Get an inside look at impostor syndrome with Marlene Cameron, Clarity Catalyst Coach. She uses her wisdom and personal experience to provide the peace of mind and authentic confidence she's finally found herself, to her clients and colleagues.
In spite of successful careers as a licensed interior designer, management consultant, chartered financial analyst, and six-figure business owner, Marlene experienced ongoing anxiety and insecurity, feeling like an impostor herself. After years of looking for the answer, she discovered what was for her, the missing link.
Marlene Cameron is an award-winning coach who helps women business owners and leaders have exceptional clarity and confidence in order to achieve excellence and success with greater ease and flow. She celebrated nine Mardi Gras’s while living in New Orleans, has walked the 800 km Camino de Santiago across Spain solo, and completed a three-day vision quest without food or shelter in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. She is a golfer by day and tango dancer by night.
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Carl Richards: This is the Write Connection. This podcast is designed to help you choose the right words and stories in your business content to create authentic connections with prospects, clients, partners, and colleagues now the host of the Write Connection Katherine Burrows.
Katherine Burrows: Meet Marlene Cameron in spite of successful careers as a licensed interior designer management consultant, chartered financial analyst and six figure business owner, Marlene experienced ongoing anxiety and insecurity, feeling like an imposter herself after years of looking for the answer, she's discovered what has been for her, the missing link. Listen, as she chats with me about her understanding of the three principles and the peace of mind that she's now found, hello, Marlene, welcome to the write connection.
Marlene Cameron: Hi Katherine and it's nice to be here.
Katherine Burrows: So tell our listeners a little bit about what you do and how you got there, how you got started, and what's the story of your journey.
Marlene Cameron: Okay. I currently work with professional women who are accomplished, they're seen as very successful, but they don't always see themselves that way. There may be a tendency to kind of dismiss some of their accomplishments, feel like they don't really belong, with their successful peers. And even though there seem to be a very complished intelligent women. And the reason why I focus on this area in my coaching practice is because that was my experience for a long time, in spite of all of my academic success and business successes and accolades and things, I never really felt quite good enough. And I know that's something that most people feel from time to time, but for me, it just seemed to be this ongoing lingering, niggling and [inaudible02:03 ] feeling that maybe if I just had known a bit more education or took some more training or had some more certifications that I would finally kind of arrive.
I called it my proverbial carrot on the stick. So I'm in career 3.5, I'm calling it my first career. I was a commercial in interior designer, had a very successful commercial interior design consulting business. I went on and did an MBA and worked in the investment consulting field for a few years and got my charter as a chartered financial analyst. And then I took my coaching training. And for me, coaching was even more challenging because it's ability to help somebody, achieve a goal or achieve a way of being. And I wasn't really quite there myself. So it posed a big problem. I went into a specialized area called energy psychology for many years and I found that very helpful with sort of unwrapping some of my ideas I had about myself and some of the perceptions I had that weren't serving me.
And then I came across another understanding, which for me was the missing link. So I know a lot of people are tempted to compare themselves to others. We live in a culture where success is valued. And sometimes if we feel like we don't measure opera we haven't accomplished what other people accomplished, we feel like a bit of a failure or in my case, like even a bit of a fake. So that's the reason behind, doing the work I do now, because I think probably other people feel that way. And often it's women that feel that way. We haven't had generations and of being in the workforce and mentors. And so for many women, we're kind of finding our way in the world. And especially as professional women and entrepreneurs, it can add an extra challenge. And one of the things Katherine that I think is really important is that we're able to kind of turn our attention away from externals, like looking to other people for their opinions or their advice, or even having other people validate, what we think of a situation and really learn to trust ourselves.
I really believe that we all have inner wisdom and like we all have it. And when we can turn our attention inward and kind of get a sense of things, when we do make a decision, it somehow it feels right or it feels there's a lot more certainty around it. And this much less tendency to doubt ourselves or second guess ourselves, or even worry if we made the correct decision. So my goal is to help, women who are really want and need this ability to believe and trust in themselves.
Katherine Burrows: So what were some of the key turning points for you in going from that imposter syndrome to having confidence in your inner wisdom?
Marlene Cameron: Well, there was a couple of steps. Actually I worked with a buddy coach many years ago and I think she identified some of the qualities in me and sent me some information on imposter syndrome. But at that time I thought, well, that's kind of interesting. I didn't really pay much attention to it, honestly. And then a few years later I was taking a business course and we were in kind of a big group mastermind. And somebody had said, the importance of following up with people after networking and why didn't I just invite people for coffee and see if there's something I could do to support them. And I heard this voice in my head. It's like, well, what would be the point you have nothing to offer? And I remember how rattled I felt when I heard that. It's like, wow, like, do I really believe that about myself? So I did seek out a colleague and worked with him for several months. And that helped to a certain extent, I could better understand kind of where my anxiety was coming from, where my fears were coming from, but it took another introduction to another understanding that really kind of closed the gap for me.
