Building Confidence Out Of Loss

Raddle Business Coach Carrie Hawthorne talks imposter syndrome and building confidence

My dad worked at a bank his whole career. He was generous and giving. He was a mentor to me. When I became Director of a nonprofit in my 20s, he taught me about cash flows and finance and helped me learn how to run a business. When I look back on it, the people who gave me a boost and guided me—those are the people that helped me become who I am, to have the confidence I have, and to have had the experiences I’ve been fortunate enough to have. 

My dad passed away five years ago. After he died I had a lot of therapy and have reflected a lot on life. Loss does that. I can now look back and realize I should be confident in any situation I go into, even if it’s totally new, even if I feel like an imposter. And I definitely have felt that imposter syndrome many times, but I think that’s because I put myself out there. I put myself in uncomfortable situations. I push myself. And that’s what has led me to the point now where I can look back and say, oh yeah, I’m pushing myself into new places and because of that I might feel a little discomfort, but that doesn’t mean I have to change who I am.

I have learned to draw on that strength in challenging times, like COVID, that’s what age is good for, right? You can get through this, it’s gonna be tough but you’re going to come out on the other side smarter and stronger. Life is passing by. You have to take advantage of every minute. 

When I look at some of the young Guatemalan women in my life from my Peace Corps days, they have become f*cking amazing women! They are strong and I know, because they have told me, that I played a role in helping them get to where they are, and in them being confident and strong women. 

Whether it’s a lifelong relationship that you can give to people or whether it’s just an hour of your time, I think we need to shift how we think about success. Success can be sharing, or it can be a conversation. It can be lifting someone else up. It can just be a brief connection where you give someone a spark and they take it and run with it. It’s not about me. And I really mean that. 

Never take yourself too seriously. I think the most important thing in life is to have fun, have fun and change the world for the better. It’s important, being able to laugh and move forward, to never get too big of a head. We’re all just people at the same level. 


Carrie Hawthorne is a Raddle Verified Coach. I work with non-profits and small businesses in marketing, communications and content strategy, UX, graphic and web design. Over the past 20 years, I’ve run an e-comm business, started a non-profit, and worked on several marketing teams. From digging into data to editing copy, developing SEO strategies to performing user research, I have a diverse range of skills. I received a Masters in Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington in 2018 and have a UX Design Certification from Nielsen Norman Group. I’ve been living in Seattle since 2014 but work with clients all over the country.  Carrie is currently accepting new coaching clients, so if you’re curious about how Carrie’s unique skills & talents can help you and your business, visit her website to learn more.

Carrie is Raddle’s resident business coach. Raddle “Entrepreneur” members have access to business coaching as one of Raddle’s (paid) member benefits. To join Raddle as a free OR paid member– Request an Invite.

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