Episode 83: Success + Never-Ending Impostor Syndrome [featuring Shaelene Kite]
Many therapists who step into entrepreneurship get struck with fears around if they are doing things right, whether can they be successful, and when will everything come crashing down and everyone find out that they suck at this? Basically, impostor syndrome on a rampage...
And it's normal to feel it and to question yourself, but what matters is that it doesn't become a stopping point.
If you are wondering how to move forward in your entrepreneurial journey despite struggling with challenging, impostor-syndrome-filled thoughts, then this episode is for you.
In this episode, I talk with Shaelene Kite, therapist, owner of DBT of South Jersey, owner of RebelMente Coaching, DBT coach, and yoga instructor.
Top 3 reasons to listen to the entire episode:
- Understand how impostor syndrome can show up despite having success.
- Learn how to ground yourself by identifying the difference between what's real and what's impostor syndrome.
- Understand that one negative comment or mistake doesn't make you a failure and doesn't define your success as a person and professional.
Impostor syndrome comes with the territory of entrepreneurship, but if you focus on the big picture of the amazing things you have and are doing instead of small mistakes or negative comments, then it becomes much easier to not get trapped in it.
Remember that you are your own person and will do things your own way, so let your process happen, avoid the comparison trap, and find your supportive community so that you can thrive as an entrepreneur and move forward even when facing impostor syndrome.
More about Shaelene:
Shaelene Lauriano Kite, LPC, DBT-LBC, RYT, ACS received her Master’s in Counselor Education at The College of New Jersey in 2012 and has continued to immerse herself on the path of learning and teaching ever since. Shaelene has over ten years of experience in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, treating PTSD, and utilizing Mindfulness and Movement to help people heal. Shaelene owns DBT of South Jersey, where she and her team treat clients with emotion dysregulation and trauma. In addition to her clinical work, Shaelene is the owner of Rebelmente, and works as a private consultant and trainer for mental health professionals, yoga teachers, and group practice owners. Shaelene obtained status as a DBT-Linehan Board Certified Clinician in 2017 and is one of less than ten with this status in the state of New Jersey. She is also a Certified Provider through the Center for Yoga and Trauma Recovery as of June 2021.
Shaelene's Rebelmente Website: rebelmente.com
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A Thanks to Our Sponsor, The Receptionist for iPad!
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A Thanks to Our Sponsor, Owl Practice!
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PATRICK CASALE: Hey, everyone, you are listening to another episode of the All Things Private Practice Podcast. I'm your host, Patrick Casale, joined today by my good friend and colleague Shaelene Kite. She is the owner of DBT of South Jersey and Rebelmente Coaching. She's a group practice owner, a coach, a DBT coach, a yoga instructor. We were just talking about her passion and love for hot dogs, so like, a lot of good things in Shaelene's resume right there. So, we're both feeling a bit out of it. So, we're going to see how this goes.
Weirdly, the topic that we're going to talk about today is impostor syndrome, and just how it shows up in the entrepreneurial process, and how to manage it. I know we talk about impostor syndrome a lot on this podcast and normalizing fear of failure, self-doubt, perfectionism, and all the things that come with it. But I think it's important to have just a lot of different perspectives on this because it's important to highlight and showcase the fact that like, it impacts everybody, and it impacts everyone a little bit differently. So, Shaelene, welcome back to the podcast.
SHAELENE KITE: Thanks for having me, again. I was thinking about coming on today. And was like, "Shaelene and Patrick, another day, another talk on impostor syndrome." Here we are, again, but it's good to be back and talking about these things because it at least, like, helps me do a little opposite action over things that I feel a little afraid to talk about or to work on outside of talking about it. So, glad to be here.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, so you know, we both own multiple businesses, group practices, are bosses, we do coaching, we have podcasts, I host retreats, you're now starting to do them too with Katie Heaps May, and yet it still comes up. And I know those who are listening, you're probably like, "Just hearing that list gives me impostor syndrome because I'm not doing all of those things."
So, I want to highlight both sides of the coin, of you can be doing all those things and still be experiencing it. And also, we're at a place that in our careers at one point where we left our agency jobs, and we're starting our practices, and we're fearful and anxious, and didn't think it was going to be successful, and nobody was going to pay us and all the things that come up when we start thinking about this. So, yeah, take it away.
SHAELENE KITE: Well, before I logged on, you'll be really happy to know that I was trying to get a ticket master code for the Beyonce tour because I'm sure that's something that you're involved in now.
