“You are a fraud!” Thank you, I am totally ok with that

“You are a fraud!”

One of the people who knows me well asserted: “You are fraud!”.  What is the context that gives rise to this statement, this assertion?  Simply the disconnect this person experiences between how I show up for her and how my speaking/writing shows up for her.  There is a big gap and therefore the assertion: “You are a fraud”.

How to deal with that?  Do I attack?  Do I dispute?  Do I assert that she doesn’t see the full picture?  Do I find reasons/excuses for the difference between my speaking and my being/doing that shows up for her?  Do I turn the tables and point out her defects?

I accepted and continue to accept her assertion: “You are a fraud!”.  I totally get and am ok with this.  That is how it is!  For her, I show up as a fraud – that is simply what is so.  Going further I accept that I am a fraud!   What do I mean?

Being human is to be in the fallen state of ‘inauthenticity’: to say one thing and be doing another and not even be present to the difference.  It takes a certain state of being/consciousness – the state of being aware and mindful – to be aware of this inauthenticity.  I wish that I were able to live in that state all the time.  And the reality is that awareness/mindfulness is something that shows up infrequently and sporadically.

I am also a fraud in the sense that a person starting out and committed to being a tennis champion is a fraud.  What do I mean?  Let’s say that I am committed to being a tennis champion, I pick up my racket and head to the tennis court.  I play.  To an objective observer there will a gap between my being/playing and the being/playing of a tennis champion.  And that gap can be used to assert: “You are a fraud!”  I am up for ‘playing BIG’, ‘committed to playing BIG’.  That does not mean that I am ‘BIG’.  So the gap between my speaking of ‘playing BIG’, my ‘playing BIG’ and how I show up can be used to assert “You are a fraud!”

This assertion, “You are a fraud!” does not hurt.  I totally get that when I speak that I am up for and committed to ‘playing BIG’ some people will look at how I show up for them and they will laugh and ridicule me.  That is what is so – when you stick you head above the crowd then some people will take a shot at you.  Sticking my head above the crowd and getting shot at going together like the two sides of a coin.

This is what shows up as real pain: having lived as a fraud for the last 15 years or so

During the week of Christmas 2011 I got present to how I had been living my life.  The honest way would be to say that I had nothing to do with it.  I took time out simply to be and this getting present simply showed up and rocked my world.  Tears rolled from my soul – again and again for a week.  Why?

I got present to the fact that I had been living as a fraud.  I had been trying desperately to be someone else – to fit in, to please, to be a ‘nice person’, to not be a maverick, to not speak my mind, to not stand up for what I believe in genuinely.  And I got present to the fact that it had not worked!  Giving myself up to be ‘acceptable’ had not result in joy, fulfillment, satisfaction, peace being present in my living.  Neither had the ‘workability’ and ‘performance’ of my life increased.  I got present to the fact that I had lost – in every single way that I could imagine including the most wounding one:  I had lost my self-esteem and my self-confidence.  You could say that I showed up for myself as both a ‘fraud’, a ‘wimp’ and a ‘loser’!

Back to today

I am grateful that today I show up simply as a fraud!  I am grateful that I do not show up for myself as ‘lost’, ‘wimp’, ‘loser’.  I am grateful that I show up for myself as a person who has self-esteem – a person who has his own self-respect.  I person who is genuinely proud of what he is up for, the game that his playing and the results that are showing up.

It is amazing how little things make such a big difference.  I was set and internalised high standards and so no-one else berated me as much as I berated myself.  Anything less than perfection was an opportunity for the mother/father housed inside of to whip me to pieces.  And what happens shortly after my wakening up in December?  I am driving my car and I hear a song ( “Don’t let me be misunderstood”) on the radio by the Animals that totally captures my attention.  How?  Here is the chorus line:

“I’m just a soul whose intentions are good.  Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.

Yes, I’m just a soul whose intentions are good.  Oh Lord, please don’t le me be misunderstood.”

Those lines, that song has had such  profound impact on me.  I got that I am simply a soul whose intentions are good and that is good enough for me.  I do not have to get everything right, I do not have to be perfect – for everyone in my life.

I am a fraud and I am at peace with that and in my life.  I am even at peace with the person who asserts that I am a fraud.  How blessed am I?  Now, that is something to be truly grateful for!

Author: Maz Iqbal

Experienced management consultant working at the intersection of strategy, customer, and technology. Combine a tendency to think strategically with a penchant for getting my hands dirty at the coalface of implementation.

7 thoughts on ““You are a fraud!” Thank you, I am totally ok with that”

  1. Maz,

    This post prompted me to comment. I feel like there’s a paradox here that deserves more examination.

    Showing up as a fraud, and being “OK” with it as a general ideal may be good, healthy in fact. As you describe, you are not letting others define your worth, and you are being healthily selfish– “deal with me as I am.”

