4 Signs that your Business is not Built on a Foundation of Inner Success

by | Apr 21, 2023 | Business Lessons, Chapter Three, Chapter Two, Manifestation, Self Sabotage | 0 comments

Ever heard “other people have it worse”?


Maybe you’ve told yourself that too: suck it up, buttercup – other people have it worse. Be. Grateful. Be. Grateful. Be. Grateful.

When I was sad as a child – which was a lot – I used to get shut in my room: “Don’t you DARE come out, until you have a happy face on.” The implication: my feelings don’t matter, my feelings aren’t real. I’m not entitled to them. Happy face on. Be. A. Good. Girl. 

Happy face on and go. Happy face on and keep going, keep going… keep going… Up the ladder. Doing all the right things. But like most high achieving women, no success ever felt “good enough,” somehow no matter how far I went, good enough was always still just out of reach.  

Actually, I’d mentally punish myself sometimes, just as my clients do now when I first meet them, for being disconnected from gratitude. It wasn’t that I felt ingratitude. What I actually felt was UNQUALIFIED. As a result, I wasn’t able to enjoy the apparent wealth all around me, instead I felt shame for having what other people wanted and not feeling good about it. It all came back to scarcity, that feeling of still not enoughness. And when it grew too great to bear, it would come as physical illness, or numbness and an inability to do anything at all. I hadn’t yet fully grasped that comparing with the world outside can only ever create not enoughness, no matter what great things you achieve. It’s an invisible and two-fold violence that society conditions us into, though this focus on “other people are worse off.”


    1. It bypasses the validity of our lived experience of suffering;
    2. It inherently also strongly implies that if other people are worse off, then there are also others who are better off. In a society that both encourages competitiveness (read if you’re not first, you’re last) and equates good health, wealth, attractiveness etc as being more valuable and valid, that’s a problem.
    3. It internalises the narrative of not being enough as you are, and makes enoughness impossible, because there will always be someone who has more.

So let’s get one thing straight right now


Yes, there is wisdom, in recognising the suffering of others and being grateful for what we have. But we can’t FEEL gratitude until we also accept its counterparts. What we’ve come to shame as ingratitude, is often actually embodied, emotional entanglement in your own and others’ suffering and pride. Without opening up to embodied emotion, abundance remains closed to us: our being isn’t primed to feel it: detachment like this is a blessing and a curse.

Blessing: I never felt much of the abuse in my life while it was happening – I kept it at arms’ length and “not real” as much as possible, thanks to that conditioned mantra “other people have it worse”. 

Curse: I graduated with award winning research, one of the highest overall percentages for my masters ever awarded at my university in any subject, with publications forthcoming and a bright career unfolding ahead of me and felt nothing. Well, except the deep emptiness of knowing the next thing had to be bigger, to mean anything at all. 

Over the years on my personal journey, in researching how shame and fear manifest and, as a practitioner supporting others, I’ve come to the conclusion that you have to witness your suffering and pride authentically, in order to transcend it. To actually let the pain and pride into the light, so you can release them – rather than keeping them forever a weight in the shadows. 

Choose not to compare

To truly see the lessons and the blessings in your personal journey – whatever that means – and to choose not to compare how valid your claim of pain is, alongside the next person. To choose not to compare your qualifications alongside the next person. To choose not to compare anything. Because even if comparison works out favourably for you this time, it does so by diminishing the other. That fundamentally undercuts true wholeness. It screams “you may be top now, but somebody is coming up behind you and the only way to stay enough is to be more. In other words: oh lookie, turns out you’re still not enough.  

As long as you deny trauma in your life and tell yourself, “oh, but other people have it much worse” you’re disconnecting yourself from your truth. You staying stuck in the middle because, from there you’re also compelled to hold “others are so much better than me” alongside it. 

It leaves you cut off on both sides, from authenticity. Ironically, you remain a victim, trapped in the web of definition by others. Removed from the lessons your soul needs to create real abundance you can actually feel. 

This is essential work, whether you’re a coach, a photographer, a chef or a pianist because, it’s your real feelings that actually manifest. We get more of what we are – not what we want. Invalidating your feelings instead of feeling them prevents you transcending them through freedom, creativity and love into something soulful that serves others. Saying, “others have it worse” as if by rote might seem like liberation, but it’s actually the guilded cage that consistently invalidates qualifications, opportunities, blessings and (you’ve guessed it) wealth too.

I see so many businesses who are:

  • Receiving lovely compliments and testimonials they don’t feel like they can share;
  • Receiving invitations to collaborate that they don’t feel “good enough” for and often actually self-sabotage their way out of;
  • Missing out on easy, soulful sales with ideal clients who love your work and are excited to buy from you because they don’t feel good enough to expect those people to ever work with them;
  • Talking about raising their prices to the rates they really dream about, but never actually following through. Or raising them but then adding so much more into the package they actually gave themselves a wage cut;
  • Creating generic offers that don’t really light them up because they feel like their ideas aren’t good enough; and
  • Feeling cut off and completely missing signs and gifts from the universe because not enoughness equates to separation from wholeness (i.e. oneness).

Not creating the results they desire. Feeling imposter syndrome. Believing it’s true, instead of recognising that the other side of “other people out there are so much better at this than me,” is that there are millions upon millions of people out there who are not doing what they are, can’t do it, and want and need their help.

