She’s a prime example of why the best coaches are those who have been in the trenches, fighting their way through the same challenges their clients face.

Reassess and redefine what success means to you. If you feel that there’s something that’s not right in what you’re looking to do, really redefine that.”

— Gail Meriel

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, USA, December 14, 2022 / — Gail Meriel had been a successful IT project manager for years when she decided to take an exam that would give her an official credential—the Project Manager Professional certification. She studied intensely, took the exam, and failed. She regrouped, took it a second time, failed again. “At that point, I lost all motivation,” she says. “I was really deflated.” She internalized the experience, believing that she herself was a failure. But after nearly a year, she began to reassess the whole experience. She thought, “I know I’m smart. I’m a lifelong learner,” and she decided to go for it again.

She approached the third exam more tactically, realizing that self-study wasn’t sufficient for her learning style and enrolling in a bootcamp where she could interact with other students. That built her confidence. She also worked on shifting her perspective so that she could focus on the things she could control like self-care and studying, and not on the things she couldn’t control, like the difficulty of the exam. And she also reassessed her reasons for taking the exam. Was it just for the three letters after her name? Or was it because she wanted to think through the exam problems and become a better project manager for her clients?

Yes, she passed the third time. And when she began to tell this story to others, she recognized how much they resonated with her experience and how much they gained from listening to her advice. “I started consulting with colleagues and friends and they saw the benefit,” she says. “I know I have a gift and I want to share that with the world. That’s what’s inspiring me. I’ve gone through a lot of negative situations that I know a lot of people have gone through or are going through. I have a personality that people feel comfortable with, and that’s what really helps me be able to help them.”

For now, Gail is focused on help women in corporate positions who, in whatever situation and for whatever reason, are experiencing imposter syndrome. Connect with her at her website,, or through LinkedIn and Clubhouse. You can also read more of her advice for gaining confidence in the new book Inspiring Women Who Boss Up, a collection of interviews with female entrepreneurs that is packed with compelling stories, practical advice, and role models for any woman looking to boss up in her career or life.

About the Women Who Boss Up Book Series

Whether you’ve been bossing up for a while or you’re looking for support on your boss-up journey, the Women Who Boss Up book series is your chance to take inspiration and advice from women just like you. These women come from all backgrounds, all walks of life, and all disciplines—STEM, healthcare, finance, coaching, nonprofits, and much more. You’ll read about women who left Corporate America to pursue their dreams of business ownership, women who faced seemingly insurmountable challenges but learned how to move forward, women who followed their intuition to create lives of fulfillment and financial success, and much more. Learn more at

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