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Miss London Concierge had a wonderful start to the day and spoke to Laurie McAllister this morning in an incredible, informative and inspiring interview where she disclosed her top tips on overcoming imposter syndrome, building confidence and embracing being enough.

About Emily Morbey Miss London Concierge

Watch the full interview HERE

Here is what the author, women’s empowerment coach and sobriety blogger had to say:

A brief introduction: 

I’m Laurie, British, born and raised in England, I spent almost 8 years in London then moved back to Norfolk and I’ve been in Cambodia for the last 14 months. I’m a multi-passionate person when it comes to my work: I write, I teach yoga and I am a life and empowerment coach helping high-achieving women overcome low self-esteem, low self-worth and imposter syndrome to finally truly enjoy their lives and their outer success

You help women to overcome impostor syndrome, could you just tell us what that is?

Impostor syndrome refers to people who have a belief in their lack of intelligence, skills, or competence. They are convinced that other people’s praise and recognition of their accomplishments is undeserved, chalking up their achievements to luck, charisma, connections, and other external factors. Unable to believe or feel deserving of their success, when we struggle with imposter syndrome we continually doubt our ability to repeat past successes. When we do succeed we feel relief rather than joy – as if we have gotten away with not being found out, rather than deserving and happy with our success or achievements.

There is a brilliant book on this called: The Secret Thoughts Of Successful Women (https://amzn.to/2MUk2yo) which has helped me a lot with my understanding and in working with clients.

With imposter syndrome; it doesn’t really matter how much acclaim you’ve received, how many degrees you’ve earned, or how high you’ve risen on the career ladder. You can still end up feeling undeserving. There are probably a lot of people who think of you as intelligent or talented, perhaps even brilliant. But when you struggle with imposter syndrome, you’re not one of them. In fact, you might struggle with major doubts about your abilities. No matter what you’ve accomplished or what people think, deep down when you are struggling with imposter syndrome you’re convinced that you are a fake, and a fraud – just waiting to be found out.

You find yourself asking questions like:

  • “What if they find out I’m not as smart as they think I am?”
  • “Can I really pull this off?”
  • “Who do I think I am?”

You might mark your success down to “getting lucky”, “being liked” or “they must have made a mistake” – I help women overcome these feelings, changing their mindset about their own abilities and building their confidence so they can feel the JOY that comes with their success.

I want everyone to know just how bright and capable they really are. And the person I most want to acknowledge their brilliance is them.

You also use yoga to empower women – in your blogs you talk of self love and body acceptance, does the yoga give a platform for this understanding?

Yes. Yoga has been a big part of my life since I was at university. Back then I used Bikram yoga to sweat out the hangovers after a night out! But once I stopped drinking, I truly started to understand its power to help me understand myself better.

Yoga has so many layers, far beyond the physical poses (asanas) we might do in a class or on a youtube. Yoga has helped me build self-awareness and self-reflection, and it’s from that that I have been able to reach a level of body acceptance and self love. It is very much a work in progress, and peeling off the social conditioning that says I need to be thinner and more beautiful to accept myself, but yoga helps.

On anxiety…

I have consciously been aware of my anxiety since 2014, but looking back at my childhood I have probably always been an anxious person. Just back then it was labelled tantrums rather than anxiety attacks.

I have to be honest and say the biggest thing that helped me get on top of my anxiety was stopping drinking. It isn’t a popular choice but drinking alcohol was like pouring gasoline on my anxiety – that’s a quote from Laura McKowen.

I had tried a lot of stuff already: therapy, medication, exercise, journalling – and all of those things really helped, but when I took alcohol out of the equation – and later caffeine – I finally got a handle on my anxiety. I still experience it today, but it’s not the same disabling anxiety that stopped me leaving the house and feeling constantly unsafe.

On individualism…

I think this goes back to self-love and self-awareness. Individualism for me is about the freedom to make your own choices. To assess why we are doing the things we are doing, and knowing that it is safe for us to make other choices.

