All Things Private Practice Podcast for Therapists

Episode 81: Balancing Impostor Syndrome With Success [featuring Megan Kelly]

Show Notes

Even the most successful therapists and entrepreneurs get hit with impostor syndrome from time to time.

It can leave you questioning the choices you make even when things are going well, and it takes resilience to combat it.

As an entrepreneur, you will often take risks, and not everything will turn out as you imagined it would. It's normal to feel impostor syndrome, but it's important to remember that feeling it does not make you a failure.

If you are a therapist and entrepreneur struggling with impostor syndrome and not sure how to work through it, this episode is for you.

In this episode, I talk with Meg Kelly, mental health counselor, host of the Mental Status Podcast, coach for therapists at Informer Coaching & Consulting, and the Anti-Work Therapist on Instagram.

Top 3 reasons to listen to the entire episode:

  1. Understand that impostor syndrome is a natural part of entrepreneurship.
  2. Learn how to use your impostor syndrome to strengthen your brand message and put your authentic voice into content creation.
  3. Identify ways to combat the moments when impostor syndrome hits the hardest.

Impostor syndrome basically comes with the territory of entrepreneurship, and even having success and big wins can sometimes be overshadowed by one mistake or negative comment. But this is a feeling we all experience to some degree, so you're not alone and you're not a failure for feeling it.

More about Meg:

Meg Kelly, MA is a mental health counselor, host of the Mental Status Podcast, and coach for therapists at Informer Coaching & Consulting. In her private practice, she specializes in treating therapists and healthcare workers who are experiencing burnout, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue, and uses a blend of trauma-informed interventions such as EMDR, somatic interventions, and existential therapy. She is a strong advocate for the well-being of those who help others and strives to demystify the experience of being a mental health provider in today's world.

Meg owns and operates a 100% telehealth practice for Indiana and Florida residents, Lykke Counseling & Wellness, LLC. She can also be found on Instagram @antiworktherapist and @informercoaching.

Meg's Website:


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A Thanks to Our 2 Sponsors: The Receptionist for iPad & Owl Practice!

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I would also like to thank The Receptionist for iPad for sponsoring this episode.

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PATRICK CASALE: Hey everyone, you are listening to another episode of the All Things Private Practice Podcast. I'm your host, Patrick Casale, joined today by my friend and repeat guest, Meg Kelly in Indiana, the owner of Informer Coaching, and also very well known on Instagram as the Antiwork Therapist. 

We are going to talk about all thing's impostor syndrome today. And we're going to just see where that journey takes us. So, Meg, thanks again for coming on and making the time. 

MEGAN KELLY: Yeah, thanks for having me again. 

PATRICK CASALE: Absolutely. The reason I wanted to have Meg back on is just because perspective is so important. And you talk a lot on your Instagram to your community about impostor syndrome. I saw you polling, you know, a couple of months ago, like, what types of experiences are you having that brings this up? How often are you experiencing it? And then tips to combat it. 

So, you just started a new coaching program. And before we started recording, you were talking a little bit about experiencing your own impostor syndrome. So, can you tell us a little bit about what that's looking like? And just how that manifests for you? 

MEGAN KELLY: Yeah, absolutely. So, I think when I was on your show, or previously, I just had my therapy practice, and I was running the Antiwork Therapist Instagram page, which felt like they were their own realms of impostor syndrome, right? Like, showing up as a therapist in private practice you get all of those feelings, and then being very present on social media, right? That comes with these different aspects of feeling like an impostor. 

So, with this new venture that I'm in with my coaching business, there's been this sense of, you know, especially on Antiwork Therapist, I was working on building a community, primarily, around just destigmatizing how hard it can be sometimes to be a therapist. And you know, destigmatizing, like sometimes people want to leave the industry, sometimes they want to leave private practice, or they want to go into private practice. And that's all perfectly fine.

You know, so, as I started my coaching business, I started having these feelings of like, well, I'm just an Instagram person. Like, why would these people actually listen to me when it comes to building a practice? Or the best way to do that, right? Like, I've had my practice for a year. So, why should they listen to me?

