Leo Self-Limiting Syndrome

The Most Important Leo Personality Trait

Any rundown of Leo personality traits will mention their creative psyche, love of glamor and fully-primed ego. But few descriptions feature their Self-Limiting Syndrome, although it is probably the primary challenge for people with Leo Sun, Moon or Rising sign to overcome. Think also Venus or Mars in Leo people.

Nobody begrudges Leo their love of dramatic entrances or high emotions around music and cinema. And if they want to delusionally identify with a celebrity, so what? Their A-Lister spending on a D-Lister budget? If anyone can use expensive tastes to motivate a technically impossible career trajectory, it will be a Leo type personality.

They don’t need to be taught creative visualization; they know it from birth. Leos have impeccable style instincts and authentically adore culture. Every move they make comes from a creative impulse and even their aura is telegenic. They make scenes, hog stages and only keep touching their hair so they can adjust that invisible crown or tiara.

They Only Keep Touching Their Hair To Adjust Their Invisible Crown

These Leo personality traits are not usually a problem. The world is full of people happy to cast Leos as their leading lady or man. Or to be cast as the love interest/villain/best friend in a soap-operatic Leonine rom-com.

But the Self-Limiting Syndrome will clobber them if they don’t vigorously combat it at all turns. What is it? Essentially, when the Leo Sun, Rising or Moon sign person sets a goal, they subliminally feel that their innate chutzpah should be enough. That it is their rightful realm or due.

And that they won’t attempt something if they are not already demonstrably good at it. Exaggerating to make the point, they don’t want to show up at the local council meeting because they’re not Angelina at the U.N. or convening a trial at the Hague. Or they’re not Wimbledon ranked so screw that friendly tennis match. They want to act but don’t want to list themselves on a casting site because, well, name recognition should circumvent that sort of thing.

Leo Self-Limiting Syndrome doesn’t come from lack of courage or belief in themselves; it happens because to be Leo is to be perpetually haunted by the best in and of everything.

But luckily, they are immune to Phantom Deficit Syndrome because they are, at least, inner-directed.


45 thoughts on “Leo Self-Limiting Syndrome”

  1. Mars in Leo here. Relying on my innate chutzpah to follow thru…agh! Isn’t it enough? Throw in my Virgo rising and unattainable perfectionism means my bazillion Venus Gemini Sun Gemini amazing ideas…stay in the idea realm. Please!!! I need an inventor patent-driven collaborator, ideally with some Aries and Capricorn.

    1. Gemini rising Pisces here, with cap moon and some Aries things. I seem to specialise in Virgo rising types. Much like the Lion in the wizard of Oz, all I need is the courage to believe in myself, or really, just not having to do all this alone (Libra node).. Could it work?

  2. jonesthewriter

    Yep. This is completely and one hundred per cent me. This line… ‘And that they won’t attempt something if they are not already demonstrably good at it.’ Oof! You got me. Can you read my mind, Mystic? 😛

  3. Scorpio_Rising

    I have Chiron (natal) in the 5th House, and a Leo Midheaven. I too suffer from Phantom Deficit Syndrome (sometimes).
    I am happy until I start comparing myself with others. Normies and their normie goals.

  4. Wish Upon a Star

    My sun progressed into Leo about a year ago. The ego boost was a life saviour to boost resistance to muggles. Ego used wisely is not a dirty word.

    Oh and I’ve always had fabulous hair. And my Jupiter is in Leo natally.

    Me ooow and Roar !

  5. How about Self-Absorbed Leo syndrome? Seems more common in my circle right now. Ive stopped feeding the closest one’s Gemini moon now that I’ve learnt that my genuine support and whatever for the latest drama is simply run through the filter of Me Attention Now and thats about it. Thanksbutnothanks.

    1. Because the SAL syndrome has been done to death. Not that i would notice *tosses fabulous fuqing mane of a leonine stellium & Moon*

      1. Believe me I understand. Normally I would not write something like this. But I’m currently v much dealing with a leo at close quarters and am experiencing the gulf between the leo and Pisces mindset. So this fish has carefully withdrawn her support pending further intelligence.
        Either way with Saturn in leo, this post is extremely relevant for me too love, as was mystics other one a couple of years ago. Now I have progressed moon and ASC in leo and something’s def changing.

