Say Goodbye to Impostor Syndrome

Say Goodbye to Impostor Syndrome

Do you feel like a fraud in danger of being exposed when someone praises your work? Do you think your achievements are just a matter of luck? If so, you may be experiencing Imposter syndrome.

That’s the term psychologists invented in the 1970s when they were studying successful women. Now, they know that men are just as likely to be affected.

In fact, an estimated 70% of adults experience the symptoms at least occasionally. You may be especially vulnerable when you’re trying something new or celebrating an important occasion like a job promotion.

Impostor syndrome may be caused by your personality or the way you grew up. Whatever the reasons, you can stop undermining yourself. Learn to experience doubts without letting them interfere with the happiness and success you deserve.

Changing Your Thinking:

1.  Remember your achievements. Review your track record. Putting your victories in context will show you that they’re not flukes.

2.  Give yourself credit. Change your self-talk. When you catch yourself becoming critical, congratulate yourself, instead. Reframing your thoughts will help you to view yourself in a more positive light.

3.  Accept uncertainty. Impostor syndrome is often associated with perfectionism. Embrace yourself unconditionally, including your strengths and weaknesses. Set realistic goals and expectations.

4.  Validate yourself. Live up to your own standards rather than relying on approval from others. Be mindful of your thoughts and feelings so you can manage them effectively.

5.  Appreciate effort. Do you regard struggling as a sign of weakness? In reality, success often requires careful planning and hard work.

Changing Your Behavior:

1.  Talk it over. Impostor syndrome can be a difficult cycle to break because your first impulse is to cover it up. On the other hand, revealing your insecurities will help you to put them in perspective.

2.  Build support. Ask family and friends for help. Having the courage to be vulnerable will boost your confidence and strengthen your relationships.

3.  Fight stereotypes. Feeling like an outsider can contribute to impostor syndrome. For example, maybe you’re much older or younger than your coworkers. Look for ways to turn that diversity into an advantage instead of feeling awkward about being different.

4.  Be spontaneous. You may be putting unnecessary pressure on yourself if you frequently over-prepare for various events. Throw a party with takeout pizza instead of spending an entire day in the kitchen.

5.  Accept compliments. Can you receive praise graciously or do you secretly want to run and hide? Practice saying thank you sincerely. You’ll create a more pleasant experience for yourself and your admirers.

6.  Find a mentor. Changing long-standing habits can be tough work. Working with a mentor will give you the benefit of ongoing feedback from someone you trust. You may also feel more accountable knowing that someone else is monitoring your progress, too.

7.  Teach others. Recognizing your areas of expertise can be tricky when knowledge and skills build up slowly over time. Instructing others is an excellent way to learn more about yourself while providing a valuable service.

8.  Stay relaxed. Challenging situations are likely to trigger any defense mechanism. You’ll find it easier to be authentic if you manage daily stress. Block out time for meditation and physical exercise. Slow down and take a deep breath if you find yourself starting to question your worth.

9.  Take risks. Impostor syndrome can hold you back from trying new things. Make a list of projects that excite you and take pleasure in learning as you go along.

Build your confidence and sense of belonging. Overcoming imposter syndrome will help you to feel more comfortable with yourself and take more satisfaction in your achievements.

 

The Circle of Life

Reveal the “big picture” of your true dreams – and pave the road for a real, personalized action plan

I am a Board Certified Life Coach, a Board Certified Health Coach,  and a teacher of Mindfulness Living who helps people unlock their potential and live life on Purpose

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8 Tips for Avoiding Indecision and Overthinking

8 Tips for Avoiding Indecision and Overthinking

The quality of your decisions affects the quality of your life. Making better decisions is one of the most effective ways to enhance your life. However, making a good decision requires actually making a decision. Too many people avoid making decisions, or they spend far too much time and energy making a decision.

A great decision doesn’t require a lot of time or energy the vast majority of the time:

1.  Know your purpose. Your purpose makes the best option more obvious. For example, if your purpose is to be an ultramarathoner, it’s easier to decide what to eat and how to spend your time away from your regular job.

–  Where should you live? If you want to be a dairy farmer, the city won’t work. If you want to write a book, in what environment do you write most effectively?

2.  Be logical. Most people make decisions based on emotion. Logic is only used to justify the decisions they made emotionally. Most people are prone to making poor decisions. You don’t want to be like most people in this regard.

–  The best decision is often clear if you apply logic to the situation. Consider how you would advise a friend to proceed. That’s probably your best option.