PATRICK CASALE: Thank you.
SHAELENE KITE: And what reminded me of trying to get tickets for Taylor Swift's tour, which I didn't get, which I definitely know you were trying to go too, but…r mastermind group [CROSSTALK:
SHAELENE KITE: I was very really upset. I was really upset. But anyways, I get like a little bit of anxiety. Now, concerts are my thing. This is kind of like a sidebar, but it will come back. So, concerts are like a huge form of self-care for me. They feel very spiritual for me to go. I feel like there's like this common humanity connection in going to live concerts. So, like, that's my thing.
And back in the day, you know, I would like wait on the phone to try to get through to Ticketmaster and stuff like that. And so, obviously, all of these things have changed. But it's so hard to get tickets to things now. And I didn't used to get anxiety around, like, ticket time, but now I do because last year I went to a concert to go see the Foo Fighters, and like a month later, the drummer died, and they're one of my favorite bands. So, now it feels very like, if you want to see them, you got to go, and you got to get tickets, but then it's also impossible.
So, right before this call, I was trying to figure out, like, you have to jump through all these hoops to get these presale codes. I'm doing all of that. And then I'm like, I wonder if Beyonce gets impostor syndrome? Like, is she sitting somewhere and is like, "I'm going to do the post to let people know about the tour. Are all the dates correct? Is Ticketmaster going to screw this up like they did for Taylor Swift?" Like, all of these different levels. And I mean, I probably won't get to ask her. I'll definitely try and if I get a hold of her I'll report back.
But I just wonder because I was reflecting on her. The last time I was on your podcast, I had so many things lined up that I was afraid of doing. And now I've done those things that last time I was afraid of doing. And now I have a whole new set of things that I'm trying to do that I'm like, "Is that going to be okay? Am I going to be successful at this?" And so, just, like all of the reflection points before coming on today.
PATRICK CASALE: I like that you were able to just loop that back around because I think that's a great point. I mean, you were one of my first guests back when I started this over a year ago, and we were both talking about, you were about to like, launch Rebelmente Coaching, but you didn't want to put it out to the world yet, you were kind of nervous about how that was going to go. And, you know, just being a group practice owner, I think you're always questioning your decisions as a leader and a boss. Like, I think that's natural to be concerned about the outcome of not only your staff but your business as well and second-guessing yourself.
And, you know, I can't speak personally for Beyonce. You know, I wish I could. But I do know there are so many examples of like really famous people who have enormous amounts of success, and accolades, and just have done amazing things in the world, who talk about their own impostor syndrome experiences, and how it's been impactful, and how it impacts them when they go to auditions for movie roles, or writing books, or whatever their ideas are that they've put out into the world and how fearful they were, that they weren't going to work out, that someone was going to let them know that they didn't know what they were talking about, or they weren't good enough, or that they were fraudulent.
I mean, one example is a Maya Angelou quote that is something like, "I've written 11 books and I still feel like somebody's going to let me know that I'm a fraud or that I don't know what I'm talking about." And I can't imagine being a published author, having that much success, and still questioning my ability, and how I'm being received in the world. I think that really speaks volumes when we're starting to look at this from a different lens.
SHAELENE KITE: Yeah, and that part that you just talked about hits on something that feels really frustrating and exhausting to me. And as a clinician, and I know, a lot of clinicians are listening to this, so if you've got some tips, like, reach out to me, and let me know because I'm at the point right now, where I'm just like, it's frustrating to look at what I've done and be like, "Damn, why is my first response not to celebrate it?"
So, we were in Hawaii and you know, I was glad you were there because I got to process a lot of it with you. For anybody who doesn't know, I spoke at a conference in Hawaii this year. And it was a big goal of mine. And I was so proud to be going. And I remember at the beginning of the conference somebody led an exercise around like, you know, what are your intentions? And what do you want to get out of this?
And I remember writing down, like, I want to feel good about doing this, and I want to be invited to do this again. And those things happens. And I'm very grateful for that. And like a lot of opportunities have come from that. But the 24 hours leading up to it was pure torture, like torture in the sense of I… and it was ironic because I was speaking about like yoga, and trauma, and the body, and all of that stuff. And so, I very logically was like, "All right, Shaelene. Like, your heart doesn't need to be racing." But like, my heart was racing, I couldn't sleep at night. It just sucked. And I was in Hawaii. So, I was like, this is probably the most relaxed place that I could possibly be. And I had a lot of friends there. So, it was really, like all of the things were stacked in my corner, but my body just would not stop, kind of like going on freak-out mode.
