The reason you find yourself in your success is that you had the courage and persistence to follow your dreams knowing there aren’t many ahead of you laying the path and offering guidance. You are a warrior and it’s a lot to maneuver by yourself through any unknown. There will be many times when you are one of the few, but it’s not because you are an imposter; it’s because you are a leader.

Intro {Music begins}


I am Consuelo Crosby –  born with both sides of my brain fighting for attention.. structural engineer & creative, mother & mentor, center of any spontaneous fiesta if I’ve had my morning latte… I give it all to being a 1st generation Peruvian badass chica!

So grateful you’re here today, wanting to shed that armor, relax into your truth, your value… pick up your salsa step, tune out what’s getting to you and be lifted from goddesses in generations past that taught us to live life large and out loud… cuz we’re not blending in… 

LIFE LNXX… knowledge you didn’t even know you had TO BE THE BADASS CHICA YOU WERE BORN TO BE!

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Hola Chicas

Welcome to another midweek reset to your mindset and to this fabulous Rocktober start! Definitely a high energy time of year for most with the need to wrap things up in Q4  and fast forwarding to the Holidays. Still, hope you took some time to decompress with last week’s episode and sit with yourself for a moment. Quiet time with yourself in a soothing place gives your brain a chance to turn off so you can hear what your soul is talking about. The visions and dreams you have for yourself, that’s your soul speaking and loving yourself first, above all  things in life, that’s what’s going to get you there.

October 1 is really significant to me since it is the beginning of Birthmonth! Yes, birth month. None of us should be celebrated on only one day of the year. You are all much more valuable than a one day  recognition so stretch out the celebration on your next birthmonth. Take as much time as you want to celebrate yourself. Take the whole year! I’ll join you.

It also is the the day I chose to remarry four years ago, after 22 years of being single with my daughters, just the three of us. Woof! My husband and I were married in Spain in the region of Catalonia, that’s the state that has its capital of Barcelona on the Mediterranean.

And that wedding went on until four in the morning. I should have known it was going to be a little bit of a rager when the caterer told us, in advance, not to worry about any of the beverages. He was going to make sure we had a bottle of wine per person, not per table, per person.

And then the next day was the Paella party followed by a flip cup match that went on until two in the morning. I swear, I’m still recovering from that, but it’s four years now. I’m kind of proud of myself because just like Monica said, “Oh my god, I have to live with a boy!” And, it’s not my dog. Aaah! I’m proud.

Identity and Independence

Catalonia has always viewed itself separate from Spain, an independent entity that wants its freedom from national rule beyond its current self-governance. It’s like here in the US, there’s the country and there’s the states. But, they see themselves even more independent than we do here, which I think these days, if you look around, these days we might be following them. 

What’s amazing is that on October 1, 2017, our wedding day, Catalonia also chose that day to rebelliously vote for independence. They hadn’t brought up the topic or voted for this in 10 years prior but on that day, a Sunday, Catalonia joined us; me and my husband, were all voting to separate ourselves from our past and seek a new, independent sense of self. 

It’s powerful and so not generally accepted by those who fear independent freedom of individuals that are under their governance. We see a lot of it today internally in our workplace and throughout the political world stage. Identity is a base foundation to living true to oneself. Without the affirmation of identity, as we individually choose to be seen, we tend to question our decisions that are based in our truth and that may lead to self doubt. We find ourselves in situations that we are not comfortable in. 

But, that does not mean we do not belong there. Far from it! Again, we need to step back and understand whether we are in our situation because our soul led us there or our brains. How have you been operating all these years, from within or from what others expected of you? If you have been operating from within, then you know you have been putting in some hard work to rise into your current position. Everything you have done up until now has been to seek your independence in all its attributes of being your true self. You knew you would be one of the few, that didn’t stop you from taking on the battle.

And yet, we know that this effort, this dedicated hard work is not always met with support and acknowledgement, right? If anything, various outside entities tend to throw up roadblocks and discouragement, regardless of their relationship to you. It can be really defeating. It’s their fear that you will achieve your independence and be free of their power over you, something that makes them feel superior and safe. Unfortunately, no matter how strong we are individually, or how long we have fought the resistance for our own independence, that repetitive resistance may wear us down and we begin to doubt ourselves, we doubt our choices and doubt whether we belong. 

Imposter Syndrome

This is what we are talking about today. The doubt that creeps into our determination and begins to unravel our belief, unravel our self love and our place of belonging. The instance when suddenly, and it is sudden, we look up from our determination and doubt that we belong in the place that we have worked so hard to get to. That moment when Imposter Syndrome kicks in… It’s wicked! 

