Thursday, December 24, 2009

Who Do You Think You Are?

Have you ever said that? I know I've thought it before, much to my chagrin. But it effects me in the worst way when I think it about myself.

Blue Flower by Georgia O'Keefe

I subscribe to a newsletter written by a singer-songwriter, motival speaker named, Christine Kane. Her recent post has to do with this exact topic. I love that she talks about, "the voices in her head." We all have them and often they lie to us -- and this is a big one. 

What do the voices in your head say? When the voice in my head says, "Who do you think you are?" I  cringe, because I know it's there to try and keep me down. It's there to keep me from being the best I can be. How dare I be fabulous?! How dare I call myself an artist?! How dare I think I'm talented so why even try?! How dare I say something I've painted is good?!

This year, 2009, has taught me to replace these old voices with new, positive ones that will help me to attract what I want. What do I want? I want to paint a *lot.*  I want to take more classes to learn as much as I can to move forward in my art education. I want to create beauty. I want to put positive energy and joy into everything I paint, in everything I *do.* I want to be a more caring, loving, giving, less selfish person.

I want a lot, so I am choosing to focus on what I want rather than what I don't want. For years, I would tell myself things like, "I don't want to end up homeless. I don't want to lose my job. I don't want to run out of money."  All of these things are fear based and focus on what I don't want. The Law of Attraction has taught me, focusing on what I *don't* want is still focusing on that thing. It's taught me to rephrase the thought into a more positive one, such as, I want to be successful. I want to excell at work. I look forward to having enough money. I want to attract wonderful people, places and things into my life. Thinking this way has made my life so much richer, less stressful and I'm happier than I've ever been!
Who do I think I am? I am a happy, healthy, talented, kind, loving person, who is rich with friends and family. Changing the way you think will change your life too!

Who Do You Think You Are?

by Christine Kane

You've heard it. I've heard it. Sometimes we even joke about it because it's so common. I'm talking about the snarky voice in your head that mouths off whenever you think about being a little bolder, a little decadent, or more self-nurturing.  It's the voice that says, "Who do you think you are?"

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but mine shows up as a group of high school girls. Their eyes are lined with thick black pencil. They wear concert t-shirts. Their hair is burnt from too many home perms. One of them steps forward and says, with her hands on her hips, "Who do you think you are?" And then she turns to the others and says, "Who does she think she is?" Then they all take an aggressive step forward. (Welcome to an average day at my old high school!)

My friend Joy's "Who do you think you are?" voices jump in whenever she imagines hanging out on the sofa reading magazines.

A few years ago, I saw Oprah speak. She said that every time she wanted to achieve more, the first voice she heard was "Who do you think you are?"

Every woman I know has her own version of this voice waiting in the wings. In other words: Stay down, play small, shut up, and don't embarrass yourself. Don't even bother because you won't make it, you don't deserve it, and everyone knows it, and they'll all laugh at you when you fail.

So, next time that voice jumps up in your head, here's what you do:
Answer it.  Really. Who do you think you are?

One time, I was telling a mentor about some fears coming up around a choice I was making. I said, "…and all the voices in my head are saying, 'Who do you think you are?'" And he looked at me and said, "Well? Who do you think you are?" I smiled and continued with my story. He cut in. "No. Stop. I really want to know. Who do you think you are? Tell me right now." In a very tiny voice, I told him. Then he made me say it again in a bigger, stronger voice. And again after that. He said, "There. Now you have an answer for your voices." Now I do this exercise every time those voices arise.

Here's a tip: When you answer that question, use language that speaks the truth of your strengths and values. In other words, make it authentic. It's tempting to recite something that sounds "lofty" or "holy" like, "I am a divine being, living in divine perfection with power and grace." Okay, fine. True as that may be, if that language doesn't resonate with you, you'll never feel any bolder, and those high school girls with the black eye pencil will put their cigarettes out on your shoe.

The Co-op of Lack: My theory is that "Who do you think you are?" is actually a Cooperative. It's a collective body of voices saying, "Agree with us in the lack that we see! Agree with us that there are no other options! Agree with us that no one has any power over life conditions!" It's actually pretty convenient. It's convenient to have this world-view because it gives you permission to stay stuck. It never requires that you do anything about it because after all, you're dealing with a whole world-view!

Think about it. When you say, "I no longer want to work with this abusive client," you're also saying, "AND, I believe there are multitudes of others out there for me." When you say, "I'm gonna nap right now, and I'll be more productive and happier because of it," you're also saying, "AND, I believe that there's more than enough time for me to get my to-do's done." Get it? Essentially, you're telling the Co-op that you've decided to create a whole new world-view!

Extra Credit Bonus Tip: Let's be honest. Most likely there are occasions when you've been the one saying, "Who does she think she is?" (Even if it's only in your head.) Don't be ashamed. It simply means that you have more opportunities to shift those old lack mindsets. Usually those mindsets are saying: "I'm feeling small and poor, so she should be small and poor too." We've all caught ourselves doing this.

Even if it's uncomfortable, you can choose to bless or praise anyone who seems to be taking bigger strides in her life. Then remind yourself again who you think you are, and join her!

****Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 8,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at

WANT TO SEE HUNDREDS MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE? See Christine's blog - Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous - at

Christine Kane

I'd love it if you left a comment telling me, "Who do you think you are?!" Thanks for stopping by.  xoxo

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