Any time we pretend to be something we're not, we do so out of fear that without that "persona" to protect us -- to make that impression we want -- we won't get what we want. This whole way of thinking is secret self-sabotage. It sinks us in our personal and business relationships as surely as a torpedo wrecks the ship it strikes.
Any action we take to appear strong before another person is actually read by that person as a weakness. If you doubt this finding, review the past interactions and results of your own relationships. The general rule of thumb is that the more you demand or crave the respect of others, the less likely you are to receive it. If you've ever tried to raise children, you know this is true. So it makes no sense to try and change the way others treat you by learning calculated behaviors or attitude techniques in order to appear in charge. The only thing these clever cover-ups really produce is yet another source of secret inner conflict, which, in turn, only fuels further self-sabotage. Besides, what you're really looking for in your relationships isn't command over others--but over yourself. So what's the answer?
Stop trying to be strong. Instead, catch yourself about to act from weakness.
For example, the next time you feel as though you need impress someone, give yourself a quick and simple internal test. This test will help you check for and cancel any undetected weakness that's about to make you sabotage yourself. Here's how to get started: run an interior pressure check. Now, here's "how" to conduct this test within yourself:
Right at the outset of the moment in question, come as wide awake to yourself as is possible for you to be. Allow the inner light of this heightened awareness to scan the various shaky states passing through you and then, safe within its calmness, silently ask yourself this question: is what you're about to say to present yourself in a favorable light something you really want to do? Or are you about to pretend to be something you're not because you're afraid of some as yet undisclosed consequence if you don't?
This self-administered test for inner pressure is how you tell if your forthcoming action is truly voluntary, or if you're on the verge of being compelled to unconsciously compromise your own integrity.
Your awareness of any pressure building within you is the proof that it's some form of fear -- and not you -- that wants to do the fawning, impressing, or whatever that self-sabotaging inner pressure is pushing you to commit. Each time you feel this pressurized urge to give yourself away, silently but solidly refuse to release this pressure by giving into its demands. It may help you to succeed sooner if you know that fear has no voice unless it tricks you into giving it one. Choosing inner seeing over the wish to be seen by others in a complimentary light stops the cycle of self-sabotage.