It happens to all of us at some point or another in our lives.
Especially coming out the other side of a year like no other! A year that called everything we once took for granted into question!
How we work, how we live, how we connect with others and ourselves, all have shifted in ways we never, ever expected.
All of which can create a cascade of self-doubt, worry, anxiety and the fear of “Am I doing this Right?” “Am I doing Enough?” And can easily lead to feeling guilty and over-giving just to fit in, be liked, or feel appreciated.
And when you fall into this kind of thinking, it can take a dangerous toll on your physical and mental well-being. Taking you down the rabbit hole. Zapping your energy, stealing your focus, and incapacitating your creativity until you find yourself at the bottom of the pit trying to find a way out.
This is why healthy self-care practices every day are vital to keeping you out of the pit of self-doubt, worry and fear, and on track with your goals and peace of mind.
To help you move through this (or any) strange and transformative time, it’s important to bolster and build up your self-acceptance and self-love to counter act any self-doubt that wants to creep in and sabotage your self-care.
Self-care that will enhance your resiliency and broaden your perspectives. Helping you to move through life with greater ease and grace, creating an upward spiral of goodness.
That’s right. We are all, Just. Human.
With fears, limitations and blind spots.
And the things you see as imperfections, are most likely what make you interesting and unique.
Unlike no other. And they should be celebrated, not condemned or judged as less than.
Let go of the toxic idea of perfectionism and recognize that you’re doing the best you can do in each day. Enabling the pressure levels to go down and your levels of self-acceptance and self-love to rise. Letting your authentic self shine through with all your quirks, flaws and foibles.
When your friend or colleague is going through a challenge, what kind of supportive advice and compassion are you offering up to help them see a way through? Now, take notice – how are talking to yourself when things are tough? Are you beating yourself up, chastising yourself about what you didn’t do right or could have done differently?
Are you Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda’ing all over yourself?
How does that feel? Probably not so great…
How about your treat yourself as kindly as you would your best friend? Cheering yourself on just as you would a friend or colleague to help them see the brilliance they possess to make it through this particular sticky wicket?
Your biggest cheerleader can be the voice inside your head. When you speak to yourself with loving-kindness, your self-acceptance and self-confidence will soar.
Part of self-acceptance is self-awareness.
Take some time to go inside and see what is and isn’t feeding your spirit. Where in life is your energy being drained or zapped, fostering self-doubt? Conversely what’s recharging your batteries? What fills your cup, your mind, your heart or your spirit and gives you more spring in your step, more confidence?
The more conscious you are to the things that lift you up or bring you down, the more consciously you can choose to include or exclude these from your life each day. Setting boundaries of what you will or won’t allow is an important part of self-care when an energy vampire comes calling. You can also be more deliberate about engaging with the people or activities that restore your vitality and feed your soul.
So ask yourself, what are the best ways that I can nurture my well-being physically, emotionally, spiritually? What regular self-care practices do I want to integrate into my daily routine?
We live in an amazing time that gives us access to so much data, literally at our fingertips 24/7/365. Seeing other people’s “perfect, happy lives” on your feed is just an illusion though. One that we take at face value because we don’t have all the facts. (Most folks don’t show their imperfect lives for fear of being judged by others!)
So you end up with a whole lot of people putting up false facades to pretend that they’re “OK” to the rest of the world, when they too are perfectly imperfect, yet not willing to accept that simple truth.
All this social media scrolling can easily trigger self-comparison, self-judgement and lead you into a swirl of feeling “not-enough” and filled with self-doubt. By putting yourself on a social media diet, you can turn down the volume on the comparing and contrasting that your ego unconsciously does and turn up the volume on appreciating yourself and your unique talents, abilities and expertise.
Make a conscious choice on how much media you want to consume to maintain a healthy sense of self.
The science shows us that using positive affirmations, the process of reflecting on positive attributes, personal values and life experiences, can create a host of benefits from reducing stress, to improving performance to enhancing over-all well-being. From saying them out loud to yourself, to writing them on your mirror, to putting them on sticky notes around your house, to journaling about what you’re grateful for each day, these positive thoughts can have a powerful effect on your thinking.
Your brain likes repetition, so the more you think a thought, write a thought, visualize a thought, the more strongly connected those neural pathways in your brain become (good or for bad!) So, if you notice that your negative thought loops are bringing you down, then it might be time to change out that old tape with more positive, self-affirming, self-accepting thoughts that lift your spirit and rewire your brain with greater happiness and peace of mind.
This process of self-acceptance is a journey.
There’s no end to the journey of learning about yourself, loving yourself, becoming yourself.
Your whole, beautiful, brilliant, authentic self.
It’s a lifelong pursuit of learning and discovery.
And along that journey, it’s ok, (and often quite necessary) to ask for a helping hand.
As Mr. Rogers once said “Look for the helpers. You can always find people who are helping.”
Reach out to a trusted friend, confident, therapist, coach or spiritual advisor to help you see beyond your own blind spots that are preventing you from loving yourself more fully.
That are blocking your view of how amazing, talented and incredible you are.
When you can make self-care a priority, you’ll start to see the self-doubt fall away as your self-love, self-acceptance and self-confidence grow stronger each day.
And with that, comes greater well-being from a deeper place of joy, creating a positive ripple effect in all areas of your life.
Enabling you to just be you.
Just as you are, and just as you aren’t.
Michele Molitor, CEO and Founder of Nectar Consulting, Inc. is a highly trained certified coach and hypnotherapist and co-author of “Breakthrough Healing.” For 20 years, she has worked with talented, professional women, helping them overcome imposter syndrome and reclaim their confidence to create a thriving career and life. If you’re ready to eliminate imposter syndrome from your mindset once and for all, then connect with her directly on her website.