Reclaiming Authenticity: Stop Placing Others and Yourself on Pedestals
It is human nature to place people we believe are better than us on a pedestal. When we do this, we create a separation—a sense of being 'less than.' This perception can often stem from a wound or an experience that made us feel inadequate. We create these perceptions, contributing to our sense of being 'less than' the person on the pedestal.
A very good friend of mine, Kathy P., calls these 'non-useful thoughts.' These thoughts serve no real purpose and can be created at any moment. Something happens, and we form a thought. For example, you might think someone is a better public speaker than you. This places them on a pedestal, creating a separation where they are seen as better, and you feel 'less than.
Another kind of pedestal we create is the belief that we are better than someone else. We place ourselves on the pedestal, relegating others to 'less than' status. This is also a non-useful thought.
When we place someone on a pedestal or elevate ourselves above others, we are not being our authentic selves. These actions represent an inauthentic state of being—a mindset that doesn't reflect who we truly are.
We don't consciously place people or ourselves on a pedestal. This often happens stealthily due to our ego, creating what I call 'ego-vanities.' These ego vanities can arise from a perceived wound or flaw.
There is nothing inherently wrong; it's simply how our brains function. However, when we become conscious of this unconscious tendency to create pedestals and separations, we can remove them, along with the notion of being 'less than.
Feeling 'less than'—as if we're under a pedestal—or 'greater than'—as if we're on a pedestal—always creates a sensation in the body. For me, it's a familiar yet hard-to-describe feeling. I call it my inauthentic feeling. I can tell when it's there and when it's not.
Here's a recent example of a situation where I felt 'less than.' During a training session I attended, the leader was discussing why change and transformation are necessary for a particular business in today's work climate. I was part of the group leading the training, but I had a non-useful thought that I should have been consulted, since I am the resident expert on change and transformation. It was a non-useful thought indeed.
The good news is that I've been working on becoming conscious of areas where I was previously unaware, and I immediately noticed the pedestal mentality at play. I realized I was not being my authentic self; I was acting out of ego-vanity, an inauthentic representation of my true self. With this mindset, I couldn't align with my personal mission of supporting people's evolution. I knew I had some work to do and needed to address it quickly, so I could return to my authentic self and my mission.
As a HeartMath trainer, I utilized one of the tools I teach others. Here's what I created and outlined in bullet point form:
  • There are no pedestals.
  • There are no people above me, and they don't want to be placed on a pedestal.
  • There are no people below me.
  • We are all connected; we are one.
  • There is only Love, and only Love is real.
I returned to my authentic self, and the inauthentic feeling disappeared. I was once again able to fulfill my mission.
If you've ever felt 'less than' or found yourself placing others on pedestals, you're not alone. These perceptions can be limiting and affect how we interact with others and experience ourselves. If you'd like to explore ways to overcome this, reach out, and let's start a conversation. Together, we can work on getting out from under pedestals or stepping down from them, allowing you to embrace a more balanced and authentic approach to life.
I'd also love to hear your thoughts—feel free to share them in the comments below.


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