Whether that’s going it alone and starting your own business, or moving countries, or just deciding that you are going to start shopping at a different supermarket to your friends.

There’s a big expectation on women to be nice and amiable and polite and all of those things. It’s about beginning to question who you actually want to be, and starting to live a life inline with those values.

On self-love…

Self-love is so much more than the shiny instagram version we see. It’s making the decisions that are right for us, it’s choosing to prioritise ourselves, it’s picking our own paths even when that seems to go against the grain of what society wants you to do – if it’s not what you want to do.

Self-love is assessing where you are at, and where you want to be. It’s generating awareness of your choices and why you are making them – for you or your family.

A couple of questions I love to use when I am trying to guide myself towards making decisions from a place of self-love, rather than fear or self-hatred, are from Debbie Ford:

  • Is this an act of self-love or is it an act of self-sabotage?
  • Will this choice propel me toward an inspiring future or will it keep me stuck in the past?
  • Will this choice bring me long-term fulfillment or will it bring me short-term gratification?

Of course, bubble baths and yoga classes help too. But prioritising ourselves and our choices and our own happiness – that’s true self-love for me.

I love how you refer to many quotes, texts and books in both your blog and Instagram – could you recommend our followers any books that have been written by women that really speak to you and would perhaps help others on their quest to empowerment?

Yes! Recommending books is my FAVOURITE thing.

So, starting with anxiety. A book that really helped me – I read it on holiday in 2019 and said to my friend, this book will change my life, is First We Make the Beast Beautiful, by Sarah Wilson. https://amzn.to/3cfCKcF

The Unexpected Joy of Being Single by Catherine Gray is brilliant for single women, or people scared of being single. https://amzn.to/3buxuml

You can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay is an oldie but a goodie. https://amzn.to/3qk85Qk

And The Right Questions by Debbie Ford is short (sub 2-hours) but can really help you change the way you think and start to question where you want to be: https://amzn.to/3rsZ9cC

There’s lots more recommendations on my website too, just search books in the blog section.

Ok, so we are going to have a quick fire ‘favourite’ round and please tell us why!

Your favourite women on Instagram @africabrooke – deep thinking, questioning everything – she’s amazing… @milliegooch – sober inspiration and great sparkly fashion sense… @lucysheridan – excellent comparison freeing inspiration

Your favourite alcohol-free Tough one! I love Seedlip (and we can’t get it here in Cambodia) so a Seedlip and tonic for me is what I’d love, Seedlip spice with tonic and a slice of orange will be the first thing I drink when I’m back in the UK. (And tap water, I miss tap water) – I also love the fizzy alcohol free wines, probably because I loved Prosecco back in the day! Nosecco and Naughty AF are my two favourites.

Your favourite ‘me’ place – I love being at the beach with my dogs, my mum or my friends

Your favourite yoga position – Tree, Vrksasana, helps me find balance and ease – and suitable for everyone

Your favourite pastime – Reading, writing or going out with friends – I can’t pick one!

Your favourite thing to do when it all seems too much – Have a bath! Or go to the cinema on my own with my phone switched off. Two hours engrossed in a film makes everything else feel less troublesome (in non-covid times of course)

Your favourite women in history –This is tough! Women from history who inspire me are: Maya Angelou and Gloria Steinam. In modern times, Gina Martin for the work she’s done on upskirting and changing the law – and Meghan Markle for being brave enough to say enough is enough.

Thanks again, Laurie for being so wonderful! The summer is coming and everywhere will be opening up again, coming out of a pandemic darkness, do you have any advice or tips for our followers?

Enjoy yourselves and go at your own pace as restrictions ease. Unprecedented times has no doubt been much overused but it is true. We’ve never been through this before so know that however you want to be this summer is just fine.

Thanks for having me! If anyone has any questions, feel free to DM me on instagram or find out more about me and working with me here: https://girlandtonic.co.uk/work-with-me/