        1. Wish Upon a Star

          Hey Pi, transitioning into Leo Sun and Moon is huge.

          I think subconsciously you realise that this support should be going to your fledgling inner lioness not to a fully formed Leo.

          I’m glad you are getting distance from this person. Going into Leo feels like coming out of the cold and feeling warm sunshine on your back.

          You need the space to feel this positivity. Me too Neptune ruled and the transition stage can be confusing. So eliminating anything that gets in the way of this is understandable. And you may notice that as you settle more the negatively naturally is deflected.

          When I overcome the initial confusion I got it. Psychically I saw myself as the sun and fuqwits being spun out of my solar system by gravitational force. Yes it sounds egotistical but its necessary.

          What I love about the Leo aspect is the positive feeling of big love without losing energy.

          There is a good reason why the lioness/lion is used as a symbol of power in the Tarot cards. If you like meditation and or visualization why not meditate on this card when the penny drops.

          All the best with your transition.

            1. Wish Upon a Star

              I’m so glad it helped. And thanks for your appreciation.

              We fishies have to be discerning with who we help. If it is not appreciated : feel the sting and move on. There is an art to finding fertile ground. I think the current Neptune vibe is helping me.

              God knows I remember times of casting pearls amongst swine. It leaves you feeling empty and jaded. But at the time I had no boundaries.

              Now I try to deploy my Taurus Moon more. I use my gut instincts and cautiously sniff around before I engage.

              And believe me this is a two way street. By helping you I help myself by realising how I have learnt from past trauma and mistakes. And I keep negativity at bay.

              This is a muscle I want to exercise as I want to go into the cranial sacral field to help people with trauma amongst other things. So I need to learn how to pace myself.

              I’m so glad you opened up about what was upsetting you. Instead of it escalating it blossomed into self growth for you and me.

              I do envy how you can articulate your feelings. More often than not my bad feelings just escalulate into negativity.

              Any pointers on how you can help me.
              In my traumatic family upbringing feelings were seen as a weakness and were used against me. So I get very stuck. And above that I am a very private person.

              Peeps and Mystic any suggestions ?

              PS. I am formerly known as Wish Upon a Star.

              1. Wish Upon a Star

                Just to add. I may seem like I have it all together and have wise words

                But my psychologist said to me quite pointedly.

                Gee you are very good at giving compassion to others but not to yourself. I was left speechless. It was a profound moment.

                1. Wish Upon a Star

                  mmmm. This thread has got me going. Excuse me while I think aloud.

                  So that empty place that feels uncomfortable and skittish I deflect with giving compassion and wisdom outwards. Whereas I need to be present with this cavern, feel the pain, release and redirect the compassion and wisdom inwards to heal.

                  Thank God I’ve written it down. Now I have a point of reference I can’t run away from.

                2. Wish Upon a Star

                  Joy: self discovery. This outward compassion trait manifested so easily in this forum as I love to write and be amongst intelligent people.

                  Thank you Mystic and peeps. And I think this thought process is the effect of a Leo Sun feeling a bit resentful at times to be honest.

                  So I need to shut up the compassion shop for renovations and to work on myself.

                  I wonder what the new place will be like? mmmmm

                3. Wish Upon a Star

                  Gee what a day. After the last comment I spiralled into an emotional abyss for no reason. I eventually did the Uranus in Taurus and Pluto meditation. They worked. My departed.mum had to come thorough to comfort me. That doesn’t happen often.

                  Then I check the moon diary and the moon was conjunct Pluto in Capricorn at 22 at about 3.55pm today.
                  Suppressed emotions coming to the surface. No kidding. This was spot on.

                  I feel much better now. But what I wrote earlier today is shadow stuff I still need to work on.

                4. Wish Upon a Star

                  I’m much better now. In bed all day sleeping. My sacral area has been shifting old baggage. How Plutonic.