And it's taken a lot for me to get to this place where I can look at what I've been able to do and the community that I build and say, like, there might actually be some people who find value in not just like a tangible service or a product, which coaching can be, but more strangely, like, they find value in my words, and the ideas that I have, which is really weird. Like, you want to pay me for my thoughts? Okay, all right. Like, that's cool.

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, that's such a good point, right? Like, the realization of coaching can be tangible, and there could be action steps, and you know, all the blueprints, and startup guides in the world, do this, then do this, then do this. But so often what people are paying for is the know, like, and trust factor, and the personality behind the words that are coming out because I also do private practice coaching not so much anymore after my throat surgery, but was doing a lot of it. And I kept thinking, anybody can do this. Like, anybody can do like, get your EIN, set up your CAQH, get your NPI. You know, if you want to do insurance, do this, if you want to do private pay do this. 

But I started to realize like, what people are really coming to my coaching programs, and my retreats, and whatever else for it is how I show up? And I think that can create that impostor syndrome where you're thinking, "What the hell am I really doing here?"

MEGAN KELLY: Oh, for sure.

PATRICK CASALE: "Like, why are people following, subscribing, downloading, sharing, buying? Like, I'm just being me." But I think by being authentic and showing up authentically as a presence and being consistent in your values and your messaging, you're also kind of giving someone else permission to do the same thing. And there's so much value in that. And it's so easily often overlooked.

MEGAN KELLY: Absolutely, yeah. And that's one of the aspects of this that has taken some time to get used to. And I say tongue in cheek, you know, being a micro-influencer, and I still like, I cringe at that thought. You know, I have people around me, like my old business coach and my husband are both like, "Hey, regardless of what you call it, like there's an audience here for your work." And I'm like, "Yeah, but it's just social media. Like, that's silly."

But it's true, right? Like, folks like us who are starting businesses, who are wanting to get ourselves out there and not just sell a tangible service, but thoughts, ideas, personality, trustworthiness, we get to this point where it's like, "Oh, these folks actually maybe like me, and what they see of me, and what I put out there."

And there's this balancing point of like, I'm not going to share my entire life story, but I don't want to show up in a way that's like, I'm posting all this stuff, and like sharing all this stuff, but it doesn't feel real to me. And when people get into session with me, then they're like, "Oh, you're not who I thought you were." I can't abide by that, either. 

So, it feels like a delicate balance at times, but also one, that as compared to previous roles that I've had both in and outside of the mental health world, it feels so much better to just be like, yeah, I mean, this is what I think. Like, I'm going to swear, and I'm going to tell you what I think about insurance. Like, that's what it is. And people tend to like that.

PATRICK CASALE: I find so often that authenticity and moving into a place where you feel really authentic is kind of like being in alignment with who you are in terms of your values and your core beliefs. So, when you're moving in that space, and you're really being authentic, people are attracted to that because so often we hold back from really being ourselves in this profession, and we shouldn't look like this, we shouldn't talk like this, we shouldn't write like this, etc. 

And I try to help, you know, smash those fucking stigmas all the time because it's just ridiculous. But as you develop influencer status and call it what you will, micro-influencer. I mean, how many Instagram followers do you have at this point in time?

MEGAN KELLY: As of January of 2023, there's about 16,000. 

PATRICK CASALE: That's a lot of people.


PATRICK CASALE: And I think about that, too. Like, between my podcast and my Facebook group, and my newsletter, and my Instagram, there's at least 50,000 people, maybe more. But people think they know me more than I know them, which is unsettling in a lot of ways. Not that I don't appreciate like having this presence that I've created. But I'm an introvert, I am socially awkward as hell, I'm autistic, I don't really enjoy socializing. So, I have had people come up to me in different parts of North Carolina, out when I'm with my friends, like, "Hey, I've been trying to match up your tattoos to your profile picture, but I listen to your podcast, and I'm in your Facebook group." And I'm like, "Whoa."


