The Expert Syndrome

Which presentation should I use – the new one or the old one?  It was Wednesday, the morning after we had hit #1 on the Amazon Bestseller list, and I was on my way to facilitate a “Why & How to Write a Book” workshop at the Inland Empire Women’s Business Center.

The old presentation is safe, but the new one inspires me.  I pulled into the parking spot, and started to unload all of my materials.

Are they going to get any value from this new presentation?  I was walking toward the building when I felt a knot tighten in my stomach. Or are they going to think I’m an idiot?

As soon as I heard that last question float through my mind, I realized what was happening.

The new title of “Bestselling Author” felt really good…for a minute.

And then it suddenly felt like a whole lot of PRESSURE!

All of a sudden, I had another even bigger title I had to live up to.

Don’t people expect more from a bestselling author?

And pretty much over night, my name had been put in front of thousands more people. Doesn’t everything have to be perfect before it gets out there in front of so many people?

AHA – the Expert Syndrome!

I see it (and experience it!) all the time. Aspiring authors, speakers, and entrepreneurs come to me with these incredibly inspired and empowering messages, and then they don’t write, sell, or promote them. Some say they can’t find the time, and others say they feel like they are wandering or working on the wrong message, and others claim confusion as the culprit.

But when we drill down to the core of what’s REALLY keeping them from moving forward, we find what I call the Expert Syndrome.

  • “I just want to do some more research first.”


  • “Why would anyone listen to me? I don’t have a Ph.D. in this field.”


  • “The outline isn’t quite right yet.”


  • “I need to put all of these things in place first.”


  • “But I don’t want to tell that story. What will people say?”


Now, I am the first person who will tell you to plan, create a solid structure, and do the work to make sure that what you’re putting out there feels good to you and is exactly what is needed in the marketplace.

But I’m also the coach who will help you to see that maybe, just maybe, you’re scared of dreaming big and taking action because of what the new title will mean for you.

  • Maybe you will experience criticism and rejection…


  • Maybe you will offend some people…


  • Maybe you will mess it up…


Want the ANTIDOTE for the Expert Syndrome?

I call it the Messenger Mindset. Ready?

You will probably experience criticism and rejection. You will probably offend some people. And you can be certain you will make several messes along the journey.

But if the message was given to you and you are called to share it, then you can be a Messenger instead of an Expert. What’s the difference?

Messengers trust that the work they do is not their work; they are simply the vessel. All they have to do is listen, say YES, show up, and share. Messengers enjoy the journey because it’s not really up to them to make it perfect.

They take the first step. And they take big risks, even when they don’t have everything in place because they feel the urgency of their message. They know the people need it, and they go to them. When they make mistakes and messes, they apologize and clean them up.

They stand in a place of authenticity and transparency so real that every audience and reader realizes that it’s okay to be on the journey, that we don’t get all of the answers and steps at once, that no one has it all together, that our imperfections are what qualify us to support others, and that we can all be perfectly imperfect, on-purpose, and making a difference together. 


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