“Imposter Syndrome”... The Oxford Dictionary defines it as the “inability to believe that one’s success is deserved.”
However, from a Psychological Astrology perspective, there’s a lot more to understanding how and why it shows up in a person’s life.
Imposter syndrome is most commonly linked to the PA profile called Sun-Neptune or “The Hero.”
Typically speaking, the people who have this profile are trying to become somebody influential or inspirational. They’re the people who naturally get followers on Instagram, have written books and are generally idolized by the public in some form.
Very often in class, students with the Sun-Neptune profile express to me: what would people think of me if they knew I’m “just an ordinary person?”
To understand their question, one needs to understand this key point about Sun-Neptunes: they have a psychological reaction to disappointment.
They’re terrified that people will discover they’re not perfect and that they’ll become disappointed.
Thus, there is a natural aversion to telling people more about themselves, even though they are in the spotlight in some way and admired by many.
If that is the case, why do they put themselves in the spotlight?
If we don’t want to disappoint others, what motivated them to rise up to be a person that other people can look up to…?
And why are they trying to be perfect?
Sharing From My Personal Experience
Overall, as a Sun-Neptune myself, I can not only answer these but I can also directly relate to them by reviewing my own PA profile.
Put simply, we’re motivated by the theme of hope and inspiration. We believe in the almost fairytale-like possibilities of a more perfect world. We want to step up to guide the way towards it.
And we want to be someone inspiring because we know what it feels like to be disappointed by someone we idolized…
Despite our enchanted view on life, we realize that disappointments do exist.
The most common authority figure idolized by a Sun-Neptune is the father-figure. However, it can come in the form of many other masculine-type authority figures. It could be a teacher, a grandfather or an uncle. Basically, it’s anyone strong or successful we put on a pedestal in some way when we were younger. – like an ‘amazing superhero’
Then, when we get older, they realize that this person is not quite the ‘amazing superhero’ that we had thought them to be when we were younger.
This subconsciously prompts “The Hero” to think, “wouldn’t it be great if I could be the perfect idol for others, something my father-figure wasn’t for me?”
Psychologically, this feeling of disappointment in our idol is also our deepest motivation.
That’s one of the things that drives me as a person as well. I love my father but I’m also very conscious of the failings of my father. And there’s a part of me that just wants to be better.
As for when Imposter Syndrome presents in a Hero’s life, it is usually as a result of facing this complex dichotomy of simultaneous desiring to become an inspiration for people at the same time as fearing you might become someone’s disappointing idol.
The problem with Sun-Neptune is that in an attempt to avoid disappointing people, they tend to perpetuate an “idol illusion” by not revealing their true selves.
Unfortunately, psychologically, when you don’t have the confidence to show people the real you… this can also eat away at you.
We exist in a world where people aren’t perfect.
Whether somebody is a hero or not is not really determined by how perfect they appear to other people but rather it’s in realizing that they’ve chosen to live life inspiring others.
One of the best ways that the Sun-Neptune can manage Imposter Symptom fears is realizing this: you can be real and an inspiration within a real world, not a fairytale-like one.
Rather than pretending you’re an all-powerful ‘Elon Musk’ who never makes mistakes, be honest. Be okay with sharing authentically, with some of your flaws and cracks…
Sara Blakely is a great example of this. She regularly shares openly about how imperfect she is and the life blunders she experiences… despite being one of the world’s youngest self-made businesswomen on the Forbes World Billionaires list. In fact, one of her favourite stories to tell is that she recently accidentally wore her dress backwards while appearing on a major televised interview.
Be honest with people, and at the same time, you’ll realize that instead of disappointing people, this authenticity and honesty has quite the opposite effect. You are actually a lot more inspirational when you tell the truth.
Personally, I understand this internal pressure to only show the most polished parts of my character.
I have a large following and many of these people put me on a sort of pedestal. There are people who send me messages who seem to think I am some kind of Goddess!
The reality is, I’m just me.
I’m nowhere near the Goddess some people think that I am. I don’t often reveal a lot about myself but I’ll confess here! This is me being very vulnerable… Sometimes I have cookies for breakfast. Most of the time I don’t wear makeup. And I spend a lot of more time playing games than you may think!
That’s the real May Sim.
For the Sun-Neptune, it can be transformational to realize that being ordinary is quite heroic. It breaks the illusion that an idol needs to be perfect…and it makes you more relatable.
Realizing an idol is more like you than you thought is far from disappointment. And that courage in showing your “ordinary self” is inspirational.