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How to Tackle Imposter Syndrome and So Much More, From Julie Solomon

The author’s new book gives advice on how to live your most authentic self.

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For much of her career, Julie Solomon had been helping her clients share their stories with the world and get noticed. Now, a decade and a half later, the Tennessee native is opening up about her life and career trajectory in her debut book Get What You Want: How to Go From Unseen to Unstoppable with the hope that others will feel inspired and motivated to make any necessary changes needed to be their most authentic self in their own careers or personal lives.

With her bubbly personality coming through the pages and her encouraging words, the business coach, speaker and host of The Influencer Podcast makes the content easy to digest while giving us all an extra push to go after what we want. Solomon, also a mom of two with husband and actor Johnathon Schaech, would like women to know we all know we deserve a seat at the table. Keep scrolling for her best advice (spoiler alert: we all need to be our own biggest fan).

Women are often told to minimize their success or to not be bold, and in your book you say be your biggest, best self.

“I think a lot of times women feel like we have to kind of stay a little bit humble, don’t think too big, don’t be too expansive because we don’t want people to think that we care about success more than we care about other people, our children, our families, our husbands, our wives, whatever that may be. By doing that, I think it comes from this integral place, but it’s a very limited way of thinking. I really feel like the more expansive that we can be, and the more that we maximize our success, the more that we are a reflection of that to other people and the more that we give other people the permission to do the same thing.”

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How did you realize you have a voice that deserves to be heard?

“I think that when that realization comes for any of us, it is when that voice inside you gets so loud, that you can’t help but let it out. And that’s really what happened to me. I had this small voice within me. It just kept getting louder and louder and louder, and I knew that the more that I just tried to avoid it or ignore it, the louder it was going to get. I think that’s the realization, but I think that there’s another piece to that about deserving to be heard. I think that we have to remember that we shouldn’t wait for that deservingness, that deservingness to be heard is inherent. It's already within us. And I think a lot of that feeling like we have to wait to be bestowed that is a worthiness piece. It goes back to that self-worth, and the more that you can find that worth within yourself, the more that you are going to give yourself the permission, and you’re not going to be waiting for someone else to give you permission.”

Imposter syndrome is very real. What was the first step in knowing you belong and should have a seat at the table?

“I think, for me, the first step was realizing that no one else is going to give me the seat at the table. It really does begin to end with me. If I can’t show up, advocate for myself and toot my own horn, how can I expect someone else to do it? And that’s really where the confidence comes from. I think a lot of times we wait for the clarity before we will allow ourselves the confidence to take a seat at the table. It’s like we feel we need more information, or we need to rank higher in our business, or we need to have X amount of dollars in our bank account or X amount of followers on Instagram. We keep waiting for the externals to change when really it’s the confidence in yourself that creates the clarity and creates the externals to change, not the other way around. You have to believe that you can become the successful person that you want to become. You have to believe that you belong where you want to be. You have to believe that you belong at the table before that can happen. It’s really about this idea of be, then do, then have versus having, then doing, then being.”

For someone who constantly wants to people-please, you write how that holds a person back in so many ways…

“People-pleasing can be a detriment for so many of us. I think that a lot of times the best advice of just being your most authentic self is letting go of the control, letting go of the need to have all the answers, all the solutions, all the results, know every little detail to an outcome. I think the more that we can just take our hands a little bit off the reins and really keep the focus on ourselves, the less focus we will be on people-pleasing. You don’t have to blow up or you don’t have to be a doormat, but you can speak your truth and live your truth and say that in a kind and loving way. I think that’s really important when it comes to saying something that’s on your mind.”

How do you not care what others think of you? Easier said than done for sure.

“To me, it’s day by day. I’ve come a long way with this where there’s a lot of people in my life and I really don’t care what they think. Then there’s some people that it’s like there’s a part of me where I want to be respected by them. I want to impress them. I want them to think that I’m successful, and it can get to you. I think that instead of not caring what others think, I don’t try to put as much weight on it anymore. Those feelings are going to be there because I’m human where there’s part of me that wishes that this person would invite me to their cool kids’ club or whatever that is, or would see me as worthy enough to X, Y and Z, but I also don’t put as much weight on that. It’s not going to stop me from moving forward and focusing on my goals and being of service and all the things that I feel are important in life. I think that that’s really the key.”

