I never thought that I was going to open up about this. Overtime I grew accustomed to keeping everything for myself. "Never utter a word about your problems, Aria. Never tell a soul, because they will evidently just hurt you in the end." - That was my mantra.
Last night I listened to Talk About It Friday's Live broadcast with Lisa Cybaniak. Within a few minutes listening to her talk, I got inspired. She also made me realize that I have what is called Impostor Syndrome. I never had a word for it- I just always thought that I was inadequate.
What she said, made me realize that I am not alone in this. She inspired me to open up a bit about my emotions- not because I wanted to, but because I needed to. I needed to open up so that others out there would realize that they are NOT alone.
My voice is small, but if I can help one person out there, I would be happy.
"Impostor syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. 'Impostors' suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence" - Harvard Business Review.
Self doubt- it feels like I'm running in circles with this topic, but I'll run in circles until I eventually convince myself and others that WE ARE ENOUGH. My first step was publishing a book. My second step is the most difficult thing- I constantly remind myself that I am loved,I am enough...I don't need to be perfect.
I'm not a perfectionist in everything, but I'm definitely a perfectionist when it comes to myself. I pressure myself to be as perfect as I can be, to avoid the doubt creeping into my mind. It's not enough to keep the doubt away, I've realized that a long time ago, but I keep pushing.
When I was in high school, I suffered form eating disorders. I would gym, skip meals, push my fingers down my throat, I tried everything to lose weight- crying as I saw no change on the scale. I later learned that I have hypothyroidism and since I went on my medication, I've started losing the weight...but that only triggered me again.
I've been hard on myself, forcing myself to choose the healthy rout no matter what. I don't want to go back to those times, but I feel like doubt is a parasite that grows on you. You can never truly shake it off.
I still spend some days staring at myself in the mirror, seeing every small flaw. There was a time in my life where I didn't even want a mirror in the house, just so I can give myself a break.
Some days I would hate myself...I would sit and wonder - "Why the hell am I like this? Why couldn't I have confidence in myself? Why do I doubt every step I take?" I felt alone. Everyone around me would be so confident, so sure of themselves.
I could never take a compliment without laughing, I didn't want to buy clothes because why would I bother making myself pretty if I'm just going to see another flaw? Things changed, really slowly but they did.
Vernon started seeing the patterns, he knew something wasn't right with me. My doctor at the time placed me on anti-depressants, which only made me worse. Vernon stood by my side through all this. He told me everyday- "You are loved." , "You are beautiful.", "You are enough."
It took a while (YEARS), but eventually I started to believe him. I believed that at least I was beautiful for him, at least I was enough for him.
Everything takes time, but it also takes persistence. Keep pushing, whoever you are, keep pushing forward. I'm not saying that the future will be perfect, but it will get easier.
If you don't love yourself, I love you. If you don't think you're pretty, for me you're beautiful. If you don't think you're enough, I can't be without you.
The world is big, the future is undecided. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
Even if those bad thoughts keep coming back, push through them. Be your own constant reminder. If you get that job, get that award, damn if you even just got out of the bed today- you have accomplished something great!
You have accomplished many great things in your life, even if you don't see them, those around you have.
You are loved.
You are beautiful.
YOU ARE ENOUGH.