Perhaps you have noticed this: whether it is executives and entrepreneurs at the top of their game or people navigating the choppy waters of a major life-change, practically everyone has a place inside of themselves where they feel like a fake. The joys and hopes of accomplishment come tarnished with a nagging voice telling us there is something about us that is not quite as it should be, and, if anyone were to find out, they would no longer like and respect us.
Most people don’t know exactly what they are hiding. We may have some idea but only when it is safe enough to unpack the outer layers do we begin to see what is driving the experience. Tucked away hidden from conscious awareness may lurk some choice we made in early life; someone or something we decided we never want to be like. For example, a role model who didn’t keep his word, smiled when they were in pain or who judged people unfairly. “I will never be like that!” A manipulator or dummy. Arrogant. Whatever it is for you.
Who are you trying not to be?
You may have noticed that no one is ever completely successful at avoiding who they are trying not to be. It leaks out anyway. At the very least it seeps into our feeling about ourselves. Hence, the nagging feeling of fake. At worst, whole parts of a person get shut down in this effort not to be a certain way.
I invite you to try another approach.
In the safety of your own meditations, or with someone who will appreciate this kind of exploration, allow the way you are trying not to be to surface. You can name it, imagine it or dramatize it perhaps. Even if you are convinced there is nothing there, no negative energy that you are avoiding, stay alert. Something might show itself as you go about your day.
Let what you have been avoiding be here. Get re-acquainted. You may be surprised to discover an unexpected gift in this energy: courage in what you thought was arrogance, skill in what you thought was slippery, patience in laziness. Or you may simply reaffirm your awareness of the danger of certain attitudes.
Once we admit who or what it is we are trying not to be, we become more relaxed. People will find us safer to be around and easier to relate to. If ever the feeling of fake arises, we can let it show us something that deepens our awareness—not only of ourselves, but also our understanding of an experience that practically everyone has one way or another.