Archive for January, 2017


Desire, Belief, Action

Staying with my theme of podcasts and how they have affected me, I stumbled upon one called the “Unmistakable Creative”.

I have only listened to a few at this point (3? 4?), but they are really inspiring and I have enjoyed them immensely.  The latest one that really struck a chord with me is called “The Business of Belief with Tom Asacker”.  In it, they speak of his book (of the same title), but Mr. Asacker sums it up beautifully with this statement:

“Belief is what drives people’s decisions.  This has to do with people’s desires.  Their desires drive their beliefs and their beliefs drive their actions, period.  It’s as simple as that and it’s as complex as that because people are unaware of this.  We are being pushed and pulled by our environment.  We’re just trying to make it through the day: have a decent day, have nothing go wrong, and at the end of the day flip on Netflix.  That’s what’s going on in the marketplace.  When you get somebody to adopt what you do, you’re getting somebody to switch one belief for another belief and then going back on autopilot.”  Tom Asacker

He goes into detail in the podcast how you cannot start with evidence when attempting to convince someone of the greatness of a person, place or thing.  You have to start with their desire and their belief system.  If you can tap into that, then you have a chance of changing their belief.

But NOT with evidence.  That was eye opening to me.

I have spent the last 15 years trying, unsuccessfully, to prove that I did not cause Hun and Jetsam’s separation and divorce.  I have presented evidence, proving that I was nowhere around – and it has done nothing.

Jetsam believes, with all of her heart, despite the evidence, that I am the reason they are no longer together.

Maybe it is her deepest desire that their marriage had been different.  Maybe her desire is that it should have been successful, and since it wasn’t, her belief is that it wasn’t her fault.  If her belief is it wasn’t her fault, then the fault has to lie with someone – and the most logical assumption on her part is it is to be my fault.

What she doesn’t understand is that the blame for a marriage, any marriage, not working out is on both parties.  Both Jetsam and Hun, for probably vastly different reasons, felt like the marriage was no longer sustainable.  That doesn’t make her the bad guy – and it also means – that doesn’t make Hun the bad guy.  And it definitely doesn’t make me the bad guy.

At this point, unless Jetsam decides to do something about her desires and beliefs, there is nothing I can do to change her mind.  I am going to stop trying.  There is no point in having the conversation ever again.  It is a waste of my time and energy.

This theory that desire drives belief and belief drives action also helps to explain my own actions over my lifetime.

The reason I have felt like a failure, like an impostor.

I have desired to create my entire life.  It doesn’t matter what I create (art, processes, design, etc) – I LOVE to create order out of chaos.

From early on, I was discouraged from creating.  Not that I was told “not to”, but rather told “that (project) will not earn you a life”.  The message boiled down to – creating will not pay the bills.  I know the people who expressed this belief to me was thinking ‘starving artist’ mentality and they only wished to see me stable and successful in my life.  There was no ill intent on their part.

However, by telling me that my core desire, to create, was a waste of time, I spent a large portion of my life denying that I was good at it.  If I shouldn’t desire to create, then my belief was that I am a failure for wanting to.  By believing that I’m a failure to want to create, I have self-sabotaged my own actions causing myself to actually fail.  This has reinforced my belief to crush my own desires.

EUREKA!!!  I think I just stumbled upon why I have struggled all of my life.

And…..

HALLELUJAH!!!  I am not a failure!

All I need to do is reprogram my own thoughts.

My desire is to create.  My desire is not a failure.

My belief is that I am good at creating.  My belief is not a failure.

My action is to create the best I know how to create.  My action may not have the desired result, but the act of creating itself is not a failure – just a step that did not work in the goal of creation.

It took almost 40 years for me to get to this point and this realization.  I’m going to make sure it doesn’t take another 40 years to change my own perspective.

Impostor Syndrome

The very title has me hanging my head in defeat.

Who do I think I am?  Why do people think they can trust me with these responsibilities?  Surely everyone knows that I’m a fraud, just as I know it.  One day, they will know that I’m not who they think I am and will point and say “SHAME!”

What Is Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor Syndrome is a pervasive feeling of self-doubt, insecurity, or fraudulence despite often overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  It strikes smart, successful individuals.  It often rears its head after an especially notable accomplishment, like admission to a prestigious university, public acclaim, winning an award, or earning a promotion. 

Source

I have felt like an impostor most of my life.

Why?

I don’t have a ready answer for that question.

When I was a child, I didn’t feel like I fit in with the other kids.  I wanted desperately to fit in, but my likes and dislikes didn’t fit in with theirs.  So, I changed, as best I could, to try to fit into their mould.  I loved wearing dresses in elementary school, but no one else did – so I forced myself to wear pants.  They loved music, I preferred my environment to be quiet and peaceful – when I did listen to music, it wasn’t what everyone else was listening to; so, again, I was labeled different.

