Rising from the Bathroom Floor
Updated: May 12
Welcome to the first episode of Season 3 of The Impostor Syndrome Files! Join Kim Meninger and Becca Powers as they discuss Becca’s rising from “the bathroom floor” moment. In this episode, Becca shares her bathroom floor moment, how she got there, and what she did to rise up as the CEO of her own life. She also shares how she was being “too much” for a certain environment and how her attempts to tone herself down affected her.
Compartmentalizing can hurt:
Becca shared how compartmentalizing affected her health. Like many women, Becca strived to separate her work and family life in ways that increased her stress. After nearly being hospitalized, Becca shares on this episode how she was able to move forward, recognizing that it was all so much easier when she accepted the fact that she has the power to do so and not be hurt.
How about no:
Becca shares how learning to say no has empowered her to set boundaries and feel more in control of her life and career. While saying no comes with some downsides, including the possibility of losing out on some opportunities, overall, it has changed her life for the better.
About Becca Powers:
Author, Becca Powers, is a multi-six figure Fortune 500 sales executive in the tech industry by day, women’s career and life coach by night, and Kundalini yoga teacher by the weekend.
She boasts that she is doing all of this with more freedom and flexibility than she ever had in the past. Becca shares her raw, real, and radical story of overcoming the extreme adversity of being a success-driven woman in Corporate America as a working mom of four children while dealing with the real dramas of her personal life.
Becca’s creative, humorous, and unique spin, that you are the CEO of your life, offers listeners a sense of empowerment to take charge and create a life they love to live – by owning it all – the messy and the magical.
~ Outline of the Episode:
[01:59] About Becca Powers [03:33] How compartmentalizing leads to imposter syndrome [08:05] What to do when you’re told to “tone it down” [11:23] What to do when you find yourself on the “bathroom floor” [17:14] Ups and downs of saying no [20:25] Dealing with the what if’s [23:37] Becca’s message about being your own CEO [25:42] How to tip the power balance
And many more! ~
More from Becca Powers:
Here’s the link to the free self-assessment for listeners: https://www.beccapowers.com/podcastfreebies
Here’s is the link to the book: https://www.beccapowers.com/harnessyourinnerceo
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Join the free Impostor Syndrome Challenge.
Learn more about the Leading Women discussion group.
Join our Slack channel to learn from, connect with and support other women.
Schedule time to speak with Kim directly about your questions/challenges.
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Kim Meninger All right, welcome, Becca, I am super excited for our conversation today. And it’s nice to see you. I know others who are listening won’t be able to see you. But I can see you right now. And I know we’ve had some conversations, so it’s nice to see your face. I would love to invite you to introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit more about you.
Becca Powers Yeah, thank you so much. So I have a 20-year background in corporate sales specifically. I spent time at Cisco, Dell, Office Depot. So I’ve done the, the big Fortune 500 thing. And, um, but what I really like to lean into when I introduce myself, is that I’m multifaceted because I think that as women too, we can sometimes want to just align ourselves to one thing. So although I am a corporate sales executive, I am also a writer, I am also a speaker, I’m also a Kundalini teacher. I’m also a mom of a blended family. So that’s kind of what I like to lead off with.
Kim Meninger Oh, I’m so glad you did. Because I think it is important for us to talk about ourselves more holistically. And I’m wondering, how do you think about all of these different aspects of yourself at this point today? Like what are you, what’s your, your primary focus right now?
Becca Powers My primary focus is empowering women to be their whole selves. Truly. And I know you like to talk a lot about impostor syndrome. But when we are compartmentalizing ourselves, we end up in impostor syndrome. So it’s really that framing of being one whole person. And for women specifically, I feel that we self-sacrifice a lot and things like that. So my primary focus is empowering women to be happy, whole, complete, and thrive, like make money to like, be, do it all.
Kim Meninger I love that you said compartmentalizing can lead to impostor syndrome. Can you say more about that?
Becca Powers Yes, I’d love to. And I’m a product of that. So um, you know, I have mentioned the in my opening, I like to say that I’m multifaceted because it was in the compartmentalizing that I worked myself to burnout and almost hospitalization. So it was really real for me, and what ended up happening. And I’ll tell you more about the story specifically in a second. But to answer your question, I ran my life at one point as corporate sales executive, one hat. And then if I was going home, I would put the, hang that hat and put on my mom hat, right. And then it was like always these different hats. And what I didn’t realize is that I was really all of these people at the same time. So this compartmentalizing was really stressing me out and putting a toll even on my nervous system. Because I was like, trying to be mom, but guess what, I’m one whole person. So I’m thinking about work when I’m being mom or I’m at work thinking about being a mom. And, and but I had guilt associated with that because I was compartmentalizing myself. Does that make sense?