And, you know, I wasn't having like panic attacks or anything like that. But having the logic of you know you're going to be okay, and you know this is going to go well, and you know yourself. Like, you were asked to come here because you do know about this stuff, to have the awareness of that and to still not be able to like fully regulate it, like, I could do breathing practices and stuff to keep me from having a panic attack or from like running away and not doing it. But it just sucked having that awareness.
And then after doing it, I just was like, I like would not believe the feedback that people were giving me. Like, you know, you were there, Katie was there, Uriah was there. There's a bunch of great people that I really trust and respect are all like, here's what you did that was great, here's what I really liked. And I just kept being like, "But what can I do better? What can I do better?" And it was like, it was sad for me to be able to sit back, and see all of that, and reflect on why you busted your ass to get here to do this. And like, when are you going to let up on yourself, you know?
And so, I've been paying a lot of attention since then because I've had a lot more opportunities come up around like sneaky ways that impostor syndrome kind of like settles into our bones and our minds because I think in a blanket statement we can think of impostor syndrome and just kind of almost like minimize it like, "Oh yeah, it's impostor syndrome. I don't believe in myself."
But there are so many subtle ways that I've been paying attention to over like the last year of, you know what? I think that's a bit of insecurity. I think that's impostor syndrome. I think that's like self-doubt, and not showing up in the more traditional ways. Like, it feels more embedded in me. And I want that to not be the case.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I'm glad that you shared that and just shared your experience around, you know what it was like for you the night before speaking at the conference, you know? And I experienced quite a bit of that when I spoke in Nashville. You were there, you obviously, like, you and your husband helped me calm down during the moment.
And I think there's internalized pressure, right? Like, that we're putting on ourselves because yeah, you're being asked to speak at an event in front of people, and at the end of the day, like, that event is still going to go smoothly, whether you completely bomb or don't. And the reality is like, just by showing up, and like being real, and really giving a glimpse into how you're experiencing what you're doing. I think that's really like 90% of the battle, and the content, and everything else is like secondary, but there's so much pressure that we put on ourselves.
And I believe and I did a lot of research for this because I spoke about impostor syndrome and attachment wounding, inner child wounding at the Modern Therapist's Conference, or Therapy Reimagined, I always get the name confused. And I started to see these linkages of like childhood wounding, and inner child wounding, and messages that we've received as kids and growing up as we're developing, not just from our parents, but from society of like, what accomplishment means, what it means when you fail? Is it okay to make mistakes? Is it okay to get things wrong?
And if you grew up in a household where there was a lot of feedback about the negative, if you got to be on a report card, instead of an A, if you really were struggling in a subject, if you made a mistake, if it wasn't met with like, grace, and compassion, and empathy, but it was met with like, why didn't you do better?
I can think of moments in my high school soccer career where like, I played defense, if I didn't score a goal, or if I had a bad game, and afterwards my dad would say, like, "Why didn't you do better? Like, why didn't you do this thing?" And I'm thinking like, "It would have been nice to just be like, you tried really hard, and you made a mistake and that's okay." And I think we don't hear enough of that in society where it is okay and permissible to make mistakes, and to struggle, and to not get it right. So, that perfectionism, that intensification around that process really shows up where it's like, you go into expert mode, you go into perfectionism mode, you go into self-doubt mode, hardcore because you're like, this has to be perfect. Like, this can't be wrong. I'm supposed to know all of this stuff. And I shouldn't be feeling this way.
And that's a really polarizing, internal process when logically you can say like, you've never done this before, you should be nervous. Like, it's okay to make mistakes. And then, the somatic parts, the inner child wounds come up, the parts of you that are saying like, "Yeah, but you really don't know this." Or like, "Yeah, but you're really not good enough." Or like, "Yeah, you really don't know what you're talking about, you kind of just got lucky to be here."
SHAELENE KITE: Yeah, for sure. When you talk about that inner child stuff, I think about… my therapist that I see, I do IFS with her. I think you've talked about doing IFS. IFS is like, it's actually life-changing stuff for me. And I think that it shows up in the sense of like, I grew up with two alcoholic parents. And so, I think it's like a lot of control for me. Like, I need things to go this way, I need things to be an order, I need to know exactly what's going to happen.
