Self-Sabotage & The Five Archetypes of Imposter Syndrome

healing imposter syndrome self-sabotage subconscious

We're going to be diving into a conversation around the five different archetypes of imposter syndrome, self-sabotaging patterns and behaviours that can show up for them and a beautiful solution to move through healing and releasing these patterns.

In this blog post we're going to be focusing on:

I've been coaching entrepreneurs in healing and releasing imposter syndrome now for over four years. Underneath imposter syndrome are trauma responses from your personal lived experience.

Even though you may see yourself in these imposter syndrome types, I think it's really important to understand that
there's nothing wrong with you, you are not fundamentally flawed, you are not broken, and you don't need fixing. 

You are a human being who has had experiences that created certain beliefs and patterns that are causing you harm and creating chaos in your life. There are a lot of different things that contribute to imposter syndrome based upon your identity.

Almost 84% of entrepreneurs will experience some level of imposter syndrome in their journey. 

If you are experiencing Imposter Syndrome, you are not alone in this, it is a very common experience. I've gone through it many times, and anytime I even step into a new chapter those feelings get flared up again.

Let’s normalize this because when we can start to meet ourselves through that lens of compassion and love, instead of shaming those parts of us, we can start to invite in transformation. 


Self sabotage and the five archetypes of imposter syndrome
Self sabotage and the five archetypes of imposter syndrome
Self sabotage and the five archetypes of imposter syndrome


The Five Imposter Syndrome Archetypes


There are five impostor syndrome types that may be holding you back in your business.

Remember, they aren't boxes, and they aren't labels. You don't need to feel pigeonholed by these impostor syndrome archetypes.

Some people will feel like they fit into all the archetypes, and likely you'll resonate with at least two of them.

The thing that ends up happening with Imposter Syndrome is that when unchecked it can easily lead to self-sabotage.

Within these different archetypes, some different self-sabotaging patterns and behaviours come online. I've seen this so many times in my clients, in my community, and definitely within myself. With each archetype, I’ll also provide examples of self-sabotaging patterns and behaviours.


Archetype 1: The Perfectionist



The perfectionist archetype is somebody who sets excessively high goals for themselves, which leads to very little room for mistakes.

Likely, this person would often feel distraught, because anytime they create something or they do something they rarely feel that satisfaction, because of their high expectations.

If they fail to reach a goal, they experience major self-doubt & worry. They stress about measuring up or disappointing others. 

This also shows up in feeling the need to control everything, and feeling like you have to be in full control at all times if you want to get something done. This person typically would feel like they need to do it all by themselves, or it's just not going to get done the right way. 


Learn the value of gracefully receiving support in your life and business with Cynthia Davidson


Self Sabotaging Patterns & Behaviours


If you're the perfectionist imposter syndrome type, one of your self-sabotaging patterns could be that you have this obsession with needing things to be perfect, which leads to a cycle of procrastination, overwhelm, & difficulty managing your energy & emotions.

And because you're so concerned with getting it right and being perfect, your default survival pattern is to procrastinate so that you don't have to fail.

You might think, “I'm gonna procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate, avoid, avoid, avoid, so that I don't have to deal with the feelings of not getting it right.” 

Does that resonate? 


Archetype 2: The Superhuman 



Are you The Superhuman imposter syndrome archetype?

This is you if you're convinced that you're a fraud, or a phony in comparison to what you consider to be a truly successful entrepreneur, leader, or coach.

You consistently push yourself to work harder, faster, or better to measure up to those that you see in your community or online. But the truth is, underneath what appears to be this amazing work ethic, are a bunch of insecurities.

And it's this need to be and do all the things all the time which not only harms your mental well-being and how you nourish yourself, but it can also start to massively impact all the other areas in your life outside of your business as well. 


Self Sabotaging Patterns & Behaviours


With The Superhuman Archetype, the pattern that comes from that self-sabotaging place typically looks like a lack of boundaries.

This could be with how much access your clients have to you.

It could be around how much you check your DM’s, or your inbox for your emails, feeling like you always have to be on and you always have to answer right away.

And again, that comes from this place of wanting to appear like you're the go-to person. You pride yourself on being someone who's very successful, very busy, & who's got things going on.

Being needed and wanted is a deep, inner need.

The self-sabotaging pattern is what ends up leading to burnout, and making you feel that resentment and that exhaustion, even though it's coming from a place that wants what's best for you.


Read about creating healthy boundaries in business in my podcast with Laura Grady


Archetype 3: The Natural Genius 



The natural genius impostor syndrome archetype judges their competence based upon how easy or how fast they accomplish things.

As the natural genius type, if something takes you longer to master or to understand, you usually get hit with waves of shame and feelings of unworthiness. 

You set your internal bar impossibly high, just like The Perfectionist, but the thing is, you don't just judge yourself based on your wild expectations, you also judge yourself based on getting things right the first try.

The moment you're not able to do something quickly or effectively, you immediately go into a state of panic and feel depleted. 


