Many women find themselves stuck in the imposter syndrome, thinking that what they do and no matter how much they work is still not good enough. It is time to get unstuck from the outdated rules of success and happiness and be unapologetically and guiltlessly yourself. In this episode, Dr. Sarah Renee Langley joins Jeffrey Edwards to share with us how she is elevating women and helping them see their purpose and reach new levels in their lives. She talks about limitless leadership and how women can eliminate the imposter syndrome and make their rules of success based on their own terms. Dr. Langley is a clinical psychotherapist and is a TEDx speaker, best-selling author, coach, and corporate trainer. Don’t miss out on today’s conversation!
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Limitless Leadership: Success On Your Own Terms With Dr. Sarah Renee Langley
Welcome to this episode. It’s wonderful to be with you here. Our special guest is someone I had the pleasure of meeting years ago. She’s a champion for women and leadership on a global stage. Dr. Sarah Renee Langley is a clinical psychotherapist and is a TEDx speaker, best-selling author, coach and corporate trainer.
I can go on to highlight the work that she’s done in elevating women and helping them see their purpose, and seeing them reach new levels and heights in all elements of their lives is an element that we talked about here on our show all the time is how we bring that essence to a new level of experience and also influence and impact. She is here to share her experiences with her clients around the world. Welcome to our show, Dr. Sarah Renee Langley.
Jeffrey, thank you so much for having me. It’s such a joy and a pleasure to be here. I never take it lightly for me to be blessed in your presence and with your audience, and to allow me to share is awesome. Thank you so much.
I know you and I have shared experiences as well as the work that you’ve been doing in the world. I’m curious to find out from you and the whole topic of women, leadership and the work that you do. What is it that you see the main points for development and growth that you help your clients with on a regular basis?
I focus mainly on personal empowerment, leadership development and helping women. My target and focus have been with imposter syndrome, helping these ladies know who they are and honestly helping them level up in the sense of no longer abiding by the outdated rules of success and happiness. I’m finding that a lot of them feel like they’ve been hoodwinked or bamboozled.
They feel that they have sacrificed their time, putting blood, sweat and tears into the position that they’re in, working hard and doing a whole lot and trying to balance home life, personal life, business life, career life, their lives, and then not to have it to be the way that they thought it was going to be. They end up having this challenge of, “I’m not good enough.”
They start comparing themselves to other people, what standard that they go by, and it’s never enough for them. It is like being on a hamster wheel and not knowing how to get out of it. I helped my ladies understand and remember who they are, unapologetically and guiltlessly make themselves a priority and redefine the rules of success and happiness on their terms.There's more to life than to survive, live, and die. You need to go find it. Click To Tweet
How would you describe the clientele that you work with, primarily with their personal or family backgrounds?
They’re highly ambitious, very determined, strong-willed, corporate women, and also women entrepreneurs. Those who had their businesses were the ones who escaped from 9:00 to 5:00. They had a dream and a desire in their heart to go after their dreams, but they were afraid of, “Is it going to impact my family? If I decide to go ahead and chase after my dreams, is it wrong for me to do it?”
These are all the questions that they have in their head, which is why I work with them on those limiting beliefs and help to empower them to cross on another side of entrepreneurship or be satisfied where they are in Corporate America or wherever they are corporately, and to then decide, “I’m going to make this work for me, but I’m going to create it for me in my terms or how I want to establish or manage my job or career.”
With that being said, these are highly ambitious women in leadership, thought leaders and influencers from around the world. Interestingly, I found that it doesn’t matter where you live or where you are. It is a common theme and thread. The one that I focus on is helping them to eliminate the imposter syndrome and empower them to make the rules of success and happiness on their own terms.
When you look at your background and how you grew up, what are some of the models you recognize in your own life that have helped you go on this path and direction?
I’m going to be honest and transparent with you. My upbringing and background didn’t have that. I’m from the US of A, and I grew up in Philadelphia. I’m in a certain section of the city called North Philadelphia. I’m not in West Philadelphia. I was born and raised like wilderness. I was the real deal in North Philadelphia. At the time that I was growing up, it was about trying to survive with the little that we’ve had, getting an education, a good job and surviving.
I had my parents, my dad and my mom. They have instilled so many great personal, cultural and religious nuggets for my brothers and me too, which helped me to make a decision. I was the one that was always ambitious, excelling and a go-getter. I had something in me that I decided that, “There’s more to life than this to survive, live and die. I need to go find it.” I was the first in my family to complete my Master’s, get my PhD and be an entrepreneur. That was my path.
How was that received by your parents? It’s like, “You can’t do that. Here’s the plan already laid out for you. Go to school, find a man, get married, start a family.” Wasn’t that the case?
My mom, at first, was like, “I want you to go to school to be a nurse or a teacher.” In her time, that was the thing to go for women to be a nurse or a teacher. She used to say at one point, and she was like, “Go ahead and marry a rich man and be well off,” but I knew that there was more than that. I did not see myself doing that. I have loved my mom because she and my dad were the types of people where whatever we wanted to do, they were for it.
They did not bind us up to, “This is what you’re supposed to do.” They did suggest, but they weren’t upset with the path my brothers and I have decided to have for us, whether we went down the path of entrepreneurship as I did. It was pretty much all my brothers have, but it was for me being the only girl. I had a sister who passed away, so I was the youngest daughter.
For me, I was the one that still had to be close to home, be domestic, takes care of the family, be married, and have children, but they didn’t push it to the point that I had to do it their way. It was pretty much on my terms. That’s what I truly appreciate with my parents. Even with their traditional ways, they allowed me to be “non-traditional.”
Having grown up in a family, my parents are from the islands. What you described sounds a lot like what my sister went through as well. It’s three boys, and we can do our own thing, but my sister and her plan were laid out as such. She went through the challenges and shared some of that same experience that you shared here too.
