There is something special about being in your element. You've found that something that through results and hard work, you've excelled. You made it, leveled up, achieved your goal! People give you accolades for achieving that major accomplishment. However, the best question to ask yourself is, how do you feel about those accolades? Are you confident enough in yourself to be able to accept those kinds words are true? And, how confident in yourself are you to be able keep what you've achieved? Do you believe in you and what you know?
The Geto Boys came out with a song back in the day titled "My Mind is Playin' Tricks on me." The lyrics are still relevant to how the mind can operate and play against us. If you have never heard it, you should check it out. When "Dancing with Butterflies: Discovering Mindfulness" was officially released. I was a ball of mixed emotions. I was nervous as to how many virtual attendees would be present for my Launch Power Hour Party. I confirmed my guests prior to my event but I was nervous that they wouldn't show up. I was concerned about how I would decorate my venue to fit the butterfly theme. Most importantly, I was worried that my book would go unnoticed by people outside of my immediate family and social media friends. In my mind the event crashed and burned before I even got to my venue and my worst nightmare of throwing up on camera happened. While I was in the middle of a pre-event anxiety attack, my friend called me. She lovingly told me to calm down. Reminded me that I had done the work and the reward is to enjoy the moment. She also reminded me I just needed to focus on that. She also told me that just like Minnie don't burn chicken and that Leos from Burlington don't throw up on camera. The day went better than I could have ever imagined! My friend, Tasha, had extra decorations, all my guests showed up early. The day ended successfully with me becoming best seller AND I got cake! So, that was September.
Around late October, I stopped posting on social media and became less engaged. I basically withdrew and found my comfortable spot in Hermit-landia aka Hotel California. You know, that place that you go to where you overthink and maybe even slightly pick apart most blessings that you've received. Well, I was there. It's easy to get there but you seldom ever leave. I was telling myself that this was a one time thing. I couldn't make another best seller. My writing isn't important enough. My gift was too small. All these people purchased this book, I can't possibly make the next the next book fit their expectations. My ideas to do so many other things were impossible and outlandish. It went on and on like the Lamb Chop song. Then I started letting work and other things take over the time I typically would dedicate to exploring my creativity.
One day, randomly, I had a conversation with one of my author friends, Crystal McLean. She asked me how I was doing. Instead of giving the standard "I'm good!", I immediately start spilling the beans and letting her into the lies my mind was telling me. In opening up to her, I was able to instantly define my issue. Impostor Syndrome. Definition "a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud". She instantly reaffirmed me and essentially helped to shake me out of that fog. At least I identified my issue. I started being social again and my creative spark came back into motion. Then in late November, I received a message from a friend, who bought my book for her friend's infant daughter. Sadly and suddenly, her friend's daughter passed away but she was using the breathing exercises to help her cope during her time of bereavement. I instantly prayed for that mother because I cannot begin to imagine how she felt. I was grateful that I was even indirectly able to help her.
Reflecting on these experiences serves as a constant reminder that the gifts we have are not small. They are important and necessary for reasons that sometimes just aren't our business but must be shared. Someone is depending on you for your gift. There simply is no such thing as a small gift. We are beautifully made and should share our gifts because someone needs that gift we sometimes like to play as a small something. If that skill of writing, drawing, your ability to encourage, being a parent, mentor, teacher or any other thing you do was ingrained in you then there is a specific purpose. Your vision to do great things will be accepted by those who support you and need it. Just don't let your mind takeover and stop you before you start or in the midst. No one is out here calling you an impostor, so believe in what you know and strive to learn more. The road may not be easy but it is worth it. Sometimes you have to encourage yourself or sometimes you need a friend to remind you of your abilities/achievements. Always remember, use your gifts for the betterment of all people. Now, go forth and use your gifts! Show them off!
I leave you with these questions:
What gift(s) do you have that you are allowing yourself to play as insignificant?
What is stopping you from using your gifts?
What can you do to build on your gift(s)?
What can you do to remind yourself to believe in yourself?
Who can benefit from your gift?
Who are the people in your life that you can speak to when you are doubting yourself?