Kim Meninger Yeah, absolutely. It’s so interesting that you call that out, because I think that we, we can all relate to that. But it’s sometimes just happens so automatically, that we don’t necessarily consciously recognize that.
Becca Powers Yeah. And that’s what was happening for me is it was not a constant, conscious recognition until I until I was I was on the bathroom floor. So if you, if you want, I could tell talk to you about like my story and a quick high level. Yeah, I think that’ll really help the listeners understand a little bit more what I’m talking about. So I had mentioned that I’m in Fortune 500 sales executive, as a regional sales manager for Dell, back in 2013. As a sales leader, I am really, I’m a very mission and service-based human just in general. So when I lead, I lead from a place of people before profits. And I say that because this is a very high passion of mine, I get very dedicated to this. And I got recruited by a company that has a very similar motto. So even though I loved working at Dell, I was like, I have to take this job because it’s completely in alignment with my leadership mantra. And in doing so, though, I had to take a pay cut. So I’m just like tabling that because that was a hit to my self-worth. And I didn’t know it. And it leading to this compartmentalization, this breakdown and all these things that I’ve alluded to. So but what happened when I went to go resign? I had a really fabulous leader at Dell and he told me that he was proud of me and that I was CEO of my own life. And so back in 2013, that nugget, like I remember that moment so clearly, that aha moment tripped over me and I was like, Oh, that’s great. Um, But then I went into this role. And in about two to three months, I could tell that it wasn’t a fit. And then specifically, we talked about impostor syndrome. And we’ll go in, I was asked my leadership style was a lot different. It was very high-paced and very, like, data-driven and different things like that. And I got asked to tone it down by 50%. And I said, Yes, instead, and I was a confident woman to businesswoman all successful. And I didn’t realize that was going to be like the downfall to my demise. And then all these impostor symptoms really happened within myself. And I didn’t even know it. So how you said, it kind of happened naturally and organically, it did for me. And what happened is, after two or three years of not like listening to myself, and giving myself to be a room to be a whole person, I ended up in burnout. I had, by that time, after two or three years in this state, I had two anxiety disorders, diagnosed autoimmune disease, my hair was falling out in clumps, and ended with me having a breakdown on the bathroom floor, like literally praying to God, universe, like, hello, I know, I haven’t prayed you a long time, but I could use some help right now. Mm-hmm. And then from that moment, I’ll just wrap up. That’s when I say like, my instant miracle came. And I’m sitting there crying on the bathroom floor. And I had that instant memory of being told by that Dell VP that I was the CEO of my own life. And from there, I was able to be like, well, if I’m the CEO of my own life, then why am I crying on the bathroom floor? I have a lot more power than I think I do. And so that’s when things started to change and shift.
Kim Meninger So I want to just go back for a moment because I want to understand what did they mean, when they said tone it down by 50%? What were they not? What did they not want to see from you?
Becca Powers Well, I think that was the part that was most confusing as they were very unclear on what that ask meant. It did include taking away my Excel spreadsheets, though, and I cried that night. I went home and was like, and they took away Excel too? What am I supposed to do? But I was still so committed to this, to the company and to the passions behind it of putting people first and things like that, that I was willing to alter myself for the cause, so to speak. But there was no clarity on what that meant. And at the end of the day, that lesson I learned is that no one can ever, like healthily be? But there’s no way a person can be 50% of themselves and be healthy and thrive. It’s just not possible.
Kim Meninger Yeah, I mean, there’s so much there. And the reason why I came back to it is because I think so many people listening can relate to the idea of being told by someone that you’re too much, not enough, you need to change something, and especially when we’re talking about your authentic self, who you naturally are a) you can’t really do that without the kinds of consequences that you’re describing and b) the message is never actionable enough. So even if you wanted to, what are you supposed to do with that? How are you supposed to measure 50% of who you are?
Becca Powers That’s exactly right. And like, I don’t think the ask came from a bad place. But it totally put me in a horrible tailspin. Because, you know, you go into the space of like a) I believed in this mission/mantra of mine, and I wanted to see it through a little bit. And then b) I was a new leader. And I didn’t know anybody. This was a new industry for me. And I wanted to be validated. I wanted to be approved. I wanted to be liked. And so those parts of my human makeup right, were the factors that drove me to say yes. And that was really like my downfall.