3.  Plan your day the night before. It’s easier to make smart decisions in advance. For example, it’s easy to say, “I’m going to meet my mother for lunch tomorrow.” However, you might be less enthusiastic when the sun comes up. Avoid changing your mind. You already made the decision, so stick with it.

–  We make great plans in the evening for the following day. We plan out our days. We make plans to eat a good lunch, hit the gym, and finish that report. The next day, we start overthinking everything and blow it.

–  You don’t need to make perfect decisions. You need to make decent decisions and stick with them. Do your thinking at night. Execute your decisions the following day.

4.  Know your values. The best option is often obvious if you know your values.

–  Take the time to examine your values and then list them in order of priority. When you’re faced with a tough choice, take a look at your list of values and apply your values to your decision. You’ll probably find that an answer is easier to find.

5.  Give yourself a deadline. A good decision can often be made very quickly. Avoid taking longer than you need to make a choice. A deadline can be an effective way of making a decision quickly. Give yourself a few minutes to a few days, to make up your mind. Pull the trigger and move on.

6.  Know that if you’re indecisive, any option is probably acceptable. When you’re torn between a couple of choices, there’s probably not a “best” option. Just pick one and move on. Flip a coin if necessary.

7.  Consider the reason for your hesitation. Why are you hesitating? What’s holding you back? What are your concerns? What are you afraid might happen?

–  Is there a way to mitigate this fear so it doesn’t impact your decision process?

8.  Forget about trying to be perfect. Perfection leads to procrastination and indecision. Worry about being good. Worry about being smart. That’s as close to perfection as you need to be.

Indecisiveness puts your life on standby. You can dramatically enhance the quality of your life by making better and quicker decisions. Making a decision isn’t a race, but what are you going to accomplish by waiting if you already have the information you need to decide?

Be clear on your purpose and values. Avoid the need to be perfect in your decisions. Make a wise choice and get busy living your life.

 

The Circle of Life

Reveal the “big picture” of your true dreams – and pave the road for a real, personalized action plan

I am a Board Certified Life Coach, a Board Certified Health Coach,  and a teacher of Mindfulness Living who helps people unlock their potential and live life on Purpose

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How and Why Others Try to Hold You Back From Success

How and Why Others Try to Hold You Back From Success

When you’re trying to change your life, there will be people that feel the need to get in your way. A few of them might actually believe they’re trying to help you, but they’re not. They want you to stay just the way you are. That way, they can feel comfortable about not improving themselves, too.

It’s frustrating to find out that few people are on your side, but it’s something that must be managed if you want to succeed.

See how others may try to derail your success:

1.  They point out your past failures. We’ve all failed numerous times in the past. Some people in your life will undoubtedly bring up those failures in an attempt to sabotage your efforts.

–  Suppose you decide you want to climb all the 14,000-foot+ peaks in the US. You might be reminded by a “friend” that you couldn’t even climb the 2,000-foot peak at summer camp. They might even suggest that you come up with a more reasonable goal.

2.  They will try to make you feel guilty. Guilt is another weapon. Sticking with our mountain climbing theme, you might be told that all that travel is expensive. You might also be told that you should be saving all the money for your child’s college education. Or maybe you should spend all that time with your family instead.

3.  They try to distract you. “Hey, forget the mountains. Let’s all go on a big vacation together instead.”

These are just a few of the less devious ways those around you might try to sabotage your efforts. But why would they do it in the first place? It doesn’t seem kind and supportive, and it’s not. Though they might try to present it that way.

There are several reasons why people close to you try to sabotage your efforts:

1.  They want to stay comfortable with their mediocrity. If you do something amazing, they have to deal with the fact that they have not. No one wants to feel like they’re losing the game of life. Rather than deal with their own fear, insecurity, and laziness, it’s just easier and less work to hold you back.

2.  Jealousy. While there are some people that are genuinely happy to see you achieve something great, win the lottery, or lose 50 pounds, there are even more that are jealous. They’ll try to stop you from being successful. And if that doesn’t work, they’ll attempt to diminish the value of your success.

–  For example, “Oh, if I had all of your free time, I could easily lose 50 pounds, too.”

3.  People don’t like change. Everyone is getting something from you. If they got nothing out of their relationship with you, they wouldn’t associate with you at all. If you change, it threatens the status quo. If you become something different, where does that leave them?

–  It’s psychologically easier for them if you just stay the same.

