Owning My Own Self
In the yore days, I was terrified most of the time. One of the things that frightened me the most was the fear that you would catch me out, that you would discover that I was a fraud. I would look at what seemed to be your perfect life, and look at my insides with all my insecurities and fears and failings and wonder how on earth I would ever make it through a day without being caught.
Why am I authentic? How do I know I am the real thing?
So many of us feel like phonies. For some of us, the more we achieve, the more fraudulent we feel. The more we know, it seems, the more we feel like we are pretending.
In the yore days, I didn’t know how to do a lot of stuff; I saw other people doing things that I needed to do. How to be a grownup was a total mystery. I didn’t know what to do, so I pretended I was someone else, usually Kate Hepburn. If that got me what I wanted, like the job, then I would feel awful.
What if they found out that I wasn’t Kate Hepburn?
Answering this question eventually led me to invent the Secret Name (c) game. What I discovered was that calling myself by a different name made me feel different; it gave me access to confidence in abilities I discounted when I was “Pam.” Calling myself by a different name could make me feel more resourceful. Calling myself Kate Hepburn inside wasn’t being deceitful, it was helping me to realize my potential.
How am I resourceful? What makes me creative? Why am I a good problem-solver?
One of the ways we make ourselves miserable is by comparing our inside lives to what we see of others’ outside lives. We don’t consider the fact that we only see slivers of their lives, we don’t consider that we filter what we see through the filters of our experience and, perhaps, mislearning.
I don’t feel like a bamboozler anymore. It sort of crept up on me. One of the big helps were my wonderful teachers who talked about feeling like fakes themselves, and how that feeling would show up after big accomplishments. And how, as they learned to own their successes, that sense diminished. In fact, the more I talked about feeling like a phony, the more I heard from other people that they felt the same. And I heard wonderful stories about how they changed it.
In the before times, doing new stuff scared the heck out of me. I would feel sick, and often get sick. I would be totally self-conscious about everything, sure that the people I was going to be with would mark every flaw. Now, when I need to do something I haven’t done before, where I used to fake my way through and feel awful, I fake my way through and feel accomplished. It’s a change in POV. I assume that I will get along fine, that I will be seen as at least good enough, that I will do well enough. What a relief!
Feeling authentic is one of the joys of living our natural life. As we let go of feeling fake, as we own who we are with all our attendant stuff, we find ourselves effortlessly feeling authentic, able to step up to new activities, new accomplishments, new successes with a sense of excitement and fun instead of rank terror.
How have I changed from feeling like a fraud to owning my authentic self?
(c) Pam Guthrie 2015 all rights reserved 10132015