PATRICK CASALE: That felt very uncomfortable. But nevertheless, my point being is like, even when you start to build an audience, and you start to see that your products are selling, and people are really absorbing what you're putting out to the world, that insecurity still exists. And I think so often the impostor syndrome conversation is centered around like startup, and new business owners, or therapist, or practitioners. But in reality, it follows you even as you create and grow, "Success." It just shows up in a different way. 

So, like for me, the other night I woke up at 3 am with all these racing anxiety, insecure thoughts of like, "You're not doing enough. Why aren't you creating this? How come you're not collaborating with so and so, and you're not doing all the things." And like, that's the insecure anxious irrational brain. 

The rational brain's like, "You just had major throat surgery and hosted a retreat two months later. You have four more that are going this year and sold out, your podcast is flourishing. What are you fucking doing?"

And that insecurity, right, that really shows up is debilitating. And for newer clinicians and business owners that shows up, especially, when you're like, "Who the hell am I to charge X amount of money for someone to come and see me when in the conversation or in the therapy session half the time I'm thinking, "This person needs a therapist. Oh, wait, I'm the therapist." 

MEGAN KELLY: Oh, shit, yeah. Totally, yes. And I still have those moments as a therapist for sure where I'm like, "Oh, like, I really want to show up in the best way here." And like, "Oh, my goodness, like, how are we going to work through this?"

And typically speaking, the more time I've had in that space, the more comfortable I feel with admitting, hey, I'm not quite sure where to go with this. Can we talk about it? You know, so inviting those clients into that process, I find is really helpful in the moment of impostor syndrome. 

But of course, like with my coaching business, that's new to me now, and it's a completely different realm where I'm not providing therapeutic services, I'm essentially helping other clinicians understand how to charge fees that are not based off of like an analysis of what everybody else on Psych Today is charging, and how to talk about themselves in a way that they feel actually represents who they are as a clinician.

And even recently, I had a client who's interested in like more creative writing and marketing writing mentorship as part of their coaching. And I'm like, I have been a writer for as long as I can remember, since I was a child, and I'm still like, "Oh, shit. Can I actually mentor somebody in writing? Like, I don't know what the fuck I'm doing? I don't know how to write, I type things on my phone, and that's how it…" Yeah. 

So yeah, it absolutely, like, even as you grow an audience, or you grow a business, and you see the success, like, tangibly in the numbers or whatever measure of success you have, it's still there. Like, yeah, I may have had my highest, you know, net income month, but I just don't think it's really working. Like, what the hell is that? 

PATRICK CASALE: It's also like, when is the bottom going to fall out? 


PATRICK CASALE: When is this, like, because I think so much of impostor syndrome is the fraudulence piece that I'm a fraud, someone's going to find out that I don't know what I'm doing, right? That's a major component, you kind of alluded to that. And it's also like, this success isn't real. Like, I don't deserve to be successful, or I just lucked into this. And next month, all of a sudden, all of these things are going to stop working, and it's never going to work again, and I remember when I was seeing clients, you know, what would happen early on in my private practice career was like, the phone's going to stop ringing, have bad clinical interaction where it just isn't a good fit, that I'm the worst therapist in the world, nobody's ever going to call me again, oh, my cancellation policy isn't actually a policy, so I couldn't charge the client for not showing up, I'm a terrible business owner. All of those thoughts start to ramp up. 

And it's really easy for that to start spiraling. And if you're newer into being a therapist, or a private practice owner, or an entrepreneur, the bumps in the road that come with it naturally, just based on the profession, and the choice of being a small business owner can really rock you off course and make you want to give up if you don't know how to navigate through this because that stuff really starts to create that scarcity, anxious mentality of like, "I've got to take everyone. Oh, this client can't pay me my rate. How about $12 an hour instead of 100?" It's like-

MEGAN KELLY: Right, I'll do anything.

PATRICK CASALE: And this is really [INDISCERNIBLE 00:13:32]. It just like, shows up in your marketing, it shows up in your networking, and then you're like, throwing your name into every referral post imaginable, even though you don't work with kids, or you don't take this insurance. It really helps to start to have strategies, how to navigate when these feelings and these thoughts come up.