                  Did anyone else have deep, suppressed emotions come up beside me and Lightening Butterfly? Maybe it was a Gemini thing. We both wrote about it in today’s daily horoscope.

                  Anyhow look how much space I took up above. I feel like I have gained this space with my sacral emotional area.

                  Anyhow thanks for putting up with my monologue.

        2. Sorry to hear you’re having a hard time of it, Pi.
          Fwiw, I understand the gulf you talk of only too well. I grew up with a Pisces mother & a Leo father & I’m still trying to get over it.

          1. It’s better now. I liked the mane toss btw ;p Cancerian Leo energy is nice because of the addition of water. I keep forgetting you’re a multi leo. The leo I’m at close quarters with has many good qualities obviously. I think she’s part of my saturn through 7th house transit. Managing other people, managing myself, defining myself. There’s that useful rule to remember , to do a transit, work on the opposite house. First house for me.

  6. how I wish upon all the stars that this wasn’t precisely true…stellium in leo here and leo sun in my 6th house. We don’t want to be an extra, we want the lead role right off the bat…yes, somewhat unreasonable but to think of ourselves any less just doesn’t feel right in some regard. AND If its not the lead role, we don’t want it at all…going virgo on my goals is the only remedy to this situation which helps me bring the “realism” of the world back in focus.

    1. True point–Going Virgo on the goals. My Mars and Sun are in Leo and I’m only just beginning to harvest the best parts of having a Virgo stellium.

  7. Thanks for this insight, Mystic! My Leo Moon, being heavily afflicted (all squares and opposition) can relate……..situation not helped by Libra Ascendant indecisiveness either. The only solution I’ve ever come up with is (secret) practice makes perfect.

  8. Lux Interior Is My Co-Pilot

    Ohhh I am WELL aware of this one, with Mars and Merc in Leo.

    *makes film*–But I didn’t win a Oscar–failure!
    *loses weight*–But I’m not a Vogue covermodel–failure!
    *writes novel*-Where is my Pulitzer?

  9. Ping! Another light-bulb moment. So true.
    A big lesson for me has been understanding that I must stay grounded, that I must take small concrete steps from the ground up to achieve what I want, as this is a universal truth, regardless of how much chutzpah! Also, that it’s okay to be just ordinary and rejected at times – it’s better to be out there having a go than to get to the end of your life without regrets. Still very much a work in progress though.
    There’s a base tendency to want to swan around in a swamp of chutzpah and charisma and ride on it. I’ll break into song and dance at work sometimes, do a little Charleston or whatever feels necessary, and just don’t get why more people don’t. lol.
    But yep, there’s a danger in over riding the charisma and not just self-limiting but self-sabotaging. (But, damnit, isn’t my Charleston by the photocopier, like, ENOUGH to tick all the KPIs?)

  10. Interesting post!

    I have very early virgo rising – with a stellium in late leo ( mars, north node, Jupiter ) and my AC at 2 Virgo. When people try to guess my sign the always guess Leo – and it always makes me laugh because I see myself as the opposite of confident . I’ve always had the self limiting behavior which I mostly blame on virgo ascendant and first house Saturn. Trying hard to change it all…

  11. What’s the cure? I’ve had this problem all my life — chart-ruling Saturn-Mars in Leo with 5th house Sun and Mercury.

    A quote from Picasso has helped me a lot: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” That has encouraged me to try things and have faith being great will happen if I keep at it. But it doesn’t hold out long enough if I don’t get some kind of validation, and I’m reluctant to show my work unless I think it’s great. (Also too shy to have anyone to show it to.)

    At times it has helped to believe I’m not good and won’t ever be. At least then I can make art just to play. But Gemini boredom and lack of validation still sets in.

  12. I would also say that 12th house Leo sun is far more muted and introverted than a Leo sun (or planets) in other houses. My mum is a 12th house sun, mars and pluto in Leo so you would have no idea she was one until you really get to know her …. mum’s ego, plus the legendary Leo stubborn pride comes out with her Moon/Venus in Gemini and the trifecta of 9th house Taurus Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus – travel, education, books have been her lifelong “thing”. She occasionally succumbs to pageantry …. like hating religion but going to the big Christmas services at church because “she likes the singing”. To be honest she’s always been a bit of a black hole in my life, sucking energy …. rather than giving. Until our roles were reversed and I’ve had to become her carer. Actually she’s still rather tiring, but as a carer I have a few more choices.

