“You’ll be fine after you give up your fake ID.”

I just heard this at a 12-Step meeting and I love it! Many of us have a “fake ID” that we’ve constructed over our lifetime, and often it’s based on a sense of victimhood, fear, selfishness, and resentment. Sadly, these patterns block our true selves.

Cloaking ourselves in our “invented” identity gives us the illusion of security; but pretending to be what others want us to be can never bring us peace or happiness.

If we want to wake up and function as a happy, loving force in the world, we’ll have to drop the activities that cut us off from our best selves. In my case, the divorces, drinking, and drugs had completely covered up my true self with shame and self-loathing. I had no idea that a “Good Gigi” was inside me.

Building Our Fake ID

Why did I try so hard to create this fake ID? For those of us who grew up in troubled homes, it was a much-needed survival strategy. To give myself a sense of security, I watched people who seemed happy and successful, and then I imitated them.

The irony is that this “invented self” does not bring long-term security or contentment. In fact, it plays havoc with most relationships, practically guaranteeing their failure. When you believe the only reason you are liked is because of who you are pretending to be, you fall prey to the whispered lie, “If they knew who I really am, they’d take one look and run in the opposite direction!”

Even more damaging, your fake ID keeps you from knowing who you really are; therefore, you can’t share with another what you truly feel or need. Without emotional honesty, your relationships founder on the shoals of boredom, frustration, or dysfunction.

Finally, it’s your fake self that spews fear, self-deception, and resentment into your mind. The chaos can seem so loud and confusing that it’s almost impossible to hear anything else. If you’re lucky, you’ll wonder, “There must be another way to live!”

Discovering Your True ID

First, please know that deep inside you is a being of light and goodness. I’m sure you’ve felt glimmers of it, for example, when you’re in the flow of creative activity, or gazing at a peaceful scene in nature. As you learn to relinquish your fake ID into the hands of this higher self, your joy will follow.

When I got clean and sober, the women I met in 12-step meetings could see the light of goodness in me and responded to that, rather than to my emotional pain. Through my sponsor, therapy, spiritual practices, energy work, and cognitive reprogramming, I eventually discovered my true self, and today I live from that place most of the time–but not always!

In my opinion, one of the best ways reject your fake ID and connect with your true self is to notice your disturbing thoughts, and then redirect them to a state of quiet. There you will connect with your own personal source of peace, clarity, and loving connection. I use guided meditations to learn how to put my thinking into the background so I can “hear” my higher mind.

Often such insights appear as little intuitive nudges, sometimes when I’m not even meditating. In a mysterious, magical way, stilling our minds creates a space for wisdom to enter our lives. It’s a fun, secure, and fascinating journey!

The Gift That Keeps Giving: Your True Self

My true self has brought me a happy 31-year marriage to Peter (my fourth husband!), a successful career, and the tools to live through multiple crises of life here on earth: substance abuse, codependency, worry about alcoholics, death of loved ones, chronic pain, and workaholism, among others.

My true self also led me to write 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection, a feat I never anticipated! But my inner voice kept tapping me on the shoulder saying, “You really ought to share what you’ve learned with others!” So, I did, and it’s connected me with hundreds of lovely, like-minded people (like you!) through social media, podcast appearances, and book sales.

Reject Your Fake ID to Express Your Best Self

How will you begin to challenge your own fake ID to liberate the voice and guidance of your true self? Do you need to quit some bad habits that numb your spirit and cause bad things to happen? Might you seek help from a therapist? Perhaps you can join a group of people who’ve overcome problems like yours.

Or, you might take a course to learn to meditate (I recommend “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and colleagues at University of Massachusetts Medical Center). Finally, I’ve found great help from the free phone meditation apps, Insight Timer, Calm, and others.

I wish for you that you awaken to your true self’s clarity of purpose, peace of mind, joy, and fulfilling relationships.

With SO much LOVE from me to you! Gigi

PS: My award-winning book outlines many more ways to find calm, wisdom and connection, no matter what’s going on in your life.