And this understanding is called the three principles that's a teaching that came from actually Canadian man, who had like an experience in the 1970s, where he clearly saw that we have both a spiritual and a psychological nature. And our spiritual nature is the aspect of us, that's really connected to kind the wisdom and the intelligence behind all life. And that is available to us through our intuition through insight, through aha moments. And I came to understand that I didn't have to figure everything out myself with my own personal mind. And my limited thinking that there was kind of something behind me that I could look to and know that I was supported and guided and even protected. So that was big turning point for me, where I really understand kinda how life works and really how my own mind works and how I'm experiencing, my own kind of personal reality through the process of my own thinking.
And when I'm thinking discouraging thoughts about myself, I'm not gonna feel good so we have the built in kind of feedback system.
Katherine Burrows: So how does knowing more about how you think connect with the innate wisdom and finding that in yourself?
Marlene Cameron: There are two minds, but sometimes talking about it as if there's two minds can be helpful. So we have what we call our personal mind or ego and this is a composite of our education, our conditioning, our experiences, whatever expertise we develop over the years, but then there's this bigger universal mind behind all of that. And when we can quiet down our personal thinking, our judgements, our analyzing our obsessing about things then we create an opportunity for this deeper wisdom and this deeper knowing to come through. And so I really learned the value of having a quiet mind and kind of letting some of my own tendency to overthink things and try to figure things out and compare things that kind of let go of that.
And, let the ideas come through me that are fresh or new or original and be able to see things differently in a more positive way, if I had a problem with something that the problem kind of seems to be have resolved itself and just kind of relaxing into this idea of feeling sort of more guided if you will and not so much, like I have to have that tight grip on the steering wheel of my own life.
Katherine Burrows: Do you have an example of a time that you really felt guided by that inner wisdom?
Marlene Cameron: I do actually a number of years ago, I decided to walk of a Camino it's 800 kilometer walk across Spain. And a few weeks before I was to leave for Spain, I was out hiking in Val and I re-injured a knee injury I had from falling on the ice the year before.
And so I was in a lot of pain and common sense would say like, Marlene, like you're injured, probably don't wanna set it out in a, 800 kilometer walk, but I don't know, something just said, just go anyway. And so I went, I, flew to Spain and I was in a lot of pain, but I discovered ibuprofen and after about two weeks of walking, it occurred to me like maybe I could make it all away, cuz it takes almost six weeks. Right. Maybe I could make it all the way. And so it was just sort of trusting, the urge, if you will, rather than, the common sense, like, don't be ridiculous, you're in a lot of pain, like, you don't wanna make it worse. And so I think that's an example where if we can kind of get out of our own way and just trust what we're being, guided to do or intuitive to do that things become possible. We didn't think was possible.
Katherine Burrows: How do you sort through all those voices and feelings in your head to find the right one?
Marlene Cameron: What I found Katherine, is that when that clear insight comes or that clear, knowing it always comes with a really nice feeling, it almost comes as a package. Like there's this feeling of kind of relief and peace and calm and acceptance. And so really the feeling that comes with it that signals that this is-, it's almost like there's no decision to be made. It's just like, oh, it's the way it is. It's the way it's going to be.
Or this is what I'm gonna do. And there's no, more thinking about it, I guess is the best way to say it and things where I'm, still kind of like uncertain and still trying to figure out if it's the right thing or the best time. Those always come with feelings of feeling kind of anxious and worried. And it's clear which it is.
Katherine Burrows: It sounds like it really brings you a feeling of peace when you find that right voice, is that what you help your clients find as well that feeling of peace?
Marlene Cameron: Yeah, it is. I call it having unshakeable, calm, clarity and confidence because even if something happens and we understand that regardless of what's happening, if there's unforeseen circumstances or, challenges come up, it's like, no, I got the, this, right. Like I got this, the solution's gonna reveal itself and everything's gonna work out. Even if I have no clue how it's gonna work out somehow I just trust that it will. So, no matter what comes at us, it's like it's gonna be okay.
Katherine Burrows: what does it look like when someone comes to you and says, oh, Marlene, I think I need some help. I'm really feeling like I'm just faking it here. I don't know what to do. How does your process work?
Marlene Cameron: Well, it's not so much a process as helping people understand where their feelings are coming from, because we've been let to believe for a long time that we are reacting to situations or reacting to people or reacting to past events. But what we're really in reaction to are feeling is our thinking moment to moment. So it's not so much the content under thinking. It's helping people understand that they're having thoughts and feeling their thoughts.
And there's no way we can control our thoughts. Like people talk about, thinking positive or whatever. We have tens of thousands of thoughts every day. So we're always in the experience of feeling our thoughts, but when we're experiencing something like I'm feeling anxious or something, when we recognize I'm just having anxious thoughts in this moment, we don't even have to really worry about the content of the thought. It's like, oh, I'm having anxious thought in this moment. But because I know that my natural state is wellbeing. I'm resilient. I have this wisdom behind me, then it kind of doesn't take us out. We can kind of ride the wave of having an experience of our own thinking. It's helping people understand, where their experience comes from and that nothing in and out of that is harmful or wrong or what have you it’s just the way we work.
