Impostor Phenomenon- Are you a fraud?

 

superhero

Dear Readers!

Today I attended a class featuring the impostor phenomenon. The instructor did a great job of pointing out two things.

  1. At one point or another, there are times when an individual feels like they “lucked” into a job or they snuck in the back door when no one was looking.
  2. Most of the time that feeling is completely false and can be refuted with concrete evidence of accomplishment and merit.

I actually had the thought that I would write about this back in March when I started a new position which I absolutely love but I was scared to share that I was new and didn’t know what I needed to know to do the job. How silly is that? I was new and didn’t know the job but was scared to admit that I didn’t know things.

My good friend and colleague, Dr. Keya Howard likes to remind me that I am human and it’s important to bump into that reality and put down the superwoman cape from time to time. I don’t like this reminder and often bristle against it, and it remains a good reminder. I should say, I have a group of friends I love and call family of choice who remind me of this too, (you know who you are!)

I don’t know why it’s so hard to admit that we aren’t experts at something, but it is.

When I got accepted into Richard Robichaux’s exclusive acting class, I felt like I got in by accident and often gave in to palpable feelings of impostor syndrome. Then last year, when I was up for two roles at once (man, that felt good!) I realized I didn’t get in by accident, I am a talented performer and when I got one of the roles, I used every bit of what I learned in that class and I was reminded of how I felt.

One of the participants in the seminar today mentioned Amy Cuddy, and her Ted Talk which currently has been viewed 48,030,611 times. I have utilized this advice for job interviews and auditions and really any stressful interaction.

Amy Cuddy- Ted Talk  (Interestingly enough, this was the first Ted Talk, I ever watched, thank you, Jessi!)

One of the key takeaways for our class today was that the strongest defense against the imposter phenomenon is to refute that thought with the facts.

As a Mom, I often feel like I have NO IDEA what I am doing.

*For Vivienne, if you are reading this, I love you and I choose you as my daughter even if and when you tell me you hate me. I love you and always will. Nothing you could ever do will make me stop loving you and being proud to be your mom. 

I wish I could tell you I never lose my temper, but I do.

I wish I could tell you that I never say the wrong thing or push expectations on my child, but I do.  This makes me human, not a horrible mother.

All too often I see parents competing with each other and telling stories of what their kid did today and is your kid doing that yet and then we start the comparison game and before you know it, one parent or both starts thinking about what they do to teach their kid and start worrying, “Am I reading the right books? Did we get her the right toys?”

ENOUGH of the Comparison, ENOUGH of the one-upman/upwomanship.

We all do the best we can, and we will make mistakes. Give up the cape, you aren’t going to be perfect, so give it up and embrace that you are not perfect but you are the perfect parent for your child.

Think About It.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Years of Marriage! YAY!

Marriage2011

Dear Readers,

Today my husband and I celebrate our marriage which occurred on a very very very very very very HOT day in July. (my husband enjoys reminding me of this so I need to be sure to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

I remember being excited about the wedding and happy that the people I loved most were in my wedding party or getting ready to meet me at the end of the aisle.

I wish I could say that I KNEW then that we would be here today, but you don’t KNOW that. You hope that, and you work towards that, AND I don’t think anyone gets married with the idea that “well, maybe it will work out, and maybe it won’t”

What I can say is that I KNEW we loved each other and I KNEW that we were both committed and spent the last 2 and half years planning (7 years married, 10 together) the wedding of my dreams and designing the marriage that WE wanted.

Something my darling husband says to me all the time, especially when we face difficulty (together) is “We will figure it out”. I love this because it reinforces the idea that there is a solvable problem on the table and that WE will figure it out. Not him, not me, but WE.

In looking back on the last seven years, I have definitely learned a lot about our relationship and each other and with this anniversary I have these takeaways to share.

  1. Sometimes it is a better idea to go to bed angry than to stay up arguing.
  2. Remember, you are on the same team, the second you start saying “Well, if he would just…” or “If only she would…” Nope. WE.
  3. You WILL have hard times, remember that you also have each other.
  4. If you are angry now, think before you speak. “will this matter in 2 hours? 2 days? 2 months? 2 years? (I struggle with this and it’s getting better all the time)
  5. Remember that you can “react” or “respond” to what your partner says. Responding is a lot more difficult and ultimately healthier for your relationship.
  6. Have fun, laugh and ENJOY your partner.
  7. Remember, “YES means YES”!!!!- don’t pretend something is acceptable to you if in reality it bothers you. For more on this, see the phenomenal Avery couple talking about the relationship game changer in their marriage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKyaGBJxCYo

Oh and being from Louisiana, this is the lagniappe ( it means you get it for free )

Be your partner’s biggest cheerleader!

