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Most people scratch their heads when they hear the word ‘imposter syndrome’. You might think it’s a disease because of the name. This is far from the truth. In 1978 the psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes found that people suffered from an intellectual form of self-doubt. They called it imposter syndrome. The official definition is the experience of being unable to internalize accomplishments and persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

70% of the people experience it

It overcomes most of us. In fact, 70% of people experience it. While this is already a high number, the stats are even higher for black women specifically. A whopping 85% of black women have suffered from it during their career.

Even Michelle Obama, Serena Wiliams and Maya Angelou had imposter syndrome.

Even Michelle Obama, Serena Wiliams and Maya Angelou had imposter syndrome. Crazy right?! But when you think of it, it makes sense that even these very accomplished women have this. Society often diminishes black women’s achievements and value. So it’s not that crazy when you internalize these doubts after hearing it for years.

Today is the day you can find out if you suffer from imposter syndrome

If after reading these 4 signs, you say: “Wow this is what I’ve felt in my career.” you might have experienced it.

1. Feeling incompetent despite demonstrating competence

The interesting thing with imposter syndrome is that it mostly pops up on people who are extremely capable and smart. Einstein didn’t even escape imposter syndrome. You can have degrees, awards, even a ton of clients and still think you’re not that good. When you are telling people that you can do something, but have never done it before then you can easily say you’re a fraud. But when you have the proof to back up why you are totally capable, it is most likely imposter syndrome creeping up on you.

2. Feeling uncomfortable with receiving praise or compliments

Do you always feel awkward when receiving a compliment? Do you hear yourself downplay your skill when someone compliments it. Well, most people with imposter syndrome don’t see their talents or achievements as spectacular. Rather, they think everyone can do what they can do. Most of the times things that come easy to you might be really hard for someone else.We forget the effort that it took to build the skill and perceive our skills as regular. Which it is not!

3. Feeling others are more equipped than you

Intelligent ambitious women tend to tie their work and value to their knowledge. Often when they enter a space where there are other highly capable people they can feel like a ‘fraud’. It’s tough to not compare yourself to others in those situations. Thinking that others really know what they are talking about and you’re still figuring it all out.

The epiphany I got when I worked at top level coaching companies is that a lot of people at top levels don’t know what they are doing. Especially (white) men can bluff their way into a company. I understood that everybody is still figuring it all out.

4. Feeling like you don’t belong in your job role

Imagine that you’re starting your new job. You are one of the few black people. You overwork to finish the job. And there is always this lingering feeling that you have to prove that you deserve the job.

That feeling is exhausting and mostly resting on a false belief. Even though as a black person you can endure different stereotypes in the workplace. The person that hired you did think that you belong. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be there. In an interview with Michelle Obama on this issue, she said: “For a long time I thought I didn’t belong but being in several top places I noticed that there were a lot of people that didn’t belong there. But I was definitely not one of them.”

About the writer
Ayesha Noelle (@ayeshanoelle) is a mindset and business coach, who specializes in imposter syndrome. She mainly helps female online entrepreneurs achieve their business goals & overcome imposter syndrome by implementing science-based strategies. Her background is in Applied Psychology and she appeared as a guest expert on multiple media platforms.


Ayesha Noelle (@ayeshanoelle) is a mindset and business coach, who specializes in imposter syndrome. She mainly helps female online entrepreneurs achieve their business goals & overcome imposter syndrome by implementing science-based strategies. Her background is in Applied Psychology and she appeared as a guest expert on multiple media platforms.


Why I speak their names



 I don’t know sh&^%t

My life as an entrepreneur started around thirteen years ago. A know-it-all 29-year-old young woman. Mother of three children. Two biological and one bonus. I had this very idealistic idea and nobody could tell me otherwise. Well, after falling flat on my face a couple of times and many sleepless nights, disappointments and heartaches came the realization that maybe I didn’t know it all at all……in fact that maybe I don’t know sh&^%t.

This was a tough pill to swallow

What I came to realize is that entrepreneurship is one of the most spiritual journeys you will ever be on. There is nowhere to hide, nobody to blame. You have to self-reflect on a regular, be open to change your way….basically stepping out of your own way.

Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Grief the people you lose along the way. Be accountable for your failures so you can transform them into success. All this and much more but the most important part is being clear about your why! Cause let me tell you guys something, there will be many many moments that you will declare yourself to be crazy for continuing.

