The Boy’s favorite color is red; he wears it just about every day. I, on the other hand, have always been a blue/grey guy – pretty boring overall, and what red I do own is more of a burgundy. My 1DOS race shirts have always been muted colors also. Hands down our best seller is a bright bold red, but I have ordered white, grey, green… never the red.

Right now you’re thinking – wow, this is a fascinating breakdown of Karl’s closet. I’m on the edge of my seat, and can’t wait to find out what’s next! I heard below the fold we find out about his socks! Well, I do have a point, believe it or not.

Most people are familiar with using clothing to hide parts of the body they aren’t comfortable with. I tend to use clothing more as camouflage. Subconsciously I avoid choices that will make me stand out and be more visible. For those that don’t know me, I’m 6 foot 6 – so I tend to be fairly visible… Wearing boring clothes and colors helps mitigate that, so I feel like I’m blending into the background.

Last week, though, the latest shipment of 1DOS shirts came in – and I had ordered myself the red (for the record, I get the reference)! Wearing it at the gym the next day, silly as it may sound, I felt different – stronger, faster. For all the changes I’ve made, the weight I’ve lost and the things we’ve accomplished, I still feel like an impostor sometimes. Deep down, I’m the same guy who tries to not be seen.

Amy Summers and I have an inside joke, “just some dude”. I’ve written about it before; it’s a part of that same impostor attitude. It’s something I struggle with; I want to get out there and help others. I want to make a difference. The results we are seeing with our scholarship recipient show that. But here’s a little peek behind the curtain – each day, every time something big happens for us, I expect someone to call me out. “You? What do you know about any of this??”

Last week we announced the first 1DOS 5k race. We have corporate sponsors, city permits, a virtual race option – this is the real deal. People are excited and talking about traveling in to participate… and I’m mentally wearing grey hoping no one realizes it’s me.

Fake It Til You Make It

Insecurity is not a function of money or achievement. We all have a part of us that responds to a compliment with “yeah right”, as a friend said recently. Learning to get past that, and recognizing that we are deserving of that praise, is one of the toughest parts of getting fully healthy.

Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, talks about the Fake It Til You Make It concept – or more accurately Fake It Til You Become It. TL:DR – if you hold yourself in power poses and act more confident, you will feel more confident. Seriously, take the time – it’s worth a watch. I promise!

Confidence breeds success, which brings me back to the red shirt. Wearing the bold color made me feel more confident; it was an automatic power pose for my brain. Nobody commented on the shirt, but that didn’t matter. After all, none of this is actually about what other people are doing or saying – the conversation is all in my own head.

When the compliments come, that mental power pose will help you not only say thank you, but feel it. We all lie to ourselves – this time you are doing it for a good cause! Besides, your brain is a little liar. It only seems fair to give it a taste of its own medicine.

The Shirt Only Goes So Far

I don’t pretend to have all the answers; I know there can be deep-seeded reasons on an individual basis for these insecurities. Many of them go far beyond the healing power of this article. Please, if you are struggling with those, talk to a counselor. Get help from a qualified expert. Don’t rely on “just some dude” on the interwebs for advice.

At the same time, don’t be afraid to take that power pose, physically and mentally. It may surprise you just how good it can feel; it did me. Guess what?? You are deserving of those compliments, and you should definitely wear the red shirt!

Featured Image: Photo by Zahir Namane on Unsplash