Oh and one more thing- HAPPY ANNIVERSARY JEREMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Let’s dance in the rain, Mama!

Dear Readers,

My daughter taught me something on Saturday.

I noticed the temperature was a reasonable 80 degrees and that it was our first less than 100 degree day in weeks so I headed to the park with her.

As we pulled up, it started to rain and I thought, well we should probably head home.

Vivienne was trailing her fingers against the pane of the window and smiling so I thought, well why not go play in the rain, after all it’s only drizzling and we have been cooped up in that house for the last month because it was either too hot or we were too sick to go out.

So I got my umbrella and took her hand and we started walking.

I kept being torn between wanting her to have fun and splash in the rain and dirt but not wanting her to be messy (since I had not planned to be in the rain I had no towel) but eventually gave up and let her be in the rain as she wished.

The most fun we had was on the swing, she laughed and I laughed as I pushed her higher and higher.  I realized that it was the first time in a while that we had gone to the park and I made a mental note to do it more.

I am not a professional photographer, but every once in a while I get a few good shots. I am particularly happy with this because it will help me remember, that it’s okay to play in the rain, in fact it’s a good idea to do it whenever you can.

It’s so easy to forget, that I want to say thank you to my daughter who reminded me how important it is to play.

VivienneRainRain

Think About It.

I give you permission to fail.

Dear Readers,

Today I was in an Agile class that I am lucky enough to be taking in conjunction with my job. One of the major components of the Agile methodology is to try something and if it doesn’t work, try something else.

Inherent in that instruction is the idea that not only will you fail, you are expected to fail and are in fact given permission to fail.

This is a concept I learned about a long time ago when I got involved with improvisational acting.  It was one of the first exercises I learned.

You make a mistake (on purpose!!!!!!!!!) take a deep bow and say, “I FAILED”

It was so incredibly freeing and we even called it a “failure bow” so you acknowledged the fail and then moved on with the next scene. It was great!

I think far too often we are so wrapped up in looking perfect and being just right and doing things JUST so, that we miss the opportunity to embrace the unknown, the missteps and the happy accidents that come with experimentation.

What can you open up for yourself if you gave yourself permission to not be perfect, or better yet, give yourself permission to “play” and then it’s a game and if you lose, you learn and if you win, that’s good too.

What do you need to do to unlock yourself from perfect?

What if you thought of FAIL as — “First Attempt At Learning” (like the picture says)

Can you let go of the idea that you have to be perfect? Can you open yourself up to the notion of play and experimentation? What might happen? What can you learn?

I say to you, I give you permission to fail, I give you permission NOT to be perfect, in fact, embrace the opportunity to try something completely new, which by the way, means you won’t be perfect, because you can’t be new and perfect at the same time.

Think About It.

Failfail

Rescue Your Relationships!

Dear Readers,

Usually I give my own advice or story but today I am going to deviate a bit.

I am good friends with Ryan and Chelsea who are world class speakers and relationship experts and TedX speakers.

Their Ted Talk – “Yes Means Yes”  is here. I am going to let them do most of the talking today but I will say this.

“Yes means Yes” is a relationship game changer. This is not just for your romantic life either, this is good for any relationship that you are not fully asking for what you want. It is simple advice and hard to follow. I have started using this with my husband and we have already seen some great results! It’s how you grow, right?

This is a GAME changer and I recommend you invest 12 minutes to watch, listen and learn from these two wonderful people. Besides being experts, they are real and authentic about their fights and their lives as husband and wife and parents.

Watch it! Listen and Learn!

Take Care Of Yourself, You are The Only YOU!

Dear Readers,

I feel like when I write this blog you are reading it, but we are having a back and forth dialogue and it goes a little like this.

Me: Hi there, I am going to talk about myself here and think you might be going through something similar, Is it cool with you if I take up some of your time and energy today and make you “think about something”?

You: Yes, I look forward to your blog each week, and really relate or I find it interesting to read about you and your life because it’s like my life and it really helps me to know someone else is living a life much like mine or your life is nothing like mine and I read your blog because it’s a way to learn about the way someone else lives. Either way, proceed-

Me: okay cool

So, my whole family has been sick for the last month. It has SUCKED.  I MEAN ROYALLY SUCKED.

First, my husband had a blood clot that needed to be treated, he went to the doctor and started on blood thinners and medicine to help, and that was good. Scary, but good to know there is help and treatment.