    1. Aah yes, Leo rising Cap moon here too, Chrysalis. And then Saturn in Virgo squished into my first house too for an extra “aargh I’m not good enough” sort of vibe.

      1. I forgot to add that my moon is 5th house so it’s all the Leonine stuff for me. My big life challenge.

  13. Ahh, this explains a lot!

    I was dating a Leo guy last year – early 30s, cute in a Michael Buble kinda way – and he was heavily into theatre. As in, he didn’t work (rich parents) so he spent his time being “an actahh” in amateur theatre and fringe productions. He lived in another city (we had a long-distance, shag buddy type of relationship) but I got the gist he was quite good as he was always getting cast in decent roles and solid reviews. The strange thing was, whenever I insisted he get an agent and try to break into professional screen acting, he would instantly dismiss the idea. He’d say insane things like “I had a mate do that and he got cast in lots of TV commercials but looked like an utter wanker.” I would point out that said friend also made thousands of dollars and was getting huge exposure, but the boy wouldn’t hear of it and regarded theatre as the place serious actors with a shred of dignity stay. Yeah, but dude, amateur theatre?

    I thought his hesitancy might’ve been an underlying self-esteem issue or a fear of failure – or maybe an aversion to paid work which would impact his current lifestyle? It just seemed strange that a confident Leo dude with the looks and talent to probably do well in pro screen acting didn’t want to even consider it. But after reading this post, I see his problem might’ve been Leo self-limitation: he only wanted to do it if he could be cast in a major role in a big-budget, Oscar-winning feature film, otherwise it just wasn’t worth his effort.

    As a Cap (Sun, Merc, Venus), i can feel that way too, to be honest. If I’m not in with a chance of winning/ earning top $/ being the best, I can’t be bothered. (But I think that might also be my way of justifying not doing things due to crappy self-confidence and self-consciousness.)

    1. Scorpio_Rising

      Ever get hired to do a cheesy commercial? Some are quite embarrassing. 🙁
      It sounds like he has an idea of what he wants to do exactly and doesn’t want to do the paid tv commercials to work up to other/better roles which most agents will push so they can get paid.
      I have friends who are shameless, ( no judgment) they aren’t picky and did commercials to get better roles. They were very flexible easy going types too didn’t take life very seriously. It gets a great sense of humor/self-confidence to not take anything too seriously! Other friends and I felt dumb and embarrassed by the cheesy commercials.
      and it could be a fear of success and/or failure or lack of flexibility, and low self-confidence/self-esteem issues. If he doesn’t need the money he can pick and choose. I guess the question is is he happy working local community theatre? I have friends who wouldn’t change it for the world. They love local theatre, small community, feel supported and love it.
      sorry for the long response..I ingested way too much espresso this morning.

  14. I absolutely am this. My Leo sun is squared by my Uranus Scorpio ascendant. Just in case that wasn’t ouchy enough, I have Saturn Leo in the tenth. I have chutzpah but sometimes it can’t come out because it feels like a liability.

  15. True. As a child I was so sensitive to criticism. Still am. My mother told me she thought I’d be an artist because I spent so much time drawing/painting but a male art teacher in high school wiped the floor with me and I dropped art the following year such was my humiliation. And that’s occurred all through my life. I still recall bursting into tears at primary school because I couldn’t understand a maths problem. My mother once commented to someone with derision that I had to have everything of the best and be the best. Self-limiting syndrome. I wonder if naming it helps me over come it. Natal Moon widely conj Pluto in Leo. It seems so ingrained. Thanks Mystic.

    1. Scorpio_Rising

      Sensitive artist type? introvert? Don’t despair. Don’t let a blocked artist stop you from being an artist now.
      Set yourself free. REBEL!! and then CREATE!
      All acts of creation/art is a form of rebellion.

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