As a writer of life, lessons, magic and all things spiritual, I am often caught up with The Fraud Factor. It’s like The X Factor except I buzz myself out during the introduction to my talent- the life background part- and the quicker you get buzzed out by the four judges in your subconscious, the better you’re doing at hiding your talent, and therefore become ultimate champion of The Fraud Factor.
I’m good, arent I? I was going to go deep into the feeling of guilt holding a person back and I jazzedd and circused it right up instead, full force. I think I just lost at The Fraud Factor.
When you’re playing The Fraud Factor, the ultimate goal is to convince yourself you’re no good at what you love in life because you once didn’t do the best you could do in something you didn’t love, and therefore you give up after the idea of doing what you love comes to you and keep trying to do badly at things you don’t love.
My Nan was really good at the second half of achieving that ultimate goal. She would offer to do something she really didn’t want to do- like cook dinner for the family in my uncle’s house and then keep asking questions about how the oven worked or where things were, until the person got fed up of showing her, gave her a glass of wine and told her to sit down in the living room and let them finish the dinner. “Act daft, get it done for you,” she would whoop and wink at me on the way out of the kitchen.
If the me of today were there now with her, I’d probably guide her to just have been doing what she loved to do in the first place (cryptic crosswords, dancing, watching Irish soap operas, reading copious paperbacks novels about three womens’ parallel love lives), and the dinner would have cooked itself by whoever loved cooking dinner for the masses. But also, the dinner would probably never have been cooked, because I’m the person who loves cooking for the masses and I would have been busy pretending to be bad at my university essays which I had no interest in, hoping that someone would write them for me (because it had worked when I was sixteen at school and my dad loved writing in French and got me an A). So realistically, if the whole family had shifted three places to the right into their favourite creative spot- and not gone along with the textbook picture we all felt obliged to follow of Grandma in the kitchen, nineteen year old female studying her books, blokes watching the sport etc…- we would have all been wildly happy and the world would have been a much better place by now.
I’ve come to notice that when I hear myself saying ‘Can you just help me with xyz?’, it’s because I’m doing something which I don’t want to do and was too well conditioned at being a fraud to just say “No, I don’t want to do that” and whip some eggs up for a street party instead.
You think that you’ll be a fraud if you follow your passions and then you realise you ARE actually already a fraud for doing something you don’t love. Even if you’ve never done the thing which you’d love to do, chances are you’ll be really good at it because you’ve got a passion for it. The only way to get out of fear of being a fraud whilst following your passions, is to realise that you already are a fraud and therefore have nothing to fear because you already realised that feeling of fraudulence (probably your whole adult life) and the fear you feel is actually acknowledgement of being a fraud. Don’t worry about who and what conditioned you to take on that feeling of obligation to certain social norms, just dive into the new gameshow of The X Factor. Same format, different rules, so you already know how to do it. You’re swapping being distinctly average (as Mr Cowell himself would say) at something, to bing phenomenal at something else.
I’ve lived in spanish speaking countries (and Miami!) for over two years now and I’ve never learned more than the basic neccessities of spanish because I’ve got zero passion for the language or culture. Give me a turkish book though and I absorb chapters in a day because I’m in love with and fascinated by the formation of their words. But I’m too busy competing in The Fraud Factor and feeling guilty for not learning Spanish to get that book out. I think I mentioned this a year or two ago as well, so buckle up Greta, get that Turkish book back out already. Imagine how quickly opportunities present themselves when you do what you love, because you passion will propell you to master it so quickly.