We’ve seen in the last couple of years that so many women are shifting their careers and leaving the traditional 9-to-5. What would you say is the best advice for someone thinking of doing this but is nervous about not having a steady paycheck?

“Really getting clear on what the goal is when it comes to you leaving the 9-to-5. There were two things that helped me do this. The first step was really focusing on doing my inner work. What are these belief systems that I am making up and telling about myself that are holding me back? What are these limitations? What is the scarcity mindset? What am I telling myself that is keeping me stuck? The second was I had to start surrounding myself with other people who kind of had the life that I wanted to have, because again, it became an expander for me. If you’re just surrounding yourself with people who are also living in a scarcity mindset, also put limitations on themselves, are also scared, you’re just going to stay in that perpetual energy. Start surrounding yourself with trusted experts, coaches, other women who are pushing and stretching themselves. It’s going to be scary whenever you’re transforming to something new or taking the leap to an unknown, but if you can have those mirrors and reflections of other people who are still doing it, even though they’re scared, it will help expand that for you. This doesn’t have to be investing in some super expensive coach. You can listen to people’s podcasts, read their books, watch their YouTube channels, just engross yourself in their habits, their routines, their rituals, how they work, why they work, the way that they think. And that’s what I love to tell people. It’s not about trying to copy how someone else works or their life, their car, or the way that they look, but it’s about embodying and imitating the way that they believe. That’s what’s going to really allow you to see that you’re worthy.

You have a successful podcast and are a mom with a husband who can be away for work a lot. How do you juggle it all?

“I take it day by day. I do have help, thankfully. I would not be able to do it without help. And as a working mom, I’m afforded that help. The best advice that I can give any working mom is that to think that you can do it all on your own is insane, so don’t put that pressure on yourself. Don’t think that you have to do everything on your own. And at the same time, remember to go easy on yourself. There are going to be some days that are better than others. That’s another thing, too, with being a mom, we have so many different seasons. Being a mom to little kids is a completely different season than being a mom to middle schoolers, than being a mom to high school kids, than being a mom to adult children. You have to really learn how to honor the season that you’re in as it is and not try to force it or want to be something that it’s not. And so that’s where really letting yourself off the hook and going easy on yourself comes in.”

So much of what you talk about doesn’t just apply to business. For someone feeling stuck in life, what are some ways to move forward?

“I think awareness is the key. No matter if it’s life, relationships or business, really being aware of the thoughts that you have day to day. That’s why there’s a chapter in my book, Chapter 5, about creating your vision. At the end of it, I talk about a thought download, where you start to write down all the thoughts that you’re having about a situation or circumstance and really allow yourself to become aware of the way that you’re talking to yourself. Also, getting really in tune and tapped into the way that you would like to feel. Sometimes we get so inundated and lost and feel stuck. ‘I feel overwhelmed. I feel like nothing’s working for me.’ Well, how would you like to feel? Because obviously those feelings aren’t getting you what you want. How can we start moving toward feelings that do give you more of what you want? I also think the other thing is if you focus on the good, you get more good. There’s always going to be something good going on in your life, even if it’s just like the smallest sliver of light. If you can stay focused on that, that really helps. The other thing that helps me when I’m feeling stuck is to make a gratitude list. Whenever I start to go down into my despair and poor-me place, I’ll make a list of five things that I’m grateful for in the moment. That just really puts me into a better perspective because I think a lot of times what we get stuck on in life really doesn't matter at the end of the day. It’s how important is it to have this answer or this solution right now in this moment? A lot of us can feel very stuck, but it’s kind of more that we’re on autopilot. It’s not even that we’re stuck. I think we also have to remember that we always have choices. We just have to be willing to see those other choices.”