Although I’ve experienced this, I didn’t know there was a term for it. I had discovered the term, “imposter syndrome”, when I was attending USC in 2013 for my Masters in Communication Management. Having been the only woman in my engineering classes, I was well aware of being in that spotlight. I would be met at the door with the statements, “Home Ec is in the other building. You don’t belong here.” Yeah, when you’re the butt of the joke, it’s not as funny as they all seem, is it? Yes, Home Economics was a major in the 80’s. It was a pretty dark place for women 35 years ago.

But more so, this term made me frustrated and sad. The fact that this discrimination had created a sense of unworthiness and  rooted itself in the minds of such talented and intelligent people really bothered me. I really thought that this sensation was limited to the toxic environment of the male dominated fields but now, I’m seeing it across the industries because of the rise in women and  people of color into leadership. We can explain the reasons for women feeling like imposters in general  in the male dominated fields; that becomes a gender statement. 

It becomes much more personal and threatens our identity when women, especially latinas, black and indigenous women, find ourselves alone in leadership positions where much of the power struggle begins to happen. For women overall, we know that it is around 20 to 25% that are in leadership positions. But still, one out of four or one out of five doesn’t feel very comfortable, right? If you went out, just you and five guys, odds are they aren’t going to be interested in what you have to say. If you are a woman of color, that rapidly falls to almost zero. 

It saddens me that so many of you experience this feeling on a regular basis, after all these decades of trying to change it. But more so, because you worked so hard to reach your success by overcoming the intentional barricades placed to disrupt your rise. After 30 years of striving towards proficiency and prowess in your field, proving that yes, you most definitely belong in your place of success,  it’s wrong that you should be left to feel like an imposter. This is  your place of expertise!

Still, there’s some self reflection to do here. For as much as you have persevered against the established odds of being one of the few that said, “Oh, hell to the no! are you keeping me back…” , it is a lonely  journey. It does get exhausting being the only one, or one of the few, and not having support from above or from your peer group. We tend to look around and want some type of security, some known that we can rely on to define how we feel about being one of the few. We are fighters, grabbing hold of every little stronghold that will get us to the next step. 

But, this is where you have to be careful. In an effort to define your feelings, to settle your spirituality, there is a tendency to make imposter syndrome your friend. This is really important to acknowledge and process out. Many of our emotions we tend to assign to a structured known that defines us rather than embracing the emotion as part of us, that shows up now and then and throws things a little sideways. Imposter syndrome is not your security blanket and it does not define you. It is merely your brain sending out a questioning signal of “Wait, what’s up here? I don’t see anything familiar” and it’s up to you in your truth to quell its chatter, to soothe its fear and remind it that you’ve got this. You must not pass over your strength, your fighting spirit to someone who will never need it in these moments of doubt.

Imposter Syndrome Is Not Your Friend

But still, how is it that imposter syndrome becoming more prominent when currently more women and people of color are entering professional fields that once blocked their entry? Why is imposter syndrome increasing at the same time that this population of professionals  is increasing? It should be just the opposite. As more equity in numbers is reached, less imposter syndrome should be occurring. What are we missing? Where is the comfort zone? Why are we, and by we  I mean – all of us marginalized by the current systems, why are we considered the outliers when we have earned accolades in our fields of expertise ? 

So, I think the issue is twofold; one, there’s the people who instigated these systems in an attempt to maintain the power and two, there’s the people who instigated these systems in an attempt to maintain the power. I’m not kidding. You hold all the power in these scenarios even when you feel like you are the one that doesn’t belong. Not them. You hold more expertise and more capacity to outperform the typical system because you had to fight harder to get to the same point as your peers. They put the burden on you in order to maintain the system they have.

Let me get you in on a big secret that’s not really a secret but that we still struggle to take hold of. The system that is in place at work, in politics, in relationship has been built on the premise of hierarchy; top to bottom, power to dependent. The burden is placed on others to perform in order to keep the system in place. Remember, women weren’t even allowed to get a credit card without a male cosigner until after 1975. That wasn’t very long ago and manhy of you were on the verge of being born. People of color were legally blocked from purchasing houses in neighborhoods as stated in the legal Deeds of the property. These written documents still exist. 

That’s insane! But this is the framework that is still supporting the current systems in our workplace, and where we live and of course, it’s going to affect how people think, how they view women and people of color. 

The people that instigated these systems brought other people  in that mimicked them and supported these biases. The current leadership was most likely not elevated to their positions based on potential and expertise but rather, they were next in line, a line that didn’t include women and people of color. They just have been primed to play the part. They literally have been taught the script and become major players in a fictional culture.  The conclusion: You have more knowledge, more power and more strategic ability for leadership positions because you have had to use these talents to get you to this point, unlike the players in this fictional culture. 

