Imposter Syndrome

🌟 Don’t beat yourself up…

There’s a part of you that no matter how hard you work, it’s ready to tell you what’s missing from your life. There’s a part of you that no matter how much you believe you’re doing well, it comes knocking at your mental home to challenge you:

“Are you SURE you’re doing enough?” 💭
“Do you REALLY believe everything you say you are is true?” 💭
“Do you TRULY deserve what you’ve been given?” 💭

I’ve felt this in me before, multiple times in fact…

There’s the psychology term “imposter syndrome”. It’s the tendency to believe our achievements pale in comparison to what we believe we’ve actually done. To put it another way, we don’t feel the status, success, or fame we’ve received is equal to our own feelings of self-worth. In our minds it doesn’t feel like it’s “deserved”. We have this irrational fear we’re ultimately going to be exposed as a “fraud”. 👈

Would it surprise you to hear even the most famous of individuals have experienced these feelings? Individuals like Tina Fey, Maya Angelou, Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins, and even Meryl Streep have openly expressed feeling like this. Despite all the wealth, awards, and recognition they’ve received from other people, there’s a part of them that still at times self-doubt what they had accomplished in their lives.

What’s easy to forget on this journey called life is remembering all the achievements we’ve made. Now I’m not saying I’m a celebrity or am following the same path these individuals are. I’m saying these feelings of self-doubt are universal, these feelings of inadequacy and not being enough just where we are. A character from the film “Before Sunset” summed it up pretty well: “I feel like I’m designed to be slightly dissatisfied with everything.” 😝

This past year has truly been a journey: ups, downs, lefts, rights, zig-zags, and any way the Wonkavator is going. Even now, being almost a year since I stepped into this new path for myself, I have felt these emotions come up. It creeps up when you least expect it, too. As I write this, I can already hear the echoes of this voice in my mind.

But I have an answer for this voice as well as your own…

📍 Disconnect yourself from these voices. These voices are not You or Me. These are voices of Fear. These are voices from your Past, voices that are no longer serving you now and in your future.

📍 Unconditionally accept yourself where you are now in the present. The past (literally) no longer exists but in your mind. So why not take what’s most useful from your past into the future?

📍 Reflect on your achievements. These moments of self-doubt are temporary; all the achievements and impact you’ve made on the world and others is forever. Remember that everything you do has an effect, even if you don’t have the chance to see it for yourself.

📍 Remember your WHY. You are where you are today for a reason. Something might have pulled you here, something might have pushed you here, but you’re here for one reason for another. When you have strong enough reasons for why you’re here, your self-doubts will easily start to disintegrate.

Writing this post this evening was in it’s very own way cathartic. As much as there have been times I’ve experienced this self-doubt, I remember all the amazing things I’ve achieved in my life that have shaped me into the person penning this very post. This is a moment in time I won’t ever get exactly the same again. No moment is, and it honestly feels quite surreal thinking about it in that way. ☺️

But I digress. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s not worth your future. I can guarantee you’re not alone, and that everyone else has done it before too. But the key is to remember those moments are not meant to stay; they are meant to pass. Much love. ❤️#TranscendLabels

Remember Your Worth

(PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 22nd on FACEBOOK)
I look for my social media page to be a very positive and inspiring place to visit. The posts I make are always with intention; there’s so much negativity, gossip, and unnecessary drama online so I do the opposite. Like how Mr. Rogers looked to change what television offered I look to do with social media. That may sound like a bold statement, but I’m still doing it my own way. 🙌

But there is something I haven’t mentioned. And I’m ready to share it now…

Right after I graduated college 2 years ago I got a job in the corporate world. I was excited for a new step in my future career. Whatever that future career was I wasn’t really sure, but for the time being I had plenty of security: good pay, benefits, a great manager, and a very supportive environment. Some may say: “What more could you ask for?”…💬

Well I actually parted ways with the company a few months ago. I “took the leap” without a safety net. In my idealism I was going to pursue: entrepreneurship! There’s the quote: “Say ‘yes’ and figure it out later”, and I said I was never going back to my corporate job, not out of spite but holding myself accountable to my word. 👍

In doing so a lot of realizations have come to me since I left. To say I’ve had A LOT more to learn than what I expected is an understatement. Trust me when I say when you’re in uncharted territory, you’re going to learn more about yourself and what you’ll need to do to survive. Because you’re living on the edge, your mind is in resourceful mode. It doesn’t have much of a choice if you want to survive. While this may sound negative, I’m in fact grateful I’m learning it all now so I don’t have to later! 😁

Fear is a great motivator to push you forward, but fear can also overtake you if you let it. It was a few weeks ago I got really anxious with how my bank accounts were looking, and I let fear control my thinking to settle for a nearby job as a Dishwasher. It’s not a passion, it’s not what I’m gifted at doing, and it’s certainly not the best value I can provide to the world, but I said in this case: “Money is what matters”. 🤷‍♂️

For a week or so it felt fine. I learned what needed to be done, and I got it done. But a few days ago I had a moment that is still sticking out in my mind this evening.

