I have a friend who is a professional speaker.
A motivational speaker.
He travels, usually in great style, sharing his message with audiences all over the world.
He is highly acclaimed.
He is in high demand.
He is extremely well paid.
And he’s a fake.
When I asked him if I could share his story in this blog he agreed on condition that I not use his name and so, for today, let’s call him Frank, for he is anything but.
You see, when Frank is up on a stage he delivers a powerful, energizing and compelling “can do” message that leave people jumping in the aisles, pumping their chests and raring to go out and conquer the world.
He has inspired tens of thousands of people with his wit, humour and seemingly endless confidence in his abilities to do anything.
And behind this façade of success lies a terrified, crumbling soul who lives each day in fear that his secret will be uncovered.
He’s terrified that someone will discover how, in reality, he is riddled with self-doubt, is highly critical of each performance, suffers painful intestinal distress before stepping onto the stage, and always wears jackets or sweaters so as not to expose the ever widening circles of dampness under his armpits.
You see, Frank suffers from a crippling affliction.
It’s called Imposter Syndrome.
And he’s not alone.
So many of us spend our lives presenting a façade to the world.
We stride with confidence, talk with certainty and act with decisiveness while so often, behind our mask, lie feelings of anxiety, fear and terror that others will see through us and discover what we really are.
There is an easy to understand and yet powerful reason for this.
We are, always have been and always will be, the product of the story we tell ourselves and Frank, when pressed, will admit grudgingly that, sadly like so many others, has spent most of his life repeatedly telling himself the story of his inadequacies.
Many of us began telling began telling ourselves these self-critical stories in early childhood and have spent our lifetimes validating them through repetition.
For many, there’s little doubt that the stories are true and go through life as day after day with their façade firmly in place and their insecurities firmly intact.
And it doesn’t have to be this way.
Frank has recently discovered that when you consciously and purposefully take multiple times throughout each day to affirm your greatness to yourself – and greatness does not mean conceit, it means assurance – and that you do this repeatedly on good days and you do this repeatedly on bad days, it does not take long for these new stories to develop a ring of truth and as time passes that ring becomes thicker and thicker.
Frank has been doing this for more than a year and now hopes that he will be exposed for what he has become – the product of the very message he delivers several times each week around the globe.
I recently video visited with Frank and he proudly showed me a video of a talk he had delivered to an audience in Tennessee the previous week.
Some five minutes into his presentation he casually removed his jacket and placed it on the floor behind him.
By changing his story Frank had become the product of his own message and is now able to deliver inspiration with no fear of revealing perspiration.
He has beaten Imposter Syndrome.
So what is your story? What are you repeatedly telling yourself about yourself?
If you do not like the answer then start right now, today, to write a new script and tell yourself that story.
And repeat that story day after day and multiple times throughout each day.
And a miracle will happen in your life. In the same way you have lived the story you have always told yourself, you will find yourself doing different things and your new story will become your new reality.
And that’s my story for today.
Till we read again.