Own Your Greatness Book Summary - Own Your Greatness Book explained in key points
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Own Your Greatness summary

Lisa Orbé-Austin & Richard Orbé-Austin

Overcome Impostor Syndrome, Beat Self-Doubt, and Succeed in Life

4.6 (484 ratings)
20 mins

What is Own Your Greatness about?

Own Your Greatness (2020) is a guided workbook for people who constantly feel like imposters. Drawing on Drs. Lisa and Richard Orbé-Austin’s expertise, it helps you identify and overcome the tiggers, habits and thoughts that activate your imposter syndrome, so you can beat self-doubt and succeed in life.

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    Own Your Greatness
    summarized in 7 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    Step 1: Identify your imposter origin story.

    It all begins with a story, one that gets repeated over and over. It shows up at parties, during lunch with colleagues, in morning meetings. Only, this story lives mostly in your head, and is all about how you’re not really skilled at anything, that you must be deceiving everyone. 

    To overcome imposter syndrome, you have to change this narrative. But to do so, you have to first understand where these imposter feelings originated. For many, they trace back to childhood and their family dynamics. 

    Perhaps you grew up with very high expectations placed on you, and an emphasis on achievement. Or maybe you played the role of pleasing other family members and fulfilling their needs. Maybe you were constantly compared to another sibling, or your unique skills were never recognized.

    For your first exercise, the goal is to identify and understand your imposter origin story. I’m going to ask you to look deeply at your past. What stories did you come to believe about yourself? How did they affect your role in the family, your ideas about competition, or how you receive feedback?

    Let’s look at an example from Elizabeth. Her imposter origin story goes like this: “I was always called sensitive in my family, and never seen as the ‘smart one’ compared to my brother. This has led to a high need to please others, and to dismiss the skills I do have because I assume they won’t be valued.”

    Before moving to the next blink, take time now to write out your origin story. If you need help, use this prompt: “The dynamics that prompted my imposter syndrome were…” Be sure to describe the consequences of those dynamics, how they affected you. And try to keep it short, just a few sentences will do.

    Before we move on, notice that you’re undertaking the task of dismantling something that developed over many years, maybe even generations. This work may take time; but it is well worth the effort.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Lisa Orbé-Austin is a licensed psychologist and executive coach who received her PhD in counseling psychology from Columbia University. Her work on career advancement has appeared in the New York Times, Forbes and NCB News.

    Dr. Richard Orbé-Austin has a PhD in counseling psychology from Fordham University. He is partner of Dynamic Transitions Psychological Consulting, a New York City based consultancy offering career and executive coaching.

    Who should read Own Your Greatness?

    • People with a penchant for self-doubt
    • Counselors searching for new strategies
    • Imposter syndrome sufferers ready to take action

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