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. Like I said, this isn’t really a secret. Why then does imposter syndrome still grab at you and have that self doubt rising? Because we have some behaviors still in place that are so rooted from the struggle of rising in our success that we don’t realize they are actually bad habits. Remember, bad habits are formed to compensate for feeling uneasy or hurt. It’s not entirely our fault because the system was built to be intentionally oppressive. But still, we do have the power to redefine how we look at things so we can make good habits. 

Habits that Lead to Imposter Syndrome

Ok, so what are these bad habits? What bad habits did we create in battling through the biased system? I think there’s a couple of main players here and this time, actually two different ones. One, the need to prove to others that we are good enough and two, the hesitancy  to ask for help. Think about that for a minute. Think how these two areas play into your everyday life and just how long you have had these feelings. 

We know where they came from. We have been challenged all our lives. Most likely, the need to prove to others that we are good enough started at a very young age. Typically, associated with gender or identity, of being told you couldn’t do something because you were a girl or that you didn’t belong because you didn’t look like the majority of players that the system had put in place. Thankfully, you didn’t believe them because you fought forward, you fought through it. You were determined to show them that you were most definitely good enough, and more so, better than most because of what you were up against. You were determined to show yourself that you could do it. 

But just how far did you stretch yourself out to prove the system wrong? How much harder did you work to get to your success than those in the system? And was it good enough then? Probably not. Look at Simone Biles; her epic, never-been-done-before, crazy part of her routine that they wouldn’t even score because it had never been done before. Shouldn’t that make it off the charts? No, they just moved the bar. You’re still not good enough. I mean that moment alone shows you that you’re not only good enough but that you’re off their scale of measurement! You may have been so determined day in and day out that you forgot to settle into the fact that yes, indeed, you have nothing more to prove to anyone because you’re so much higher than them. 

So how do we reverse this first feeling of inadequacy that feeds this imposter syndrome? By reversing the system and demanding accountability from above. Rather than putting the burden on ourselves, in order to keep this system in place, we place the burden on the system. The burden of adequacy can be challenged upwardly, just like the phenom women of the US Gymnastic and Soccer teams. Those women aren’t fighting for recognition. They have come to realize, “Oh no, we are far superior.” And the world recognizes it. They stand fully confident in their stellar abilities. They placed the burden on the system and opened the door to support instead of self-doubt. 

Here’s  a much more simple example. I had had to work with a man in his 50’s that was new to the role that I had been successfully doing for the last 5 years. Now, this role didn’t necessarily require special education or advanced study, but  it did take experience and an analytical prowess that I held so that we could get to quick decision making rather than relying on third parties to give us information that I already knew. 

There was a request to renew a lease from us that had been in place for years. Granted, the circumstances had changed and the parameters for the lease were now different so that its required flexibility to be written into the lease.  Something that he and I would have to collaborate over and determine what was beneficial to everyone. In this collaboration, in this going back and forth, nothing that I stated was accepted and instead, he held fast to his own position, even though I had been operating on this for five years and he was new to the entire idea. 

I bet you that sounds immensely familiar… 

He said he wanted to review the lease so that he could edit it to satisfy his hesitation on leasing the land.  Well, yes, that sounds right. Reviewing what someone else does, contributing your own ideas, collaborating together to come up with a mutual agreement over a common document. 

But here is the big difference… Ok, let’s play it out the way most of us have experienced this in the past. Let’s say you have this lease and the second party has said, “You go ahead and do it and I’ll just review it”. Rather than stop right then and reframe the situation, most likely you go off and spend hours studying other leases to ensure you are covering all the bases. Then you begin writing it out, edit it, and then you begin second guessing yourself… 

“is this right?”…. “is this what he is looking for?” … “is this what he wants?”… “will I look foolish if I write up something that is wrong?”

Do you see where I am going with this? Suddenly, you are in a deadlock with yourself and the fear of doubt opens the door in your mind that asks, “what are you doing here?” “are you really qualified for this?”  

But you get the nerve to present something to him anyway and you think this is great but it’s going to take another viewpoint to get it complete. Perfect, you’re off the hook. So he takes it and redlines it, adds his inputs and asks you to “fix” it and then it will be “fine”. The collaboration is over. Or, was there even collaboration to begin with.

He acts as though he has the last word. That his way is righ and you had to do the buld of the work to get it to that point. But, you take it and you edit it and both of you sign it and you think, phew, that’s over. But, he goes on to talk up the lease that HE came up with! In this scenario, you have placed yourself as the imposter by relinquishing your knowledge to him and never garnering any credit.

Still, more importantly, you have dismissed all the time and intelligence it took you to create the document, argument, proposal, pitch, whatever , just so he could add his name on it. It’s called riding your coattails, a  really old expression but I think the visual still applies. When someone can’t get to where you are going without jumping on your back, without holding on as you go forward. That extra burden, you got to kick that off!

