10 Reasons Not to “Fake It Until You Make It"

10 Reasons Not to “Fake It Until You Make It"

Please stop telling people to “fake it until you make it”.  It’s an old piece of career advice that is often shared with the best intentions.  The rationale is that if someone responds to a new challenge by adopting successful behaviors, their confidence will eventually catch up.  Unfortunately, most of us have internalized the harmful message that showing up as we are at work is unacceptable.  We believe that people prefer the successful show we put on instead of our real selves.  Almost every week, I hear coaching clients describe aspects of themselves they wish they could change.  In their drive to belong and excel, they have taken self-improvement to extremes and value the appearance of expertise over deeper personal alignment and authenticity.

Here are 10 ways I have seen “Faking It” hurt organizations and deplete leaders: 

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Responding to Feedback When You Feel Triggered

Responding to Feedback When You Feel Triggered

Why does feedback hurt our feelings?  Here’s the image that often helps me identify what is being triggered.  Imagine yourself as a baby.  As you interacted with the world, you learned behaviors and strategies that helped get your needs met.  When you smiled, others smiled back at you.  When you fell and hurt yourself, adults rushed over to comfort you or gave you space to see how you felt or scolded you not to cry.  With each of these patterns of interactions, you started to create beliefs about yourself, about the world, and about how the world treats you.  Most of these beliefs are unconscious.  While we like to think of ourselves as highly adaptable people, always capable of learning new things, the truth is that our lives are simplified by having these beliefs to fall back on. And we have powerful enforcers like the superego (a.k.a. your inner critic) that are constantly looking for evidence that enforces these beliefs and ignoring information that contradicts them.  

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Finding The Gift In Your Experience

Finding The Gift In Your Experience

I consider myself a Spiritual Career Coach.  What that means to me is constantly evolving but if I were asked to describe it today, I would say that my coaching is based on these beliefs: 

  1. My work is part of my spiritual practice.  Being in deep presence with my clients is healing for them and me and we are constantly learning from each other. 
  2. No one needs fixing.  Truly transformative personal work is not about changing who you are; it is a process of loosening the grip of beliefs and habits that have obscured the real you.
  3. Each one of us has access to the intuition we need to expand and grow.  The paradox is that this highly personal work can often only take place when witnessed and supported by someone else. 
  4. Holding space for people to be seen in their wholeness - the aspects they love about themselves and those they don’t yet - is the privilege of my work.
  5. I see the world as an ally.  I believe that the people and experiences that come into our lives are invitations to become more conscious.
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