MEGAN KELLY: Yes, absolutely. And I think that was one of the biggest, if not the biggest stumbling blocks for me in the first year of my private practice was learning how to endure the bumps in the road and seeing them not as like, well, this is the bumper that is going to make the whole vehicle just fall apart on the road, being able to like broaden my view and say, that was uncomfortable, but like, I'm still going here. Like, yes, I may have had a client who objected to my cancellation policy, and they decided just to not show up anymore. That feels like shit. But I have these 20 other people with whom I've had the same exact conversation, and they're all still here. The one that's so easy to look at the one case where, yeah, that sucks. Like, I like working with this person, but it doesn't work for them. But why do I have to let my brain turn that into the entirety of the story?

So, as I've kind of learned, I've had to work so, so hard on like, just telling myself a shitty day, or a shitty week is not a predictor of a shitty month, year or so. Like, things change all the time. And it's more than likely going to be okay. It's going to be fine. And [CROSSTALK 00:15:15].

PATRICK CASALE: All you've ever done actually points to it being okay, right?


PATRICK CASALE: We hyper-focus on the negative as human beings and then we also hyper-focus on the very short term instead of the long term. So, what Meg is saying is so typical of working with human beings where behavior is unpredictable, and one bad or negative interaction does not mean that the rest of your career is now going to be tarnished and just full of these interactions. And I own a group practice that has… we have 15 clinicians right now and some of our clinicians will get into that anxiety mindset of like, bad client interaction, not getting calls, I'm never getting calls again. I'm like, "Pump the brakes. Like, take some breaths, let's do some breathing. Let's step away from, like, being on social media where we get into comparison traps. And let's go back to what works. Let's get back to basics, networking, putting your information on social media. Again, like the things that were working, but when you got really busy, you stopped doing because you didn't feel like you have the time or it wasn't as important." 

And the relationships that you established during networking are crucial because you can reach out to, you know, so and so and say, "Hey, I have an opening, if anyone comes your way, that's a good fit, let me know." And you'll be full again in a week. But we're always so focused on that one moment, like you said, and then all of a sudden everything just goes to pieces. 

MEGAN KELLY: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, I will say that it gets slightly easier over time, not that it goes away. And you know, I'd say this with a caveat, and this is perhaps my impostor syndrome coming out saying, "Well, I've only been doing this for like a year." 

But I would say like, that first year, maybe just expect that it's going to come out for you and know that that's part of the process, and it doesn't have to mean the biggest thing in the world is happening because you're having those feelings which I… when you're in the moment I'll admit it's really hard to take that perspective. But again, over time, being mindful of the fact that like, yep, we're working with human beings, humans are unpredictable, even the relationships that you feel very secure in those may end unexpectedly. That shit happens. 

PATRICK CASALE: And those [CROSSTALK 00:17:33], they hit you hard. 

MEGAN KELLY: Oh, my gosh, yeah.

PATRICK CASALE: [CROSSTALK 00:17:37] fucking client just ghosted me, and then you unravel very quickly. 

MEGAN KELLY: Yeah. What did I do? Did I say something? What the fuck happened? Did I miss something? Were they trying to tell me this whole time has this all been an entire, like, it's a farce, nothing worked, and they just couldn't tell me face to face that I suck so hard and they just decided to disappear, which is like, probably not true, more than likely.

PATRICK CASALE: Nine times out of 10 they call you like four days later, and they're like, "Oh, my God, I was on vacation and I completely forgot that this appointment even existed. I'm so sorry. Oh, my God, my brain went to, like, these places that it does not need to go."

But you were so right about when you're starting out the level of insecurity is going to be quite high, it's something new, right? Like, it's a risk that you've taken. Our brains and our nervous systems are trying to prevent us from taking risks because it's scary. And that's how our genetics have developed to prevent us from doing harm. So, when we start to step out of our comfort zones, we're going to get that reaction of, oof, this is the wrong decision, or I'm not good at this, or we're going to search for those reasons. 