You Are Not an Imposter, You Are a Leader

Now, let’s change the scenario from the very beginning.  Let’s say the same person asks you to pull together another project, perhaps something you are really good at or something you may be completely ignorant on. Rather than stress on where to start, second guess what he or she may want and begin opening that doubt door, take a moment to assess the situation. 

 So let’s rescript this version. First, take the time to determine whether or not the person has more knowledge of the topic than you do by engaging them in conversation.  Because, depending on the relationship you have with the person,  whether it’s personal, professional, to what extent have you worked with them before so that they know who you are, you can pointedly ask questions you are confident with to begin the conversation. This will provide opportunity to either learn from the person or establish your own knowledge in comparison. In this way, you’ve received guidance without feeling as though you’re not proficient in the topic because that is yet another instigator of self doubt that we’ll talk about in the next episode.

Now, if the person has significant knowledge, this is great. Engage them in more conversation about the important points to hit on the project.  Frame mutual expectations around the results and reach agreement prior to starting the project. They will feel proud and confident that they are able to share what they know, even if they are a part of the system. They’re may not necessarily be doing it for you, but regardless, you are gaining from the knowledge form them. 

Now, if the person is elusive in detail it probably indicates that they are less familiar with the topic than you. At this point, you have the perfect opportunity to acknowledge your prowess and close that self doubt door and feeling of inadequacy. You understand that you are more proficient in this topic than they are. That alone is a game changer. Use the moment to ascertain your confidence by stating your approach to the project and asking if the manager sees it differently.

If they don’t know what you’re talking about, they’ll stay quiet and you will carry confidently. If they have an opinion  better to know up front. 

Now, if they don’t have time to offer guidance or advice, then state calmly that you are readily prepared to take this on. Thank them for having faith in your abilities, by giving you the freedom to have ownership of the project.  Thank them for giving you the freedom to have ownership of the project. Not only will this make them think twice about their expectations, it will reaffirm to you that you are fully capable of successfully handling the assignment. 

In this methodology, you’ve avoided self doubt by positioning yourself as either being prepared to learn and frame mutual expectations or assured that your knowledge is even more sufficient to complete the project successfully given your prowess. By moving the conversation from a hierarchical, vertical relationship in which you’re just accepting being told what to do, you’re moving it to a horizontal one, one in which you remain on level with the person requesting information or work from you and you’re seen as a peer. You have reframed yourself to be part of the conversation rather than being told what to do. Because being told what to do makes it feel like you don’t have the knowledge. When you feel you don’t have the knowledge, you begin to doubt yourself. When you doubt yourself, you wonder, “what am I doing here? I don’t belong”.

Feeling more confident in your abilities now? C’mon, ladies, give me a big yes! Let’s reframe this imposter syndrome by asserting confidence to either learn gratefully from others that have more experience and industry knowledge or realize that your prowess exceeds what was anticipated from you from the start. Instead of maintaining a hierarchal relationship within your organization, engage in a horizontal one. Remember, you have the strength, persistence and determination to rise into the success that you envisioned for yourself. You are operating from your soul and you will not let that brain interfere with self doubt.

As you rise in your career, as you strive for a loving relationship, as you create this large life and  look around at all your successes, avoid questioning your belonging because you worked so hard to get here. It was hard to put yourself in a place of opportunity. The odds are not in your favor, but your intelligence and fiery personality  certainly are. 

The reason you find yourself in your success is that you had the courage and persistence to follow your dreams knowing there aren’t many ahead of you laying the path and offering guidance. You are a warrior and it’s a lot to maneuver by yourself through an unknown. There will be many times when you are one of the few, but it’s not because you are an imposter; it’s because you are a leader.

We will get to the second part of imposter syndrome response on the next episode, when we discuss our hesitancy to ask for help. I hate it, right? Ugh! It’s the worst! We all do it. We make it so much harder on ourselves for it, but that is exactly how the system was built to make us feel that way. So we are going to smash that issue next week. No more overextending ourselves while others are just snapping their fingers at us!  

Step into your truth, ladies! Ciao!


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I really appreciate the time you take to rate and review the podcast. Get the backstory and what you’ve heard here today, and reach out to us at That’s L N double X, because it’s about time, it’’s about us. Stay in the groove on our social media @LifeLinks  and get ready to make your move, ladies. 


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Consuelo… with an ‘o’

Badass chica, 1st generation Peruvian, solo female who disregarded the patriarchy and forged into structural engineering... in stilettos, but really wanted to be a record album cover artist instead.

27 personalities rolled into one that bring insight, enthusiasm, humor and fearlessness to encourage young women to live their lives out loud and on their terms.

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