You’re Already Doing the Work: Beating Imposter Syndrome with Alicia Roberts
In this episode, you’ll also hear:
- Alicia’s story of surviving adversity and escaping toxic relationships, and how she learned to use her story to help and inspire others
- How one idea to write a devotional snowballed into an entire business
- Challenges Alicia had to overcome throughout her writing journey
- Tips on beating imposter syndrome
- How to ensure your freebie offering appeals to your audience, and how to continue helping them beyond just one book
- Alicia’s advice for the aspiring author who hesitates to publish their work because of imposter syndrome or other forms of fear
Be sure to read all the way to the end for important information and links!
No one escapes adversity. It’s an unavoidable part of life. We all go through hard times that force us to learn and grow in ways that we never thought possible. But what can really make the difference is what we choose to do with our adversity experiences.
For those that aspire to be a light for others, it’s important to share those lessons. When we write about our personal experiences, we can share what we’ve learned from hardship – and when people see that we haven’t given up, that we have continued to find our hope in Jesus despite our trials, they are encouraged to do the same.
Alicia Roberts has an inspiring testimony. She’s been through much adversity and wrestled with imposter syndrome at every turn. And yet she realized she had an obligation to share her story with others to give them hope that they too can make it through the darkest moments of their life.
Let Alicia’s story inspire you to open up instead of shutting down. To remove the stigma attached to some of the trials and tribulations that we face. And, like Alicia, not to keep your stories to yourself – because there is someone who needs your unique story to encourage them to keep going when they’re tempted to quit.
Your Worth Comes from God Alone
Alicia describes her mission as one “to encourage and inspire women to boldly pursue a life of prosperity and to be confident, to have faith, and just live their best life.” This mission stems from the adversity and obstacles that she’s had to overcome in her own life – the same experiences she now sees other women struggling with just as she once did.
Through toxic relationships, emotional and mental abuse, and eventually divorce, Alicia’s self-esteem suffered. She found herself wondering if she could have done anything differently, or if the pain were of her own doing. At the same time, she was juggling the additional responsibilities of working full time while being a mother to an autistic son.
But Alicia knew that God wanted more for her, that He wanted her to have a life outside of toxicity and pain, so she stepped out on faith to follow God’s lead despite all of the unknowns she would have to face as a single parent.
And a surprising thing happened. Other women with similar struggles started approaching Alicia, asking her for advice and looking to her for strength and inspiration. “That was when I realized that there was something within me,” Alicia recalls. “There was a tug in my heart, first of all, to help other women. But I realized at that point that there was something in me. That I needed to share my story, to share the things that I have gone through and have overcome so that other women could do the same.”
However, even having others look to her for advice didn’t prevent Alicia from wrestling with imposter syndrome and self-doubt. Even while in those toxic relationships, Alicia was constantly looking for ways to solve the problems on her own. But she finally reached a point where she knew she had everything she could. She’d prayed, put in effort, and sought outside counsel, and God continually showed her that the relationship simply was not working out.
Those doubts and questions hounded Alicia even after the divorce, until she began to give it all over to God and to heal: “I realized that I'm going to continue to have these thoughts until I give it to God. And He just kind of fills my heart and lets me know that I'm perfect the way I am, that He's giving me the tools that I need to make the improvements that I need. But I am worthy of the love and attention that I need. And I'm just fine the way that I am.”
Alicia’s story shows why it’s so important to understand the difference between opportunities for self-improvement and being with someone who is toxic and doesn't appreciate or value you. Hurt people hurt other people, so if someone doesn’t recognize and value you for who you are, it’s going to take healing and growth on their part for them to move beyond that. There’s nothing you can do to change them – all you can do is make sure you get your assessment of your worth and value from God alone.
One Idea Leads to Many, Many More
As Alicia moved on with her life, she always knew she needed to write something, to share her story. She didn’t know what exactly she would write about, however, or how she would write it. For a while, she considered writing a memoir or a self-help book, but when she finally sat down to begin, she changed her mind. Instead, she decided to write a devotional.
Through the process of researching Scripture and reflecting on the topics she would include, Alicia realized that those Scriptures and topics were helping her to grow and to heal, and that was all the confirmation she needed.
From there, her ideas kept developing into bigger ones. Alicia says it was as though someone had turned on a light switch: from her devotional, she moved on to develop an adult coloring book and journals, a business centered on helping women improve their confidence, and ventured into coaching. “When I tell you that, from an idea, when you just say “yes” and follow God, He will lead you to avenues that you have not even fathomed, it is true,” Alicia says. “I'm a living testimony of that.”