It's like, when you buy a black car, and you see a black car on the highway, it's just the reality that you're going to start to focus on that and be more aware of it. But as you go, like Meg mentioned, it's going to kind of exist, but it's going to be a little bit quieter. And it's not going to be as paralyzing or debilitating. Like, it's still going to ride along with you in the car, but it's maybe going to be on the sidecar of the motorcycle instead of steering. 

And it's good. I think impostor syndrome is also good because we need humility in the work that we do. And I think it's good to question our decisions. I just don't love when I start to see like, how much it can prevent and paralyze from moving forward. 

MEGAN KELLY: Yeah, absolutely. And that's where it becomes the issue, is when you get so spun out that you can't make a move forward, where it's stopping you from even taking some small steps toward changing something or even just staying the course. And that's something that I really focus a lot on for myself. And this is one of the big things that has helped and something that I talk about with my coaching clients now is small steps, like, oh, my God, you have to take small steps. 

Naturally, therapists tend to be very high-achieving folks who are very driven, and motivated, and we have a lot of good to give. And those of us who want to go into private practice or some other venture, we have even bigger drive, right? And a lot of perfectionistic traits, which can lead us to be like, "If I'm not full in two months then I'm a fucking failure because everybody else is full in two months and they're making $100,000 in their first year. So, obviously, I'm doing it wrong." 

Like, please just like, try not to base it off of what everybody else is doing. You're going to see a lot of people saying a lot of things, focus on what you actually need, like what do you need? And what do you want? And take small like, even if it feels like stupid small, take stupid small steps at first because those really matter. Yeah, that's just been so important for me as I've gone along, and like, just take it back, what is the small thing you can do right now to keep going forward.

PATRICK CASALE: Love it. It's good advice. Baby steps are still steps, we applaud them for babies because they're big milestones in development. And I think just this simple act of like, putting it out to the world sometimes is horrifying in your head. And once you do it, it's like, "Oh, the world is still spinning." 

So, I just got done teaching my first two-day content creation course of the year, I do them quarterly, and what I'm trying to do is help clinicians give themselves permission to be themselves, embrace their language, stop talking like a walking DSM, be relatable, all the things that, you know, you and I both talk about to our audience, just people just kind of take that breath once they finally arrive at that, but then the next step that I always have them do is put it out to the world in the Facebook group that I moderate because it's a safe place to do it. 

And it's scary, but then you start getting positive feedback about how your content came out, or who you're speaking to, or the way you wrote something. And it's like, okay, this doesn't have to be as horrifying as I'm making it out to be. 

And another thing I would say, because you mentioned, you know, therapists being high achieving, and entrepreneurs even more, so if you're going into private practice, or starting a small business, you are probably someone who really likes the challenge, and taking that risk, and seeing it come to fruition. 

So, create a Google Drive folder of all of your accomplishments, your achievements, any testimonials, anytime you have a good moment that you can refer back to almost like EMDR work where it's that container, it's that guiding reference point to kind of say, like, okay, when my brain is telling me that I can't do A, B, and C, here are a million examples of the times that I did because it is so easy to get lost, like you said, in the small one-time negative instance, instead of looking at the big picture. 

And that means photographs of maybe your office, or the fact that you graduated with your masters or anything, you know, positive that a client said to your colleague, and said. Like, put it all in that folder, refer back to it off because it's so easy to get caught up in the mindset of you're not doing enough, which is a big part of impostor syndrome comparison trap, especially, on social media, like Meg said, people posting, "I made $100,000 this year. I got full in two months." You don't know what the fuck is going on behind the scenes, first and foremost, you don't know how much that person has struggled to get to where they're at. 

So, just really trying hard to not fall into that. I know it's easy and I know it's easier said than done, but just having these resources available for those opportunities when that thought, or that voice or that impostor syndrome starts to rear its head. 

MEGAN KELLY: Absolutely, yeah. And I mean, to be fair, to come back to that point of, "Oh, I made $100,000 this year." Like, I personally did that in my first year of practice. And what it was not widely shared until later on was I was fucking miserable for the first four months. I was so tired, I was exhausted, I was depressed. Like, by the end of the first four months, I was like, "I don't want to fucking do this anymore. I am so tired."