Going into the teenage years is awkward enough for most kids; to me it seemed like everyone else had figured it out, but I was from another planet.  I liked school, loved learning – but that’s not what rebellious teenagers are supposed to do.  So I didn’t study, my one avenue that I could successfully rebel at – and succeeded with good grades anyway.  I was in honors classes, and I questioned why – I didn’t study, I didn’t want to care about getting good grades – couldn’t the adults see that?

And then it happened, I actually failed.  It came at a time when I should have been at the top of my glory – a senior in high school, a major part in a play, a leader on my team – and I failed English class.  School rules state you cannot participate if you fail – and I finally proved what no one else knew but me – I was a failure.  I was ashamed of myself.  I ran away, literally dropping out of school, certain that everyone was pointing at me behind my back.

The months that I was away from home were not all roses and fun, but neither was it gloom and doom either.  I learned a lot while I was away – about the world, about myself, and about life in general.

I had no direction, no purpose to my life at that point.  I fell into adulthood working, paying rent and wondering what was next.

Marriage – which was again a failure (if you count that I divorced him within 2 years).  Yes, I had my wonderful son Buddy out of the deal, but even that made me question myself at times.  Flotsam was ashamed of our son; he was ashamed of his disabilities; he was ashamed of me for “giving” him a disabled son.  The doubts would occasionally creep in, would make me wonder – am I a failure as a mother too?

Work was no better.  I was quickly promoted, a high-school drop-out, from employee to supervisor – the youngest in the company (I was only 21).  I had other employees questioning, within my hearing, what I had done to deserve the promotion over them?  I blew the comments off, I worked hard, and I learned all I could.  But still, I felt like I didn’t belong there.

Every few years, another promotion to another department, brought back the same doubts, the same questions – why?  Why do they believe in me?  Why do they trust me?

During this time I married Hun, with his three children; and Jetsam who openly questioned my value.  She acknowledged that I was a mother, but sneered that I was obviously not as good of a mother as she was.  That I failed at being a mother.  The kids, feeding off their mom’s disdain for me (desperate for her approval), echoed her statements, determined not to give me a chance.  So it became a self-fulfilling prophecy for them – in their eyes I am a failure of a parent.  Today, I still question what I did wrong; how, when I love these kids so much, how did I fail with them?  I question this as the failure is all mine.

And then it happened, at work I was promoted to the point that I could no longer succeed.  I failed and I could no longer handle the pressure.  I crumpled and quit, willing to throw away a 20 year career.  The stress of trying to prove that I was worthy was too great.  I was a failure and now everyone knew it.

I stepped back; I examined my life, my hopes, my dreams, my own desires.

My mind wandered – researching, learning, soaking-up how to find myself again.  Reading, podcasts, journaling, meditating; all in hopes of rediscovering who I truly am.

I concluded that I had not been living an authentic life; that I had been living my life for others, to make them happy rather than myself.  Glimpses of my true self had poked through, straining to free itself from the cage I had placed it in – trying to appear “worthy” of those around me who wanted me to be someone else, someone different.

The times I had stood up for not only myself, but for the kids – to Flotsam, to Jetsam, and even to Hun.

The time I had insisted that I wasn’t ready for a promotion – knowing in my heart that it would lead to the failure it finally did.

Ignoring those around me, admonishing me that I cared too much for kids who didn’t return my feelings, telling me to give up – standing my ground and saying “no, I will not!”

It has startled me, in writing this post, to come to the realization that I have been an impostor.  That I have good reason to feel like one – because I am one.

I have been trying to be someone I’m not all this time.  I have failed at being Karaboo.

All this time, I have been ashamed of who others think I am, instead of embracing the greatness of me.

Yes, I am stubborn – but that also means that I am determined, persistent, steadfast, tenacious and tough.

I can be opinionated – but also confident, bold, courageous, undaunted and self-assured.

I tend to be judgmental – which is a combination of my intuition, awareness, experience, reasoning and understanding – and more often than not, my insights are correct.

Finally, I have been accused of being uncaring – they see the surface of my intensity and not my passion, dedication, and spirit.

People who know me are going to say I have changed.

They will be right.

The Importance of Self Respect

In my last post, I mentioned that I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately.  One of the podcasts I’ve been listening to is Sean Wes and his Lambo Goals.  My cousin turned me on to these podcasts and I’ve really enjoyed listening to both of them.

One of his free podcasts (since I started listening to these, he’s made most of the podcasts part of a paid subscription), is titled:  6 ways to develop self discipline.

As with most podcasts I listen to, they are just background noise to my daily drive.  I am absorbing most of what I’m listening to, I just am not listening actively as my mind tends to wander as subjects filter through.  I know people who would claim this isn’t how I should be listening to these podcasts – but it works for me and I’m not going to apologize for it!

The day I began listening to this particular podcast, was like any other day.  Half my concentration was on the road ahead of me, the rest was partly on what the podcast was talking about and partly my mind wandering through other subjects.

