A few weeks ago, I shared my lifetime struggle with the WORST bully I ever faced, ME. At age 51, after 18 months in a pandemic, some lightbulbs not only went on, but EXPLODED. Time for a radical change.
I have battled HER for years, and been pretty successful, to be honest. Unfortunately, that little pandemic and the challenges it brought helped her creep back in. I chose, during this time of quarantine and isolation, to go inward…something I don’t love. It can be dark in there. Sad. Vulnerable. Most of the journey was good, but the dark places were fairly dark. I consciously chose to explore my inner motivations and weaknesses and took a pause on my business and dreams.
Unfortunately, for as much as I learned about myself during this time, I also watched others KILL IT. Some launched businesses. Others pivoted and really thrived. In this age of social media, I will easily admit that seeing that was HARD. Regardless of my choosing to step back a bit, and my utter happiness for the success of others, I was jealous for me. AND it triggered some really staggering imposter syndrome.
Earlier this summer, I had a call with my trusted friend and business coach (yes, even coaches have coaches) and described how desperately I wanted to be taken SERIOUSLY. I am an Enneagram 7 which means my natural inclinations are enthusiasm, curiosity, and joy-seeking. I get bored easily, I overuse exclamation points!!! This is compounded by late-in-life ADD diagnosis. Oddly, enneagram 7’s ALSO have a pathological need to be taken seriously. It is what drives us though it runs counter to our nature.
Knowing this, Katherine asked me, “But do you take YOURSELF seriously?”
It was the question I didn’t want to ask myself, but also the one my inner mean girl preys upon:
“What makes you think you’re worthy?”
“You are a fraud.”
“Dummy. No one really cares about you or what you have to say.”
“Why do you bother?”
This was the watershed moment I have needed for some time. Because, guess what? I did not take myself seriously. I have been listening to that hateful bitch in my head for too long.
SO WHAT DID YOU DO TO SHUT HER UP?
I have an entire confidence course set up. I have worked with women to reset their badass button for some time. So I went back to work in my own course, and then some.
First and foremost, I had to take myself seriously. Recognize that I had value beyond what any naysayers (even myself) told me. To recognize that what I do MATTERS, The tasks set out before me were as follows:
- list my strengths. As I see them, as well as how a few trusted friends do. Because sometimes we need a cheerleader.
- List the BS and lies I tell myself. Like get BRUTALLY honest about how often I say things like “I do not have any time.” Or “if only I were more consistent by nature…” This is the place that damn bully gaslights me. Once I reframed them as LIES, I recognized the hurdles I have created for myself. A fantastic book called “Soundtracks” by Jon Acuff has been a game changer to mix up what I say to myself. You can find it HERE.
- Get healthy. One of the big lies on my list was regarding my overall wellness. I’ve been so lazy about fitness and eating decent food and simply blaming the fact that I have two growing boys. That isn’t permission to eat fries and sit on the couch for sport. I began a program to understand my aging metabolism and am sticking to the food and movement prescribed. This one has been a HUGE muzzle for the trickster who talks in my head. As I feel physically better, she isn’t as loud.
- Get BRAVE. Take the chance. I really put myself out there this past month with the Fab Over 40 national contest. NEVER did I think I was deserving of even a spot in the competition, yet here I am. As scary as it is, I would much rather spread the message about how wonderful it is to reach midlife. To learn, seek joy, live boldly. (Incidentally, here’s your reminder to KEEP VOTING!!! https://votefab40.com/2021/sam-ditka
- Get consistent. This. Right here. Probably my very biggest struggle my whole life. I have so many creative ideas but without consistency, I am CONSISTENTLY set up for failure. How am I beating this one? My daily battle starts with ridiculously detailed lists, giant goal setting, and journaling. More to come on this, but I am (wait for it) SO PROUD OF ME because I am learning I CAN DO IT!!!
Maybe part of it is empty nesting. I see the promise my sons have ahead of them and, I’ll admit, that freshness is enviable. But I also see promise ahead of ME, and that has put that bully in the corner.