Integrity, Confidence, and the Imposter Complex — Tanya Geisler

Tanya Geisler
5 min readJan 6, 2021

When people are struggling with the Imposter Complex, I believe what they’re really looking for is confidence — unshakeable confidence that can carry them through any situation.

Like my friend Staci Jordan Shelton says: “don’t pray for money. Pray for CONFIDENCE.”

The kind of confidence that you can count on and that won’t quit you.


It’s not about never having your confidence waver — nuh uh.

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. (And while many people say “imposter syndrome,” this is why I use Imposter Complex instead.)

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

Of the three legs, we begin with Integrity, so that we can start with a strong core and a strong foundation. Integrity is all about authenticity, obedience to your vision, and honouring your word.


You know the oft-cited saying “if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for everything?” Absolute truth, if a somewhat ableist expression. If integrity needed a bumper sticker, it would be that. “If you aren’t here for something, you’re here for nothing” might be a way I’d reiterate that.

And what I know about integrity is this:

  • it’s comprised of relentless obedience to your vision
  • it’s about honouring your word
  • it’s about operating from authenticity

Integrity means obedience to your vision

When you have obedience to your vision, you don’t let anything — like the lies of the Imposter Complex — prevent you from moving toward that vision.

Obedience to your vision is a matter of internal integrity. Only you know if you are procrastinating, diminishing, or otherwise letting the Imposter Complex distract you from your goal. But when you can right the course and steer back toward that vision, that’s integrity, and it will lead you to Unshakeable Confidence.

Integrity means honouring your word

Now, I doubt very seriously that anyone I attract in my audience is a conscious liar or a cheat. But there are more insidious ways that one might be dishonouring their word if they are out of integrity.

For example, if you and a client agree on a certain scope of work, and then the client keeps asking for a little more… and a little more… and a little more… And you just keep saying “OK” for some reason, you are NOT honouring your word. It might be a case of leaky boundaries or your people pleasing is coming through. Either way, it’s out of integrity with yourself because you’re not honouring your own word.

But when our friends, clients, customers, family members all feel assured that they can count on us to honour our word and our commitments, that is deep integrity, and that integrity will lead to your own feeling of Unshakeable Confidence.

And when we do our fabulous work while honouring our word to others AND ourselves? We become Models of Possibility. And the world could use some of those, non?

Integrity means operating from authenticity

Finally, integrity means that everything you say and do comes from a place of authenticity.

The Imposter Complex might try to convince us that we have to say or do something that isn’t quite authentic in order to be accepted at the “cool kids’” table (whomever those cool kids might be today…) It’s classic people-pleasing.

But integrity means committing to what we believe, not following the crowd, or holding the unpopular opinion — if those things are true and authentic to us.

Saying or doing what is in alignment with your truth is deep integrity — and it will shore up that feeling of Unshakeable Confidence.

You might have a problem with integrity if…

As you might have noticed, I’m often talking about 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.

If you’re not honouring your integrity, you might be struggling with leaky boundaries or people-pleasing — and those behaviours are both confidence killers and important keys to understanding the Unshakeable confidence puzzle.

If you suspect you are out of integrity…

If the integrity leg of the confidence stool feels a bit wobbly, consider:

  • What are you committed to?
  • What visions are you obedient to?
  • Do you honour your word?
  • Do you show up authentically?

Because when you DO stabilize the stool:

  • You will have a faster recovery when the Imposter Complex shows up.
  • You will ask for the raise.
  • Say yes to the speaking gig.
  • Go for the book deal.
  • Build the platform.
  • Plan for massive growth in your business.
  • Stand up for what you know to be right.
  • Surround yourself with the best
  • Ask for what you need.
  • Pursue excellence, but remaining untethered to 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.
  • And more is no longer a word that scares you….MUCH.
  • Show up for you, for your work, for THEM, for your soul.

That’s what I want for you.

Integrity, my friends. Nothing, and I mean nothing beats it.


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Originally published at on January 6, 2021.



Tanya Geisler

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