I know a secret about you. You’re faking it. Here’s the thing: so am I. Do you think that the world is onto us? Are our brilliant accomplishments strokes of luck? Will someone knock on the door, asking us for our achievements back?
You aren’t that smart, are you? You pretend to be the person in your position until someone else discovers you aren’t worthy. Am I right? Actually, no. You ARE worthy.
This reality is ours
I’ve written earlier posts about my struggle with identities. Here’s a summary:
- Atomic Habits by James Clear shows that my identity makes my habits, or my habits shape my identity.
- Be Here Now by Ram Dass taught me how to shed my identities, becoming a “nothing man” of sorts.
- Presence by Amy Cuddy demonstrated that I could take any identity I want and become that identity.
At first, I was going to type that this is not like the movie Catch Me If You Can. In the film, Leonardo DiCaprio plays a young man that chooses to dress up as a professor, an airline pilot, and even a doctor. He not only dresses up, but he performs the jobs. Tom Hanks chases him around during the whole movie. It’s fun, and it tells a real-life story. So, yes, this IS like the movie Catch Me If you Can.
I talked about the first two books in earlier posts. Today I finished Presence, so I’m sharing the gist of it with you. Or, if you prefer, you can check out the TED talk I’m linking below. Power Pose, y’all.
Power pose, y’all
Amy starts and ends her book giving real-life examples of women (one of them herself) in situations where they wanted to succeed, but fell back into a lack of confidence. I thought the book was about presence, which it is, but not really. That would have been sweet, considering this site is about presence, curiosity, and love. Instead, Amy talks about the power of posing to enable a real boost of confidence in the body.
Presence is a book that is both parts of academic and anecdotal. Amy did a lot of research in the power of posturing and the physiological and psychological effects on the body. The book isn’t a scientific journal, but the reader can tell a Harvard professor wrote it. Amy shares the majority of the response to her TED talk came from people reacting, not to her research, but her authenticity. She reached out with a vulnerability that the audience related. We’ve been there. She’s been there.
Amy uses examples of Yoga, breathing patterns, military soldiers, and many other real-life circumstances to show us the way we stand or sit formulates who we are. Stand confident, be confident. Sit hunched and withdrawn, be timid. Here’s the kicker: the choice is ours.
Yes, fake it until you make it
Being associated with an identity is harmful to our ego. We become self-absorbed, proud, and, most of all, stuck. Loosening ourselves from bonding with a particular persona creates within us a void, able to attach and create anything. The key is not to permanently associate with something. There’s a slight difference.
For instance, I’m a writer. That is my current association, among other things. But, I realize that’s not who I am. Being a writer is one of the personality traits that I’m creating for myself. When I write, I’m a writer. When I’m not writing, I’m something else.
In the creating, I’m doing. In the doing, I’m becoming. However, to disassociate with the identity, I simply am. I sit with the presence and explore myself within. Within, I’m not a writer. I create the writer. I become the writer.
As Amy says in her book, it is “the moments that matter.” Each moment, you have a choice. Create who you are, but remember to let go and be.