And so, I, you know, recognize a lot of that. And then with recognizing that… And then I think having the awareness of being a therapist, it's like more frustrating because you're like, you know where this is coming from, you know that this is actually a safe environment that you're going to, all this other stuff. And then, like, there are probably points on my timeline, academically, professionally, where people have straight up told me no or treated me differently, or yeah, I mean, even if people were nice, like I think about working in community agency where like, I got hired to help open a new program. And so, I moved to this new location, and I was from the old location, so I knew what to do and everything. And I had to interview people to run the program because I didn't have an LPC and I had an LAC.
And I remember being in meetings with senior people who were like, "Why aren't you the manager?" And I remember saying like, "Because you guys said that I can't be because I don't have my senior… But I'm doing all of the manager things, but you won't promote me to be a manager?"
You know what I mean? So, it's okay for me to have all the responsibilities, and to not get paid for it, and to interview, and train someone to do what I'm doing. So, you get caught up in those logistics. And then, like, I don't ever have an experience of like being in charge, intentionally. I have the experience of coming in and saving things or putting things together when, you know, somebody goes on leave, or when there's an emergency, and get really good at that, but never really have the… don't really have like a lot of situations where someone's like, "No, you're really good at this, and you should be doing this, and we're going to fight for you to do it because we can see that you know what you're doing." You know?
And so, there's a lot of experiences like that, even like, you know, I've talked about this on podcast before where, like people saying to me, like, back when I was telling them, "I want to be a therapist. Like, "You're not going to make money doing that." So, there are like ticks that come along where I can look in my past and say like, "Okay, this makes a lot of sense."
Then going into being a group practice owner, you have all of that stuff that you're bringing with you, but then you also have like, what you went through and then not wanting anyone else to feel like that. And that is such a mindfuck because inherently, like, as a boss, people are going to… they're not going to love everything that you do. And it's not any my employees' jobs to like, think about this because, you know, I'm the boss, and it's my responsibility. But like, sometimes I'm like, "I wonder if anybody knows, like, how much anxiety I have over just trying to make sure people are really happy, and trying to do everything I can to ensure that people feel valued, and respected because I did it."
And so, it's like, I'm trying to make up for things that might not even be relevant. And I just think that all centers from like, this same place of insecurity, are people going to like me as a boss? Are people going to respect me? Are people going to feel valued here?
Even the other day, and so I've had DBT of South Jersey for like, I think, like, almost five years now. And I have some people who have been there the entire five years, and I have people who will say, just like the Hawaii thing, like say, "I love it here, this place is amazing." But I'll get like one piece of feedback that's like, "You know, I don't think we have enough time to do X, Y, and Z, or we don't get enough PTO." And I just harp on it like, "Oh my God."
And then, the other day in the car, I'm saying to my husband, I was like, "I'm just worried… I'm like so scared that I'm like gaslighting people." And he's like, "Gaslighting them about what?" Like, and I'm like, "I'm scared that I'm telling them that this is an easy job, and it's great, but it's really not, and that they're going to find out that this is just as bad as working at an agency." Which I know that's not the case. But you can kind of see like, where that old shit gets stuck in the way that we think. And then not just in the way that we think but then in the way that we run our businesses, the way that we interact with people, the way that we show up.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I mean, it impacts everything. You know, I think that it's a combination of inner child wounding, societal messaging, you know, for those that are listening, that don't have all the privileges in the world, like me, as a cishet white man. Like, it's also in colonialism, it's also in just patriarchal society, it's also in terms of like, having really racist practices. Like, if you're a BIWOC, you know, you're a black indigenous woman of color, and you're in the professional arena, and you're kind of told all your career, and all of your history, and decades, and generations back of like, "You're not good enough, you're not smart enough, we just kind of let you be here." I mean, it's going to make you question yourself step by step by step.
And I think that also what you're saying is like, second guessing yourself, like constantly, is a part of impostor syndrome. But it's also an important part of humility. I think, like, for me, I'm never someone who's ever going to be fully confident in anything that I do because I'm just an anxious human being. But I always have that background noise or that self-doubt going on when I'm making decisions, or when I'm showing up, or how I'm showing up, or how I'm communicating.
And I think that by you saying to your husband, to Chris, like, "Hey, I'm worried that this environment feels like an agency job, or like I'm gaslighting my staff, and I'm concerned about it." That tells me that you're not, right? Because ultimately, what you're saying is like, I am very concerned that this is a good place to work, but then you still have to show up and make the tough decisions even when you do get that one person who's like, "Yeah, this place fucking sucks." But everyone else, "Yeah, this is really great."
