Memetic Coaching, Clarifying your Thinking , Improving your Performance

Challenging “Imposter Syndrome and Self-Sabotage” through Memetic Coaching

“Imposter Syndrome” is common, often striking at important times of our lives. Things appear to be going well and suddenly, looking back, we realise the distance we’ve travelled away from a humble origin. Relating more to the person which we once were, we begin to doubt the right to occupy our current position. The doubt triggers negative self-talk which corrodes or cripples self-confidence, positivity and performance. This syndrome even drives people to make bad choices, almost guaranteeing failure and validating “imposter syndrome” as reality. The occurrence of this “self-sabotage” often surfaces within coaching conversation, proving a challenging to address, as its fundamental to the overall success of the coaching process. Imposter Syndrome has been researched since the 1980’s and differing therapeutic interventions are available. However, if a coaching alternative is preferred, the focus of the coaching dialogue must challenge the most fundamentally held beliefs of an individual. Consideration of their “memetic perspective” is the starting point for this journey.
A “Meme” is “an element of behaviour or culture passed from one individual (or generation) to another by non-genetic means”. Protective memes such as fear of fire or height may be apparent soon after birth, others quickly follow. Memes are considered to be subliminal or sub-conscious. They precede learning and are problematic to appraise without external assistance. Effectively, our collection of memes facilitates blind acceptance or rejection of new experience and plays a crucial part in maintaining cultural consistency through successive generations. When an individual’s new experience is aligned to pre-existing memes, acceptance and integration follow. However that when new experience is misaligned with an obsolete meme, the internal dialogues of self-doubt, insecurity and “imposter syndrome” quickly surface. Self-Sabotage may be an unconscious outcome of the mind’s attempt to disestablish a new experience, in line with an obsolete or limiting meme.
With support of an experienced “memetic coach”, an individual may be coached to develop or delete obsolete memes. This is achieved through a specifically designed dialogue, exploring and challenging the most basic preconceptions (memes), held as truisms. Through a sequenced questioning process, the coach challenges each stage, enabling a client to understand where memes are useful, when they are in play, how they work, and why they became obsolete. From that point the coach supports the individual to delete, redesign or replace their unhelpful memes. This enables the client to develop the self-reflection needed to keep pace with experience and evolve their thinking processes whenever necessary.
As populations grow and globalisation reaches deeper into our cultures, it is likely that cognitive and behavioural difficulties, initiated by obsolete memes will become increasingly common. The effect of memes and the beneficial effect of memetic coaching will have a expanding role in assisting people to overcome “Imposter Syndrome” and “Self-Sabotage” and support both personal and organisational success into the future.