For many of us the game of life can be difficult and as we take on those challenges our confidence can begin to wane. We feel that we’ll be found out and that someone will see right though our brave facade and know that we are a fake.
The ‘fake’ factor happens because since the day you were born, everything anyone ever said to you is stored in your personal ‘hard drive’ (your brain) and a lot of what is stored there no longer serves you. It could in fact be holding you back from being your best self. It’s a fact that many of us are allowing a seven year old to run our lives.
Install new ‘software’
As we grow, learn and evolve, we no longer need those dire warnings or feedback to tell us ‘you can’t do that’ or ‘that’s not for people like you’. Or (add your own version). What we need instead is to install new ‘software’ that is more aligned with who you are today.
Here are some old beliefs that I’ve heard, together with new beliefs that were adopted instead:
- I could never make that kind of money – I can earn as much as I want; I’ve prepared for this.
- People like me don’t get top jobs – I’ve earned the right to go as high as I please in my career.
- I’m too old to start a business – I have experience, skills, and time to grow a business I will love.
The trouble with feeling like a fake is that you don’t think you belong in the rarefied environment of your peers and that they are so much smarter than you. With that mindset, you likely won’t operate to your potential, and can in fact, make that self-fulfilling prophecy a reality.
Everybody does it
Interestingly, this fake factor can happen no matter how successful or famous you might become, as these following quotes attest to.
“Sometimes I wake up in the morning before going off to shoot, and I think, I can’t do this, I’m a fraud.” – Kate Winslett
“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”
– Maya Angelou
Separate fact from fiction
To stop limiting yourself in this way, you need to be willing to separate fact from fiction. Heres how: pull out your limiting belief and pretend you’re an ace reporter and that you’re writing a factual piece on this belief. Ignore the fiction in the story and get straight to the facts.
Here’s an example: (use this to change any limiting belief)
Your current story (Belief) is “I’m a fake and people will find out”. Your mission is to find out how true this is.
1) Wearing your reporter’s hat, go looking for evidence to prove that the story you are telling yourself is true – and stick to the facts. Be as specific with your answers as possible.
Keep the questions in the first person and ask yourself:
“What evidence do I have to back this up?”
“What evidence do I have to disprove this?”
“Whose voice is telling me these stories?” (it might be a parent, teacher, peer)
Make a list of at least 5 and up to 15 questions that you think a reporter might ask to prove or disprove your statement.
2) Read back your answers, Do you still feel like a fake? Didn’t think so. If you do, it’s OK, be patient, it may take a while to let it sink in.
3) Now create a new powerful belief statement that supports the facts. It needs to be true for you, meaningful and make you feel terrific and totally authentic. Use very specific words.
Play with it until it feels ‘just right’.
Some get it immediately, others can take days. One simple word change can make a huge difference.
4) Then write it out on a card. Does it exemplify that new belief? Is it concise and meaningful? Terrific! Now do this exercise.
5) Close your eyes and as you repeat your statement, imagine it being absolutely true. Take your time, really believe it. What’s different? What do you see, what do you hear, what do you feel? BE in the moment.
Then anchor that when it feels absolutely true for you
Do this so that you can tap into if you need to as you begin to ‘try it on’. It’s like a rehearsal for the real thing and when the real thing happens it will feel so natural, as those new neural pathways begin to form in your brain.
I suggest that you carry the card everywhere with you. You can even add an image that represents this new belief. Make it personal and whenever you have a free moment pull up that new image and belief.
6) Then do what needs to be done to BE or embody that new belief. Keep asking yourself “What would (new belief statement) do here?
Example; “What would an authentic, congruent coach/practitioner do here?”
Then do that. Practice it often until it becomes embedded into your DNA. Sports stars and actors do this to help with nerves or anchor ‘states’ of being. It works! It’s what gives them, and now you, the edge.
You can become anyone you want to with a little help from yourself. Add a little practice, a desire to grow and a belief that you can.
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