So, at the time, yeah, looking at the numbers, it felt great, and sharing it was one of those like, points where I could say, "Hey, look at me." But I mean, Patrick's absolutely right. Like, you don't know the people who are in those places. Yes, they may be having financial success, but holy shit. Like, if it's not a sustainable way of doing that there could be some real struggle happening there. So, yeah, there's so much more that goes into it than just what you see out there in the world.

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, absolutely. And you should celebrate your successes. Please don't get me wrong. Like, it's important to put these out to the world too, to also showcase the fact that this can be done, you can help people, you can make money, both can exist, and someone could make $100,000 and be working 60 hours a week, seeing clients at like $40 an hour, you just don't know. 

So, again, everyone's individualized entrepreneurial journey is going to be different. And take bits and pieces away from, you know, those who are offering good advice like people like Meg, people like myself. There's plenty of people out there giving great advice and support. But it doesn't all have to be for you. And it's important to start to make decisions that make sense for you because again, going back to your why when you start a business is really important that will help you get through the tough times, especially, when impostor syndrome's showing up and telling you, you didn't do enough, you're not going to be successful, you're fraudulent, you just lucked into… whatever that voice is saying. And there are strategies to combat how to navigate this. And Meg, I was just curious, do you have any favorites that you like to go to when this is coming out for our audience?

MEGAN KELLY: Yeah, I mean, I hope I'm not miss attributing this, I think it's called cognitive diffusion, right? Like, there's this aspect of giving yourself a little bit of distance from the thoughts that come up, which I personally found really helpful, especially, when I was able to get myself back on board with continuing down this path, I would just start to say to myself, there's a part of my brain or my brain in this moment wants to throw an absolute fit. Like, this thing happened, my brain is naturally going to go to this place of feeling very insecure, and feeling really down, or even angry. And, okay, like, that's to be expected, this isn't abnormal for me, this has happened before. And like I don't have to let that, as you said, be steering the motorcycle. That thought feeling part of me can be riding alongside me in addition to the part of me that can say this is a moment in time, this is not the entirety of your business.

Also, I think just personally getting better at letting myself take naps, and not just resting but actually taking naps, which is, you know, in the broader scheme of things, like you can be so hyper-focused on everything in your business because, especially, when it's new, there's so much to pay attention to. But the business can be okay if you step away for a couple hours a day. Like, it's not going to fall apart because you're not staring at the screen, because you're not madly marketing yourself or reaching out, like, you can actually take some time away.

So, yeah, I mean, allowing myself a little bit of distance from those thoughts and acknowledging them as normal, but not like the only thing to pay attention to. And then, legitimately, giving myself time to just not think about my business. Those have been really helpful things for me,

PATRICK CASALE: Those are some really good tips. And I really like number two, especially, of being able to give your cell phone time away from your business because staring at the screen, staring at the phone, the phone's not going to just start ringing because you're like focused on it. I actually found it to be the opposite. Anytime I was highly anxious about my business to just step away, like Meg said, that energy is real, and the ability to then breathe some space into this and not be marketing or approaching your business from this mindset of like, holy shit! This is panic mode all the time because that will show up in how you show up on the phone, via correspondence via email, social media messaging. Like, it will show up in that. So, being able to give yourself permission to step away really important. 

Some strategies that I really like for everyone listening who's experiencing any of this stuff, make it playful. Like, impostor syndrome is very much tied to childhood attachment wounding, in my belief, and I talk about this a lot. And if you can make that voice playful, or give it a funny accent, or a funny name, or do something playful when it's coming up, it will make it a lot more manageable. I almost think about Harry Potter and like the bow guards, the fears that the kids have, and how they tame those fears is making them playful so that they don't overwhelm them, they don't paralyze them from moving forward. 

