Sometimes in life, we realize that we are stuck grinding our gears and not going anywhere, and sometimes we realize that we must take the initiative to shift gears. I think we do a bad job of realizing that we control our destiny...we decide what, and who has a positive or negative impact on our life. One thing that I have been told my whole life is we control ourselves, no one else can control us unless we give them the power to do so. Only you can give that power and only you can take it away.
Sometimes we allow ourselves to get buried, driven, or run into the ground. Eventually, we have to take our lives back. We have to determine what is worth our time, energy, and love, and what is not. One of the hardest things that we have to do is recognize the toxicity in our lives and cut it out before it destroys us. Some of us wear our struggles and our issues as a shield, or we build walls around our hearts and are afraid to let anyone in for the fear that they will break our trust, and ultimately our hearts. While these traumas may stem from past events, past relationships, or anything else that we have dealt with, believe me when I tell you that they can have a real impact throughout your life if you do not deal with them.
If you are familiar with anything that I have written previously you will know that I continuously struggle with self-confidence and feeling like I am good enough for anything or anyone. I seek approval when it shouldn't matter. I aim to be a top performer, but never feel like I hit the mark. My wife, who is my rock and has helped me navigate these waters asked me just the other day why I feel like I’m not good enough. I looked at her straight in the face and said, "I don’t know." The truth is I really DON'T know. I have been able to achieve almost anything that I have put my mind to and/or strived for. I have met and exceeded the majority of my goals. However, I still feel like an imposter. I feel like one day the bottom is going to fall out and I'm going to be exposed. Exposed as a phony...as someone that doesn’t belong and has no idea what they are doing. Why? I don’t have a good answer for you.
I have meetings with my boss every week, and when I told her I had imposter syndrome and insecurity issues she literally looked at me like I had a third eye growing out of my head. That’s when it hit me, I am holding myself back, I am making myself miserable, and the voice in the back of my mind telling me I’m a fake...it’s mine.
Earlier this month I was sitting in a leadership course for my company when the instructor brought up perception. Specifically how one’s perception is their reality, how you perceive things is how they are, or at least how you tell yourself they are. The mind is a powerful place, and if you let it, it can unravel everything you have been working to achieve. The mind going unchecked and let to run wild can cause some serious issues. However, if you gain control over your mind and understand that your perception is not necessarily reality, you can make your mind work for you instead of against you.
Something that I have learned over time, and something that I am working on as I write this, is that your perception of you and your opinion of you, is all that matters. You have to analyze your mind and your thoughts. Are the negative thoughts based on any truth? If not, dismiss them and move on with your life. If you can’t move on on your own, find a friend or a confidant that you can talk it through with. Someone that can see through your self-criticism and speak truth into your life.
We have all been through things in our lives that have left scars on our minds and our souls, and we will most likely battle with them for as long as we have air in our lungs and a beating heart in our chest. However, we can not give undue power to other's perceptions, or thoughts, they are not our own, therefore they do not define us, they are someone else’s perception, and their perception is not your reality.