In Worry Less NowGigi shares her personal journey as a prisoner of fear, worry, and substance abuse, along with practical techniques anyone can use. Award-winner with rave reviews. Amazon rating: 4.8 stars.

Get special offers on the paperback, e-book, and audiobook HERE.

Gigi Langer Worry Less Now

Gigi Langer has been sober 34 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Michigan with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.


kermit worry less now

Do you spend too much time thinking about the things you wish you could change, but really can’t? Would you like to change your negative thoughts to positive ones? Try the “No-Worries Exercise!”

Our Worries Are Caused by Negative Beliefs

Most of our worries are driven by negative beliefs. For instance, the belief, If I want to be liked, I must look good, produces worries about one’s appearance and behavior. Other examples include: * I’ll never have enough money. (Worry about finances and security.) * I always sabotage my success. (Worry about not being good enough) * Relationships just don’t work for me. (Worry about never having a happy marriage.) * We could all be happy if only Dad would stop drinking. (Worry about Dad’s disruption of the family.)

Although such “whispered lies” are often about ourselves, they also can focus on our children, spouses, friends, or relatives; for instance, the last example about the father’s drinking. Other distressing beliefs involve institutions, as in If the government would just change this policy, we’d all be better off (Worry about politics and security).

Such negative beliefs sap our energy and keep us spinning in circles, as we repeat the same old dysfunctional patterns and blame the world for our unhappiness.

Here’s the good news for all of us: Even though we don’t have the power to change most things that bother us, we DO have control over what we think. As we change our thoughts from negative to positive, our world changes accordingly. The No-Worries Exercise will help you do this.

The No-Worries Exercise

In this exercise, you’ll identify your worries and their consequences. Then you’ll imagine your life without these negative effects, set a goal, and choose specific tools to change your thinking. Begin by reading the three examples below. The first is one of my own worries; the second and third examples concern other common situations. Then, follow the directions at the bottom.


Gigi’s Worry: I’m never going to finish this book!

  1. My thoughts, beliefs, or feelings: It will never be good enough. It’s just too much work!
  2. Consequences of holding these thoughts, beliefs, or feelings: I am tense and preoccupied when I think I should be writing, so I rush through other activities without really enjoying them. I compare myself with other authors and feel even worse.
  3. If I could grow beyond this worry, what would my life be like? I could relax and enjoy myself when I’m not writing. I could be more compassionate with myself and accept that writing a book is not smooth or easy for anyone.
  4. Goal: I trust that the book is on just the right schedule, and I release my attachment to it being completed by a particular date. Tools: Affirmations, Golden Key, Tapping.

Second Worry: I’m afraid to go to my high school reunion.

  1. Thoughts, beliefs, or feelings: I’m depressed because I’m too fat. People will criticize me.
  2. Consequences of holding these thoughts, beliefs, or feelings: I’m eating to ease my stress. If I don’t go, I’ll feel terrible about missing everything.
  3. If I could grow beyond this worry, what would my life be like? I could relax and enjoy my friends without feeling self-conscious.
  4. Goal: I am comfortable with my weight and eat only when hungry. Tools: Therapy, meditation, Weight Watchers.

Third Worry: I’m concerned my adult son may have had a relapse.

  1. Thoughts, beliefs, or feelings: I’m terrified and I have no idea what to do. I could never go on if something bad happened to him.
  2. Consequences of holding these thoughts, beliefs, or feelings: I’m so worried. I’m just stuck. I can’t enjoy anything. I’m numbing myself out with overwork.
  3. If I could grow beyond this worry, what would my life be like? I would trust that I will be okay, regardless of the outcome. I could enjoy my life again.
  4. Goal: I enjoy my own life and accept my son’s choices without judgement . Tools: AlAnon meetings, read “Codependent No More,” meditate daily. (Therapy?)

