Don’t Be Fooled

Xperience Growthblogposts

Just a quick heads-up, it’s April Fool’s Day. Be weary of would-be pranksters that might get you. 😱

The biggest culprit of them all to fool you might be the person you least expect.

That person is YOU.

That’s right. You are likely to fool yourself today and everyday.

We fool ourselves by telling ourselves that we’re not enough or that we’re too much.

We fool ourselves with our self-talk. That narrative runs through our head all day. That “talk” serves a real and often positive purpose. It helps us make sense of the world, yet it also can be a little garden of judgment.

Author & researcher Ethan Kross chronicles how we fool ourselves in his book “Chatter.” He says that our “inner experiences consistently dwarf outer ones.” For example, Kross writes, “you’re in a situation in which you should be happy (spending time with friends, or celebrating an accomplishment), but a ruminative thought swallows your mind. Your mood is defined not by what you did but by what you thought about.”

I coached a client who is vivacious, lights up the room. People gravitate to and love to be around them. They love to be there, too! 

Undoubtedly, from the outside they looked to be in flow, confident and flawless. In many respects they were.

However, even in the midst of their connection with people, they often questioned themselves. They didn’t believe that they added a lot of value to people.

That belief held them back. It caused discouragement in struggle. That led to challenges sometimes becoming daunting. And while they were still successful in many pillars of their life, they felt unfulfilled.

Those beliefs fostered in the little garden of judgment from their inner dialogue. They fooled themselves to believe they were anything other than that vivacious light of every room.

Here’s how our chatter can fool us into thinking we’re less then. Kross says: “Verbal rumination concentrates our attention narrowly on the source of our emotional distress, thus stealing neurons that could better serve us. In effect, we jam our executive functions up by attending to a ‘dual task’—the task of doing whatever it is we want to do and the task of listening to our pained inner voice. Neurologically, that’s how chatter divides and blurs our attention.”

That “dividing and blurring our attention” is what fools us.

So even while my client was succeeding, connecting and having fun with friends, they focused on the emotional distress of the belief of their lack of value.

We worked together on finding the root of that belief and changed how they thought about it. That changed their belief and illuminated their natural value.

The change stopped the rumination over their value and gave them more fulfillment in and beyond their career. In short, they stopped fooling themselves.

Happy April Fool’s Day. Have fun fooling pranking your friends & family with goofy jokes. And make a point today to stop fooling yourself.

You’re too valuable and worth it!