And that's the beauty of God. He knows what's going to happen – we don't. He knows the skills and talents that he's put into you, and the experiences that you've had, and how He can take all of that and put out several different ways for you to be able to serve people that you might never have imagined on your own. And it all starts with a “yes.” You have to say “yes” to God’s call first, before all of those amazing things can start to happen.
Once Alicia did say “yes,” all sorts of opportunities started opening up before her eyes. Opportunities to learn new things, to meet people and form connections, and even to inspire others to start their own businesses or push their own adversities.
Alicia believes that coaching is something God deliberately put inside of her, and that He’s drawn people to her specifically for that reason – but she had to take the first step: “If I had not said “yes,” and followed the path that He wanted me to go into, I wouldn't be where I am today. And I know that this is just the beginning.”
Sometimes we want God to show us everything that will happen first, before we commit. But He’s not going to do that – instead, we have to take that leap of faith and be willing to answer the call, and then we’ll see the doors that God is going to open.
Challenges Along the Way
Although doors started opening for Alicia, writing the devotional was not all smooth sailing. It was her first time producing any type of written material, so she didn't even know the first step that she needed to take. “All I knew was that I was writing,” she says, “and I had a good idea, and a good product. And I just needed to have some resources to help me put all of this together.”
The first issue Alicia encountered was a lack of capital resources. As she researched what it would take to publish her devotional, she learned that she needed help with every step of the way, from graphic design to editing to binding – and all of those things cost money.
Then there was the challenge of finding good help, because it isn’t always easy to find the right person who can deliver quality work that fits within both your timeline and your budget. Alicia describes the process as a bit of “give and take”: not only did she have to be flexible with some of her desired deadlines, but she also had to hold herself accountable to meet her goals and get back on track whenever she got busy or distracted.
As Alicia learned, it’s one thing to lead and coach others, but sometimes the coach must coach herself! Sometimes we want to cut ourselves some slack or give ourselves a break, and it becomes an internal battle where we must be strict with ourselves if we’re going to meet our goals.
Beating Imposter Syndrome
One of Alicia’s biggest challenges throughout her journey was imposter syndrome. As her own worst critic, she often questioned her own ability to make it as an author and have a positive influence on others, even sometimes wondering if what she had to say was really as important as the messages other people have to offer.
To fight against this negative self-talk, Alicia learned to replace it with positive self-talk instead: “I had to renew my own mindset first, and tell myself that I am worthy, my voice needs to be heard, I have something to say, God has given me a testimony. And God has not given me the spirit of fear, so I can push through. And there's something that he wants me to do. Not only is this a business for me, but it's also a ministry, and so I know that I cannot sit down on what God has called me to do.”
Affirmations like this are so powerful. If you’re experiencing imposter syndrome, you have to talk back to that voice that tries to tell you that you can't do whatever you have been called to do. You need to flip the script and reinforce what God says about you. And make sure that you're always speaking life, because even your own tongue can snare you.
No matter how often others encourage you, you’ve got to believe it, too. You’ve got to keep talking to yourself in a way that supports your goals and that encourages you to see yourself as God sees you – not as your inner critic sees you.
Even Jesus, being the Son of God, went through His own moments of temptation where the enemy tried to get Him off course. So who are we to think that he will not do the same to us, to get us off track, to get us outside of the will of God, and to keep us from fulfilling our mission and our call? The enemy doesn't mean us any good. He doesn't want to see us succeed. He doesn't want to see lives transformed. So we have to talk back.
But, as Alicia’s story shows us, the enemy is very keen. He attacks us in the same area that we need to lead in. Alicia is called to lead people, especially women, to embrace more confidence – and so the enemy tried to attack her confidence.
But thankfully, Alicia had something on the inside to pull from, to remind herself that her worth and her confidence come from God, enabling her to move forward and reach the people she has been called to reach.
C.A.N. Podcast Tour: Taking the Leap of Faith
Now, Alicia has been able to provide resources to empower people who are struggling and help them regain their confidence. But she’s still on a journey of her own to grow in faith and to get her message out to a wider audience.
As part of that journey, Alicia made the decision to join our Christian Authors Network Podcast Tour. It wasn’t an easy decision, however, and Alicia hesitated for a little while before she was willing to take the chance. She knew taking this step would be an investment of both time and money, and that she was stepping into the unknown.