Katherine Burrows: Yeah. It's so important to get through to that authentic self that you have inside because I really believe that's what creates those beautiful connections with our loved ones, with our clients, with our network, just anywhere that we are looking to connect with people.
Marlene Cameron: That's a really good point because what keeps us disconnected is like our thinking about something, right? So there's something like between, if we were using example, like maybe you're talking to somebody and while that person is speaking, you're thinking about like, oh Gia I kinda like her hair or Gia I don't think that dress really suits her. So because we're always in thinking, we don't realize that we're actually that can get in the way of having a real experience of somebody or a situation.
And so when we can kind of settle down, judgements and expectations and all the self-consciousness, like whether they're thinking of me, whether they think of my hair, my dress, if we can let all that kind of settle down, then we're naturally gonna be much more connected to that person. We're gonna see who they really are and not our judgment or expectations of them.
Katherine Burrows: Alright What I'm hearing is that when you find that piece, then it makes room for that authenticity to become part of your connections, What kind of clients do you usually help?
Marlene Cameron: I work with women who are entrepreneurs, who have business owners. If they have a professional practice, I've worked with some women in corporate who are in leadership roles and like to have a coach to kind of talk about things that they don't have anybody to talk about in their workplace. And I do work with men also who are often referred to me by women. So my practice is just not women, I guess people who are open to having a conversation about we used to call it kind of spiritual or metaphysical or people who are kinda curious about what about life I'm not seen that still informing my decisions or informing what's happening around me. And, some people look to things like, the law of attraction and all that type of stuff. And I don't work in that realm, but people who have that type of curiosity about, it's not just the physical world as something beyond this, I really like working with people who are curious about that, because I'm really curious about that.
Katherine Burrows: Yeah. I think that the people who are looking for the deep connections in life also have a great depth of curiosity and love of learning so I think that's a really good fit. Do you have a client's story that you could share?
Marlene Cameron: I was a trainer and practitioner of a specific technique for over 15 years and she came to me because she heard that this technique is very helpful with weight loss and over the course of our conversation, the discussion kind of moved away from weight loss and more about her relationships with her husband and her children. And it was really interesting to see how things started to shift for her. Some of the assumptions that she'd made, some of her thinking she had around certain situations, how that shifted over time. And she developed like a completely new relationship with her husband. And they were actually going on Vacation together, which was a first because, she had so much thinking around who he was and what the relationship was all about. And so it was quite a revelation to see that something she hadn't anticipated had evolved over the course of the coaching and just really changed her life and her relationship with her partner.
Katherine Burrows: That's really beautiful. I noticed that you have an offer that you wanted to present. Do you wanna talk about that?
Marlene Cameron: Yeah. So I wrote a 10 pages. It's a quick read. You could read it in probably about 10 minutes and it's the seven secrets to un-shakable calm, clarity and confidence. And so the seven secrets speak to some of the things that we were talking about today and will show, your listeners, people who subscribe to this, that there's another way of kind of seeing how life work and how they work as a spiritual and psychological human being.
Katherine Burrows: Well, that sounds really interesting. I can't wait to read that. Is there anything else that you'd like to share?
Marlene Cameron: One of the things that I found really helpful with this understanding was this idea that we all live in kind of like a separate reality, if you will. So we're rarely going to see things exactly the way somebody else sees it, or nor are they gonna see things the way I see it. And I found that really helpful just to kind of be at peace with that, she sees that differently or he likes or doesn't like that. And so that's also contributed to my feeling of kind of peace and accept. And it's like because our experience comes from within us not in from the inside out, not from the outside in, then it just kind of goes with the territory that you and I are gonna see things differently sometimes very differently.
And that's okay. We can be okay with each other's perceptions and not try to convince each other that the other person's wrong and no, this is the way it is. And it's like, no, it's the way it is for you because that's your experience of it. So I found that really helpful.
Katherine Burrows: I love that. Yeah. Not seeing our differences as a threat, but as an opportunity to learn more about other people and learn to appreciate other ways of life and other points of view.
Marlene Cameron: Yeah. Being curious about that, because maybe they're seeing something that you hadn't seen before and it's like, wow, that's cool. I never thought that way. Yeah. That's great.
Katherine Burrows: Any last thoughts?
Marlene Cameron: I've discovered that the more we understand how life works, how our minds work, where experience comes from, life just seems to get easier better, relationships get easier whether at work or at home, there's a nice flow that starts to happen in life. And I think that that's probably what we're all looking for, that those experiences of being happy and contented and just having a nice life.
Katherine Burrows: That sounds great. A peaceful flow of calm, clarity and confidence. Thank you so much, Marlene, for being on the write connection today.
Marlene Cameron: Thanks Katherine It's been a pleasure.
Katherine Burrows: Thanks so much for listening today. I hope something in today's episode inspired you to tell your own story more creatively. Please join me next time for more about how authentic words and stories create the Write Connection.
Carl Richards: Thanks for listening to the Write Connection. If you have a question for Katherine, reach out to her by sending her an email, Katherine @Katherine Burrows creative.com or visit her website, Katherine Burrows, creative.com. And don't forget to follow Katherine on social media until next. Thanks again for listening to the Write Connection.