Faking It

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I’m really lucky in my coaching practice.  I have the pleasure of working with some of the most intelligent, badass, and overall amazing  humans alive.  Every session I’m so amazed by the massive shifts they make, how they dive into and remain committed to their goals, and the vulnerability they show up with in every single call.

That being said, one thing that never ceases to amaze me about the people that I talk to is that no matter how awesome, successful, and bright the person is, fear often runs rampant in their life.  They “can’t” ask for that raise.  They need to “take it slow” breaking off a relationship that’s holding them back. They aren’t “experienced enough” to launch their company.

When some coaches hear this, they might pull out that time old Marianne Williamson quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be?”

Thankfully for us all, I’m not some coaches.

Listen, I’m not saying that I don’t agree with Marianne.  I actually do, completely and wholeheartedly.  But we’ve all heard that quote.  We’ve all heard that advice.  And we’re all still running away from being the best versions of ourselves.  So, let’s put it aside.  For now, I have a new idea I’d like to propose.

Do me a favor, and think of where you’re working right now.  If you’re unemployed, think about a place where you’ve worked previously. Next, I want you to think about the people you work with. Once you have that image, I want you to zone in on one specific person: the person who isn’t that special, but still, somehow, has a better job than you. The one who perhaps doesn’t work as hard, or seems to piggyback off of other people’s work, and everyone applauds them on the daily for it.  They’ve somehow cozied up to leadership, and are the pride of your team, meanwhile you’re busy slaving away in the background.

That’s the worst, right?  You know that you’re smarter, better, faster, and you work harder...and still, you’re somehow in this person’s shadow.  You wonder, how does this happen?  How do I get it to happen to me?

Here’s my hypothesis: unlike most people, this person isn’t burdened by fear.  They experience the exact opposite emotion:  confidence.  Is it deserved?  Possibly not. Where does it come from?  I wish I knew.  The reality is, however, that the confidence they have is magnetic.  Everyone wants to talk to someone confident.  Everyone wants to follow someone confident.  When something is said with confidence, you can know that what they’re saying is factually incorrect, but still find yourself googling to confirm because that person said it with such conviction.  Crazy, right?

Listen, if this person is successful, you can be too.  All you need is to steal a little bit of that blind, sometimes completely undeserved confidence.  Easier said than done, I know.  That’s why I have a little shortcut for you.  When you want to go after something in your life and you feel fear waiting to take you down, think back to that person we just discussed.  Then, ask yourself, what would they do?  I’m not saying that you should do anything that you deem unethical or unsavory.  What I am saying is that you need to embody that unencumbered confidence.  And if you don’t feel it naturally, you’ve got to fake it 'til you make it.

It’s going to feel foreign. It’s going to feel counterintuitive.  It might even feel uncomfortable.  But do me a favor, and just try it. Embody the confidence. Embody the blind boldness. Then, without overthinking it, take that leap of faith.  You might just be surprised where you end up.  Perhaps you’ll finally ask for (and get!) the raise.  Maybe you’ll break off the relationship for good, and finally feel free.  You could even finally end up starting that company you’ve been dreaming of.

As my friend Marianne Williamson would say, “Nothing binds you except your thoughts; nothing limits you except your fear; and nothing controls you except your beliefs.”

So go forth without limits, my dears.  The world is waiting for you.

 


Gieselle Allen