I’m curious because your experiences seem to represent a number of young women out there who are still living in that prototype life for a young woman. There are lots of cultural influences that come with that as well and backgrounds. You work on a global basis now. What do you find are some of the commonalities that you see across cultures when it comes to the issues you’re dealing with?
It seems like the common theme is you get married, find somebody, fall in love, have children, and you call it a day. You can have a career, but don’t let that supersede your family and your home life. That plays a part as to why I have a brand called Be Limitless. I help these women to tap into the limitless potential, take the limits off of their lives, and go after their more, whatever the more is for them. It was very interesting that I have spoken on various global stages across continents and heard that there are women all over the world who still share certain commonalities.
It doesn’t matter where you’re from. At the end of the day, it’s about them having a challenge and struggling with feeling if they’re woman enough. If they’re based on societal standards of what a woman is supposed to be, a mother, wife or a caretaker. That’s why I specifically went after ladies who were challenged with imposter syndrome and helped them to own, embrace, and accept who they are, but helping them to find who they are, that they are beyond the roles and titles of career woman, mother, and wife. They’re Anna, Sarah and Keisha.Allow and receive what it is that it is in your heart to be, to do, and to have in this world. Click To Tweet
They are the first, and then there are these people who have these types of roles and responsibilities. I say all that to say that because of the struggle of them wanting to either live up to what society and the standard is, I empower them that they are the standard. They create the darn rules on their own terms, and I help them to break out of the guilt and shame that whether they placed it on themselves or has been placed upon.
I helped them to put that right back where it needs to go and that they can still honestly and strongly identify who they are, come to know who they are, remember who they are, and go after their dreams without the worry, guilt, sacrifice, loss or concern about anybody that has something to say about it. That’s what makes it so enjoyable for me to show up. It’s to hear these ladies being able to take a stance and a declaration that, “I’m willing to live life on my own terms unapologetically and guiltlessly. I am limitless.”
I see the power that comes from making that statement and standing in that moment. It must be invigorating. The only imposter syndrome I’m dealing with is I’m not a woman, but it doesn’t matter. I’ll work through that.
Some men deal with imposter syndrome. I remember being on the clubhouse stages, and men are confessing. This is something that talks about a lot on these platforms to have some men that were courageous and honest to say. As a matter of fact, I was looking for a marketer for my team, and he read about me and talked, and then he was like, “Dr. Sarah, I struggle with imposter syndrome too. I had to work through that.” Some men go through it as well. It’s not a woman thing.
I did a show on imposter syndrome and shared that it’s something that cuts across all genders and cultures as well. What you’ve described here is the idea that you’re not alone, that we have some common experiences and ideas that we struggle with. It’s when they connect with people like you or in a community where they can realize that there’s something beyond their situation, that they can look forward to achieving and elevate that experience in life to the point that can be a whole, new, higher level with more people versus feeling alone.
I look forward to following your work. I’m sure I can probably lose time going through all your TED Talks, books and writings. You’re like a college course for me. I’ll have to book some time and then see in the next semester where I can get done. We’d love to have you back here on the show, follow up with you, and have a continuous conversation.
If I can leave a tidbit or so with your audience is if you’re struggling with imposter syndrome or deciding, which I already shared as one of my nuggets. I have something called a DCBA Method. There are so many methods that I use when I’m working with my ladies to break the imposter syndrome. If you are that person reading, you are challenged with that, and you find yourself feeling frustrated, annoyed, sad, depressed, feeling lonely and it’s just you. You’re not alone like Jeffrey said. What you have to do is do what I called the DCBA Method.
D stands for decide. You can’t do anything until you decide, “I’m not going to do this anymore.” It may sound like it’s easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. When you start with a decision, it creates something called choice because all you’re going to do is do what you know. You know what you know, but you don’t know what you don’t know.
We are helping you to come along from not knowing to knowing so that it creates choice. You can default to what you know, or you realize that you have an option, and that is the key. Decide that there is a better way. There is more to life than this. I do not have to succumb to imposter syndrome coming to know who you are.
C stands for commitment. Commit to coming to know who you are and inquiring more about yourself. What things do you like and enjoy? It’s simple as that. What is interesting is the fact that when I ask you, “What do you want?” That is a basic question, yet so complex, because we don’t get to tap into our real core selves to allow ourselves to know what it is that we want. I dare encourage and empower you to permit yourself to commit to getting to know who you are, what it is that you want, and free associate. It means writing it on paper. What comes to mind when you ask yourself the question, “What is it that I want?” You commit to that.
B stands for belief. Believe in yourself. Is that a way for everybody to believe in you, cheer you on, empower you, and encourage you? Set the example for us to believe in you and on how to celebrate you. Learn how to celebrate yourself and believe in who you are. If you feel like, “I don’t have much to believe in.”
That’s why I go back to saying commit to finding out what it is that you want and who you are. This will empower you and give you the momentum and motivation. A stands for allow. Allow and receive what it is that it is in your heart to be, to do and to have in this world. There’s more to life than who you are and where you are now. I invite you to become limitless. Tap into your limitless potential and go after your next and your more because your answers lie there.
Thank you, Dr. Sarah. I needed to go out there and share this message with other people. Thank you so much for being here and joining us. For all the work you do, I want to say thank you for your contribution to leadership in the world out there and the impact you’re making in so many lives. We can learn a lot from you. I look forward to the next time we can get together and talk more about the work that you do.
Thank you so much, Jeffrey. It has been a pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Thank you so much to Dr. Sarah Renee Langley for being a guest here with great insights and experiences. We thank you for allowing us to be a part of your dream. Until next time. Be good and lead well.
About Dr. Sarah Renee Langley
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