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You go to that once in a lifetime fancy dinner and you have this vague sense of uneasiness that you are somehow “less than.” Or you walk into a store, a high-end one that you never go into, and you all of a sudden feel that the mannequins are looking at you snobbishly. O, yeah, how about this one! You meet up with an old friend from college and she is cute in her little dress and looks like she may be dripping money and you have gained about 25 pounds and so you suck in your belly to try and look skinny. And chic.

What to do?You have been told to “act as if.”

You have been told to “act as if.”

So…… you act as if…..

You act as if fancy eight-course meals and five different wines are served in your home daily. You toss your hair at the mannequin and strut away as if on a runway. Your high school friend? Sheesh. You give her the most disparaging looking and barely mutter “tsk, tsk” under your breath.

Yeah, you got this. You will not let anyone think they have the upper hand on your life. After all, this is your life.



But hold on. Don’t feel bad. It’s “their” fault. No. Not the mannequin. It is the fault of those gurus and self help books that told you to act “as if” and “fake it till you make it.”

Now, sometimes, there is nothing wrong with acting “as if.” Not at all. We all need to do that sometimes. Acting as if is a wonderful tool when you intentionally want something but it is not yet here. However, when you act “as if” to cover up stuff, then you are headed for trouble.

Here is my problem with acting “as if” when such feelings come up: You are covering up what is really going on with you. And….. you are also covering up your gift.

You see, in each of those scenarios, the person (you) covered up the message in the tension of the event by pretending it was not there.

For the dinner person, your gift may be saying, “This is not where we would thrive. Can we leave?” For the mannequin, your gift may be saying, “We do not feel creative in this environment, let us find another place.” For the person from college, your gift may be saying, “Boy! These are not our people!”

You see, such encounters, those ones that bring up such negative feelings, they are merely a distraction from what really is. They become big things in your mind and cause you to shrink and be small. When you shrink, you become so small that your gift has no wiggle room. You literally snuff out the candle within.

Your gift is really why you are here. Yes, here on the planet. Every single person has a precious unique gift and you are here to nurture and care for that gift and make sure the gift delivers.

So next time you are in one of those “shrinking” situations, just ask yourself, “Gift, what is really going on here?”

You will be surprised that you will find some deep courage and expansion in that very moment.

Let me know how it goes.


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I am committed to the success of all peoples. I actively work towards the equitable thriving of all human beings regardless of race, ethnicity, physical ability, sex, gender or national status. I offer a sliding scale for single parents, active-duty military, veterans, military spouses, the long-term unemployed, refugees and the formerly incarcerated.

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