I’m not supposed to be here…

I watched an amazing Ted Talk last week with Amy Cuddy explaining how you can change your body language to give yourself more confidence. I touched on this briefly in my blog on communication skills and Amy takes it to an greater  level using scientific evidence to show changes in testosterone and cortisol just from changing your physical state. Amazing.

The part of the talk that really got to me though was a personal account of her confidence taking a major blow in College. As a result of this setback, she formed the belief that she was not good enough to graduate, or have a successful career. She did go on to have a successful career, but for a long time felt like she did not deserve it, saying “I’m not supposed to be here”. With some great encouragement and mentoring, Amy was encouraged to keep showing up and “faking it”, until one day she realised that she had become it. She WAS “supposed to be here”. She DID deserve it.

How many times have you thought to yourself “I’m not supposed to be here”, or “I don’t deserve this”, or even “What if I’m found out”? There are three Universal Fears that are present in all of us to varying degrees: the fear of being found out (or not being enough), the fear of not being loved, and the fear of not belonging. What Amy is talking about here is the fear of being found out. We ALL have it. Everyone, at one point, has wondered whether they really deserved to be where they were, or worried about being found to be a fraud. The key to overcoming it is to recognise it, and realise it is totally normal to feel this way. 95% of it is awareness as one of my great mentors once told me.

Then, form a new belief: If you didn’t deserve this, you wouldn’t have it. So, keep turning up. And one day you will realise that you have become the person you needed to be to deserve it. You may also realise that you always were the person you needed to be, you just didn’t know it at the time. It’s not always easy to see ourselves for who we are. And that’s okay. Act “as if”, and one day you will not need to act. You will just need to be.

Who do you need to be? Start being that person now. Because you DO deserve it!