There's this temptation that I face every day. It's powerful and strong and sings the sweetest tune. My life’s purpose and business often make it more difficult not to give in. At every turn I’m tempted to cave and it becomes difficult to see truth.
It's the temptation to project a version of myself that looks like I have it all together.
Maybe you're familiar with this seductress. She’s not complicated. I want my friends to think I have it all together so that they think more highly of me. I want my girlfriend to think I have it all together so that she finds me more desirable. I want my daughters to think I have it all together so that they admire me more. I want my clients to think I have it all together so that they are confident in my advice.
But I don't have it all together. I don't have all the answers. I don't always know what to do. Nobody does. Not one person on this planet, including Oprah and the Dalai Lama have it all together.
There's freedom in knowing this.
So how do I resist this temptation? With some simple realizations.
1. Pretending to have it all together doesn't help anyone. Most of the time it's our weaknesses and ability to be honest about those weaknesses that enable us to connect with people. It helps those around us know they are not alone. People begin letting their walls down when they see that we aren't afraid to share in our weakness.
2. People cannot love and connect with a projection of you. They need the real you. They need you to be honest so they can relate to you on a genuine level.
3. Pretending to have it all together is not sustainable. You can only live that way for so long before you run out of energy and the wheels come off. And they will come off. You will reach an identity crisis because you are trying to live out something that does not exist and is not attainable.
4. Your ability to be honest and vulnerable will move people. I think what people desire most is honesty and transparency. They will trust you more than if you seem polished and plastic.
Your quality of life will raise immediately because of your decision to put the real you out there.
It doesn't matter if it's your employees, your spouse, your friends or your children. Everyone will respond to you because you care enough and have the courage to choose to share your true self.
Go ahead and let them see that you don't know the answer. Let them see that you're not sure. Let them see that you made a mistake. You'll find yourself less stressed and you'll have a whole new perspective on life… a new life of freedom. And in the process you will also find the ability to connect with and love others as well.