Kim Meninger Wow. And so let’s pick up where you have that, that memory right that inspirational wait a second. If I’m the CEO of my own life, I don’t need to be here on the bathroom. What happened next?
Becca Powers I get the goosebumps as you asked me that. The very first thing I did was rise off the bathroom floor. And I say that because I think almost everybody is either had a bathroom floor moment, or metaphorical bathroom floor moment. Right. And when that, when I had that moment of inspiration and empowerment, I’m like, I’m the CEO of my own life. I rose off that floor a different woman than the one who fell down crying. And I was back in touch with my personal power. I didn’t know what that was going to look like. I didn’t know what the next step was. All I knew is that everything was going to be okay. I was back in touch to my in back in touch with my self-reliance. And I just, I just rose to say it.
Kim Meninger Oh, so what did you do? What was what were some of the steps that you took?
Becca Powers So the very first, I have two steps that I want to share. And I think that they’re very practical. So like if you’re listening to this and you’re like, Okay, I can get on board with the idea that I’m CEO of my own life, and maybe you feel that rush of empowerment that I was talking about, right? The first thing I did was I called a friend and I said what was wrong. I called out she was one of my Dell buddies. And I called her and she thought I should have left this job a long time ago, okay? She was like, one of those people is like, Becca, your Becca Powers, what are you doing, they’re like, You need to get back to tech. Come on. And so but I called her and I was just like, I’m finally willing to admit that everything’s like, screwed up. I don’t know how it’s gonna change. But I’m finally willing to change, this isn’t working, and I’m falling apart. You know. And so I finally said it out loud to someone else. And I really, really do believe that support and, and also sharing it with someone else is a catalyst for change in itself.
Secondly, and so just that person her name is Jessie, but Jessie ended up bringing me back to Dell, like through connections. So that phone call and no intention behind it. I wasn’t trying to get a job or anything, I was finally just willing to share and just ask for support. And then that call ended up being my, my call for change. But I didn’t know that at the time. So my step one practical thing is just share with somebody who you know truly supports you. And then b) boundaries, right? I was saying yes to other people, instead of yes to myself. And that needed to change. I didn’t know what that was looking like. And I had spent so much time in that approval zone of wanting people to like me, validate me approve, approve of me that it was really scary. Like, my nervous system was shaking. I was like, Oh, my God, I got to stand up for myself. But I started softly saying no. So I say, I say a lot that I said no, instead of Yes. But it more looked like going into work the next day and saying no, I’m not going to take that extra meeting or no, I’m not going to take on an extra project. Like I needed more time and space. And I was queen of over-commitment. So if you’re a listener, and you’re in that zone of over-commitment overextension, there’s probably an indication that you’re saying yes to too many things, and not as many yeses to yourself. And so I started just saying no, softly.
Kim Meninger What does softly mean?
Becca Powers So um, instead of being like, No, I’m not doing that. Like if I got I’m not a sales leader, right, I got to participate to a certain degree. But if I got called into a meeting, like the next day, it happened, I got called into a meeting. And we were talking about some training that we weren’t wanting to roll out normally, I would either say, Yeah, I’ll do it or yeah I’ll support it. Are yeah I’ll participate in the, the content and the concepts? And I was just like, you know, I really have a lot on my plate right now, I’m not going to be able to participate in that one. But maybe, Jennifer can, right. So it didn’t look like a no, like I was angry or something. It just looked like, Hey, I have too much on my plate, which was just very protective. I was in a very protective state with myself. And then I just kept doing it. And the more I kept doing it, the more empowered that I felt. And the last thing I want to say to this is if listeners are like, Yes, I think I can do that. The other part I want you to know and then Kim, I don’t know, if you want to say anything to this is that it also then gets really scary, because then you stop being included. Like I said, no enough times that then I wasn’t included in some of the brainstorming sessions. I started seeing other people rise and I was being, you know, left out. And that was pretty, it was a horrible feeling. But I was doing it intentionally. So I just wanted to also say that that kind of comes as part of the process thing, dynamic start to shift. And I just had to be like strong enough for that. But right on the other side of that. Then I got all this time and space back for me. I was able to divert time back into my family, I was able to divert time back into meditation to passions, like I started, like, a writing group. And just like I wasn’t even ready to write a book I just needed to, I needed to be me. Right. And I needed to find what that looked like again. And with time and space, I was able to do that.
