[This post is part of a series on internal objections and blocks and how to overcome them. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]
People worry that changing themselves will make themselves fake. It won’t be the “real” them.
My new beliefs will be fake.
It won’t be the real me.
I’ll be acting.
As a coach I hear this all the time when someone changes even small things about themselves.
People may feel fake from wearing different styles of clothes than they used to, speaking more slowly, calling someone outside their network, taking on leadership positions or even just any new position at work.
The underlying belief to feeling fake when you change is that you aren’t going to change or that you have to stay the same you’re whole life.
You may also unwittingly believe that feeling uncomfortable means you’re doing something wrong.
When you changes from one identity to another through the regular course of life, like changing from child to adult or student to professional, you usually change slowly enough that you acclimatize to the changes without periods of discomfort. When you change consciously, you will almost inevitably spend time when you no longer feel like the old identity, with all the rewards you’re used to, but don’t yet know the new identity you will adopt.
You won’t know which parts of the old identity you’ll keep and which you’ll get rid of. Nor will you know what makes up the new identity. Without consistent feelings of reward, you’ll feel anxious and fake.
The alternative belief I recommend is
Any significant personal change leads to periods where you don’t know your identity. Feeling fake shows your change is significant. If you don’t feel fake, either you’re experienced in changing or you’re not changing that much.
Everyone who changes themselves significantly goes through similar feelings. They get used to it. I’ve come to look forward to feeling fake since it shows I’m doing something big… that I care about it.
I didn’t make it up, but I recommend
Fake it till you make it.
Expect to feel fake as a sign you’re changing significantly and that you care.
You have to use your judgment to figure out if you are moving in a direction that improves your life. Sometimes feeling awkward signals you’re moving in a counterproductive direction.
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