And I think as humans, it's human nature to almost focus on the negative, right? Like, and that's what I want to talk about a little bit of offering some tips for people, is we so often get into this mindset where we can only see the irrational side of things, the negative. We hyper-focus on it, we harp on it, like you said, you kind of like go down the rabbit hole of like a rabbit trail of like, negative one interaction, or one mistake, or whatever the case may be, and we lose sight over all the positives, all the positive feedback, all the positive support, all the positive comments, all the accomplishments, all the times you've worked through something that you didn't think you'd make it through. And we need to be highlighting those experiences.
So, you know, one strategy for that is to keep a record, right? Like, whether it's a Google Drive folder, or just a personal individual Facebook message to yourself or on your phone, all of the examples, and the moments, and the testimonials, and the feedback, and the positive interactions, and the accolades, and the things that you've accomplished because you have to be able to resource back to that when you're spiraling, when you're focusing on the one negative experience because it's just not true.
And I woke up, like, in this panic mode the other day where, I told you about this, I was like, having all this negative, irrational self-talk where it was like 3 AM, couldn't sleep, had just gotten back from that New Orleans retreat. And in my mind, I'm like, "Okay, every person at your group practice is going to quit today, all of them." And be like, "That would fucking fail. Nobody's ever going to purchase another retreat spot ever again. Your coaching sucks, you're probably never going to speak in another event. The podcast is terrible." Like all of this stuff starts happening. But you have to slow yourself down and just be like, okay. Like, the odds of everyone quitting in one day are slim to none, right? Like, that's probably not going to happen.
SHAELENE KITE: We didn't even do that at the agency. Like, if we made it through there.
PATRICK CASALE: Right, we didn't even have like strikes or walkouts, unfortunately, even though we should have. And then, like, playing the other side of it, right? Like, "Okay, your podcast sucks." And then, I had to say, "But you have secured like, a year-long sponsor in your second year of doing this." "Your retreats are terrible. Nobody's ever going to do these again." "Every single one you've done is sold out."
Like, you have to play the other side of this through instead of just letting that thought take you down that journey because once you start spiraling with that, it's really easy. Like you said, it starts showing up in how you communicate, how you market, your services, how you network, how you connect with other people. And that scarcity mindset starts really intensifying. And you start operating from a place of fearfulness, and insecurity, and comparison, instead of centered in like, what I know to be true and just really allowing yourself to embrace the positivity.
SHAELENE KITE: Yeah, I really like that. I keep on my phone a done list. Like, these are the things that I wanted to do that I completed. And so, that's like one of the ways that I can have this like factual anchor to return to.en, I'm like, "[INDISCERNIBLE:
And then, I'm seeing myself, recently, like, you know, whenever there's… I too am just a very naturally anxious person. And so, I don't know if people know this about me. Like, I don't like conflict, I hate when someone's unhappy with something. So, like the thought of like, today, I have a meeting coming up that I'm like, kind of dreading because I know that part of it is like someone is unhappy with something at my practice. And so, when I think about that, it's like, "Okay, well, what am I going to do to try…"
And then, I have to just sit back and kind of like backtrack and think. Like, what are the thoughts that I have that are reinforcing this? And it's like, people are allowed to be unhappy and I asked for feedback. So, like, if I asked for feedback, and people are unhappy, like that is totally allowed. And that doesn't mean that anything's wrong. Like, you're not doing anything to harm and people have choice. And you can offer choices, and people can take or leave those choices, and that's fine.
But I've also been starting to think like, how can I practice just showing up to something confidently? Like, instead of putting myself out there like, "I'm Shaelene, and I'm here, and I don't know anything?" "I'm Shaelene, I'm here, and I'm not a runner." "I'm Shaelene, I'm here, and I'm not a good boss." I'm Shaelene, and I'm here, and I'm invited to speak, but like, I don't really know what I'm doing." I'm Shaelene, and I'm here, and I want to start a membership site but I know nothing about tech." Like, instead of doing all of that, stopping, and pausing, and tapping into like what was the thing that happened right before then, right? So, like to do a membership site you have to know whatever it is, like the subject matter of the content that you're putting out. Do I feel confident in that? 100%.
