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It’s Not Impostor Syndrome

Oct 27, 2021

Have you heard of the term “impostor syndrome”? It refers to people who feel like they’re inadequate at something that they’re doing despite their success.

But, “Impostor” means “to endeavor to make something out of those they deceive.”

You already know that is the opposite of what you’re out to do, right? You’re never actually going to be an impostor unless it truly is your intent to deceive others (if that’s the case, clicking away would be advised). Instead, those feelings that you might be pretending to be someone you’re not is actually what I call the Charlatan Complex. 

You’re not dealing with “impostor syndrome,” you’re really dealing with the Charlatan Complex.

Charlatans are people who pretend to be someone they’re not.

Are you afraid that you’re not really who you say you are, or that you aren’t worthy of being the person you say you are?

Do you worry that you don’t have what it takes to truly call yourself a coach or a healer?

The Charlatan Complex can make you feel like you need to find “other words” for coach or healer because those words don’t resonate with who you are or what you do.

But why is this? Why does referring to yourself as a coach or healer feel wrong?

Is it because you feel like you’re acting or putting on a costume? Are you worried you’re going to create false expectations and disappoint someone?

It gets confusing when we’re told to act as if in order to manifest the results we want to create… Aren’t you supposed to fake it till you make it in order to become the person you want to be?


Well, here’s the deal. If you’re reading this you probably place a high value on being a person of integrity.

So, if you’re trying to provide services from a place of feeling like you’re putting on an act, then a big part of you is going to feel like what you’re doing is taking advantage of people by acting like someone who you’re not and so, not only do you not deserve to be successful at it, but you’re actually a danger to others, instead of being a force for healing and transformation.


If you’re feeling any of this, then you can imagine the impact that this has on your ability to have a successful, stable coaching or healing business, right?

Underneath your sense that you can’t authentically (or don’t want to) call yourself a coach or a healer may be some deep and abiding fears of making a mistake, messing up, causing harm, being imperfect.

And probably there’s an even deeper fear that, IF you actually OWN this part of yourself, then you might just succeed outrageously… and who are you to deserve that, especially if you feel like you’re pretending?

It’s going to feel easier to sit in the safe space of NOT taking action, NOT messing up, NOT causing harm… NOT being successful beyond your current level.

The Charlatan Complex is a protective pattern that prevents you from expanding, growing, and breaking through to the next level.


You could do some “identity” work to help you feel more okay with calling yourself whatever you want to call yourself.

But, I believe that healing the Charlatan Complex goes much deeper than identity work.

Why? Because where does an identity live? In your body. It gets expressed through behaviors, actions, and decisions.

The Charlatan Complex is a sign that your entire being does not feel safe with embodying a certain identity.

You may feel you don’t have the right to call yourself a certain thing, in this case a coach or a healer because you’re not “good enough” at it. You’re going to be conflicted, or you may see people who are clearly not who they say they are and they’re making tons of money, but they seem dishonest so you’re not going to want to be like them.

You want to make sure that everything you do provides REAL value.

And when that’s the case, it can be tempting to go into a never-ending rabbit hole of training and certifications, right?

Or lead you to thinking things like:

  • “When I’m a reiki master, I’ll finally be able to call myself a healer.”
  • “When I’m a certified coach, then I’ll finally be able to raise my session prices.”
  • “Once I’ve helped someone heal from something REAL, then I’ll consider myself a healer.”
  • “I can’t call myself a healer, I have nothing to do with the healing that comes through me.”
  • “I hate the word coach… I’m more like a transformation guide or a soul alchemist.”

But, none of that education or those esoteric titles or so-called mastery will ever be enough to heal your Charlatan Complex until you go all the way down to what is — for many of us — a core wound.

The wound of feeling like YOU will never be good enough, period.

You may think, “No matter how hard I might try to master something, I will never actually be any good, because underneath, I actually don’t have what it takes and can never measure up. I’ll never do what I dream of or be who I dream of being.”

But this is a FEELING, not a fact…

And are FEELINGS really the most reliable compass from which you want to navigate your life?

No! Feelings are just indicators about your body’s state of being. Your state generates your thoughts, which creates feelings. It’s from a STATE that you make all of your decisions and where your actions and behaviors come from.

Here’s the thing, most of us are trying to change our stories, mindset, and thoughts to convince ourselves out of the Charlatan Complex.

But this isn’t effective, and a mindset-only approach can actually do quite a bit of harm. This is a HUGE problem with a lot of the popular coaching methodologies out there right now, as pointed out recently in the Guardian.

It’s much more effective and efficient to address this pattern at the root, by learning how to shift your state instead of focusing on what you’re thinking.

The Charlatan Complex is an indicator that your body is not feeling safe, and that it’s in protection mode.

What I’m saying is that, even if you NEVER feel good enough, you can learn how to create a sense of safety in your body. This will enable you to take action and behave in integrity to who you are called to be… no matter what feelings you’re having.

You don’t really want to act as if. You want to be-have, SO THAT you’re more likely to create the kinds of results you want to see for yourself and your clients.


If you aren’t able to take action to do the things you need to do, and show up with confidence about your work, it’s NOT a sign that you don’t have what it takes!!

It’s a sign that your nervous system needs support so that your body feels safe to EXPERIMENT, EXPLORE, EXPRESS, and EMBODY a new way of being.

Your nervous system needs to feel safe so that you can show up fully at the level you’re at right now and trust that it’s enough and that you are enough.

Your nervous system needs to feel safe so that you can call yourself whatever you want to and KNOW that you’re coming from a place of integrity, not a place of pretense.

Your successful coaching and healing business starts with a supported nervous system.

Let me say that again. You need a supported nervous system for your coaching/healing business to be successful.

Letting go of the Charlatan Complex starts with embodying REAL self-trust.


What does my nervous system need right now so that I can feel safe, to fully embrace and share my magic as a coach or healer?

You might not know how to answer that question yet, but give yourself time, stay open to asking yourself different questions, and stick around here. This is how you become a Successful Sensitive.

This is how you serve authentically AND tap into financial abundance.

Your resilient nervous system is what gives you the ability to create a safe space within yourself to grow, change, and succeed.

And that safe space within you? You better believe that’s at the foundation of creating safe space for others.

To learn more about how to support your nervous system as a coach or healer, please choose a time to attend my pre-recorded training on the steps I took to create a truly successful business — that takes the nervous system FULLY into account.


Lola L’Amour is a spiritual mentor, healer, creator of the Future Ancients podcast and founder of the Anima Mystery School. 


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LOLA L’AMOUR is a spiritual mentor; offering private mentorship and transformational retreats. She is the creator of the Future Ancients podcast, founder of the Anima Mystery School, and bestselling author of the Wild Messengers Alchemical Tarot.

When Lola is not supporting her community, you’ll find her on her mat, out for a hike, or adventuring with her husband and 2 kids. To receive Lola’s support, please reach out to her on the contact page.

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