Learn to take radical responsibility over who you are being, even the parts of you that can't get it right on the first try.


Self Sabotaging Patterns & Behaviours


If you're someone who resonates with the natural genius imposter syndrome type, your self-sabotaging patterns might show up in the middle of a launch.

Maybe things aren't going the exact way you thought they would, so you just automatically assume it's going to fail and that no one's going to invest in what you have to offer, which just messes with your energy and makes it so that you have little to no room to enjoy what you're doing.

You start to question your entire business, you start to question yourself, you start to wonder if you really have what it takes.

And that leads to that sense of failure and defeat. 

So again, in those experiences, there's that part of you that wants to be seen, wants to be heard, wants to be needed and acknowledged but you end up abandoning yourself in the process. 


Archetype 4: The Soloist



The soloist imposter syndrome archetype is the one that I resonated with the most. I feel like I experienced this so much in my life, and especially in my business.

This would be you if you feel like asking for help makes you look like you're weak or a fraud. 

Your self-worth comes from how productive you are and asking for help in any way makes you feel uncomfortable.

It's likely that you reject assistance from others and view needing help as proof that you're not as smart or capable. You probably feel the need to do it all on your own and prove to yourself or others that you're enough. 

You also likely struggle with outsourcing things in your business. And go through periods of convincing yourself that you don't need to work with a coach or a mentor, even though deep down, you know that you thrive when you have someone to lean into. 


See what I have to say about investing in yourself & receiving support


Self Sabotaging Patterns & Behaviours


A self-sabotaging pattern of the soloist type would be to constantly seek out where you could have done more, instead of celebrating the work that you do get done, which leaves you feeling like you've never done enough. 

Or perhaps, you know you need help, you know that you desire and thrive in receiving support, but instead of investing in a team member or a coach to help or guide you, you just continually fall into that story of trying to do it all on your own.

When you do this it leaves you stressed out and anxious, which again, just leads you to feel like you're just never going to be able to do it all.

Ironically, your pattern prevents you from achieving what it is that you constantly strive for. This can lead to a lack of fulfillment and burnout. 

The thing is, all of these patterns and behaviours create a feedback loop into that burnout state of being.  

The goal is to break that loop when we're looking at healing and releasing imposter syndrome.

We want you to get back into fulfillment, get back into integrity, and return to that sense of wholeness that you inherently have because it is your birthright.


Archetype 5:  The Expert



As The Expert Impostor Syndrome Archetype, you measure your intelligence based on what and how much you know or can do.

You struggle with feeling like you never know enough and you're afraid of being exposed as inexperienced or not smart enough.

You always feel like you need to learn more, or that you're never satisfied with how much knowledge you already have. And the reality is, you're a highly skilled person, but you struggle with owning and celebrating your expertise. 


Self Sabotaging Patterns & Behaviours


Last but not least, the self-sabotaging behaviour, if you're somebody who identifies with the expert type, could be, instead of creating an offer based on what you know, you think that you need to learn more before you even let yourself create the course or the program.

You just never feel like it's not going to be enough. 

Or maybe another thing could be that you have achieved all these amazing things; you've got so much to celebrate, but no matter what you win, no matter what you do, if someone signs up for your program, or you make a certain amount of money, you always feel like it’s not enough yet.

It's not enough yet and you're just constantly chasing the next thing.

It literally strips you of the present, but the pleasure is in the present moment and so you're constantly chasing the sense of fulfillment and pleasure.

It's right in front of you, but you're lacking the ability to really hold yourself and see yourself in that present state of being. 


How to Move Through Healing and Releasing Self-sabotaging Patterns and Beliefs


These are all really important things to start to consider when you're thinking about building and scaling your business from a place of sustainability.

Is your foundation stable?

If you're not prioritizing your embodiment, if you're not prioritizing your mindset and your energy, your business isn't sustainable, it's just not. 

More and more people are starting to awaken to this because there are tons of successful coaches out there who have created million-dollar businesses, only to find that their business isn't sustainable, because how they treat themselves isn't sustainable.

What ends up suffering is their client care, how they manage their team, they go through divorces, they lose things that they love because they were chasing numbers instead of actually embodying abundance, embodying their worth, and embodying their true essence to then meet the things that they desired with that energy. 

So the reality is when you're not prioritizing your embodiment, your energy and your mindset, eventually, if you’re not already, you're gonna burn out.

You'll resent the very business you worked so hard to love, and you'll potentially even risk sabotaging not only your relationship with yourself but with others.

And so as an expert at helping entrepreneurs embody their true essence and reprogram their subconscious body and mind for success and master the energetics of their business, I know firsthand how important this work is, this work is literally the foundation of your success.

And so I personally believe that everybody's journey in returning to wholeness looks different. This is the type of work that allows you to go on to experience and accomplish things beyond your wildest dreams because you end up in a state of allowing yourself to go there.



If you loved the topic of this post, be sure to listen to the full, unedited podcast episode of The Embodied Leadership Podcast through the links at the top of the page.


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