Kim Meninger Wow, there’s so much to what you just said because I think it’s, it’s so impressive that you identify as somebody who has pleasing tendencies, which I certainly do as well. And I think a lot of people listening would probably feel the same way. And so that ability to say no even softly feels horrifying sometimes. It feels like how can I possibly say no for any number of reasons it might be, I don’t want to alienate people, I don’t want to disappoint someone, I don’t want to be left out. I want, I want to be in the middle of, I want to feel important. All kinds of motivations for that. But like you’re saying, if you do that, there are consequences to that, that you need to understand so that you can make a choice that’s best for you. And the disappointment of not being included in certain conversations I can imagine was, was high at times, but focusing on what you’re gaining, and not just what you’re losing, I would think would be helpful to that too, right? Of Yes. Maybe I wasn’t invited to this meeting. But I’ve had this extra time to do this thing that I’m passionate about or spend more time with my family. Right. So to really balance that thought process out.
Becca Powers Yes, exactly. And that’s, I had to hold that higher vision. And really anchor into that to get me through the discomfort of not being included.
Kim Meninger Hmm. Yeah. And did, aside from you not being included in certain conversations, did anybody balk at your saying no? Did you find that there was any conflict? Like, what did it look like?
Becca Powers Yeah, I mean, definitely a lot of people were doing temperature checks on me, because, you know, I’m a sales leader. And they obviously want to make sure that I am engaged with my team and driving to outcomes. So that part was still alive in me. But there was a lot of curiosity of what’s going on with Becca. Because I was acting different.
Kim Meninger Did you share anything?
Becca Powers No, I, I was at a place where I realized that no one really approached me about the stress levels that I … And I’m not saying that people didn’t care about me, because I have a lot of friends and even part of like some people that were all my sales, the sales, my sales peers, my sales, leadership peers, I’m still friends with today. But what I had to come down to is that at the end of the day, I’ve been running like this for two or three years, and no one’s been like, Oh, my God, Becca, your hair’s falling out in clumps. Are you okay? You know, and that made me realize I didn’t really understand who was my friend or foe in that environment. And I do believe some people that were friends might have just been saying some things in passing, and not even I don’t think anyone had any ill intention towards me. And I think that’s a really, maybe something that people can relate to in their work environments, like some people are personally attacked, but sometimes you’re just in a, in a bad fit for you. And I think that’s what happened to me. And I was not able to distinguish well enough, who was friend or foe, or who might speak or not speak. So I was very hesitant on sharing personal feelings, and I just focused on my own healing.
Kim Meninger Wow, that’s really, that’s a really powerful way to say what I’m sure a lot of us have felt. And it’s easy to feel supported when you’re going with the flow. And you’re doing what’s expected of you. And people are generally friendly, or, you know, civil, when you’re working with them, you can you trust them at a deeper level? And I think that is an important consideration, too, especially when you’re still trying to figure out, I would imagine, in your own head, what you want, what you want this to look like, before you necessarily reveal that to people you’re not even sure you could trust.
Becca Powers Exactly. And then, you know, I had to also, you know, make the decision, there was a lot of things that I really loved about the company, but I was obviously, and my health was an indicator that things were horribly wrong. And so I had to even just make the decision, do I stay? Or do I go like, what do I have to? And if I go, What is my career? What is redefining my career look like? Do I stay in sales leadership? Do I stay in Fortune? 500? Do I go back to Field Sales? Like I had so many things that I had to consider that talking to other people either brought more confusion or invited opinions where I wasn’t strong enough to hear them yet. So that was another aspect of this like silence felt more appropriate.
Kim Meninger In hindsight, would you have done anything differently?
Becca Powers Yes, yes, in hindsight, I would have gone back to that initial conversation where I was asked to be 50% of myself, and ask myself a different series of questions. I call them like the what-ifs but I ran my what-ifs from fear, I was like, what if they don’t accept? You know, what if I stood up to this, I remember thinking this in my head, what if I stood up to this because again, I’m a powerful businesswoman. I’m confident, you know, but in my head, I’m like, what if I stand up to this, and I lose my job? Right? What if I, I’m the primary breadwinner. I’ve got four kids in middle school, via blended family. And like, there was just a lot of my shoulder. So my what-ifs really stood from fear, like our What if, you know, I did say something, and then I kept my job, then I wasn’t accepted and liked and brought into the inner circle. I’m new, I don’t have alliances like there’s so many things that went into my head. When I when I sat down to write the book, this what-if was part of my inner reflection was but what if I had stood up for myself? What would that have done to my self-worth? Like, I think of like, from an empowerment perspective, like what that would have done to me like it would have filled me with, with the with power would have filled me with passion, it would fill me with pride, and I would have been able to like know that I have my own back, you know, and that I’m not willing to sacrifice my well being, who I am, my character, all of that because someone else wants to hold me down. But that’s not the series of questions I asked myself. But for listeners, I would say like, what if you did it? And what are the positive outcomes to like, ask yourself what-ifs in a positive direction?