Directions: No-Worries Exercise

After reading the examples, think about a situation that’s troubling you. To get the juices flowing, you might write or draw in your journal, or talk about it with a trusted friend. On a piece of paper, write your answers to questions 1-4. Then go into action to with your worry-dissolving tools.

  1. Select one worry for this exercise, and write your own thoughts, beliefs, or feelings about it.
  2. Underneath it, describe how this worry and its associated beliefs have caused trouble for you or your loved ones.
  3. If you could grow beyond this worry, what would your life be like? How would it look and feel?
  4. Set a goal for releasing this pattern of worry and list 2-3 tools from Worry Less Now (or elsewhere) to help you overcome your negative thinking.

After you complete the No-Worries Exercise, pat yourself on the back for taking the first steps toward freedom from your worries. Now, put your plans into action!

As you focus on improving the content of your thinking, your emotions will be more stable, and your positive stance toward life will bring pleasing benefits.

P.S. If you find that looking so closely at your troubles is causing ongoing distress, please consult with a counselor, doctor, minister, or healthy friend.

PLEASE SHARE YOUR PROGRESS WITH ME AT, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Or just email me at I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Worry Less Now Cover

This post is taken from Chapter 1 of Gigi’s book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now (available HERE in paperback, e-book, & audiobook). It has received a national award and rave reviews (4.8 on Amazon).

Gigi Langer security

Gigi Langer holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. She is a seasoned author and popular speaker who has helped thousands of people improve their lives at home and work. Gigi hasn’t had a drug or drink for over 30 years, although she does occasionally overindulge in Ghirardelli chocolate and historical novels. She lives in Florida with her husband and cat.




This is Part 2: The first 5 strategies are in Episode 10, 2/18/19

Thanks to Bob for your wonderful podcast, “Over The Rainbow: Achieving Mental Health for Real!”

PS The pic below looks like it can play the episode but it’s just a screenshot 😘


How often do the words should, must, or ought go through your mind?”

For example:

  • My daughter should stop using drugs.
  • This person, (fill in the blank), must be nicer to me.
  • The mayor (or president, legislator, etc.) is wrong and ought to (fill in the blank).
  • I should be healthy and happy and never experience troubling situations.

Unenforceable Rules

According to Fred Luskin, director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project, these “shoulds” are examples of unenforceable rules: They demand an outcome you believe must come true, but over which you have no control. Such inflexible beliefs make us helpless, angry, hurt, hopeless or bitter.

Although holding an unenforceable rule may feel good–even noble–it doesn’t mean you can make it happen. In the first example, the daughter should stop using drugs, but no matter how persuasive the mother’s arguments, she doesn’t have the power to make her daughter stop.

The mother does, however, have control over her own choices and behavior. She can seek help from a therapist or Al-Anon, and claim a positive power to work in the situation. Then she might choose a goal for how she wants to act and feel, detach from the result, and use growth tools for her own peace of mind, regardless of her daughter’s choices.

Overcoming My Own “Shoulds”

One of my own unenforceable rules became clear as I was writing this book. When my mother passed away, I found it difficult to write and became discouraged by my lack of progress.

When I honestly faced the belief that I must complete the book by a certain date, I became willing to see it differently. After using Tool 6, Is It True? I turned my whispered lie around to “I will finish writing the book at the perfect time.” In turn, I became more flexible and kinder with myself.

The essence of happiness is peacefully allowing life to unfold. Nothing becomes a live-or-die situation because you know your loving power is working things out, with results that may far surpass your greatest hopes.

(Excerpt taken from page 56-57 of Gigi Langer’s award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now)

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. She is a seasoned author and popular speaker who has helped thousands of people improve their lives at home and work. Gigi hasn’t had a drug or drink for over 30 years, although she does occasionally overindulge in Ghirardelli chocolate and historical novels.

Worry Less Now by Gigi Langer

Her book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now (available HERE in paperback, e-book, & audiobook) has gained rave reviews (4.8 on Amazon) and a publishing award.