Jean’s Journal, December 2020
Anyone else looking for a fresh start in 2021? Have you thought about any gifts you would like to receive this holiday season?
I have an idea! Every month when I sit and think about the things I’d like to write about in my blog, this month is no exception. I often get those evil little imposter syndrome voices chiding me, “Why should anyone be interested in your opinions and knowledge?” Oh boy! I talk to plenty of WESOS Sisters and many of our Success Strategists, and I know these voices never tell the whole truth, and just about everyone has them. I know I don’t have an authentic relationship with the “imposter signaler” in my brain. These doubting thoughts are something we all come in contact with and usually when we least expect it!
Tammy Helfrich is a WESOS Success Strategist, and she talks about the things we say to ourselves and how these thoughts are all part of our limiting beliefs. Tammy is a mindset coach, and it fascinates me when she leads me to discover some of my negative thinking. I also know that having these thoughts can create behaviors that do not particularly serve me or my business.
How often do you defend yourself within your mind? For me, those defensive thoughts are a more significant indicator of a negative mindset than the negative talk when it begins. For instance, on a day like today, I don’t necessarily catch the “Who do you think you are?” thoughts, but I notice the “self-defense” of these thoughts. Those thoughts sound more like this “Well, you know some stuff about community! Look at the community of WESOS and how it has, against all odds, grown during a pandemic; that is important!”. This voice/thought sounds more like an encouraging parent or a best friend, and it puts my mind at ease, even if just for a moment, I am advocating for myself and my worth!
So the question becomes, which of these two voices is best for me to hear? How can I create an atmosphere in my thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, that will serve me in all aspects of my life? In all honesty, I believe we all want to hear only good things about ourselves; that’s human nature. So you would say, the nurturing, kind voice is what you should always hear. But, somehow, rolling out of bed, not showering and not brushing my teeth and telling myself, “You look great! Head to that business meeting just the way you are,” will not serve me or make my business more successful.
It goes without saying that the negative, judgmental voice is not serving me in any way, shape, or form! Contemplating this balance leads me to believe that we all need a strong understanding of ourselves and what we need to hear to grow and thrive as businesswomen. The first step for me was to recognize when it is happening and explore how I am reacting.
According to Wikipedia: “Imposter Syndromeis a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud.” Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve all they have achieved.”
Ok, so I am not “convinced” I am a fraud, but as I am sure you can all attest to, those thoughts can be convincing. We have to start to approach ourselves like our own best friend. You would never turn to your friend and say, “You should never get your picture taken, you never look good in pictures” YIKES!! But you might say, (as my WESOS Sister, friend, and photographer Becky Mokelkesays,) “You will look better in pictures of you lean forward, stick your neck out a bit and chin down.” Honest, yet kind and supportive. I like this voice in my head. This voice is truthful, helpful, and forgiving. We do it for others, now let’s do it for ourselves.
Have you ever heard the story of the two wolves that live within us? It goes like this: “One evening, an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
This holiday season, I propose we all give our self the gift of kindness, support, and empathy. I suggest that we always strive to “feed” the wolf of joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. Feed the kind wolf – including you and your inner thoughts and self-judgment.