Captain’s Log: Esse Quam Videri, Conclusion

A “Symphony of Your Life” blog with Mark Hardcastle

Captain's Log Photo

In case you missed it, here’s Part 3.

For now, can we move the focus away from being “authentic” according to how others see us and on to being the best version of ourselves in the moment, based on the situation and the role that we are engaged in right now?

At networking, for instance, when they ask what you do, why not say, “I’d be happy to tell you, but tell me about you first,” to create context for your answer.. so you’ll know which hat to take out to be of greatest service?

It’s an undeniable reality of being human that we all have different and legitimate roles we assume in different situations. We wear uniforms, white coats, robes and vestments.  Different hats at different times. Does this mean we’re being inauthentic? I don’t think so.

What are some of your “roles?” I act in turns as an airline captain, a father, an author, a musical conductor, a husband, a public speaker, and a real estate investor. All different roles I’ve created for myself over the years. When I’m acting in my capacity as a captain am I somehow being disloyal to my duties as a father or to my love of music?

Of course not. My “audience” needs a captain, so that’s how I show up. I’m being the best me I can be for that audience in that moment. It would be silly for me to show up as a real estate agent.

Maybe we can put this whole idea of feeling like an imposter to bed with this idea from Harvard researcher, Amy Cuddy. She tells us that her research has revealed that our bodies change our minds, our minds change our behaviors, and our behaviors change our outcomes. We can do some specific exercises that will start the chain reaction toward our best outcomes as a result of presenting as our best selves. She calls these exercises “power poses,” and they take only two minutes. We can apply them every time we approach a high stakes moment in our lives.

And she tells a powerful story of a high stakes moment in her own life when she was challenged to step into the best version of herself despite feeling desperately inadequate and deeply afraid of being “found.” And succeeding. Of fighting her hard battle. And winning.

How did she manage to do that? She created a role for herself, stepped into it, and behaved as if it was who she really was. Until that became true. That is, she faked it until she became it.

Finally, as we continue to struggle with “being” rather than “seeming,” we might take comfort from this: “4 Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work…” Mark 6:4-5 (KJV) Which was a shame, and a loss for his home town. But if even he was considered a fake by those who knew him, maybe we shouldn’t feel so bad.

So, Authentic Performer, how are you going to show up today? Maybe more clearly, who will you be when you show up? Will you show up as… You? Which you?

Before you answer, watch this video: Amy Cuddy’s Amazing Story.

Then go find yourself an audience. Like Jesus, you may have to go some distance. Go there. Show up. Do your work. Be you – the best you that you can be in the most appropriate form for that audience on that day. And if you need to, feel free to fake it. It’ll be just fine.

Esse Quam Videri.

Thanks for reading!

The Symphony of Your Life

#stayintheprocess

IMG_20151209_182818

Mark graduated from the USAF Academy in 1982. After nine years as a pilot on active duty, he left the military to join a commercial airline. In addition to flying B-737s around the country, Hardcastle spends time in the Rocky Mountains and serves on the artistic staff of the Colorado Children’s Chorale. He lives in Centennial, Colorado, with his wife and four children. Need some help figuring out why you’re on this planet? Want to talk about discovering your mission and purpose? Contact Mark today to schedule a free personal consultation. He can also deliver an inspirational keynote or workshop for your organization! email: mark@symphonyofyourlife.com. 720.840.8361

Captain’s Log: Esse Quam Videri, Part 3

A “Symphony of Your Life” blog with Mark Hardcastle

Captain's Log Photo

In case you missed it, here’s Part 2.

…Does the idea that we’re not yet fully what we aspire to be mean that we’re being inauthentic or even insincere if we show up to the world as if we are fully formed?

Not if you listen to Joe Sabah, founder of NSA* Colorado. Joe is famous for saying, “You don’t have to be good to start, but you have to start to be good.”

And then there’s this from Toastmasters World Champion Humorist Darren LaCroix. LaCroix speaks of being a fledgling comedian and fighting the fact that those around him compared him to Jerry Seinfeld. Not fair. Not in any world. True, he wasn’t yet as funny as Seinfeld. Did it mean he wasn’t authentically a comic? Not at all. His conclusion is that if its not right for others to compare us while we’re new at something to far more experienced performers, maybe we shouldn’t do that to ourselves.

So what should we do about this desire to be authentic when we “know” we’re imposters?

Back to the article from Psychology Today. It suggests that one solution might be to wait it out.  There’s good evidence of an inverse relationship between age and Imposter Syndrome. One contributor’s observation is that, “I think that’s one of the benefits of getting older. Your amygdala is less sensitive, and you have fewer negative emotions.”

That makes sense to me. My experience has been that as I get older I’m less likely to be uncomfortable with the opinions of others, and I am more able to believe that things I have accomplished are real. Could that work for you?

And if we’re willing to accept what LaCroix and Sabah teach, the fact that we aren’t yet at the level we aspire to in any given area doesn’t mean we shouldn’t see our future selves as precisely that aspiration fully formed.  Or that we shouldn’t behave in the present as if who we want to be is who we are today: a version of our true selves that’s different from what our present circumstances seem to convey.

Maybe it will help to think of it this way. We’re all performers all the time. Let that sink in for a minute.

Think about the reality that actors take on “fake” or “inauthentic” personas  and “perform” those roles on stage to convey the point of the play. By definition, that actor is being “inauthentic.” Most of us are not dramatic actors, so we don’t “perform” in that way.

But there’s this other sense of “performance.” High achievers are spoken of as people who “perform” by getting the job done. Nothing inauthentic about that.  That’s who we are and how we want to be seen.

What if we could combine these two very different concepts of performance. Is it possible for non-actors to use acting techniques to create lives they desire? How would it work for us to define dramatic roles that look like the lives we want to lead, and then step into those roles and live them out? Professional actors and life coaches Michael and Amy Port say it would work very well! They think it’s not only possible – it’s smart, and we should absolutely do it. (How To Perform During Life’s High Stakes Moments, TEDx Cambridge, #Michael Port, #Amy Port, #Heroic Public Speaking)

But it still feels… fake. At least a little bit. Michael and Amy deal with that in their TED talk. And we’ll address it in another way in just a minute.

For now, can we move the focus away from being “authentic” according to how others see us and on to being the best version of ourselves in the moment, based on the situation and the role that we are engaged in right now?

We’ll bring it all together in Part 4. Authentic authenticity. Esse Quam Videri. Even if that means we have to fake it!

Thanks for reading!

The Symphony of Your Life

#stayintheprocess

IMG_20151209_182818

*National Speakers Association

Mark graduated from the USAF Academy in 1982. After nine years as a pilot on active duty, he left the military to join a commercial airline. In addition to flying B-737s around the country, Hardcastle spends time in the Rocky Mountains and serves on the artistic staff of the Colorado Children’s Chorale. He lives in Centennial, Colorado, with his wife and four children. Need some help figuring out why you’re on this planet? Want to talk about discovering your mission and purpose? Contact Mark today to schedule a free personal consultation. He can also deliver an inspirational keynote or workshop for your organization! email: mark@symphonyofyourlife.com. 720.840.8361