Do you feel like you are living your life around everyone else’s standards and expectations? Sometimes we tell ourselves that its necessary to retain any credibility in our line of work or at home. So why do we feel credibility is so important in the scope of things? There are many benefits to being seen as credible. Well, it helps us be more effective at getting our work accomplished and to do it the way necessary to be deemed good. For instance, in a scientific laboratory, experiments need to be reproducible. So its imperative that everything is registered in a logbook to the most minute detail.
Credibility is necessary to be able to move up the ladder, so you can get promotions and get good ratings from professors or students (if you are the professor). It determines how many hours you get to work and what our pay scale is. It determines the number of opportunities that open up to you. Credibility is necessary when it determines if you can tell your story well enough so that you can get the funding for science experiments. If you have to write proposals for project funding, then you have to be able to bang your drums and stand up and be noticed. You have to be convincing and able to reason, and explain why the project is necessary, the opportunities and implications inclusive. Your ratings from students affect whether anyone attends your classes, or what time slot you receive to give your instruction. It affects your pay scale and position within the company. It determines how your colleagues treat you, because there is all the judgment in that scientific community or the business community, that affects so much more.
With this judgment, we may feel we have to jump through the people pleasing hoops to get customers or clients, or the final grades in school. But inner solitude and confidence or self-integrity is like a magnet. Its ok to be confident but chasing it is the wrong problem. When being a people pleaser, you do not suffer from a confidence issue, its an integrity issue. As long as you refuse to face your integrity issues, you will continue to suck at the tit of other peoples priorities and approval. It becomes a health and well-being issue, a lack of self care issue.
When you do tricks like a dolphin in a tank, jumping and splashing for our fish treat, you may end up feeling like an imposter. For instance, you may spend 8 years in the education system, and then the time comes to get a job and represent yourself, so that you are considered for a job. What happens when we can’t. Without confidence with who you are, you are only likely to get the job based on bull-shitting your way through the interview and people pleasing. If you have true inner confidence, you will be able to be more authentic. People who are confident are like magnets and we want to be around them, and that is very attractive in an employers eyes.
True confidence only comes with strong self-integrity. I’ve heard about people pleasers who have convinced themselves they have great confidence. However, eventually they have an identity crisis when they are out of line with their integrity. This is because they become aware that they aren’t truly who they pretend to be. They get tired of wearing the mask of a smile, that hides all their insecurities. Then, they have a break down and they discover that all along, they didn’t have the confidence they thought. It was merely a facade of what they felt compelled to exude in order to be liked and treated well. They become so well at the game and playing by the others rules, that they become adept at manipulating the variables to get what is wanted.
And this habit of efficiency and successful toggling through the system, can be mistaken for confidence. What people are able to do isn’t necessarily evidence of a “together” mindset. But a mindset backed by great respect for dignity and integrity usually results in behaviour that is congruent.
People pleasing can become an obsession to gain more information. This is based upon our need to be right, be approved, accepted. People run wild, trying to chase after all of the right certifications, degrees and socially acceptable behaviour. This need to be right conditions us to refuse to fail. Here’s the uncomfortable truth – the fear of failure is really the fear to succeed. If we ever succeeded, then we wouldn’t have the excuses and reasons to procrastinate. We’d actually have to live by the standard that our new found success has created.
When people pleasing gets out of control, we feel like a sham, an intruder, an imposter. So what about this imposter syndrome, what’s it all about? Why do we feel like a fraud? Many times its simply because we deny our greatness because somewhere in our past experiences, we learned to believe we weren’t enough. One example is when we are trained at a young age that men or women should behave like this or that, and anything less than that is unacceptable and frowned upon.
There are many stinking thinking opportunities to take yourself out of the game, if that’s your habitual pattern. The point is, as long as we identify with our stories of past woes and have labelled ourselves a failure or a fraud, then we remain stuck in our mire wallowing around in what people refer to as a catch 22. But that isn’t necessary, we can jump off that treadmill by gaining some inner solitude. When we are in sync with self-integrity, then we are experiencing a calm and serene demeanour within.
When we know who we are, and who we aren’t – then it doesn’t matter what others think. In an industry where you have to people please, in order to make it, then perhaps doing something different than you have always done will get you something more than what you are currently experiencing.
It takes courage to make a radical change and try another way. To make this change, it is necessary to get beyond your comfort zone, and step into your self-integrity. Now you may say that you can’t do this because you lack self confidence and are afraid of the outcome of doing something not so safe. Many of us are afraid of the unknown, and we tell ourselves horror stories about what would happen if we followed our heart, and broke free of the autopilot rut we are living in.
How do we do this? There is a process to learn how you learn. You can tap into the active witness of your entire life; you cannot bullshit your inner guru. If you are willing and ready to grow and learn, you need to enter the learning curve. You would begin by confronting the situation or reality. You would examine the circumstances from all angles as an observer. You would identify the stinking thinking, patterns and past stories that you engage in – that hold you back. You’d have to look at your roadblocks that keep you stuck.
Why do you cling to these behaviours? You cling because you have created an identity with the way you have labelled yourself. Your brain tricks you and gives your more of what you are stewing over all the time. Therefore, if anything is going to change in your world, the way you think and approach problem-solving must change. Otherwise, you will perpetually experience ground hog day.
We need to get to a point of releasing the old thought baggage. What keeps us from getting off the throne and doing this? Usually the culprit behind every indecision is fear. You have to understand that fear is a habitual thinking pattern that keeps you locked in your comfort zone.
How does a person get past the fear factor? You have to get out of your comfort zone. Then, you will be able to learn to trust in your own self-efficacy. If you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t even try because you are afraid to fail or be wrong.
If we can learn who we are and reject the projections, opinions, and the judgments of society – then we will have greater inner fortitude. Being unshakeable means you will have greater self-acceptance, self-confidence, self-reassurance, self-accountability, self-efficacy, and self-responsibility. And the last pillar you will need is your ability to get up off your butt and do something about your plight.
If you are sick and tired of your situation and don’t know where to start, let me give you a few tips and tricks to getting off the horse at the dude’s ranch. That horse never leaves the path, it just walks along until it reaches its destination. It is watered and fed and then it goes back to the ranch.
When will you give yourself permission to try something new? When will you say you have had enough of the blarney you keep getting, day in and day out? Don’t you get sick and tired of being stuck in your head and not getting any head way towards your dreams? Or do you even know what would bring significance and meaning to your life? Many people don’t even dare to dream or explore it, because they feel they aren’t capable or deserving to make them happen.
When we buy into the “I’m not enough” story of our life, then we don’t even try to make things happen. So the idea is to get past scratching that wound and to step out of your comfort zone. True change and growth only happens outside of the box of your mind. So – go on – make your day, month, year, lifetime! Follow your heart, be true to yourself, and learn how you learn.
Extract the inner wisdom that is inherent in you as a result of your life time of experiences, that you graduated through and extracted the lessons. When you can see your truth north and what is irrelevant in your life, then you can do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons. And you will stop taking yourself out of the game. The only way you can ever experience true change is you have to be willing and ready to live your dream and live by your own standards.
So go ahead, I challenge you. Inhabit your life fully so that you can live the dream, not just imagine it from your desk in the office.