I KNOW you’ve heard of Impostor Syndrome. You’re bopping along feeling great, maybe you have a new offering coming out, or you get invited to speak on a TV show, and BAM, it hits you.
This deep fear that somehow people will “find out” you’re “not that great,” and EVERYONE will know it.
The problem with Impostor Syndrome is how dangerous it can be to your purpose. I once spoke with a woman who had the most amazing story to tell. She’d been wanting to write a book about it for years, had the right publisher who was interested, and even a person interested in being her agent. Yet, she’d never pushed forward with it.
Why? Because she was terrified people would read her book and think, “eh. She isn’t all that. What a fraud!” The sad thing? Years later, she still hasn’t published her book. The agent and publisher have now moved on.
Have you ever felt terrified of letting people in your audience get closer to you because you’re afraid they’re going to find out you aren’t always perfect at practicing what you preach?
I had a client with this exact version of Impostor Syndrome. She had a GORGEOUSLY curated Instagram presence, forty thousand followers…and the more perfect her Instagram feed got, the less people bought things from her.
She was so terrified of being seen as “not perfect” at what she teaches, she’d curated this artificial “perfect” brand. And no one could relate to it. People don’t buy things from people they can’t relate to on some level. If I can’t connect with you, I can’t trust you enough to give you my hard-earned money.
Impostor Syndrome is actually what I call a Purpose Capacity issue. Because you’re either doing one of two things when you have this issue:
- You’re presenting a persona of a perfect person who you aren’t, so you’re constantly terrified of being found out (instead of just being yourself and letting people see that you constantly work on the very same things you teach.)
- You’re not showing up in your purpose at all. Instead, you’re building a brand, business, or life that isn’t aligned with your purpose (because it’s too vulnerable to be seen so you hide beneath a misaligned brand, business, or even relationship.)
You might be doing these things because you’re afraid of pushback, people disagreeing with you, or even criticizing you. But the cost is even larger. You’re here to do one thing. And you’re not doing it.
You might think it’s tolerable, but I’ve seen so many “symptoms” in clients over the years who were holding back their Purpose Capacity:
- mystery illnesses or allergic reactions that wouldn’t go away until they started living in their purpose.
- feeling constantly burned out in the businesses they built (because they weren’t aligned with their purpose) and wanting to quit.
- continuously attracting the wrong relationships, team members, clients, and opportunities because they weren’t fully living their purpose.
- a feeling of malaise, feeling lost, and “not even knowing who you are or what you do anymore.”
- incessant revenue plateaus because the business you built wasn’t aligned with your purpose. (You subconsciously sabotage it all the time because you secretly don’t want it to work out, because it’s not fulfilling.)
If you’ve ever felt any version of Impostor Syndrome, you actually have a Purpose Capacity issue. And no amount of strategies like tapping, reciting mantras, or positive affirmations is going to solve it.
Because you have a capacity issue, not a strategy issue.