If I get invited to speak about something that's involving trauma, yoga, the body, DBT, I'm 100% confident on that. So, it's like if I signed up to do this running class, like that was the hardest thing, and I got up, and I got dressed, and I stepped on the treadmill. Like, the pieces of behavior that happened right before. I have a group practice, I have employees to have meetings with. Like, I put out feedback surveys so they can… Like, all of these things are pieces of evidence where it's like, oh, wait, I'm right. I'm right there. I'm not wrong. I actually do know what I'm talking about in those areas.
I've been paying a lot of attention to that. And I know I had said earlier, I was thinking like, what are the sneaky ways that this impostor syndrome shows up? And one of the things is like, asking a ton of questions to people and like, either not doing anything with it or like not researching it. It's just kind of like, when you want to start something up, I've noticed for myself, I'm like, "Well, what do you do? What email campaign do you use? What website do you like? And it's like, it doesn't really matter. Like, none of that really matters until I go in and do the thing.
And so, I noticed that and I've been trying to tell myself like, okay, Shaelene, like, how can you not only fact check, but like, pay attention to the places where you're already telling yourself that you're bad at it, looking for information to go against that, and showing up confidently. Like, showing up in the areas that you know you're really strong in and leading with that. And thinking like, you know, when I pitch something to someone, I was asking you guys the other day, this is a hard line, like the line of, am I reinforcing impostor insecurity stuff? Or am I just trying to be smart as a business person who's new in this area? The other day I asked, you know, you guys, in our Facebook group, like about how much should I pitch? A school, you know, asked me to come out and speak, how much should I pitch?
So, part of that's like, well, I don't want to undershoot and I don't want to way overshoot. But then in terms of insecurity, it can come up, it's just like, "Well, what do you guys charge? What do you think? How much am I worth?" You know?
So, it's a thin line. And I think it's important to just kind of own the like, you probably will shoot and you probably will get it wrong. And you can ask people, but like, don't ask so many questions that you're losing touch with what you're doing because at the end of the day, these people are seeking me out because of my expertise in something and I need to show up confidently in that part. Maybe I don't know the details about how the contracts going to work or what the pricing will be. But I know that I have something that they want. And I need to show up in confidence with that.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I like that a lot. I think that's a good example because it's a very fine line between, I'm going to ask people I trust, you know, for advice, because I really want to get different takes on something. But am I doing this because I want to make sure that whatever they say is in line with what I would say? And if it doesn't, is that going to prevent me from moving forward? And I think it's really important to just say, like, yeah, we should all have mentorship, we should all have guidance, we should all have colleagues that we bounce ideas off of, for sure, that is crucial.opinions on which [CROSSTALK:
And I see this a lot in private practice startup where it's like, web design, which web platform to use? Where should I put photos? Which electronic medical record system? Which texting platform? Like and then you get inundated-
SHAELENE KITE: So many things, yeah.
PATRICK CASALE: …with all this information and you never do it because it's like, are you really going to start a free trial of like 30 different medical record systems because I fucking am not. I'm going to probably choose two, and then make a decision based on which one seems better suited. But when we get into that mode, almost like I've got to figure it out, I've got to be the expert, I've got to know everything about everything, that is another preventative measure from moving forward. That's that fear, insecurity, and overwhelm ramping up, and saying, it's not safe to do this thing. So, the more information you kind of flood your brain with, the more likely you are to shrink back and say, "This feels too overwhelming for me right now. I'm not ready. I'm clearly not competent enough. I'm not going to start or you know, take the next step."
SHAELENE KITE: Yeah, total self-sabotage mode and it just reinforces like, and so I do suck see here I am with this other idea that never came to fruition. I also think like you've talked before a little bit about just trying to ground yourself and like be aware of, you know, the thoughts that are coming up, and how they're impacting your actions, and all of that. And I think it's really important too, t pay attention to that on social media because you're friends with all of the people… like your friends with your audience, your friends with your competitors, you know if you want to say it like that.
Like, the other thing I noticed was like the need to pull back on social media because I just felt so like, and I don't say this often, but I felt way overstimulated, like coming out of the Hawaii conference again, which was awesome in a lot of ways, and went to a lot of conferences last year, made a lot of connections. And then, so that all then shows up in your Facebook.
And so, specifically, coming out of Hawaii, which was that last, like business trip of last year, everybody was offering a course, a retreat, a free webinar. And I was like, I couldn't even figure out like what my own thoughts were in terms of what I wanted to put out there because there was so much stuff. And it's great that there's so much stuff out there. And I had to really be aware of how that was impacting me because I felt like I was in the second leg of a race or something. And like, I couldn't catch up. Like, I felt like everyone's, "Oh, shit, she launched her course, and she did this, and she did that." And I'm just here, like, I'm trying to keep up.
