WORDS OF WISDOM
WORDS OF WISDOM
The first thing to do is acknowledge it, instead of being fearful. If any type of fear subsequently accompanies your feeling of self-doubt, then also acknowledge your fear. It sounds a strange thing to do but acknowledging the feelings that at first seem to hinder your progress is a valuable way to remove the hold they have over you. Awareness and acceptance of feelings or emotions labelled as negative will mean you can start the process of removing the power they have over you and in the case of self-doubt will enable you to elevate what you believe yourself to be capable of.
When we fear something or are uncomfortable with the way we’re feeling there's a tendency to veer towards avoidance rather then acknowledgment, exploration and acceptance, which would in fact provide you with a starting point for options towards change and more affirmative action.
The uncomfortable feelings you experience such as self-doubt might at first appear to be there to trip you up or stop you from progressing but they are created by you (mostly unconsciously) with a helpful purpose in mind. They are created to protect you, which is a wonderful intention but not always helpful. They’re created with the intention of saving you from being hurt or disappointed and to keep you safer within your comfort zone, the zone of only doing what you know and where you think you are certain of the outcomes.
As humans we are very complex in the way we think and sometimes it’s not always easy to understand our thought processes, which determine our behaviours and actions.
There are successful women everywhere some of whom are hiding in plain sight.
What do I mean? They are dumbing down what they know and what they say. “I might be criticised”, “I don’t know enough”, “I prefer not to draw too much attention to myself”, “perhaps I might be found out that I actually don’t know that much”, “I’m a fraud”.
These are just some of the things being thought and sometimes said out loud by successful, high achieving professional women.
The reason behind this, the self-doubt they wake up with each day. The self-doubt that has been created over the years and is now an inherent part of who they are, which can be hard to shake when you have the same thoughts daily.
It makes me so sad because I know it doesn’t need to be this way. This self-doubt can stem from different sources. Learnt in formative years, at school, college or university, from your background or culture, from a passing comment made by someone of influence, it could even come from your perception of society and its influence on how you believe a woman should behave, unfortunately this continues mostly within your professional environment.
We talk about Imposter syndrome but it runs deeper than this, it’s self-doubt that for now remains at the forefront of the most amazing careers.
This is for you if it resonates; you are successful in your own right, in your role, your career and in what you do.
You are intelligent, you have phenomenal academic credentials or your career spans years of leadership or you’re climbing the corporate ladder but you’re simply not enjoying the journey.
Because being behind it means it’s an obstacle.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter Syndrome or Imposterism has been around for a while. This is what it’s currently known as but who knows in a few years it might have a new name.
Imposter Syndrome generally affects your professional life and is described, as having a persistent feeling of inadequacy despite there being evidence to the contrary. Even though you’ve experienced success in your life, you still have the feeling you’re a fraud, a fake or you’re not good enough and at some point you will be found out and marched off the premises.
The interesting thing about Imposterism is that it affects high achievers, people who for all intents and purposes could be most proud of themselves for what they’ve achieved in life, but instead they are mired in self-doubt.
I see Imposterism as part of self-development or growing pains, uncomfortable but if you want to go further in life, necessary.
The logical mind might tell us the feeling we’re experiencing of feeling like a fraud doesn’t make any sense, but the intense emotive feeling of self-doubt does not lend itself well to logic.
If you’re feeling challenged in this area here are a few things to consider:
Are you fed up of yo-yo dieting? Want to learn how to love you body? Want to ditch the scales?
You have an ideal that you want to eat healthier, think better and move more. You’ve had this ideal for a while now but life keeps getting in the way. You start with more fruit on Monday and by Wednesday you’re back to the Donuts and Wine.
What if this could be different?
What if you could follow the 80/20 rule where you eat well 80% of the time and allow yourself to have your ‘something else’ 20% of the time. How does that sound?
We’re all busy, we work hard, we have children, aging parents, partners and pets. All of these require our time, inevitably the thing that slips is how well we look after ourselves.
Having a healthier approach to life is not difficult and can be simple if you choose to prioritise self-care, being kinder to yourself and implement some basic manageable guidelines.
If you’re up for this now, keep reading if not I’ve planted the seed come back when you’re ready.
We want to help you buy into the idea of making better choices for yourself.
Your ally when it comes to looking after yourself more is your mindset. Once you engage your mind to be more supportive of healthier choices, you’ll find things become just that little bit easier, until you’ve created new habits that work for you rather than against you.