I think, also, perfectionism is a major component of impostor syndrome. When you're starting something new that you haven't done before, affirmations of like writing it down, giving yourself permission to make mistakes, you learn from mistakes, we learn from failures, we learn from things that don't work. So, just being able to visualize that and bringing that into consciousness of like, it's okay for me to struggle when I do something new because I've never done it before. And that also means trying really hard to embrace that progress not perfection mindset of like, my website can exist and not be perfect, my Psychology Today can exist and not be perfect. 

One, because it never will be, but two, because visibility and being able to be found is much better than non-existent because you don't like the way something's written or a picture that's on there doesn't look great. I would much rather have it be out to the world, and then edit, and revise in real-time. But I also really believe in the power of imperfect action, building the plane as you fly it, so to speak because it's just never going to be a finished perfect product.

MEGAN KELLY: Right, exactly. And to that end, as well, there have been times, maybe more specifically with, like the Instagram presence that I have, where I've tried some things in that realm. There was at one point where I tried to have a membership space early on in the creation of that page. And to be fair, there were some really cool interactions that happened in that membership space, and some really cool people, but it ended up not working. Like, I couldn't sustain it, there wasn't the level of engagement that I needed or membership, in general, to make it feasible. So, this is something that, like, I had set it up so people could purchase a year-long membership, it was going to be this big thing. And I ended up shuttering it after four months.

And at the time, I describe it as like, it felt really tail between the legs, right? Like, it was like, "This makes me look so bad." But the way that I tried to frame it, and I did it very publicly because I knew that I was challenging myself to sit with that feeling of failure is I actually framed it as a good news, "I'm shutting down the membership." Even though it felt very raw for me, and I was like, I feel like I'm letting people down and this wasn't what I wanted, I framed this sense of failure as like, "Fuck it. Yay, me. Like, I did something and it did not work." That sucks. But also, this means that I am acknowledging that, and like, I want to talk about this publicly, and I want to talk about why I'm shutting this down, and why I'm shifting my focus. 

And to be quite honest… and there was another time where I had a different program that I was like, "I'm going to do this." And I was like, "No, I'm not." The times where I'd actually talked openly about failure, or about changing my mind, or saying I wanted to do this thing, but I realized I could not, that has been when I've gotten some of the most positive responses, the most like, "Thank you for talking about this." I'm like, "Oh, well, that was silly to be scared of."

PATRICK CASALE: I love that because, again, it's another example of authentically showing up, right? Not putting on this facade, not trying to like, manipulate the situation. It's just like, this is the reality. I tried this thing, it didn't work for whatever reason, or I'm not passionate about it anymore and I can't show up the way I want to show up. People respond to that because it's relatable. Again, it's giving people permission to be themselves and to make mistakes because if we are always operating from this has to be perfect, this has to be squared away, I can't make this mistake. If I make this mistake, I'm a failure, your business isn't going to last, it's just not going to last with that constant mentality, and worry, and anxiety, and the ability to just be like, "Yeah, this didn't work and this is how I'm going to approach it." I give you a lot of respect. And that's, you know, certainly how I operate as well. And I think that's when I get the most engagement. When I show up as myself, when I share my struggle when I share mistakes that I've made people are like, "Oh, you can make mistakes and still be successful." 

And it's like, "Yeah, we all make mistakes all the time and we have to learn." Because that's all mistakes are, right? Like, mistakes, failures, all this stuff is just teachable. It's a lesson that you can learn and then adapt as you go, "Oh, this didn't work, oh, this policy isn't created." Okay, let me revise it. Let me edit it. Let me improve it. Let me scrap it. Let me do something different. And I think, you know, the most successful people in small business ownership are really good at doing that.

MEGAN KELLY: Yeah. Well, I would even argue to a certain extent that you kind of have to make mistakes to be successful. I mean, you could probably find a business owner who never made a mistake, but, you know, to what extent are they experiencing success in the way that they really want to and that feels good? Maybe some folks do. Like, I don't know. But-

PATRICK CASALE: If you're out there, I'd love to hear from you, because I [CROSSTALK 00:35:11]-



MEGAN KELLY: Please be my coach because like, I don't know what's going on. 