And I think like, the fear of not staying relevant is a real thing when you're an entrepreneur as well. And so, I came out of that, like, "Oh, shit, like, what's my next thing?" When it's like, you don't have to do anything. Like, everything's fine. But like, it's really easy to get caught up in what everybody else is doing.
And I know that sounds something new. Like, I know, people are hearing this for the first time. But for me, particularly, on like Facebook, and having the recognition of like, oh, yeah, my Facebook now is probably like 70% of work, friends, and people that are doing the same kind of stuff I am. It's not just going on and looking at pictures, and people's babies, and their dogs, and you know what they're doing on the weekend.
And so, that's now something that's changed for me. So, at night, at dinner, if I'm checking my phone, which I shouldn't be, on the weekend, and all these other places, it's like, constantly reinforcing this thought of like, are you doing enough? Are you pushing enough? Are you going to get enough comments? Are you getting interaction on this? And honestly, it's exhausting. And when I can, like, give myself permission to be like Shaelene, like, you don't have to do any of this. Like, no one's keeping track of this. And I think that's really important. And it was something that was a little unexpected, but a realization I had around like, this is a lot and I am a people person. I love hanging out with people. I love chat. Like, it takes a lot for me to say that.
But I came back and I was like, "Oh my God. Like, everyone's having retreats, and everyone's offering free things. And this person has so many comments on their posts about post-it notes." Or like, it could have been anything. And I was just like, "Ah." Like, I felt like I was still back at the finish line trying to figure out like what shoes to put on, you know?
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, the comparison trap is real. I mean, and that's a big part of this too. And that's entrepreneurial insecurity right at its finest is like, when we start getting into that headspace of look at what everyone else is doing, look at how much I'm not doing.
And I think there's a difference between impostor syndrome around starting your private practice, like that shit is real, I get it, we've all been there. And then, as you go through your private practice journey, like, "Ooh, client interaction went poorly. I'm not a good therapist anymore. Ooh the phone no longer rings. I'm a horrible business owner." I've been there. I know the feelings. It's completely irrational.
But there's a different level to this as you start to grow an audience, as you start to become an entrepreneur with a following, as you start to create things that people want because then you're exposed to more people, you're exposed to more criticism. That really leads to more insecurity. And then, you start getting into that comparison mindset of, "How come my post didn't get any likes? How come this course has been so hard to sell? How come so and so didn't ask me to be a speaker at their retreat or doesn't want to collaborate with me when they're collaborating with everybody else."
And really, what you said is, which is important is like, we get to determine what's important to us, right? So, if this stuff doesn't fucking matter, then I'm the one creating this unnecessary anxiety because I'm feeling like I'm not doing enough. And that's an internalized thing because on the outside looking in, nobody else knows that you're experiencing this.
And I think that it's also the fact that entrepreneurs are typically high achievers. So, it goes hand in hand with just being like, I never do enough, I'm never good enough like, and that's just stuff that everyone has to work out in their own therapy, in their own life.
And well, for me, I do social media breaks pretty often because I'm on it a lot, so for my businesses and for connections. So, what I have to do is I put my phone in a different room for hours at a time because I need to step away from that shit because it's so easy to get hyper-focused on like the feed full of people offering all of this cool stuff. And it's great to be surrounded by so many people, but your mindset can then say, if so many people are doing these things my audience then shrinks, right? Like, there's not enough clients to go around.
And that's scarcity mindset, that's impostor syndrome at its finest too. And I think it's important to just remember like, for everyone listening, if you show up, if you do things consistently, if you're authentic to who you are, your values to your audience, it doesn't matter what everybody else is doing. It doesn't matter that someone else is doing the exact same thing that you are in a different way.
Like, I've talked about this endlessly since launching All Things Private Practice, but it took me years to get here because I was so insecure about someone else in the same city offering private practice coaching and building because they have a huge reputation. And at the end of the day, we're friends now and colleagues, but we have very different styles and voices, we have a very different audience because of how we show up.