Around this time, I started coughing but with no other symptoms I let things go on for a week or so, and then I went to the doctor. They told me it was a viral infection and to take some cough suppressants which they gave me, and I took. The cough did NOT improve, and it had in fact graduated to pneumonia. I went to the hospital, they gave me a breathing treatment, a steroid, and some strong medicine to take and heavy emphasis on REST. I followed their advice because I was scared to death of dying which is what I felt like was what was happening. It sounds dramatic to say that, which being an actor, I have a natural flair for, however, this did not feel like something I would recover from so I mean it quite literally.

The next week, I felt much better, not 100% but getting there. or as I put it- “out of the woods and slowly making my way back to the city….” until my daughter had a fever at daycare so I went to pick her up and it turns out, she had Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease which as it turns out is not preventable or treatable and it’s highly contagious. The only way for it to get better is to wait. Waiting, my favourite thing to do, as I am sure you do as well, I find it fun to wait.

No. Not fun, not by any stretch of any imagination, and believe me I have a GREAT imagination. My husband got it and I did too, so that gave us both new afflictions to recover from while also caring for a toddler. The first things you need is rest when you are sick, which is pretty hard to come by when you are taking care of a child who can’t take care of themselves. Also, you aren’t at your best because you feel like death warmed over on a cracker.

Thankfully, we have wonderful friends, family and bosses who helped make this difficult time easier by offering help, by delivering groceries and by offering to let me work from home or not work altogether as we all recovered. I am overjoyed to say, we are better, and I have taken many steps to stay that way. I have heeded all warnings about “taking it easy” and am treating it much like when I first had Miss Vivienne.

All my energy————————————————————————— GONE.

I am the team captain for a 5K that took place this morning, but I couldn’t even cheer them on because I am resting. That’s okay, they did a great job without me.

I was scheduled to see three different plays that I can’t now because I must rest. That’s okay, there will be other shows.

I was supposed to give a presentation to help me hone and sharpen my presentation skills. That’s okay, it can be rescheduled.

What’s my point? What happened to us to make things so bad? Bad timing and lack of rest. At first, my cough was annoying, but not debilitating. I waited a little too long to go to the doctor the first time, “trying to muscle through” and then my husband got sick, so I started concentrating on him, and kind of forgot about me, then my daughter got sick and my focus was divided again. If just one of us was sick, that would have been a pain in the bahookie, but manageable.

The perfect storm of you-know-what was all three of us getting sick at the same time.

I implore you, find the time to let your brain, body, and soul rest.

You need it. Especially when you are sick, but let’s talk prevention here because I truly believe that was my saving grace. I was up to three workouts a week when this first struck me.

After I was diagnosed with pneumonia. I was told, No workouts for a month, and you definitely can’t swim or run.  (there goes my 5K) I probed to find out more and my doctor said, “You have a weakened immune system and your lung capacity is diminished from all the coughing, so if you swim, you could collapse a lung and die.” WHAT? Turns out I wasn’t being dramatic before, I really could die so I am taking my own advice and medicine here but want to tell you again. Please drink water (every day) and eat a good diet (most of the time) and find a way to be active and on the flipside, don’t do too much.

I looked at my calendar for next month and almost everything not work related is coming off it, I can’t take the chance on getting sick again and I also need to get my reserves of energy back in place, which will take time and patience. I can’t get around it, 2018 is officially about patience. I have been fighting it and fighting it but the message of putting me flat on my back has finally got my attention. I hope you don’t have to go through what we went through to learn that lesson so here it is:

I need to rest, you need to rest, we all need to rest. Rest looks different for us all.

For me, meditation is a big part of how I rest. For others, they do yoga. For someone else it might be a workout. Another one for me is going to the movies, alone. I also find writing to be very relaxing. I have posted some suggestions below. Consider them, and if they are not for you, consider something else.

Do some thinking today about how you rest, and how you can get more of it.

Please, for your health, and the health of those around you.

Think About It.

 

Say it, who knows what might happen…

Dear Readers,

Do you ever get that feeling deep inside of you that you want to say something but you are scared of looking silly? Say it anyway.

Do you have the feeling that if you say it someone might make fun of you or think less of you? Say it anyway.

Do you think, “they will think I am not smart or I don’t have all the answers if I say that”?

Say it anyway.

Too often we leave things unsaid that we wish we had said and then the moment is gone and it’s too late. Time is the only resource we don’t get back, moment after moment is going by and if you don’t take your moment, you lose it.

Let me tell you a secret about that.

You aren’t the only one thinking it or wanting to say it.

I promise you, there is at least one other person who wants to say something or bring it up but they are scared and don’t so if you don’t say it, and they don’t say it, guess what?

It never gets said, the discussion is never had and that is a missed opportunity for communication and new ideas.

We need your ideas, don’t be afraid to share yourself with the world.

Think About It. imagejfminc