In all honesty, to be an entrepreneur you got to have a bit of crazy in you. I know that’s right! (In Sawaeetie’s voice)

What will sustain you through the moments when you are frustrated, disappointed, or have to cry yourself to sleep is your purpose. It may sound like a cliche but it’s my testimony.

My purpose was to be part of a movement, built companies to provide opportunities for ourselves so we can create them for our children. In July 2010 I wrote a poem explaining my Why. At the time we were a group of black women, mothers working together in realizing our dreams.

It is because of you today WE RISE!!!!

I dedicated this poem to my children and the women I was working with at the time. I would like to share it with you. It’s called We speak your names.

We speak your names Tariq, Iyanla, Hakim, Glenn, Roli, Dwayne, Omar, Jaden, Musa, Angelina, Hadjia, Euson, Iluminee, Uriel, Khadian, Lakisha, Kimani, Melanta, Rayla, Donna, Gillion, Brandon, and all the other ones.
We realize that we stand on the shoulders of the ones who came before us, as we are making way for the ones coming after us. We take our own responsibility so that you can stand upon our shoulders.
It is for you that today we day we refuse to remain in the victim role and to be content with a marginal existence.
It is for you who are growing up in these beautiful neighborhoods that we say; enough is enough.
Enough with the labels of disadvantaged.
It is for you that today, now (!) we stand up and act together to move forward.
Because our dream for you is that you have freedom of choice. That your zip code doesn’t determine your study advice. 
In ten or twenty years there must be a business network consisting of successful companies in various industries where you can have internships, get jobs, and/or subsequent take over companies.
It is because of you today WE RISE!!!!

Fast forward to 2021 and look at all the amazing black-owned business networks.

Baba Kwabena told me in my early twenties that a self-respecting community should own the three E’s: Education, Economics & Enforcement.

WE may still have a long road ahead of us but we are slowly but surely on our way. For the new entrepreneurs make sure you are clear of your why. Your purpose. Trust me there will be moments on your journey that it’s the only thing you have to hold on to. Hold on to it and keep on RISING. Our children need you. Speak their names and a new reality for them into existence.


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Aaron West, extremely passionate about inspiring change in others



Can you introduce yourself?

So, my full name is Aaron West, I am 31, Black and proud and I was born and mostly raised in Shreveport, Louisiana by my mom and grandparents. My mom moved my twin brother, little sister and I from Shreveport to Houston when I was 15 after she graduated from college and I’ve been here ever since. I would say I had a pseudo-rural upbringing in Shreveport because it was a slower city compared to Houston.

I say this not to imply we lived on a farm and milked cows but basically Shreveport as a city was far behind what Houston was in terms of modern black culture like fashion, music etc. Upon arriving to Houston I really started to think I was living on BET because everything and everyone was so cool and fashion forward lol. My brother, sister and I played most sports growing up to stay busy and I think that is probably where I grew to love Fitness.

What are you passionate about?

I am extremely, extremely, extremely, passionate about inspiring change in others. I would say I simply love to see people change their bodies or achieve their fitness goals, because I’m a personal trainer, but it’s so much deeper than that. For me it’s all about helping others understand what can be done with a little effort. Nothing and no one can make me feel as I do in the moment that someone who I talked to previously about where I see them going with their body remembers that conversation while presently living in that body we talked about in the past.

I own a personal training studio where I conduct one-on-one sessions with clients and sure we talk about fitness but it is not uncommon for us to also talk about other life goals, in-fact we probably talk about more life coaching type things than anything else, I really just enjoy helping people reach their full potential in every facet of life.


Aaron ripped in front of a grafitti wall

Aaron ripped in front of a grafitti wall


What is your profession?

My profession is complex but if I had to label it I would say I am an entrepreneur because I create things. Currently I am operating as personal trainer in my personal training studio but I have goals of becoming a motivational speaker and I also plan to start a few non-profits and other business outside of fitness.

How long have you owned ur fitness business?

By the grace of God my business has been open for almost 3 years. I started Almost PerFit Fitness after graduating from University of Houston and having a hard time finding what I considered a “real job”. I was still working for a local gym as a personal trainer and as a very broke post-college grad I figured that there was no better time to start a business than at the bottom, that way me and Almost PerFit Fitness( the business) literally would grow together.

