Fake it till you make it

November 11, 2023

Or possibly “act as if…” There are times when putting a smile on your face will lift your spirits and an energetic commitment to happiness will have you moving through the day with more grace. But… what happens when no matter how many books you read, no matter how many podcasts you listen to or how many Tic Tok videos you watch …nothing feels different?

What happens when you get stuck at the corner of imposter and syndrome? There tends to be self judgement and criticism, anxiety, and stress in that neighborhood, or cubical or office.

You wait…

For the curtains to be thrown back so everyone can see what you have feared to be true… you are not worthy of happiness or contentment or peace by being just who you are. Without validation through external achievement or without being hypervigilant in your environment.

  • Do you stop breathing at the thought of making a mistake?
  • Do you feel the need to find some fault in others for you to feel more comfortable?
  • Do you need a lot of reassurance to feel okay about what you have done or want to do?
  • Do your moods change based on what is happening externally, so your life sometimes feels like a roller coaster?
  • Do you find it difficult to say no because you want to ensure the other person doesn’t feel hurt or might think badly of you?
  • Are you a chameleon based on who you are with and how you want them to perceive you?

Our survival parts begin early in life. We develop actual neural pathways that are deepened as we repeat and reinforce these beliefs. It’s like a deep snow. It starts out pristine and beautiful until we start to interact with it. Someone drives and creates the first path. Over time, we find the groove gets deeper as we find it easier to stay in the lane because creating a new path can be dangerous. Or maybe it is like the highway you travel on every day. It feels you could do it with your eyes closed. So familiar. So familiar that sometimes you don’t remember how you got to your destination.

Changing these grooves takes time. Sometimes it requires understanding how they were developed in the first place to understand what is no longer needed. This understanding creates the space to consider the possibility that what you’ve always believed isn’t necessarily true.

  • You don’t have to be perfect.
  • You are not responsible for the emotions of others.
  • Your voice is important.
  • You can trust your choices.
  • You don’t have to minimize yourself to make others comfortable.
  • It is okay to be known.
  • Not everything is personal.

So, it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to laugh loudly. It’s okay to feel joy. It’s okay to be….

It is not always easy to do this alone. There is no shame in asking for help. Find someone, with your best interests at heart, to help you uncover what you may not be able to on your own. Coaching and Therapy are two approaches you may wish to consider.

 

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