Where or how do I start, I hear you ask?
An observation I’ve made over the years is that people will treat you how you allow them to treat you.
Setting boundaries and saying “no” when you need to, is an important part of our lives. If you feel as though other people take advantage of you, speak to you in a way that lacks respect or are always asking you to do that much more than they do of others, perhaps it’s time for a change.
Being flexible is rather noble but it can also mean that you’re the one who ends up doing more and doing things that go against your core values. It might sound like a contradictory but boundaries enable you to feel more confident, self-assured, stronger and resilient but also much more able to demonstrate flexibility, when the need arises.
Your version of self-respect, the way you treat yourself and others including your communication style will also be a marker for how others view and treat you.
When you set clear and consistent boundaries you are demonstrating to the world around you where they stand with you, so they’re presented with a chance to better understand how to interact with you and what to expect from you.
Setting boundaries for yourself also means you are more likely to look after yourself better, feel more certain of who you are, more settled in yourself and less likely to feel stressed and overwhelmed. These factors also mean you are less likely to be taken for granted or taken advantage of.
When I was at school I remember being taught the Pareto Principle. It didn’t really mean that much to me at the time but since then things have changed and now it does. I’ve modified it to a version that supports me in making helpful choices, allowing me to have and continue moving towards the things I know for certain I want more of in my life.
I’d like to share some of these with you, in the hope that you might also use it as a way to gauge and implement more of the things you want in your life.
What is the Pareto Principle?
The Pareto Principle also known as the 80/20 rule, states that 20% of inputs are responsible for 80% of outcomes or results. It has been widely used in business to increase efficiency and effectiveness and can also be observed in marketing campaigns.
The principle dates back to 1906, where an Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto showed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.
So how do I use it, so it might be helpful to you?
What does your language say about you?
I can’t help it I listen and I listen well, It’s been this way for as long as I can remember. I can tell a lot about an individual by what they say about themselves and even more by what they say about others when they’re out of earshot.
Our language demonstrates our beliefs, thoughts and emotions. Listen closely you will hear a pattern relating to all sorts, self-confidence, certainty, frustration, anger, pain, tolerances, contentment, fulfilment and ego, to name a few. Our language can sometimes be used as a window to look into what’s going on for us at a particular time.
I prefer not to judge although this isn’t the case all of the time, the truth is a lifetime of judging can be hard to move way from. This non-judgemental side of me is part of who I am, who I’ve become and it’s also why I’ve been privy to people around the globe sharing their deeply personal stories with me, within a short space of time after meeting me. My non-judgement allows them to trust me and feel safe when they’re speaking with me.
My training and the path I’ve chosen to take also allows me to listen and converse freely without judgement. On a day when I’m out and about and not paying close enough attention the judgement fairy may seek to creep in, but I’m observant of this.
I hear people saying things and they don’t seem to realise what they’re telling themselves. They want to be more confident and feel better about themselves but they say, I’m not confident, I’m not very good at, I could never do X and don’t give it a second thought because these thoughts and what they say to themselves have been there for so long, they don’t yet know different.
An estimated 1 in 6 people experience a common mental health challenge such as depression or anxiety in a given week. There are probably more who choose not to speak to a medical professional so these go unreported.
The subject of mental health has also been given a lot of media coverage recently but we still need to do as much as possible to raise awareness, help each other and learn how we can better manage our own mental health and wellbeing.
Many of us have or will struggle with a mental health related challenge at some point in our lives, if you never do that’s great….Eureka you’ve conquered life.
What can you do to build greater resilience?
It is something to be aware of and one of the first things we can do is build up our resilience around some of our basic challenges so that we feel stronger and have resources to call on should we need them.
We’re not always in control of things that happen but what we can do is change our thoughts and the way we react to them.
For physical health generally it’s quite obvious when we’re unwell or feeling suboptimal the signs can be visible, noticeable or obvious. You can’t see your mind so it can take a little more focus to pinpoint what’s going on. A common reaction is to say things like "I think it’s all in my mind', 'I’m being silly', 'nobody else seems to be struggling' or just suffering in silence until things becomes more serious.
These are the types of things we’ve become programmed to do, think and say to ourselves. If we aren’t able to acknowledge the important topic of our own mental health, how can we become more comfortable taking action for our own wellbeing or even speaking about it to others?
I'm older and wiser than I look. After many years working in the corporate world I decided to branch out on my own.......Brave eh?