A “Symphony of Your Life” blog with Mark Hardcastle
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 speaking 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
*National Speakers Association