A Big Misunderstanding
For most of my life I have believed I am less than others in some way. For instance, I was smart, but not smart enough. I was hard-working, but not hard-working enough. I was fun, but not fun enough. These kinds of beliefs about myself have made me constantly strive to be better. It’s a lot of work. At times, it’s even downright exhausting.
Here is the interesting thing about what I now call opposite ends of the same pole of a hellish existence-even though I have spent my life believing I am inadequate and simultaneously spent my life battling that by working hard to be better, sometimes to the point where I was physically unwell, I still never felt good enough. If we pay attention to how our life is actually happening, instead of running on autopilot in a zombie-like existence, we will notice this game of empty promises. And we have to ask ourselves, upon noticing, why are we doing this?
I’ll tell you why. It’s all a big misunderstanding. We have been trained to believe that we are someone we are not and that someone is not good enough. Now, I will tell you, this not good enough person is truly not us and this is well-documented. The names that have been given to this mind-created entity include the ego, the false self, the imposter, or, as I coined the term in my new book, Mood, Food and Gratitude: Healing from the Way We Think, the Thought Self. Whatever name you want to call this imaginary collection of beliefs, you will always be able to tell if you are acting like it is you whenever you hear anything that sounds like less than, not good enough, or inadequate. This is its foundation. Every story about ourselves, others, or life in general stems from this single belief-from an imposter.
This is important information because you can see that the one who believes there is something wrong with you is the same one who wants to fix you, and has suggestions on how to do that. But the suggestions don’t work. The foundation of the imposter is inadequacy so the solutions to your inadequacy are also inadequate-meaning they don’t work.
We can’t be fixed and this is simply because we believe we need to be fixed. That might sound nonsensical, but let me say it another way. If we stopped believing we are the Thought Self, which means we stop believing there is something wrong with us, we automatically realize we don’t need to be fixed.Æwe are already good enough-there is nothing to improve upon. Now, what could we do with our lives when we are no longer preoccupied with fixing something that doesn’t need fixed? How would our lives look when we clear up the misunderstanding that the person we were taught to believe is us, is not?
From this true and authentic perspective, we are unlimited in scope, opportunity and experience. Our lives could never be the same again in many aspects since the false pretense we have been living under has been removed. It’s just like looking up at clouds in the daytime sky-we might not be able to see the sun, but it is still there, shining ever so brightly, just behind the clouds.
We now know the person we believe was us is nothing more than a false sense of a person, but that there is, and never was, that person. That’s a lot to take in. Some of us have spent decades living as this imposter. We don’t really know how to be ourselves. So, what do we do about this?
The first thing to do is not to listen to the false self. Everything that starts out from false can only be false, too. So, no more listening to the false self which is not always easy because we have been in the habit of being someone else for a long time. The old habits might try to hook us, hoping we will go back to acting like this made-up person. For instance, if you are overweight, you might get hooked when you look in the mirror, believing you have to go on a huge diet and lose weight or you won’t be good enough. Can you hear it-the foundation piece of this imposter? Don’t fall for this tactic. You may need to lose weight, but there is an inner intelligence in all of us that will take care of it and that inner intelligence is motivated by love, not inadequacy. It might seem less than stellar, this love, but do not underestimate the power of love to take care of everything in life.
Love brings balance. As an example, if someone is overweight, the imbalance of feeling inadequate leads to remedies by the one who believes you to be inadequate. But those remedies don’t work for most people. This only serves to validate the believed inadequacy as no weight was lost, or it was lot and gained back. This is frustrating and stressful, so we eat more, gain more weight and are still inadequate-a living cycle of hell. We have the power to break this cycle.
Let’s try another example. Let’s say you don’t have much money which means the money you have is inadequate, which we often equate this to mean we are inadequate, so we take on more hours at work or pick up a second job. Now we are working all the time. But we still don’t have enough money. How can that be? Is it possible that the belief that I am inadequate is being solved with a solution that is also inadequate? If making more money was the answer to believing we are adequate than all rich people would feel great about themselves-but they don’t. Again, we have to wake up from our zombie-like existence to put two-and-two together so we can see what is really going on. When we do wake up and see the truth about the imposter, we are able to let go of the old habits and break the cycle. When this happens balance returns.
In the case of being overweight, when we are no longer motivated by false inadequacy, we don’t reach for foods that perpetuate the false self. Instead, we reach for foods motivated by the inner intelligence, authenticity, and love. This automatically brings balance to our food choices and is reflected in our weight-as it becomes balanced also. Now we eat what serves the real us rather than what serves the false self. In the case of a lack of money, not being motivated by a belief of inadequacy changes our view of money. We don’t need more money to make us feel better-it never worked anyway, if we are honest. Now, balance returns. The intelligence within-our gut instinct, our intuition-is the force behind our money. All of a sudden, what we have is enough, as we now know we are enough.
It may sound simple, and it is. Of course, habits can be challenging to break, but nothing is impossible in truth and love. Realizing there is nothing for us to improve upon provides us with the freedom to live our lives authentically, as our true selves. What does that look like? Go find out. The universe is waiting for you to reclaim your unlimited potential and creativity. To be yourself. It is time.