To Pretend Or Not To Pretend

Posted on 22. Oct, 2013 by in Lead From Within, Leadership Development, Life Balance, Life Skills, Personal Development, Purpose, Self Help

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“Pretend until you become it, pretend until you believe it.”

What does it mean to pretend?

To pretend is to THINK something you may not yet have the language for.

To pretend is to FEEL something you may not yet have the emotions for,

To pretend is to BE something that you don’t yet feel worthy of.

Many of us think that we have to say, or feel, or be something other than what we are. We say things we don’t mean, thinking it’s what others want to hear. We pretend to feel things that seem acceptable so that others will approve of us.

When we pretend to be or feel what we are not, we deny ourselves the quintessence of who we really are.

 

Life is not about pretending; it is about facing our fears, facing our insecurities, knowing our limiting beliefs.

There is no reason to pretend when we can simply apply our strengths to areas that are not as secure or strong.

How to apply ourselves instead of pretending to ourselves?

Express Your Reality: As leaders, we have difficulty facing the reality of our insecurities, and sometimes we pretend they aren’t there so no one has to know. The truth is who you are is always within you, we must find our strength and move forward into our reality with the parts of ourselves we love, and embody it with everything we do.

To many of us are not living our reality because we are living pretended lives.

 

Live Your Greatness:  When you see great talent and capabilities in others, you may feel that you are lacking something important in yourself. Remember that the greatness you see in them is actually greatness you appreciate in yourself.

When we are inspired by another it is because we recognize greatness within ourselves.

 

Master Your Imperfections: It’s OK to be imperfect. As leaders, owning our imperfections means owning our “real” self. Pretending will never help us recognize the ways in which we are dishonest, with ourselves and with others.

Perfection is not the journey, our destination is authenticity.

 

Lead From Your Source: Leading from our source actually challenges us to find our dreams, intelligence, wisdom, knowledge and creativity.  Leading from our source takes courage, living without pretending takes strength.

Most people fail in life not because they think BIG but because they feel small.

 


When we pretend to be or feel what we are not, we rob ourselves the gratification of who we really are.

Lead From Within:  When we accept all of who we are we are realizing ALL we can become.

For coaching, consulting, workshops and speaking. Please feel free to contact me.
© 2013 Lolly Daskal. All rights reserved.

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43 Responses to “To Pretend Or Not To Pretend”

  1. Jon Mertz

    22. Oct, 2013

    Lolly, Leading from your source is essential, so we need to ensure we know our source and then develop it. Having that source of renewal, resiliency, and resourcefulness keeps us centered and activated in real leadership situations and in real life challenges. Great points throughout this article. Thanks! Jon

    Reply to this comment
  2. Martina

    22. Oct, 2013

    Well-said, Lolly. We lead best and strongest when we lead from a position of knowing who we are, what we bring to the “game” and honoring our authentic selves.

    Dreamimg is good for us, but we must not neglect the celebration, lessons and foundational work of what has come before. These have made us who we are and makes it possible to live fully in the moment, while continuing to press forward.

    Reply to this comment
  3. lollydaskal

    22. Oct, 2013

    Martina,

    Yes we must honor ourselves in order to honor our lives.

    Dreaming is good as you say, pretending is not.

    So happy to see you here! Hopefully I will see you on #leadfromwithin tonight

    Lolly

    Reply to this comment
  4. Karin Hurt

    22. Oct, 2013

    I watch my son with all his confidence. He “knows” he’s going to be an artist… and a great writer… he works each day to grow into that. That 8 year old confidence is so refreshing. We need to tap into that youthful sense of who we are and work toward becoming more of that… and know that dreams are possible.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      22. Oct, 2013

      What I love about what you say Karin, is that you are not advising him to pretend, you are encouraging him to grow in his strengths.
      that is where the ADDED value of wisdom lies in our lives.

      So for now we can hope there are more mom’s out there like you….encouraging the confidence in our children to be who they are and not who they pretend to be.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  5. Paul Ladd

    22. Oct, 2013

    Great stuff, Lolly! Important lesson for all of us. When we live genuine lives, we can have genuine peace.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Kem Foley

    22. Oct, 2013

    Karin,
    Such a great point. When we ‘grow up’ we forget the joy that was within us and it gets buried. So challenging to tap back into that because we have to have enough quiet time to do so.

    I love this post. Thanks.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      22. Oct, 2013

      If only we could take the gems of our youth and make them work for us as adults.

      Thanks Kem for stopping by – it is always great to see you.

