We often encounter situations where we don’t know what we’re doing, feeling out of our element or unsure how to behave, and it can create anxiety. Some people read the room, some people take a step away to buy themselves more time… I have a better option for you. “When in doubt just pretend to be you.”
When we’re feeling doubt or uncertainty about something, it provokes a stress response. We’re safe when we know what’s going on, and when we don’t we are triggered into high alert and feel uneasy. This state is activated to prepare you to protect yourself physically, but as a byproduct it also causes you to start protecting yourself emotionally. So instead of potentially exposing yourself to ways that you could get emotionally hurt, your brain shuts down and keeps you from behaving like yourself and you start trying to just fit in.
But here’s the reminder - “When in doubt just pretend to be you.” If you don’t feel comfortable and feel like you need to pretend, then use your own example of who you are as your guide. There’s no person you’re better at being than yourself, so in acting that way you’re most likely to avoid the pains and fears you're avoiding. Beyond that, your authentic you is the person that others want to get to know. It’s when you have the most to offer, and your skills and best personality traits are on full display.
So when you feel like you need to put on an act to protect yourself, act like yourself! And like usual let me send forward a question that will help develop some self-awareness: When was the last time you felt like you needed to pretend to be someone else?
If you’re in the US or Canada, text me at 949-799-0788 and I’ll send you daily prompts that help you get to know yourself better and build a more meaningful life every day.
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