PATRICK CASALE: I don't think I would trust someone who is like, "I've been in business, I've never made a mistake, everything's been perfect the entire time. I don't get anxious. I don't get insecure, never had impostor syndrome." Seems a bit narcissistic to me. 

I'll be talking about impostor syndrome at a summit as a keynote speaker in Costa Rica next month. And I will have massive impostor syndrome talking about impostor syndrome, and my heart will be eating out of my fucking chest. And I will name that from minute one. And that will help me drop in. But it will also help the audience drop in because-

MEGAN KELLY: Absolutely. 

PATRICK CASALE: …it's just that vulnerability moment of like, this is the real experience here and now let's have this really emotionally charged powerful conversation.

MEGAN KELLY: Yeah, 100%. And I guess that's what I would encourage folks to do as they're able to expand into those places that feel more edgy, expand into a space where you can actively experience the very thing that you don't want people to know about and name it. Name like, yep, I had a failure, a perceived failure. I had a really embarrassing moment, I'm feeling really insecure. I feel like an impostor right now. This is how it shows up for me. And nine times out of 10 you're going to have somebody come up and say, like, "Yeah, yeah, me too. And I'm glad you said something because like, I was scared shitless that I couldn't say the thing, but here we are talking about it now."

PATRICK CASALE: Exactly. It helps normalize the human experience, it helps just validate because so often we can get stuck in that mentality of like, I'm the only one who struggles with this. But then once you start openly talking about it, it's like, oh, no, there are a lot of people out there who are doing the same thing. 

And that's why in my group coaching I try really hard to get everyone involved. And what I will pay attention to is everyone head nodding, everyone clapping, everyone like kind of showing that they agree with what the speaker is saying at the time. And I will highlight that because what I want to try to show is that you are not alone in this. If you are experiencing anxiety and insecurity about putting yourself out to the world, creating captivating, real authentic content, whatever the case may be, but you're scared about the response, you are not alone in that. 

And to see everyone start to be like, "Oh, you also feel that way? You also feel that way? You know, you have these many clients, but you're still experiencing this thing? You live in this part of the country, you're still experiencing this thing?" This is a normal part of the human condition. So, just really trying to embrace the fact that like, we all have these emotions, and struggles, and anxieties to some degree or another on some sort of spectrum. 

So, you're definitely not alone out there if you're listening to this right now. And, you know, I hope this conversation has been helpful because that's the goal here, is to highlight and normalize fear and failure because without that we have such unrealistic expectations, and we start to really destroy ourselves psychologically because we are holding ourselves to these standards and expectations that will never be reached.

MEGAN KELLY: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I mean, and kind of to that last point, I recently started a group coaching experience for therapists who are considering leaving the therapy field altogether. And there's five people in there, and we just had our first meeting last week. And one of the main things that everybody said was, "I wasn't sure what to expect, but holy shit, I'm so glad that, like, I'm not alone. Like, everybody else in this group feels some level of a sadness, fear, and resentment towards the industry. Like, I'm not alone in feeling that anymore. And that's a really just such a fantastic thing." So, yes, I would echo that, like, yeah, we're all in.

PATRICK CASALE: That's a beautiful offering. I mean, that's wonderful because again, it's just normalizing experience y'all. Like, we both can tell you you're not alone in any of these feelings. And I hope this episode has been helpful. 

Meg, thanks again for just being a great repeat guest and having such a wonderful influence on the community in general. And just please tell the audience where they can find more of what you're currently offering. 

MEGAN KELLY: Yeah, absolutely. Well, thanks for having me again. I really enjoy all the work that you do, so definitely appreciate it. 

Yeah, you can find me on Instagram at the Antiwork Therapist. You can also find my coaching offerings at Informer Coaching on Instagram, and then And I can provide those links to you to put in the show notes. But yeah, that's where you'll find me.

PATRICK CASALE: Thank you so much. And we will have all of that information in the show notes for everyone who wants it available to them. Thanks to everyone listening to the All Things Private Practice Podcast. New episodes out every single Sunday on all major platforms. Like, download, subscribe, and share. Doubt yourself, do it anyway. We'll see you next week. Thanks, Meg.



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