      See you tonight at #leadfromwithin

      Reply to this comment
  7. Kem Foley

    22. Oct, 2013

    This post also reminds me of the lyrics from ‘Instant Karma’ – We all Shine On.
    Who’d in the hell do you think you are, a super star?
    Well, right you are

    Reply to this comment
  8. Tanveer Naseer

    22. Oct, 2013

    I agree with Karin how of our children can great reminders of what we were like when we were little – when we didn’t shackle ourselves with external expectations because we had a greater clarity of our inner strengths and dreams.

    The simple fact is that we can’t be truthful and honest with others if we can’t be truthful and honest with ourselves.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      22. Oct, 2013

      Beautiful sentiment…

      when we didn’t shackle ourselves with external expectations because we had a greater clarity of our inner strengths and dreams.

      and you continue with great wisdom…

      The simple fact is that we can’t be truthful and honest with others if we can’t be truthful and honest with ourselves.

      Thanks so much for sharing.

      Truly appreciate you.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  9. LaRae Quy

    22. Oct, 2013

    When I was a kid, I pretended all the time…I pretended to be Daniel Boone discovering America or a cowboy pretending to fight with Indians, etc.

    Fortunately, I grew up and no longer found the need to pretend to be someone I was not…and that is something that plagues many people today…they are still pretending to be someone they are not because they are not happy or fulfilled with who they are.

    Following our source is the only thing that leads to happiness, joy, and contentment.

    Great post, Lolly!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      22. Oct, 2013

      Love your story LaRae

      You are so right when you say, I grew up and no longer found the need to pretend to be someone I was not…

      This is so important to realize….. this is where we can become the person we are meant to be… when we start to find ourselves in our source.

      Thanks so much for sharing a piece of your heart with us.

      Appreciate you!

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  10. Jesse Stoner

    22. Oct, 2013

    Life sure gets a lot easier when you accept yourself and stop trying to present an image of who you want people to think you are. We can relax into ourselves and our lives, and there’s more opportunity to be present to each moment. You sum it up beautifully – “Perfection is not the journey, our destination is authenticity.” Thanks for another great post, Lolly.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      22. Oct, 2013

      Jesse,

      Thanks for this:

      Life sure gets a lot easier when you accept yourself and stop trying to present an image of who you want people to think you are. We can relax into ourselves and our lives, and there’s more opportunity to be present to each moment.

      There is so much truth to what you wrote, and if we could just adhere to accepting ourselves we would be able to shine in our own greatness!

      Thanks so much for stopping by it means the world to me.

      Thanks for being you!

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  11. Sharon Reed

    22. Oct, 2013

    “When we pretend to be or feel what we are not, we rob ourselves the gratification of who we really are.”

    I could not have said it any better, Lolly. Surrendering to the truth of who we are empowers and enables us to step out of a life of fear and limitations and into the fullness and beauty of our true selves, from which all things become possible. Thanks for another wonderful post!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      22. Oct, 2013

      BEAUTIFUL SHARON!!!!!

      “Surrendering to the truth of who we are empowers and enables us to step out of a life of fear and limitations and into the fullness and beauty of our true selves, from which all things become possible”

      Thanks so much for sharing!

      I truly appreciate you!

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  12. Colleen_Cooley

    22. Oct, 2013

    “To pretend is to BE something that you don’t yet feel worthy of.”
    Does it change things if we do feel worthy? Is that the difference between pretending & creative visualization?

    Reply to this comment
  13. lollydaskal

    22. Oct, 2013

    Colleen

    I am so happy you brought up the distinction between pretending and creative visualization.

    In creative visualization we are visualizing ourselves in a creative way, not something we are not, not something we claim to be now, its about dreaming and wondering.

    Creative visualization is the basic technique underlying positive thinking.

    To pretend:
    To give a false appearance of…..To claim or allege insincerely or falsely, To represent fictitiously; to make believe

    With pretend you are being someone that is not you! With creative visualization you are enhancing who you are – not pretending to be someone else.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Panteli Tritchew

    22. Oct, 2013

    “When we pretend to be or feel what we are not, we deny ourselves the quintessence of who we really are.” This is a powerful insight, Lolly. We all have and wear (to varying degrees of consciousness) numerous persona that we present to the world and, alas, ourselves.

    Once again, I’ll share the words of CG Jung (yes, I am a fan!) who stated our personas were “a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual”.

    As you say, it’s so true that “many of us are not living our reality because we are living pretended lives.” The danger is that our social personas (I am a doctor, I am a teacher) overwhelm our sense of self distinct from the social narratives we co-create with society. The greater the disparity between our social personas and our authentic selves, the greater the psychic and emotional toll. And each one of us has a “tipping point.”

