. The choices are yours.



We want to celebrate your first step with you. Being witnessed is a mighty sublime thing, and YOU are a mighty sublime thing. Leave a comment telling us where you’re headed – your there – below.


Tanya Geisler is certified Life and Business Coach (CPCC, ACC) with a penchant for clarity (her Clarity Sessions have been likened to “divining rods of truth”). She’s coached hundreds of people who were ready to step into the starring roles of their lives. She wrote The Joy Pages, created Board of Your Life and the Step into Your Starring Role program, is a blogger for the wildly popular The Daily Love, has served as contributor and was featured in Canadian Living, and is an in-demand speaker who talks with great passion on all things joy, meaning and purpose (just try to stop her). She recently spoke about the Impostor Complex at TEDxWomen.

It is her indomitable belief that if everyone knew their own unique recipe for their personal brand of joy, they’d hold the key to shining in their life, in their work and in their life’s work. (It really does change everything.)