    However, if someone who knows you very well sees you as a fraud, this is not good and presents a paradox that should be understood rather than ignored. When someone dear to us sees us acting and presenting ourselves differently than our true nature, what they’re saying is “Your social self is not consistent with your true self; your public persona is fraudulent and offending against who you really are.”

    To ignore this feedback is to miss a true gift, as those who have a disconnect between their social and true selves are generally the most unhappy among us. Their misery comes from acting to meet the image they’ve created rather than being content, fulfilled, and loved for who they really are.

    Lastly, my wisest mentors always remind me that others can see our inconsistencies so clearly, while our vision of self is obscure, indistinct, and leads us to believe that we can ‘cover our tracks.’ Embrace your true self.

    Regards,

    Drake

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  2. Hello Drake
    Thanks for caring enough to make time for me – to share your perspective and thus create an opening for a conversation.

    I totally get where you are coming from – when an opening such as “You are a fraud!” shows up I can deny it, repress it, suppress it. Or I can stand in the opening called open to learning about myself. So I pondered your coaching.

    This morning I got an apology. The person who asserted “You are a fraud!” let me know that this statement was made in anger. She experienced pain and then let me have “You are a fraud”. It is hard to go from ‘playing the nice guy’ to ‘here’s how I am, take it or leave it’ and expect that one will have no impact on people – especially those who are he closest to you as they are the ones whose lives are most ruptured.

    And it really doesn’t change much. I accept/get that my default state is ‘fallen-ness’ and ‘inauthenticity’ and so unless I am mindful there will always be a gap between what I am up for and how my ‘perfromance’ shows up. And as such I will show up for myself and others as a ‘fraud’ from time to time. This thought turns up invited especially when I have been entrapped by one of the negative moods.

    The BIG difference between before and now is that I am not willing to beat myself up for it. And I am not open to being put off what I am up for (e.g. being a ‘champ tennis player’) just because today, right now, my performance does not show up as such. What matters, to me, is encapsulated in four questions:

    a) Is my intention good?
    b) Am I headed in the right direction?
    c) Am I making the right kind of progress?
    d) Are the results that I am committed to showing up?

    I stated in one of my earlier posts that I know that I can do better – I can play the game of ‘playing BIG’ more powerfully. And that is what I am up for.

    I thank you for the context from which you shared – that of love and service. If you were here I would give you hug, buy you meal, and share a drink with you. As you are I simply wish you to know that I am touched by your reaching out to me!

    at your service and with my love
    maz

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  3. Maz I too was moved by your post adn not in a good way. I appreciate Drake’s comments and how you took them. I’m glad he got there first as he articulated it better than I could. I am happy you clarified your intentions better in your response to Drake, as the inital remarks you made were concerning from a professional standpoint. You know how I feel about you and if you don’t, then that is my failing. Something to discuss when I am in town. Lora

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  4. Hello Lora

    I thank you for your love of me as your friends- every since our paths crossed many years ago. I do hope that you know that I love you and you family. Put precisely I consider it a privilege to be friends with you and receive/share. And in particular I love the hug – giving and receiving.

    I get that the post might frighten/scare you. Once upon a time it would have done the same to me. Now it doesn’t. I get that I am ‘not OK’ and probably will never be ‘OK’. And I am totally ‘OK about not being OK today and tomorrow’. So there is nothing to fix! Really there is nothing to fix.

    Werner Erhard is quoted as saying something to the effect that if you can be OK about not being OK then you are OK! It has taken me many years and I have arrived at that place. If I feared not being OK about not being OK then I wouldn’t have shared it.

    I am looking forward to seeing you when you cross the atlantic and come over to the UK. Until then I give you a big hug!

    With my love
    Maz

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  5. Werner Erhard is quoted as saying something to the effect that if you can be OK about not being OK then you are OK! So there is nothing to fix! Really there is nothing to fix.
    & your other statement 2)- I accept/get that my default state is ‘fallen-ness’ and ‘inauthenticity’ and so unless I am mindful there will always be a gap between what I am up for and how my ‘perfromance’ shows up. ~ Maz, very insightful for Living life out of the racket “fit in” & into inventing the life you declare.

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  6. Lets, just assume that you face circumstances that you simply you cannot change. Then what can you do, how can you be about that? (Very Powerful – trans-formative Question)
    Here is what Viktor Frankl says: “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”

    Werner Erhard is quoted as saying something to the effect that if you can be OK about not being OK then you are OK! So there is nothing to fix! Really there is nothing to fix.

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  7. My Philosophy is that it is none of my business what people say of me & think of me. I am what i am & do what i do. I expect nothing & accept everything & it makes life so much easier. ~ Anthony Hopkins

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