Imposter Syndrome feels real for a reason

We all assume imposter syndrome means we genuinely aren’t qualified. It’s hard not to believe your own imposter syndrome, when it’s banging down the door day and night. At one stage, mine was so bad I had dozens of articles accepted to academic journals, all of which I felt so unqualified to actually write, I stopped even pretending I intended to write them and just ghosted all the editors. Yes, you can call me Professor Self-Sabotage Extraordinaire because, what editor would ever accept another article from me after that?

But what if imposter syndrome actually means we aren’t embodying the truth of our qualification? That we are denying ourselves our enoughness, once again. What if it really means we’re trying to be someone else and aren’t embodying the truth of our own journey and that our own journey is intrinsically valuable? What if it’s because we’re all locked in a cultural box that determines what it’s ok to say about yourself, good and bad, and which parts you can “own” in which contexts?

Asking the Question Changes the Answer

Once I started asking these questions everything changed for me. I brought all of myself into my research, no matter how weird and wonderful. My research grew to encompass storytelling and poetry, performance, contemporary art, animal studies and a whole host more disciplines and practices that fell far outside even the norm for interdisciplinary studies. I brought all of my experience and all of my skills into the room, hitting a point where my talks were often booked to standing room only because they were unique, fascinating and even funny. In academic terms I was further away from my recognised “expertise” but by being me and finding myself enough to take the first step, I was able to create motion, which created momentum, which created a more profound expertise than I ever could have imagined if I’d stayed in the space of continually comparing myself to others. 

Most business mentors don’t know it and teach only strategy, but as I’ve discovered over and over again in life, the inner reality co-creates the outer one. Inner work is the most fundamental foundation on which real success is built. Answer truthfully – how could you ever feel safe enough to feel abundance, if your reality is set up to consistently reinforce the message “your feelings aren’t real. Your feelings don’t matter. Your feelings are a mistake. Only other people’s feelings matter? You are not enough yet? You are an imposter?”

Right. You wouldn’t.


Now there are a few ways that can play out for business owners who don’t address the deeper issues:

    1. You create amazing outward success with a 7 or 8 figure business, but can’t feel it or see it around you. You’re still living hand-to mouth, month-to-month and feeling perpetually pinched, reinvesting everything into the business just in case. You make choices that fundamentally compromise your wellbeing because you’re focused on other people’s validation and expectations.
    2. You create some success (even a great deal, you could be a 1 and a 2 here!) but then spin out, unable to hold the worthiness you need close enough to your heart to get your business values back into alignment. You burn it all down and start over, carrying even more shame and doubt about your enoughness.
    3. You create a bit of success, but every time that desire to compare yourself comes up you wind up with a new shiny object. Another course, another platform, another strategy, another distraction from how you really feel inside. No matter how much your business makes, you can spend all of it before it’s even hit the bank account. It feels safer to say “this strategy obviously isn’t enough, I’ll try another one,” than it does to say “uh oh, my inner enoughness is in trouble and I need to invest in working with that”.
    4. You stay on the start line. A big, powerful part of you knows you have incredible potential and wants to see you fly, but something just keeps holding you back. This can feel like having “no good ideas.” But it’s very often having so many ideas you’d need lifetimes to action them and just circling around on making even those first, crucial decisions to get properly started. Some people stay here for 10-20 years, even longer.

In all four cases, you gaslight yourself by shouting at yourself “Shut up and be grateful! Remember someone else has it worse,” whilst at the very same time, the little shadow voice of the internalised implications of that whispers “Don’t forget there are plenty of people who are better than you. Or more deserving that you. Or who have something you don’t… Imposter”

Can you change it, if that’s you?

Yes! You start by releasing the hold of “other people have it worse” and creating the safety inside of yourself necessary to feel your feelings. To let in the “that was not ok! That hurt me! I’m mad about that! AAAAHHHHH!”

By telling yourself you’re safe, seen and loved – even when your feelings seem ugly, selfish, indulgent or unfounded. Once you recognise that feelings aren’t universal truths but deeply subjective, personal experience, it’s easier to see that there are no “good feelings” or “bad feelings,” only felt feelings and stuck feelings. It’s stuck feelings that follow us wherever we go – even up to 7 and 8 figures, as our businesses grows. Stuck feelings see us making versions of the same choice (and the same mistakes) over and over. When you can change the feeling from not enoughness to something else – curiosity, acceptance, love, friendship or worthiness for example – everything changes.


Dr. Morgana

Dr. Morgana McCabe Allan


There’s always more to LEARN

And here’s just a few starting points…

“I’m sharing a win, I made more money this week in my business than on any other offer last year. And it was so easy. This money river is flowing today! I’m only $700 away from hitting my new monthly goal and it’s only the 2nd of the month!”

Elena Saxton

Coach for Artisans

Morgana McCabe Allan is incredibly wise yet personable, revolutionary yet relational, and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to be coached through mindset calls with her. I will be hearing her words in my head for years to come!

Danielle Bettmann

Host of Failing Motherhood Podcast

“I signed my first client!! {…} I showed up on the call fully present, gave her everything I could and I told her I want to offer her a 3 month package where I will honour the free sessions I had posted about within the price point. And she signed up! 🙂 “