Day 34 (Mistaken Identity)…

…is not just a cyber threat. It’s a fiber threat to the core of every human being.

In Day 21 (Labels) I commented Your True Identity is the hardest part of the CORE to build but second in importance, because without a deeply thought-out worldview, your search for identity will produce one mistaken identity after another. Shallow worldviews lead to superficial, pseudo-identities.

Sadly, modern psychology reports 85% of the population experience “imposter syndrome.” In a group of one hundred teammates, only fifteen feel they belong. Eighty-five feel they’re posers and fear being found out, constantly changing colors like a chameleon to avoid being exposed. Yet it’s far more likely the posers are the 15% putting on a show — we get the word “hypocrite” from the greek word hypokrites, a staged actor speaking from behind a mask.

At BTL, we believe it takes a strong core and a strong identity to answer the 3 big questions in life (Why am I here? Who am I? How will I live?) with uncanny clarity, depth, comprehensiveness, alignment, and significance. It produces ONEness within for the few willing to build it.

Weak cores and mistaken identities result from getting the order of the questions out of sequence — and our world has the order completely backwards. When you believe how you work & live makes you a some-body or a no-body, your identity will always be mistakenly on the line. In The Search For Significance, Robert McGee calls this the Performance Trap. Even with success, an identity crisis will be coming sooner or later, usually at mid-life. Not pretty.

And it gets worse. Underneath the Performance Trap ‘lies’ another trap — Approval Addiction. At its center is someone (dead or alive) you have mistaken to be your god, where no matter how you perform your identity is always at the mercy of their approval. Not good.

These traps are both conditional, and produce a self-centered, others-controlling 3D (defend/deny/destroy) focus. McGee calls this the Blame Game, where for your identity to stay intact, you always have to be right. Ugly.

Which brings us full circle to imposter syndrome, because the root of its mistaken identity is McGee’s trap of Shame. The lie of shame is you don’t have value, you don’t belong, you don’t matter, you don’t have what it takes, and you will never amount to anything. So you hide and mask up to cover your shame. Yikes.

This is why getting the order of the 3 big questions right matters. I believe as you begin to see yourself the way God sees you — nothing more, nothing less — you’ll be less apt to mistake your identity. You won’t play too small, and you won’t play too big for your britches.

And you’ll stop calling yourself the wrong names. Names matter. If I call myself a Dumbass whenever I do a dumbass thing, another brick of shame imprisons my identity. If I keep calling myself Smart after doing something wise, my Smartass identity will soon be taking a fall from its lofty height. Ouch.

Nicknames are the ones you want. Just wear them wisely. Nicknames chosen in love esteem the unique qualities of another. There’s a glossary full of BTL nicknames for our band and clients at the end of Toto’s book. Chet is Toto, the little dog from Kansas and ultimate builder in the Wizard of Oz — sometimes he bites, sometimes he nurtures, sometimes he pulls back the curtain to expose a humbug, and rarely does he stay in his basket. Kitty is the Lioness. Pete is Peteboy. David is Doscher or double-D. Mike is Jiggs or Jiggles. Andrew is Dorothy (remember you’ve had the ruby slippers since you got to Oz). Rachel is the Rocket — way more than her centerfield arm. Taylor is the Tay. Doug is Browny. LA is our beloved Larry Allen.

How about you? Are you still wearing a non-COVID mask in public, or are you becoming one of the unmasked few? Who are the fellow builders in your life? What are your nicknames? Write. Go deeper. Discover your true identity. Good.

Embrace it. Live it. Love it (Thanks, Toto)…

4 thoughts on “Day 34 (Mistaken Identity)…

  1. I gave someone the hard on self, not down on self advice yesterday, as well as reminded him that when he gets down he’s got to look up, remember who and whose he is. I reminded him that if God is full of Grace, then why would he not give himself the same. God knows he’s worthy of it, so remember that you are too, I said. Today, he thanked me for pulling him out of that space, and for the advice to remember when he goes there again.
    Then I went back and reread my words and really absorbed them myself. We write for others sometimes…but really it’s for us, too.
    If this whole month of Guru is going to be like this….

  2. Learning to forgive others also means learning to forgive ourselves. “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness

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