Kim Meninger I love the idea of balancing the what-if game, because we always play what if on the bad side on. But what if things are even better?
Becca Powers Right? And they ended up like when I finally was like, Yeah, okay, now I’ve been playing that what-if game in my head, I’m like, Alright, I’m gonna gamble on myself. And then life expanded in the most magical and miraculous ways, and unexpected ways. And I was just like, wow, I waited so long because I was scared.
Kim Meninger Like, wow, oh, my goodness, where are you now?
Becca Powers So where I am now is this wonderful place, I am in Fortune 500 sales still, but I am now instead of being the sales leader, I sell to sales leaders. So I’m in executive-level sales, I sell to director to C suite. And I published, wrote and published my first book, Harness Your Inner CEO, and that debuted as a best seller on Amazon. So that was really exciting. And now the, really the thing that I am most passionate about, as a spinoff from both of that, is speaking to corporate women’s groups to help empower other women to thrive in both their personal and professional life, which I’m really like that dual aspect I get really fired up about.
Kim Meninger Well, I can’t imagine that anybody wouldn’t be inspired by your story and everything that you’ve been through. What it is the message of the book, if you had to sum it up?
Becca Powers The message of the book is kind of what I talked about. It’s, it’s you are the CEO of your life, and you have that personal power, and you have the choice to choose you. And then once you choose you, then you can really tap back into passions and things that light you up from the inside out. And what I have found in my journey, and then taking clients through this, too, is that when you connect with your personal power, you then give space for passion to arise, the outcome is more prosperity. And that wasn’t initially what I had anticipated. I had no idea how much money I was going to make when I left this job, you know, like all that. And just in that one swoop of connecting back to my personal power, reconnecting with my passion, by the time the offer came back in to go like it was a Dell exclusive reseller. But nonetheless, the offer came in for like 50%, I got a 50% increase. It was double the pay that I was making. And like, I stayed in that job for three years, and I left for double the pay. I’m like, Man, I should have done that a long time ago. But I try to use that example as a way that, you know, readers or listeners on podcasts can, can be like, Oh my gosh, I have a lot more power in my current situation than I think I do and the outcome can be far better than I could have ever dreamed of. And that’s really what I hope to get through in the book and then I provide some you know, framework for that to happen that I’ve brought clients through and have proven
Kim Meninger it works. It is such a strong message. I think it’s so easy, especially when you’re in an environment that doesn’t respect to you in some way or that it feels like the, the power balance is so far in favor of your boss or your company or whatever, to recognize how much power you actually have. If you are, you know, if you’re talking to somebody who is fitting the, the profile of what we’re talking about right now, what’s step one?
Becca Powers Step one for me, I think, and what I encourage everyone to do is just do a self-assessment, you know, in your primary buckets of life, like, how are your relationships? Or your, are they thriving or? And then I say like at work? Are they thriving in your personal life? Are they thriving to start to get, rank them one through five, something easy for you like five thriving, you know, one surviving and just give it a meter. But then like, how are your finances, how’s your, you know, your spiritual life just kind of go through life in a couple buckets. Like, if you think of a CEO taking over an enterprise, they’re not going to start making changes right away. Their very first step is going to be assess all the different departments, and see which one needs to be throttled first, which one needs the most improvement. And so that’s what I kind of encourage people to do with their life is just pause, take an assessment, the book starts with an assessment. And I even have an assessment that we can give the listeners too that’s in chapter one of the book so they can do an assessment by themselves.
Kim Meninger Yeah. So for anyone who’s listening, who wants more information about the book, the assessment, all of that information will be in the show notes along with Becca’s information if you want to connect further with her. Any final thoughts that you would share, Becca?
Becca Powers Yes, I mean, as a final thought, I wanted to say that you’re worth it. And the reason I’d like to, to end my stuff there is I think we just need reminders that we are worthy of all things like we are already worthy because we were born, because we exist. And sometimes we just need that reminder. So you are worthy of creating change. You’re worthy of creating the life you love. And you were just worthy because you’re you, so those would be my closing comments.
Kim Meninger I love it. Oh my gosh, Becca, thank you so much. This has been such an inspiring conversation. You, I’m sure have already helped so many and I can’t wait for everyone to hear our discussion today. Once again, check out the show notes if you are interested in more information, but thanks again, Becca.
Becca Powers Yeah. Kim, thank you so much for having me on.