Why Imposters are hardwired NOT to succeed

 Success doesn’t ruin you, it reveals you. 

I’ll go first and take off my mask. Early in my professional career I was an imposter. I share that story below or on my internationally syndicated television confession (crazy huh?)

BUT first, here’s something else I know. Odds are you’ve felt like an imposter. (Studies reveal about 70% of us do.) You might be thinking, what’s so bad about that? I’ve been pretty successful pretending, why change now? Fair questions, but in this post, I’ll share:

  • The CAUSE for being an imposter
  • The COST of being an imposter
  • The COURSE for you to overcome being an imposter

The CAUSE for being an imposter

Babies aren’t inhibited. They aren’t imposters either. If they want to cry—they cry. If they want to pee—they pee. Here’s something else. Babies don’t blush. They’re not as self-aware as adults and they don’t feel shame either.

Big deal?  I’d say so. This means being an imposter is a learned behavior. You chose to be an imposter sometime in your life. You were born with a predisposition for authenticity. You were created to say how you feel.

But you discovered shame later in life. Maybe someone laughed at you and you made a internal agreement never to do “that again.” Maybe you were told NOT to tell grandma her cooking tasted icky.

Regardless, life taught you deception was not only preferred, but also rewarded. And the opposite is true. Life taught you authenticity was punishable. That to be accepted you needed to hide your feelings, your thoughts, your opinions…and mostly YOURSELF!

Life told you it was less painful to hold back, filter your personality, and pretend to be somebody else. (Share on Twitter| Facebook |Google+LinkedIn)

Pretending scored you a bigger payoff. As a child, when the stakes were small, those rewards were small, but significant. Today, the stakes are much higher. Billion dollar industries are built upon pretending, so are marriages, and even books. Pretending seems less painful. But is it?

The cause for being an imposter is simple—you are pain averse.

The COST of being an imposter

Who can argue? We choose to be imposters because of the apparent payoff—less pain.

Less rejection and more acceptance seem like a great idea. But here’s the crazy little secret. Imposters end up creating more pain. They intentionally sabotage their own success and create all kinds of other pain—like regret for starters. Here’s why:

When you live a lie—big or small—you fear exposure.

Success is simply doing life from a bigger stage. Imposters see the stage and feel torn. Sure they want a bigger stage, but they also fear being exposed. They aren’t sure if people accept them or the false image they’ve created. These fears erode confidence by creating doubt.

  • Why am I being promoted? For pretending?
  • What if I let people see the real me? Would I still be successful?
  • Do I even know who I truly am?

Living a lie takes a toll. It creates stress and burn-out. Success leaves imposters vulnerable because it turns up the heat. A bigger stage requires a bigger spotlight and hiding suddenly gets harder. Plus the price for pretending compounds. Higher climbs naturally mean harder falls.

Although many imposters get a “taste”of success, they end up running from the stage rather than running to the stage. They never step into their full potential because they hold back who they truly are.

(Besides, many never even take the time or effort to explore who they are. Ouch! Don’t forget Mr. Socrates = “The unexamined life is not worth living.”)

The cost for being an imposter is simple—self-sabotage. 

The COURSE for you to overcome being an imposter

A change in behavior requires a change in belief. No one simply sheds decades of hiding simply because someone tells them it’s a good idea. My transformation took place because I had no other choice. My self-sabotage got so severe, I relied upon self-injury just to survive.

Truth is, a couple people started to sniff out my charade. (Talk about painful.) I had a choice—come clean or keep pretending. Personally, I think choosing to shed the charade is simpler, healthier, and gentler than being revealed from the “stage of life” in real time.

So how do you stop hiding? And how do you stop the charade?

On November 14-15 at the Igniting Souls Conference I’m investing 2 days helping a small group of people do just that. Together we’ll take a deep dive into what dictates our self-image set-point. We’ll examine how and why we feel the need to pretend. And most impactful, we’ll discover 3 steps for overcoming the Imposter inside and resetting our self-image set-point.

The course for you to overcome being an imposter is simple—The Igniting Souls Conference.

4 meals + 2 days of transformation + a 90 day action plan = an incredibly small time and financial investment

The Imposter Session is only 5 of 9. You have 8 other sessions. More info. on these other sessions below.

If you want to secure your spot at the Igniting Souls Conference,  Early Bird tickets END ON OCTOBER 14. Use the extra $100 off code below.


Igniting Souls Conference 


You’d probably like a bigger “stage.” But if you’re like 70% of the population, you’re also a little scared. After all, success doesn’t ruin you; it reveals you. Emerging into the spotlight is much easier when you discover Your Secret Name and reset your self-image set-point.

Full schedule here. Early bird tickets available UNTIL OCTOBER 14. Subscribers use IGNITER100 at checkout to get an additional $100 off for a limited time.

Read more about the other sessions below: