Action, Confidence, and Imposter Syndrome — Tanya Geisler

Tanya Geisler
4 min readJan 26, 2021

When people are struggling with confidence, they often also struggle to take action.

It’s something I see over and over again in my work on the Imposter Complex. (And while many people say “imposter syndrome,” this is why I use Imposter Complex instead.)

In fact, keeping you out of action is one of the three main goals of the Imposter Complex!

People think that confidence creates action.


Action creates confidence.

Unshakeable Confidence isn’t something you HAVE. It’s something you cultivate, practice, and devote yourself to.

And when you practice it? You become FAR more resilient to the Imposter Complex when it shows up (and it will).

You can see the Imposter Complex’s lies for what they are and have a faster recovery when it tries to take you out.

I see Unshakeable Confidence as a three-legged stool, and those three legs are Integrity, Presence, and Action.

Confidence in Action

Confidence comes from taking action — PARTICULARLY action rooted in integrity and built upon presence. (See how neatly that works??)

Hesitation creates the mountains… action moves them.

But action isn’t all heft and rigour and sweat all the time.

It’s vulnerable and tender.


  • it’s about a willingness to fail.
  • it’s about being resilient.
  • it’s about being tenacious.

Seth Godin, that status quo-challenging marketer, is famous for saying “ship it.” He has entire journals and programs dedicated to encouraging people to “ship.” In practice, that means to publish, deliver, or otherwise put your project (whatever it is) out into the world.

It’s about taking action.

Seth calls that thing that keeps you from taking action your “lizard brain.” Steven Pressfield calls it “resistance” in The War of Art.

You might call it a lack of confidence.

I call it Imposter Complex.

But whatever you call it, however you experience it, action is the antidote.

Yes, your thing might not be perfect.
Might fall on ears unwilling or unable to hear.
Might be criticized.
Might not be your best work EVER.

Take action anyway.

The resiliency, the tenaciousness, the willingness to fail that action represents a huge step toward shoring up your Unshakeable Confidence.

You might have a problem with action if…

My work centers on the Imposter Complex and the coping mechanisms that we go to to avoid feeling like an Imposter.

Turns out, each of those behaviours corresponds pretty well to one of the three legs of the Unshakeable Confidence stool.

We KNOW we aren’t taking action because we are stuck in: procrastination or perfectionism.

And those two behaviours are sneaky ways the Imposter Complex keeps you down, prevents you from moving forward, and keeps you out of action.

(It all comes full circle…)

The opposite of procrastination and perfectionism is action.

Action looks like asking for what you need.

Action looks like saying NO.

Action looks like receiving.

Action looks like DOING.

Action looks like getting it DONE like the Unshakeable, unstoppable boss you are.

If you suspect you are out of action…

So what to do when you realize that being out of action is taking your confidence down a peg or two?


  • What do you make happen?
  • What are you willing to risk?
  • How well are you cultivating resilience in yourself?
  • What does tenacity look like for you?

Because when you DO stabilize the stool and discover your Unshakeable Confidence:

  • You will have a faster recovery when the Imposter Complex shows up.
  • You will raise your prices.
  • Apply for the speaking gig.
  • Go for the book deal.
  • Build the stage.
  • Execute massive growth in your business.
  • Stand up for your truth and values.
  • Surround yourself with the best
  • Ask for what you need — with no guilt or shame.
  • Pursue excellence (without perfectionism).

You become an EXPERT in catching yourself when you start to waver those coping mechanisms crop up.

You expand your capacity to bring in more, much more, of what you desire.

Because more is no longer a word that scares you (much).

Action is where it all is.


Where I pull back the curtain on five shifts to start raising voices, rates, and hands all while being the kind, congruent, and authentic leader I know you to be. REGISTER HERE

Originally published at on January 26, 2021.



Tanya Geisler

Step into your Starring Role: Leadership Coach, TEDx Speaker on #ImpostorComplex. Book’s coming…soooooon.