Popularity? The Imposter Syndrome, Authenticity and Self Love

Lately, I’ve had conversations with clients and friends about comparing their social media numbers to others in their field, and even to their friends and family. When their posts don’t get likes or shares, they don’t feel popular. When they speak their truth in a post, they feel like the odd one out if people haven’t commented.

Other experiences include:

  • feeling like an imposter, a well-recognized syndrome most of us face at one time or another;
  • feeling like social media is the popularity game from high school all over again;
  • feeling like they might be too old to … fill in the blank.

Any of these experiences sound familiar? I did a Live Show on this very topic, you can check it out here: https://www.catwilliford.com/your-heroines-journey-live-dtv-show/

What’s Underneath?

When we dug deeper, my clients discovered when they don’t feel like they are enough they take actions and say things that feel inauthentic, in order to net those feelings of popularity and being liked. Which of course leaves them feeling worse.

You can bet we dove into their old stories, did some unmasking and developed new story lines they want to live into.

After those client sessions, I took the opportunity to dive in and examine my own behavior today around popularity. And just like with my clients and friends, I recognized some old stories from school days.

It takes an outside view to see the old story, and identify what is real. 

I never thought I was popular back in school. I was into theatre and enjoyed the silliness and creativity of that crowd. I was in advanced classes and hung out with the smart crowd because they challenged me. I was a wild child and also hung out with the partyers. And I stayed close to my six unassuming girlfriends I’d known since early grade school.

At my 15th high school reunion, a friend from the smart crowd (she was the Salutatorian of our class) told me she had always been envious of my in-crowd.

I said, “Huh? What in-crowd?”

She replied, your popular group from Sam Houston (my grade school). I laughed and said, “Are you kidding me? Popular? We weren’t cheerleaders! We didn’t date football players! We weren’t the popular group.”

Ms. Salutatorian was having none of it – she said, “don’t you realize how we all wanted to be in your group of seven?”

Um, no, I didn’t. I was always busy trying to not feel like the outsider. Wow.

My old “I wasn’t popular in school” story was healed by that gift of conversation. It didn’t change my past experience, but it opened up new places for me to stand in my current life.

Does the social media numbers game worry me sometimes? Of course. And then I remember that the internal experience of not feeling liked or popular is an old story and not what I am living today.

What’s your popular story?

What old “popular” story is lurking in the shadows of your consciousness? How is it playing out today in what is social media’s popularity game?

Allowing support is essential to our growth. I’m a whiz at helping people dismantle the power of their old stories, remove the resulting masks, and develop the new storyline they choose to live into. If you’d like that kind of support, please reach out. I’m here for you.

Love & Light,


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