Many people aren’t living the life they really want to live. They aren’t doing what they want to do, and they aren’t being who they really are.

Instead, they’re pretending to be someone else. They’re pretending to be the person that other people expect them to be. It’s easier to pretend to be the person that your society and your culture expect you to be. They pretend to be the person their family and friends expect them to be. To be someone different, they’d risk being judged, ridiculed, and ostracized. They would risk disappointing people.

So they bury who they really are deep inside them, and they put on a mask. They’re imposters.

A Horse of a Different Color

Then there are people who live the life they want to live. They do exactly what they want to do. They are who they are, and to all outward appearances, they are very comfortable in their own skin.

These people stop pretending to be someone they’re not. They stop trying to meet other people’s expectations. They stand out like a sore thumb, and they are judged, ridiculed, ostracized—and envied—for becoming who they were born to become.

They allow the person they really are to shine through. They take off the mask. And for a while, they feel like impostors. They live with a nagging sense of self-doubt. They still deal with their inner critic. They sometimes wonder how they got to where they are.

Until one day, they realize that they’re not impostors. They recognize that they live the fuller expression of their life and they contribute more to others than was ever possible when they were pretending to be someone less than who they really are.

You have a choice. You can be an impostor and put on a mask. Or you can take off the mask and share your real gift with a world that is waiting—desperately—for you do so, even if it means you might feel like an impostor for a little while.

Post by Anthony Iannarino on February 9, 2013
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.