Imposter - Caroline Flanagan

I am an Imposter

Imposter Syndrome is what generates my power, showcases my value and drives me to succeed. Against the odds, I made it from a council estate in Birmingham to being the only black student in an all-white school – twice. I went on to be one of a tiny minority of students of colour at Cambridge University, one of a sprinkling at law school and one of the only people of colour in the room at two of the world’s most prestigious law firms. I am proud to call myself an Imposter. But it wasn’t always this way.

Feeling like a fraud

My Imposter Syndrome started at the age of 6, when I was plucked from my home and sent off to an all white school. One minute I was surrounded by people who looked like me, the next minute I was the only one in the room. I’ve been the only one, or one of a small minority of people of colour in the room, ever since. So if anyone knows what it’s like to feel like a fraud, to think you don’t deserve your success and to fear that any minute you’ll be exposed, it’s me.

Thinking Imposter Syndrome was a problem

There was a time when I saw my Imposter Syndrome as a weakness, a problem I needed to fix. The way it made me when I tried to perform and when I achieved success was so horrible, I wanted to get as far away from that feeling as possible. But no matter how many tips and tricks I tried, nothing seemed to work. They sometimes gave me enough of a boost to take the next step, but I was always back where I started – anxious, doubting myself, and needing to run and hide.

Discovering Imposter Syndrome is a puzzle

But one day I got tired of running and decided to face my Imposter Syndrome. What I saw changed my understanding of Imposter Syndrome and transformed my relationship with myself. I discovered that my Imposter Syndrome wasn’t a problem I had to fix. It was a puzzle I had to solve. When I took the time and made the effort to do solve it, Imposter Syndrome became my greatest asset.

The Imposter Speech™ is the answer

Imposter Syndrome isn’t a problem you need to fix. It’s a puzzle you need to solve and I’ve created a powerful tool to help you do that. That tool is The Imposter Speech™, a powerful identity statement that gives you instant courage, lasting confidence and spotlight your value. I’m on a mission to empower 1 million minority individuals by helping them create their own Imposter Speech™. To learn more about my Imposter Speech group programme, click below.



Caroline did a fantastic job as the guest speaker at our latest Women with Ambition networking event: 'How to ensure kids don’t derail your career'. Caroline’s talk was engaging and insightful and feedback from our clients that attended was overwhelmingly positive. All of the delegates mentioned they had gained some sound advice from Caroline’s presentation, regardless of whether they were thinking about having children, were already parents or were managing individuals with family commitments. Caroline has been a pleasure to work with and I look forward to continuing to develop our working relationship in the future. I would highly recommend working with her.

Sally Clare, Head of Diversity, Ambition UK

I wanted to let you know that I have been promoted to counsel. Thanks very much to your coaching I have managed to get through one of the most challenging years of my career and managed to achieve what I had hoped to! I might not have made it were it not for your advice and guidance.

Client C, Solicitor

Caroline came to speak to our Balance Employee Network about “How to babyproof your career so you can balance your life”. I really enjoyed preparing this event together. Caroline took great care in understanding the needs of the audience to make her message even more powerful. The whole process from preparing the event invitation to getting feedback was very professional with a wonderful personal touch.

Louise Walewska, Presentation Client, HSBC Asset Management

When I came into the office the following Monday, I could see the effect that you’d had. People were visibly changed as a result of your talk.

Oli Holmes, Accenture

I am more than happy to share wonderful feedback about you. Working with you has been life changing and continues to inspire me and help me grow.

Coaching client, Director, PwC Legal

Caroline, I can’t thank you enough for the help you gave me while starting to think of family planning. Your level-headed approach to some of the things I was panicking about has put everything into perspective. Not to mention that talking through and planning how to run my company single-handedly with a child was invaluable. I really appreciate having the after-session documents to work through in my own time and have been referring to them frequently. I cannot recommend a Babyproof Your Life session highly enough when starting to think about children – everyone should do this! Many thanks again.

Client T, UK, Babyproof Client