With no real business plan I simply started training clients on the side in parks for less than what they would pay at the gym but was able to pocket more than what the gym was paying me. As business grew I decided to rent a space add some fitness equipment “wollah” i was in business on your own.


Aaron at the beach rocking his sunglasses

Aaron at the beach rocking his sunglasses


How do make sure your clients eat healthy?

I usually cannot really control how my clients eat so once I design the meal plan best tailored to their needs I focus on making sure they understand how eating wrong can impact their fitness goals. I’ve found that the more they understand the better their food decisions would be. I weigh my clients in weekly to track progress towards or away from their goal and then make adjustments.

Why start your own business?

I would now presently answer this question with “why not?” but honestly I never considered working for myself until I realized that I was worth more than what someone was willing to pay me to do a job I could create on my own. It is actually something I heard “Master P” of No Limit records say about his decision to start independent. I don’t think entrepreneurship is for everyone but it is definitely worth a shot if you are passionate about adding value to someone’s life with a service or product.


Aaron rocking his Powerful Beard

Aaron rocking his Powerful Beard


Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

In five years I see myself in the fitness industry. I actually plan to remain in the industry for the rest of my life but as a trainer to trainers as opposed to simply a trainer. I would like to have a larger platform to help more people in various ways.

Do you have other hobbies or crazy habits?

Aside from working out I really enjoy photography. I actually do most of my own photography for promotional flyers, social media marketing etc with a Nikon D330. I’m a self professed student to the craft and I’m also actively learning more about editing software. Me and my girlfriend are learning a few actually to help with our couples YouTube channel.

I have one habit that I think is pretty crazy, I am constantly stretching my body trying to get comfortable from multiple weekly workouts. I’ll be in bed literally popping and stretching until I finally fall asleep. It’s actually pretty common in the bodybuilding world and I wouldn’t say it’s painful but at every opportunity I feel the need to stretch my muscles/joints out I am probably going to stop everything I’m doing and do it, it’s weird but it feels so necessary. Other than that I’m just a guy .*lol*

Check out his Instagram for more about his business and some stunning pictures!


Aaron West entrepreneur and health coach

Aaron West entrepreneur and health coach


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Dyanna Neiva, the Brazilian born beauty is the founder of the fitness brand ‘Physicalpassion’. Within the midst of global turmoil and corona quarantine, she found her passion and wanted to share this passion with the world. Her passion for fitness changed her life, and she wants to bring this positive life-changing energy to other women, worldwide, by providing them strong, daring, and stylish fitness attire.

Dyanna Neiva – (Founder) Physicalpassion – ‘Courage’ collection

‘Fitness actually saved my life – Dyanna (Physicalpassion)

How fitness changed her life, HER backstory

Dyanna grew up in Brazil and moved to the Netherlands when she was 18-years-old to reunite with her mother. While in Brazil, she as many teenagers sometimes went through hard times. After a specific turn of events in her life, she hit rock bottom for a while. This period was a hard time in her life, and due to the emotional distress, she lost a lot of weight and dropped to the weight of 45 kilo’s.

When she came to the Netherlands, to reunite with her mother, she had no friends here, she didn’t speak Dutch or English and felt alone.

Her loving mother made a plan for her daughter to help her build her mental and physical health and bought her a 1-year-gym-subscription. This was the best gift that she could ever receive at that moment. Not only did she had the opportunity to meet new people, but she also discovered the healing process of working out and the positive effects it had on her body. 

Dyanna: Fitness actually saved my life. I found a new passion and started competing for a 3 year period as an IFBB figure pro! I really found the healing power of going to fitness and made it my passion. Now I am a fitness instructor.

The healing powers of going to the fitness

Physicalpassion – ‘Courage’ collection

A brand that represents the feminine beauty in fitness

Fitness is good for your physical and mental health, so why not look stylish while working on yourself! The brand is meant to look powerful and exude confidence.

Physicalpassion – ‘Courage’ collection

Building stronger mental health and a stronger body gave Dyanna confidence, and she wants everyone who wears her collection to feel confident as well!

The ‘confidence’ collection – A twelve-piece collection

Be the first to get the first pieces! The collection just launched today. Order yours on the website and join the CONFIDENT and PHYSICALPASSION gang!

Physicalpassion – ‘Courage’ collection

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