I was washing dishes during a very hectic meal time, one dish after another pouring into my area ready to be washed. Wipe Off Dish, Spray, Wash, Dry, Repeat. By the time I had finished all the dishes I looked at the clock. 4 hours. 4 hours I had been washing dishes, and I didn’t understand how… 😐

The obvious answer would be “I was keeping busy”, but I mean it in a different way. Where had my mind been the past 4 hours?! I was on autopilot, and I wasn’t conscious of it being so until afterwards. Can you relate to that feeling?!

Throughout the rest of my shift my thoughts reflected on what the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre referred to as “bad faith”: this awareness I had taken on the role of a Dishwasher. There was no identity of Donald washing dishes for 4 hours; for 4 hours I was the identity of a Dishwasher. I didn’t know where the time went by…and I didn’t know where “I” went by either! 🤔

I had experienced these existential feelings before. And it was because I had experienced them before that another realization hit me too: it’s no wonder why so many people don’t have a sense of purpose and meaning in their life. So many people are not given the time to explore or develop them. So we are instead settling for what everyone else tells us is the case: “This is what you’re suppose to do”, “You have to make money somehow”, “That’s just how the world works”. Where’s the personal empowerment in these beliefs? Are you your own identity, or are you a job description? 😟

It’s honestly pained me before when I’ve asked people what their passions are and their answer is they really don’t know or if they do know they don’t believe it’s something they can do more often. It probably pains me too because it reminds me of myself a few years ago. As I said earlier I had NO IDEA what I wanted to do with my life a few years ago too. But if we really only have one life to live on this earth, I don’t believe we “have to” spend it lifelessly. It’s what my mission is all about! 👊

This evening I put in my two weeks notice as a Dishwasher. I have a renewed sense of purpose, and I have a set plan on where I’m going again. You can call it: “irresponsible”, “reckless”, “dangerous”, I’ve heard them all. It’s not changing my mind on the world I want to positively impact for the long-term. 🌎

I’m going to continue building my business/mission because that’s where my true calling is at: helping people and showing others what they’re capable of achieving. Life Coaching, Wellness, Social Media, and there’s plenty more branches on my tree in the future! “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”#TranscendLabels ❤️

I really appreciate all your positive feedback! I hope through the time you’ve gotten to know me that I’ve provided lots of insightful and positive content to you! If I have, I really appreciate if you SHARE this post so I can spread my mission of Transcending Labels to others! I want this to go global!  

 

The Warrior In You

 There’s a Warrior inside you!

Have you ever experienced a moment where you stunned yourself, where you were just like: “HOW DID I DO THAT?!” I’m talking about moments where You surprise yourself and see you’re more capable of doing something than you believed. 

I’ve experienced those moments many times in exercise! 

I consider myself more of a Lover than a Fighter. But there are moments where the inner Warrior comes out of me, seeping into every ounce of my being as I push myself past the mental limits I initially set. 

It happened one day on my morning run. As I was starting to run, a song by Hans Zimmer called “Journey to the Line” started playing on my smartphone. It’s a song that slowly started to build as I turned my run from a short jog into a faster pace. 

The music continued to build. My pace continued to increase. As the music reverberated through my ears, so it did through my body. My eyes started to squint, the wind pushed against my face, the sweat started to form. In the moment, I let myself go… 

The song hits its climax, and I am no longer sprinting; I am running for my life! In my imagination: I am running for the Gold. Running straight into battle. Running as explosions and chaos reign behind me. Running as if it is life or death. Running as if all of humanity’s lives depend on it. 

Suddenly, the music calms. Reality comes back into focus. I am back in my body. I am back to slowing down my sprint. I am aware of my panting breathing. I am back in the quiet suburbs of Chicago. 

The immortality I felt in the moment becomes but a thought again. 

There’s a Warrior in me. I don’t often show it, but it’s there. And it’s in you too. To think I use to be 80 pounds more than I was 3 years ago…it required the Warrior in me. Will You open yourself to it?  #TranscendLabels

A Lot of Meaning with a Touch of Purpose

“Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.” ~ Viktor Frankl

A life filled with purpose and meaning is what drives a person forward. Without either of these, what is the point of life? Why does a person wake up every morning: to live…or to maintain? 

I believe these are very important questions to ask in a world where mental health is a grave concern. According to the World Health Organization, depression is now the leading cause of illness with an estimate of 300 MILLION people affected. A few years ago I would’ve also been a part of that list. 

“So what changed, Donald?!” 💬
– I started focusing on doing things I was deeply passionate about.
– I started choosing to see problems as gifts I could learn from.
– I started challenging my own destructive habits. I quit drinking soda, coming from originally 3 to 4 cans a day. I started eating more plant-based foods. And in turn I lost over 80 pounds.
– I studied philosophy and saw there’s MANY more ways to look at life. I embraced a form of secular spirituality.
– I started meditating and becoming aware how my thoughts were controlling my life.
– I made it habit to be grateful for something every day.

It wasn’t a magic pill that cured me of depression; it was a lifestyle change that was meaningful and purposeful. It wasn’t seeing depression and anxiety as biological defects that helped me alleviate them; it was seeing them as messengers telling me something in my life had to change because they kept occurring. 

The status quo isn’t working, otherwise we wouldn’t have so many people feeling this way about their lives. I’m glad I stepped outside of it and went in a different direction. I feel so much happier. And I will help others do the same! My life has never been more purposeful or meaningful than it is today!  #TranscendLabels

Comment below what is important to YOU in your life!