The solution is to commit to being successful in spite of the objections of others. You might want to consider removing the worst offenders from your life. Life is hard enough without having your own friends and family trying to make it even harder.

Commit to your goals for the right reason. Impressing others is a shallow reason for doing something. Do it for yourself.

Consider keeping your big goals to yourself. You receive less resistance from others. Choose what’s best for your life and do it! You don’t need the approval of others.

 

The Circle of Life

Reveal the “big picture” of your true dreams – and pave the road for a real, personalized action plan

I am a Board Certified Life Coach, a Board Certified Health Coach,  and a teacher of Mindfulness Living who helps people unlock their potential and live life on Purpose

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Creating A Successful Social Circle

Creating A Successful Social Circle

The world is too big of a place to take on alone. You need some friends, a tribe, a social circle to bring the world down to a manageable size.

With so much of our lives spent on digital gadgets and the internet, a good social circle is much more challenging to create. It’s not as easy to connect with people in the real world, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible!

Try these techniques to build a social circle that adds to your life:

1. Define what a successful social circle looks like for you. It’s challenging to be successful if you don’t know what success looks like to you. What do you want from your social circle? Do you want:

–  Friends for casual fun?
–  A social circle of business contacts?
–  A group of people for dating purposes?
–  Someone to ride motorcycles with?
–  Travelling partners?
–  A group of like-minded men or women for meaningful discussion?

2.  Find like-minded people. While you might not want to hang out with a group of people exactly like you, your social circle will likely consist largely of people that are a lot like you. Think about the things you like to do and find others with similar interests.

3. Work on building your social circle a little each day. This isn’t the kind of thing you should work on all day on Saturday and ignore the rest of the week. A little bit of effort each day will really pay off over time.

4.  Use online resources. What can’t you find online these days? Get online and find local clubs and other organizations you could join to find people that interest you. There are plenty of social meetups that can be found online for your local area.

5. Learn something. Invest in yourself by learning something new – just ensure that you leave the house to do it. Whether you want to learn to weld or to meditate, there’s a place you can do that. And you’re bound to find others with similar interests that you can connect with.

6.  Work on your social skills. It’s not easy to add people to your life if you’re uncomfortable around others. Social skills can be developed just like any other skill. Practice makes perfect, so brush up on your skills and get out there. You can make some new friends while you’re practicing

7.  Stay in touch. The more casual the relationship, the more likely it is to fade away. Staying in touch doesn’t have to be challenging or time consuming. A quick text, email, or phone call can be sufficient to maintain many relationships. Better yet, get out of the house and spend time with your tribe.

8.  Evaluate. Just because someone is willing to spend time with you doesn’t mean you should agree. Just because someone has been in your social circle doesn’t mean you should allow them to remain. From time to time, evaluate those you spend time with and make a decision whether they should stay or go.

Do you need to add to your social circle? There are plenty of ways to get started. Define the group of people that interest you and get out there and find them.  While it can be challenging today to connect with people in real life, there are many others that want to get out of the house, too. Build a social circle that adds significantly to your life.

 

The Circle of Life

Reveal the “big picture” of your true dreams – and pave the road for a real, personalized action plan

I am a Board Certified Life Coach, a Board Certified Health Coach,  and a teacher of Mindfulness Living who helps people unlock their potential and live life on Purpose

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How to Have the Best Year of Your Life

How to Have the Best Year of Your Life

When was the last time you had a great year? What has been the best year of your life so far? This year can be different. You can have a great year without that much effort. You only need a new perspective and a plan.

A few exciting goals and a few interesting things to look forward to can turn an average year into a great year.

Use these strategies to take control and make this year the best of your life:

1.  Choose one exciting thing to do each quarter. Give yourself something to look forward to. You can have something big each year, like a great vacation, but we need things that are closer in the future to look forward to, too. 

–  Have something exciting planned at least once every 12 weeks. It might be a day trip into the city if that all your pocketbook or schedule will allow. Or you might be able to do something more extravagant. The key is to have something that creates anticipation.

2.  Practice gratitude. Your life is already better than you think. Be grateful for the good things and people in your life. It will enhance your mood, and you’ll be in a better position to have a great year.

3.  Set one goal for each major area of your life. If you want to have a great year, you need to make some progress in your life. Break your life down into a few categories. You might decide on relationships, finances, health, and adventure. It’s up to you.

