Author, Neil Gaiman, known for his darkly comic novels and comic books, recently posted an apparent question from a reader on Tumblr:
Neil’s answer is wonderful. Just fake it.
“Because there isn’t actually any difference between doing something nice for someone because you are naturally saintly and perfect, and doing something nice for someone because you are secretly demonic and trying to cover it up. It’s still an act of kindness either way, and you still made their lives better.”
“Fake it ’til you make it” is an idea I’ve heard often…and it has some wisdom. Though, I think that many people never get over the idea that they are faking it, while others they see as more successful are the “real thing.” Perhaps everyone is faking it on some level.
Sometimes when I read for people I will see a quality that they don’t recognize in themselves. I will see the potential for creativity and artistry, or leadership and entrepreneurship. They’ll shake their head because even though they want that in their lives they don’t see it. They compare themselves to famous and extreme examples of that quality. They don’t see themselves as sufficiently skilled or accomplished so they reject the idea. Even worse, when someone recognizes that quality and compliments them they reject it. “I’m not really an artist, I just draw a little…and badly!”
The universe makes us something…we are that something…we do that thing…then people recognize us as that thing. Whether we gain fame or fortune through that quality we get to enjoy being it. So, take that quality that you would like to have in yourself. Imagine what someone with that quality would do. Do those things. Be forgiving and compassionate with yourself as you stumble. Pretend that you really are that. Realize that some that you admire are doing exactly the same thing.