Have I Faked it until I’ve Become it… or have I Been it All Along?

On Sunday, I wrote about my transition from speaking phobia and full-blown panic, to public speaking success. Along the way, I’ve been practising visualisation, mindfulness and more NLP techniques than I normally would.

One thing that I’ve been doing, as recommended by Paul McKenna, is to contradict negative self-talk by stating the opposite. For me, this sounds like: “I’m not confident enough. I’m just really shy. I hate attention. I hate public speaking.”

So… in a loud, confident voice, either in my head or aloud, I’ve said instead: “I’m just a naturally confident person. I love attention! I love public speaking.” I haven’t said this to anyone, but I’ve pictured myself doing so.

For a good while now, I’ve believed that I can effectively trick my brain into being confident; that I can ‘fake it until I become it.’

The strange thing is… I’m not sure whether it’s a trick anymore, or whether it’s been true all along.

When I’ve presented recently, I’ve mindfully noticed how much I enjoy it; how my body, breath, thoughts and words seem to not only cope here, but thrive. In fact, I think I was in flow state. Flow!

Here, I’m reminded of that old analogy of the authentic self – the diamond, covered in horseshit, that we then paint in nail-polish so no one will see the crap underneath.

I feel like I’ve unwittingly been stripping away at the nail-polish (my need to appear confident and show no fear) and the shit (my former beliefs about how shy/anxious/incapable/pathetic I really was) and now at least in part, I’m getting to grips with the diamond underneath – the authentic self.

And whilst we’re only mere acquaintances at this point, I have the feeling that my authentic self is naturally confident, does like attention and thrives in challenging situations like public speaking.

Perhaps I wasn’t the one playing the trick, but the one being tricked all this time…



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