And for all of you who are listening, it's the same for you. Yes, you might be at the beginning stages of practice ownership, you might have a group practice, you might be using expanding into other services and other platforms, you're not really reinventing the wheel, you don't have to feel like, and that's important to remember, like, if you're a private practice owner, you're not the first person to do this, you're, you know, the millionth person to do this. So, like, we have to try to remember that because what it ultimately comes down to is how you show up. And that is the most important thing in your entrepreneurial journey is if you stay true to your why and to your values, I think that aligning, and staying consistent, and operating out of a place where it feels like this is values-driven decisions, everything feels a lot smoother than chasing the shiny object and comparing yourself to other people getting down all these traps that we've talked about today. And it just feels a lot more easy, and almost as if you're in this flow state when you can finally figure out who you want to be and how you want to show up.
SHAELENE KITE: Yeah, I think even just from also just that stimulation from Facebook and being in what everyone else is doing, from like an overwhelmed perspective, anxiety, ADHD, just like being able to stay on track. Like, there were times where I had one idea and then be I'd be on Facebook and then I feel like, maybe I should do this other thing. And it's like, "Wait no."
And so, when you have those moments, I do that too, I put my phone in another room, or lately, if I go out to dinner, I'll like leave my phone in the car or something like that, just because it is… I mean, it's a real thing to be reinforced for, like, if I talk to this person who's looking for a referral into seeing someone at my practice, that's a win. And I can do that in, you know, two minutes with writing a post, or if I message this person, I might sell one more spot, and stabilize, and scale.
And so, there are a lot of good reasons. But the other side that we need to remember is like, the pool isn't drying up, though, you know? Like, the opportunities aren't leaving. Like, go have your dinner, go to sleep, go for your run. Like, do whatever you need to do, everything's still going to be there when you get back. Facebook and social media have this way of like warping time and urgency being like really, really strong. And that's just not the case. Like, take your time to do what you need to do and be intentional with it, you'll be more invested in it, you'll get a better return on it because it's going to be more quality work instead of like, rushing through it, and having to do it again, or it's sucking and not selling or whatever it is. And then reinforcing all of those. Like, see, I knew I couldn't do this anyway, now I better go pay someone to teach me how to do it. Like, that's another thing that shows up a lot.
So, I think that, you know, there are plenty of ways that I can sneak up I think for us, you know, for anybody listening, it's just really important to know that it's a thing and know what it looks like when it shows up in your life because it's if it's showing up, it's doing something, right? Like it's either stopping you from doing something, or it's impacting the way that you carry yourself, or how you interact with others, or how you run your businesses, or your projects, or things like that. The ability for them just to grow into something or the ability for them to really never come to fruition is all going to be traced back to how you think about yourself and how you think about what your offer, your product, your service, like all of that stuff.
And so, for me, I've been trying really hard to have more awareness around it. And it's helpful to have, you know, friends to talk about this stuff with because if not, then I think it just continues to live up here and continue to wreak havoc on our brains.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, absolutely. I think that's great advice and wisdom. And I think for all of you listening, you know, I hope these tips were helpful. There's plenty more of them. But these are some good jumping-off points. And I do think having a group of colleagues who are in similar positions as you is really important. I mean, even if it's just one person who is also starting a private practice, or a group practice owner, or coach, or whatever, like you have to have that outlet so that it doesn't just live in your head because when it's up there, it does create these narratives that, you know, are simply not true or create more paralyzation and debilitating symptoms, in general.
So, I appreciate you coming on again today, and making the time, and just sharing all of your experience too. I appreciate the vulnerability and it's been a good conversation for sure. So, tell the audience a little bit about what you're doing, where they can find it, and how to access it?te. And I'll be in Ireland in:
PATRICK CASALE: You forgot that you're also going to be in Spain talking about all this stuff in a couple of months.
SHAELENE KITE: I didn't forget, but I was like, "Spain's sold out." So, I mean, if you're in Spain, I'm excited to see you. But if you if you missed out, I'm sorry. You're going to miss out and it's going to be amazing. I felt bad saying that. But that's how it is.
PATRICK CASALE: That's okay. Go on and create some FOMO for upcoming experiences, you know?
SHAELENE KITE: After we're talking about don't get caught up in FOMO, we're like, it's going to be amazing, and it's sold out. So, I don't know, I don't know. But yeah, I'm super pumped to come to Spain and talk about these things with you all.PATRICK CASALE: [CROSSTALK:
And for everyone listening to the All Things Private Practice Podcast, new episodes are out every single Sunday on all major platforms. Like, download, subscribe, and share. Doubt yourself, do it anyway. See you next week. Thanks, Shaelene.
SHAELENE KITE: Bye.