    Not that we shouldn’t have social personas—it’s part of living within a societal framework. The goal and the challenge (what Jung called individuation) is to “develop a more realistic, flexible persona that helps them navigate in society but does not collide with nor hide their true self”.

    Or, as you say: “Express Your Reality…we must find our strength and move forward into our reality with the parts of ourselves we love, and embody it with everything we do.”

    Methinks you and Carl would have gotten along! ;-)

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      23. Oct, 2013

      I am a Jungian. I own it and live it and subscribe to its wisdom.

      …..And all the points of individuation and reality are all validate and necessary, but how we do eliminate the school of pretend it until you believe you see it….. ?
      how can we stress the delusional and false kind of thinking is detrimental to us.

      how can we passionately convey that It does not serve us at all.

      I appreciate your thoughts and your insights and yes Jung you and me… what a combination! What a great thought. what a wonderful concept.

      You share your heart all the way from china and for that I AM DEEPLY GRATEFUL.

      As always, honored.
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
      • Kate Spano

        23. Oct, 2013

        I’d like to pick up on what you said about pretending until we become it. When we apply the technique of pretending to have a quality that we admire in others and want to have ourselves, so often we already possess it but simply do not believe that we do. It’s really all about belief and recognising what strengths and qualities lie within us.

        Reply to this comment
  15. Alli Polin

    22. Oct, 2013

    Lolly -

    When I read this, it really hits me that the difference between pretending and being, is owning. Owning our gifts, talents, strengths and imperfections. We are equally worthy and deserving of success to the person that we most long to be. In fact, the biggest obstacle in our way can be found in the reflection in the mirror.

    Thanks for the inspiration and the push! There is no need to wait until we’re enough because we absolutely are enough – today.

    ~ Alli

    Reply to this comment
  16. lollydaskal

    23. Oct, 2013

    Great insight Alli…..

    OWNING – is a great word, owning who you are, owning yourself, your gifts and your weakness.

    or maybe instead of owning. ACCEPTING. when we accept we come from gratefulness, positivity and understanding.

    What do you think about accepting?

    Lolly

    Reply to this comment
    • Alli Polin

      24. Oct, 2013

      I think accepting is beautiful and there is a great feeling of ease to it. There is something special that happens when we stop resisting who we are.

      Reply to this comment
  17. Terri Klass

    23. Oct, 2013

    Hiding our true selves can be very exhausting. Only when we are able to be vulnerable and show our underneath sides can we be happy and confident.

    The movie of our lives needs to be authentic where we present each of our beautiful and valuable contributions. Pretending in a role that is for show will never display our true strengths and gifts.

    We just need to remember that we all have amazing talents and love to share.

    As always, a remarkable post, Lolly!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      23. Oct, 2013

      hiding our true selves can be very exhausting…. Terri that sentence made me STOP and think!

      Do we hide from ourselves or do we hide within our-self?

      I think most people want to be themselves but are scared about what they feel within…..

      feeling of unworthiness and undeserving emotions…. which are emotions and thoughts of the mind- this is what keeps us hiding…. keeps us from our heart— which is accepting and acknowledging of who we are…… even the dark… so do we hide within or do we hide from….

      something to think about…. maybe a post for the future… thanks for the inspiration.

      Reply to this comment
  18. Karen Jolly

    23. Oct, 2013

    When I read this Lolly, I kept thinking of that saying “fake it until you make it.” I’ve tried that advice a few times in my life and it was horrible – it FEELS fake. :)

    Thank you for making this so clear. Being authentic about how we feel and allowing those feelings is empowerment. I love owning my feelings now even when I wish I could feel another way – owning it sets me free to just be with it, go within and deal.

    Thank you Lolly – loved this post!

    Reply to this comment
  19. Lori Gosselin

    24. Oct, 2013

    Hi Lolly! Like Karen this brought something else to mind – Act As If! I believe it’s the most powerful combination of three words there is!
    I like the word Pretend for this concept. Let’s stop pretending we’re less than we are and recognize as you said that we could not see greatness in another unless it was already in ourselves.
    Lori

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      25. Oct, 2013

      Lori

      we should NOT pretend. We should not ACT AS IF … we should be who we are and recognize our OWN greatness.

      We are more than we give ourselves credit for….
      We are more than we allow ourselves to be…
      We are more than we believe we are….

