Stop faking it

A few days ago I watched a youtube video of someone playing a song on the piano. She was one of the 200 participants in the 30 Day Challenge and she had responded to one of our exercises by taking the risk to record a video of her playing and show it to the other participants (who were all complete strangers until just a few weeks before).

She started by looking nervously into the camera and doing what we usually do before daring to share something very personal: she apologised for it. She spoke quietly and shyly, saying that she hadn’t warmed up and the piano might be out of tune and that she wasn’t sure it would work.

And then she started playing. And it was wonderful. She sang powerfully and beautifully and played confidently. Her posture and demeanour changed, she was no longer shy. She came alive. She shone.

This is what happens when we dare to share something from our heart. It’s scary, we want to protect ourselves, but when we finally do it, we shine.

Having watched her apologetic intro to the video I wanted to shout out, “Oh stop faking it! We can all see how amazing you are!”

And it made me realise that most of us are faking it. I know I still do at times. We worry so much about overstating our talents (in case we get shot down) we do the opposite.

“Oh it’s nothing”

“This thing? It’s only half finished and the chorus is totally wrong”

“It’s nowhere near as good as [insert world leader in your field]”

“What’s the point of starting my own blog when there are so many out there already?”

We end up faking it as a nobody.

We’re pretending there’s nothing amazing about us; we don’t have anything important or unique to give to the world.

But there is, and we do.

We may feel a long way from the recognised super-talents – the Richard Bransons, Steve Jobs or JK Rowlings of this world but we all have ‘spots of genius’ – those areas where we shine.

I realised right at the end that The 30 Day Challenge (and much of my work) is really about each of us finding these spots of genius, mining them to create something of our own, and daring to share it with the world.

The world would be a lot better place if we all stopped faking it long enough to do the same.

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