Although Alicia felt intimidated by not knowing what the experience would be like, she decided to have faith, because she knew this was something she wanted. “You said, ‘It's for authors who are ready right now,’” she recalls. “And I said, ‘Am I ready right now? I think I'm ready right now. I want to change. I'm ready to grow – I'm ready to just blossom. I've got many of the tools in place, but I need someone to help me.’ And so that was the turning point for me.”
Alicia says she was drawn to this opportunity because she’s struggled with visibility. She has a great message, with some great tools in place to help people, but she needed to get that message in front of the right audience.
To do that, she needed help: “I don't have all the answers. But there are people that are more knowledgeable than I am that I can connect with that will help me on this journey. And so that was one of the biggest things that I needed, was the support, and someone to help me to get me in front of the right people.”
Even with all of that hesitation and all of those questions, Alicia was willing to take a chance – not only on the program, but also on herself – to believe that, if she got the right support, these opportunities would pay off.
Bringing Everything Together
Once Alicia had made the decision and stepped out on faith, she found that the experience was not as intimidating as she had initially thought – but it did keep her on her toes. Having to extend deadlines taught her that she had too much on her plate and needed more focus.
She also learned to think about what she could offer different audiences from a podcast perspective. As she started writing down topics she felt comfortable speaking about, she realized there were many areas of life in which she could both speak from experience and also share wisdom and inspiration from the Word of God.
Lastly, Alicia was able to finetune a final important piece for her website: a freebie to offer her audience. Like many authors, Alicia already had a freebie offering – an ebook – but it wasn’t quite accomplishing the outcome she wanted. She needed to make sure it was something her audience would appreciate, something they would want and need, so first she had to adjust the language she used.
Then, as she was working on her ebook, Alicia realized that she wanted to be there for her audience even after they finished reading it. She wanted to ensure they would continue down the road to self-improvement, so she created a follow-up challenge to further guide her audience through the process of gaining more confidence and personal power: “I'm there to keep you accountable,” Alicia says. “I'm your confidence cheerleader, and we're in this together.”
As Alicia learned, it's very important to have congruence between your message and the content you put out. That the things you're writing and talking about are going to naturally lead to that next step that you want the audience to take. So making sure that the freebie you offer matches up with your message is really important, because that freebie is going to help identify the type of person that you are uniquely called to help and to serve.
And it’s also important to take that additional step to help people beyond your book. Books are great for opening up your mind to new possibilities and ideas, but the challenge becomes that the reader needs to take those ideas and insights and put them into action. Nothing is really going to change in their life until they make a commitment to implement what is in the book. And that's why coaching is so important: because you’ve got to help guide people through the transformation that you talk about in your book.
Someone Needs To Hear Your Story
If you, like Alicia, feel called to both ministry and business, then you know that your business isn't just about making a profit, but also pouring into the lives of people. But perhaps – like Alicia – you find yourself stuck in imposter syndrome.
Maybe you’re struggling even to get the message that God has given you onto paper. Or maybe you’ve got it on paper or on your computer, but you haven’t done anything with it, because you’re afraid of what's going to happen if you follow through and publish the book.
If that’s you, Alicia wants to remind you that you already have the story – and you’re probably already doing the work. Especially as a mission-driven service leader, you’re already inspiring others. What you need to do now is just a matter of gathering it all together and taking that step to get it published and send your message out into the world.
If you’re suffering from imposter syndrome, wondering why anyone would listen to you, remember that God gave you that message for a reason. Someone out there needs to hear your story.
As Alicia says: “Do it afraid until you're no longer afraid. Just keep on pushing. And you will be surprised by the avenues that God will open up and the confidence that He will put inside you to continue on the journey. But get it down on paper, consolidate it, get it bound, get it into book form, because someone needs to hear it. You are already equipped with the word – why not share it with others?”
Alicia Renee has faced her fair share of obstacles, but perseveres in the face of adversity and empowers other women to do the same. She has successfully balanced life as a single mom, working in Corporate America, obtaining an MBA, and serving her community through church work and as a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated. Her commitment to helping others achieve their goals inspired her to become a best-selling author, blogger, and certified confidence and empowerment coach. In 2020, she founded The Confident Lily, a personal development company that equips women all over the world to find their personal power.
Connect with Fellow Authors and Learn about the Podcast Tour: http://christianauthors.net/fbgroup