      Reply to this comment
  20. Wayne McEvilly

    24. Oct, 2013

    It is a great joy to become one’s very own self. My mother always said to me: “Just be yourself.” It was Oscar Wilde who added, some years later, “Everyone else is already taken.” I prefer my mother’s wisdom. She also said – when feeling one’s supposed insufficiencies: “You’ve gotta be able to laugh”…and, after a pause…”No matter what!”
    I agree with Karen Jolly – “fake it until you make it…FEELS fake.”
    We have one chance to be real – this is it – might as well claim one of life’s great gifts, and be totally yourself.
    Thanks for the post, Lolly, you are always a rich resource of practical wisdom.
    Wayne

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      25. Oct, 2013

      JUST BE YOURSELF Wayne is magnificent advice…

      Your mother was a saga, JUST BEING YOURSELF is what we need, no pretending, no what if, no act as if….

      FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT – IS FAKE.

      I hope the take away from this post is that WE ARE OKAY JUST AS WE ARE!

      Love to you soulful man.
      Cherish your heart Wayne!

      Reply to this comment
  21. Mike Maynard

    25. Oct, 2013

    Hi Lolly,

    I read about the Dunning-Kruger effect of cognitive bias earlier. I gave it some thought. I never seem to think what I do is very good, even though others do. If I lead, I do so by example. I think I prefer to underestimate rather than over estimate my abilities. I take risks, but always consider the consequences.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      25. Oct, 2013

      No one is saying you need to over estimate your abilities.

      but it would be great … To lead from your abilities and if you feel a weakness, see how you can apply some strength to what you feel weak about…

      Reply to this comment
  22. Garren Fagaragan

    25. Oct, 2013

    Great thread Lolly. Thank you for another stimulating post.

    The question that arose for me as I finished reading all of the insightful comments was a practical one.

    How do we be our self with absolute confidence?

    For me…meditation has been the path to authenticity.

    I was wondering how some of the great people…great leaders here in this community have settled into their authentic self.

    Could be thought for another thread Lolly.

    thanks again for the post. aloha…

    Reply to this comment
  23. Simon Harvey

    25. Oct, 2013

    What a great post. I can not pretend that I’m surprised as you always put your points across so eloquently. Such important points as well.

    We are like a parcel in the old game of Pass the parcel. Starting off with little idea of what is inside, or even knowing how many layers there are. And just when you think you have it, there, another wrapping appears.

    Do we pretend as we uncover a new wrapper that this is the final part and then want to prolong the inevitable end of the game. Are we pretending because we are frightened to tear that wrapping off and expose this to the world, or are we just sampling the layer with intrigue.

    It is hard to really, really be yourself, when most have little idea of who they are, and in today’s cultures where we dress in certain colour, or styles of cloths, it has perhaps become even harder. Look at all the makeup, and body art we adorn ourselves in, for what, a cry to say, I am me, look. But then how many of us stand up and applaud in a cinema full of seated people when we felt the pull. Or cry openly, or laugh when perhaps others were sad because we say something someone else did not.

    Is it just one of life’s defense systems, to have the aptitude to pretend, even to a point where we believe our own pretence. Nature certainly goes off on a scale of it’s own here. So is pretending part of an old survival instinct that as we evolved has got relabeled and put back up on the shelf to be used as dressing.

    As Daniel Gilbert wrote:

    “The brain and the eye may have a contractual relationship in which the brain has agreed to believe what they eye sees, but in return the eye has agreed to look for what the brain wants.”

    As you say “When we are inspired by another it is because we recognize greatness within ourselves.” As we see something in others that feels right, perhaps we realize that there is another layer to unwrap. To grow and blossom a little more.

    Or on the other side, we might feel that what we see we are not ready for, or can not see beauty within it.. Then some will try to put an old wrapper back on, pull it tight and try to conceal the folds and crinkles for a while longer.

    Why, perhaps because to ask, who am I, and why am I can be frightening and bewildering .

    leading from within is important as I feel it seeks to expand our own thinking beyond what we think we know, and pushes open windows into the core of who we are.

    `Love the post Lolly, so many thanks for expanding my mind a little more.

    Reply to this comment
  24. Stacie Walker

    25. Oct, 2013

    Hi Lolly,

    You are simply amazing! I really enjoy reading all of your content, so I decided to leave a comment expressing my appreciation for your hard work and dedication to show us the way.

    To Your Success,
    Stacie Walker
    Woman in Leadership Founder

    Reply to this comment
  25. Clare

    28. Oct, 2013

    Hi Lolly,

    Really inspiring article and quotes — there’s always a fine line between pretending until we become who we want to be and then just deluding yourself by being someone else entirely. Thanks for positing this,

    Clare x
    http://www.thoughtbrick.com

    Reply to this comment

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