Until the 6th way was discussed – then all of a sudden, I was all ears and concentration:

  1. Understand the Importance of Self Respect
  • 34:13 Sean: If someone you respect asks you to do something, are you going to do it? Of course you are, you respect them! Now, what about yourself? What if you tell yourself that you’re going to do something, are you going to do it? If not, you’re lacking self respect. It’s actually a deeper issue than just self-discipline.
  • 34:47 Self-discipline is saying you’re going to do something and following through with it, regardless of whether it’s comfortable or not. If you’re willing to do that for someone you respect and you’re not willing to do it for yourself, that means you have a lack of self respect.

I have struggled with self-discipline for years.  People who know me would disagree wholeheartedly – but it is true.  The reason there is such a disconnect from what others see versus what I see is exactly this:

If I tell THEM that I am going to do something – I do it.  I am true to my word.

If I tell MYSELF that I am going to do something – odds are not very good that I will accomplish my goals.

Why?

Because I lack self-respect.

I do not respect myself like I should.

Why do I not respect myself?  I don’t have an easy answer for this question.

In the past couple of weeks, I have had three separate sources mention “Impostor Syndrome”.  I have learned that whenever something is mentioned in my life multiple times, I need to research it – so that’s what I’ve been doing.  It resonates with me, but it isn’t the answer to why I don’t respect myself.

This subject of self-respect is elusive.  Researching it brings up a few articles, but mostly it devolves back to self-esteem.

Which is tricky – because I believe I have plenty of self-esteem – but little self-respect.  How can that be?

I am confident in my abilities towards others, but I am not confident in my abilities towards myself.

Examples:

  • Work – we need you to organize, collate and update this report that is 7 years behind; make sense of it; and get us current to satisfy regulatory requirements.
    • Me – no problem! (spends 2 weeks solid researching, organizing, collating and updating the report; emailing affected parties and prepping next 3 months of action plans to get the report current; assembling a process checklist so that others can do the same work in months to come without the report getting behind again.)
  • Self – you need to get on that elliptical, walk as long as you can (5 minutes is fine!), 5 days a week to improve your health.
    • Me – problem – I don’t want to get up that early. I work better when there’s no one home.  I hate having to get dressed in one outfit, only to have to change into another just a short time later.  I’d rather play on Facebook, Pinterest, or Candy Crush than crush it on an elliptical.

Why am I like this?  What can I do to fix myself?

I’m still working on it.  Like I said in my prior post – I am my biggest life project.

Accomplished

I’ve been away a while.  I needed to be.  I needed to figure out what I wanted from my life and what I wanted to do with myself.

I’m still a wife and mother.  I still work.  I still have a home, bills and everything that comes with life.

I still have depression.  I am still searching for my own happy place.

I have been listening to podcasts more and more lately.  I switched jobs back in August 2016, which has lead to a longer commute (funny how 3 extra miles gained 20 extra minutes to my drive time).  These podcasts focus on productivity, time management, business, and simplicity.

Simplicity – it seems like such an easy thing to accomplish.  However, the reality is that it can be very elusive.

So, as I focus on simplicity, the theme that has come up more than anything is goals for the new year.  Resolutions have never really worked for me.  I wasn’t sure why, but one of the podcasts I listened to brought some clarity to me and I plan on exploring the thought process in depth in the near future.

So, if I cannot seem to make resolutions work for me, how can I set goals for myself for this year?  I turned my thoughts to my friend Kate.  Over the years, she has focused not on resolutions or goals, but mantras; usually one word mantras that define the focus for the year for her.  The first year I met her, her focus was “Saying Yes”.  Yes to those things that scared her, yes to going out, yes to whatever life threw her way – it brought her out of her comfort zone and led to a ton of personal growth.

So, how could I do the same thing for myself?

I focused on what mantra I wanted to go with.  The one word that kept coming to me in all of my thoughts, dreams and meditations was:

Finished

Finished?  Why would this word keep coming back to me?  I looked around me – at the unfinished projects, unfinished goals, unfinished dreams, unfinished plans – and realized that the word was pretty close to what I needed to do in my life.

But I rebelled against the word “finished”.  It sounds so final.  So defeatist.  So done.

I’m not done.  I have a ton of things that I want to do with my life.  Done is not what I am.  I am my own biggest life project and I’m not done!

So I looked up synonyms to the word finished – and one word stood out to me – Accomplished.

I have projects that I want to accomplish.

I have goals that I want to accomplish.

I have plans that I want to accomplish.

Some of these accomplishments are one and done.  Most of my accomplishments in life are lifetime projects – only steps of which are truly accomplished.

Writing out all of my projects, goals and dreams led me to a long list of items I want to accomplish.  Some of them are easy, some of them are important and some of them are pie-in-the-sky wishes.  But it led to clarity in what I not only need, but want, to accomplish this year.

Accomplished

That is my goal for the year – to accomplish what I set out for myself.  I have 4 goals that I want to accomplish:

  • Study for and pass my certification test
  • Complete my mom’s flamingo project
  • Assemble and finish LaLa’s graduation blanket (it’s only been 3 years!)
  • Complete the crochet blanket I started 17 years ago.

I am going to accomplish what I set out for myself.

I can do this.