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I confess that in the early years of positioning myself as a life coach who helps people with self-doubt and confidence issues, I’ve often felt like the biggest fake. Yep, that’s the truth. I would often feel like a phony and imposter.

There were days when my feelings of "not feeling good enough" seriously hijacked my work. But fortunately, those fake feelings - which used to sabotage my work for long periods of time – now have a short shelf life.

So, what happened? How did things change for me? The short answer is that I learned to accept that feeling like a fake and an imposter is quite normal. Let me explain.

I eventually caught on that I had this thing going on where I didn’t want to put myself out there until I had gotten over my fakeness. I wanted to first feel "enlightened" before I called myself a confidence coach – which for me translated as being perfect and polished.

I have since come to discover that there are many coaches who feel the same way. Sorry to burst your bubble about coaches, but many of them feel just as dysfunctional as their clients, and they don’t want to be seen and heard until they can confidently proclaim that they’re over their insecurity. They’re waiting for that glorious day when they’ll emerge perfect and fake-free. And let me tell you - it ain't ever gonna happen.

The reason why I can now live with being a fake is that I made a big discovery about myself - that there are actually two versions of me – who knew? – and here’s the interesting thing. These two versions are always vying for attention.

There’s what I call my "small self" – and it’s all wrapped up in the personality called Linda and how she shows up in this world. It's made up of my physical body, ego, and my mind. That’s a lot right there, isn’t it? And in a way, it’s no small thing. So why call it my "small self"? Stay with me.

And then there’s my "Big self." The larger part of me. Some call it the soul. It’s the quiet voice that keeps whispering in my ear and tapping me on the shoulder to pursue my dreams and live out my soul’s purpose. You’ll recognize it whenever you tune into the dreams you have for your life because it feels amazing, loving, and expansive, and it’s always cheering you on…that is, until the small self butts in and tells you you’re not ready yet.

My small self always wants my big self to go away and not come through me. And I discovered that alerting me to this is actually its job. Taking the risk to put yourself out there and allowing others to possibly judge and have an opinion about you invites rejection and ridicule. And who wants to put out the welcome mat for these two misfits.

When I understood that I had these two dynamics – two versions – going on, not only did it all begin to make sense, but it also explained why I kept stalling and hiding out – why I kept having this push-pull thing going on. One day I’d want the spotlight – the next day, I feared it.

The irony of all of this is that I’ve come to see enlightenment, not as a state of perfection, but recognizing how beautifully imperfect our small selves are and forever will be.

So, the next time you find yourself putting the brakes on, stalling, sabotaging yourself, and hijacking your work, just know that it’s your small self doing what it’s supposed to do – it’s vying for attention -warning you of potential danger. It won’t be easy to suddenly toggle over to your big self. You and your small self have built a pretty cozy relationship over the years. It’s what we’ve come to erroneously call being in our comfort zone.

Your small self is not your enemy – it’s just that it’s a little bit outdated in wanting to constantly warn and alert you about not following your dreams and putting yourself out there. There’s no need to unfriend it, but also know that it’s not your true friend. It will promise you comfort. But know that comfort is not your friend.

It isn’t easy to make peace with the fact that I sometimes feel insecure – that I stumble over my words and don’t sound articulate. It isn’t easy to do videos when I think I look tired and overweight. And screwing up and coming across as unprofessional never feels good (but take heart that your personality can get better at doing things). But I’m going to continue to commit to faking it – I’m going to listen to that voice that encourages expansion and not the voice of restriction. Befriend your BIG self. Let your soul take the lead.

Take the Quiz! – How Confident Are You (really) as a Coach? It’s FREE!

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