–  Create one goal for each category and do your best to achieve it. Hitting just a couple of goals can make for a great year.

4.  Spend less. Debt is one thing that can ruin your life. Have you ever noticed how your mood is often closely tied to the amount of money in your bank account? Spend less money this year and save more. At the very least, ensure that you’re spending your money in a way that will maximize your year.

5.  Eliminate the negative. Get rid of as many things as possible that are getting in the way. The negative things in your life might be debt, certain social obligations, your excessive waistline, or certain people. What is getting in your way? 

6.  Use the weekend to plan the following week. A great year doesn’t happen by accident. Plan your work, diet, exercise, and social activities. Plan anything else that is pertinent to your life, too. Take responsibility for your results by planning your actions.

7.  Eliminate five bad habits and add five good habits. A year is just about the right amount of time to get rid of a few bad habits and add a few good habits. Pick one good and bad habit from each category of your life and get to work.

8.  Be more honest. Be more honest with yourself and others. Be more honest about what you want from life. Honesty can be more stressful in the moment but is less stressful overall. Have a great year by increasing the degree of honesty you express in your life.

Was last year less than you’d hoped for? How about the year before that? Have you been stuck in a streak of bad years? Make the next 12 months the best you’ve ever had. Break out of your routine and try something new this year. You can have the best year of your life by setting the intention to do so right now.

 

The Circle of Life

Reveal the “big picture” of your true dreams – and pave the road for a real, personalized action plan

I am a Board Certified Life Coach, a Board Certified Health Coach,  and a teacher of Mindfulness Living who helps people unlock their potential and live life on Purpose

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Need A Hero – Make Your Future Self Your Hero

Need A Hero – Make Your Future Self Your Hero

Maybe your hero is LeBron James or Albert Einstein. Those might be worthwhile heroes. However, it would be even better to become your own hero. Your life is your story, and every story needs a hero. 

By defining the hero of your story, you have a chance to become that hero. And it’s important for you to define the hero of your story, because the hero of each story is different. The hero of your story won’t be the same as the hero of someone else’s story.

A few ground rules:

–  Your hero has to start where you are. You have a particular starting point and resources available to you. Your hero has to begin from your starting point.

–  You have to set a time limit on when you’ll become your hero. Your hero doesn’t have 100 years to work with. You also need a deadline to work with. A good deadline is 5 to 10 years from now. At that point, you can reevaluate and create a new hero from your new starting point.

 

–  Avoid the tendency to limit yourself. You can accomplish a whole lot in 5-10 years. You’re a hero, after all.

Become your own hero:

1.  Define your hero’s accomplishments. What has your hero accomplished? From this moment in time, until your deadline, what will your hero achieve? Once you’re satisfied with your list, ask yourself how you could make it even better. Remember to work within the time frame you’ve given yourself.

2.  Define your hero’s attributes. What qualities does your hero have? What attributes would they have to possess in order to accomplish everything they’ve accomplished? What qualities in a person do you most admire and respect?

3.  Define your hero’s life. How does your hero live his life? How does he spend his day? Who is in his life? What types of things is he involved with? Where does he live? What time does he get out of bed? What does he eat for lunch? What is important to him?

4.  Define your hero’s goals. Your hero has accomplished a lot, but she’s not finished. What are her goals now? Whom does she want to become? What does the future hold for her? What are her plans?

5.  Make a plan to become your own hero. Starting where you are right now, what do you need to do to become the hero you’ve defined? What changes do you need to make in your life? What goals do you need to set and accomplish to become your hero?

–  Consider your hero’s finances, health and fitness, social circle, accomplishments, and skills. This is just for starters. Imagine what needs to be done to transform from your current self into your hero.

6.  Get started. This is the hardest part for most people. It’s fun to sit down and plan your future. It’s a little harder to actually get busy and make it happen. You have years to complete your mission, but you don’t have time to spare.

There’s no time to waste. The more time you wait to get started, the longer it’s going to take to become your hero.  Unless your life is perfect, your story needs a hero. You can define who that hero is going to be. There’s still time to become the most incredible person you’ve ever known.

When someone asks you, “Who is your hero?” you can honestly say, “Me, in 10 years.” Be the hero of your story.

 

The Circle of Life

Reveal the “big picture” of your true dreams – and pave the road for a real, personalized action plan

I am a Board Certified Life Coach, a Board Certified Health Coach,  and a teacher of Mindfulness Living who helps people unlock their potential and live life on Purpose

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