Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Christine Kane: Who Do You Think You Are?

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 likes to mouth 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 mean high school girls.

Their eyes are lined with thick black pencil. They wear concert t-shirts. 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 shout 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, 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?


Many years ago, I told my first coach 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.

"Stop! I really want to know, Christine. 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."

So, here's your assignment:

Answer the question Who do you think you are?

I now do this exercise every time those voices arise.

And you can, too!

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 this:

"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 the mean high school girls will put their cigarettes out on your shoe.

The Conspiracy of Lack

My theory is that "Who do you think you are?" is actually a Cooperative, even a conspiracy.

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 is taking bigger strides in her life. Then remind yourself again who you think you are, and join her!

Christine Kane is the Mentor to Women Who are Changing the World. She helps women uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 12,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at

See Christine's blog at