You shouldn’t need proof in black and white that you’re good enough. But when I received my dissertation mark the stress of the past few months felt worth it. The sleepless nights leading up to results day did not.
It’s one thing being stressed about a project. It’s another agonising over it once it’s done. Not because you don’t think it’s good enough but because you know your feelings of not being good enough will remain once the project is over.
I cannot hold onto achievements. I think that’s something inherent in the human race. Positivity lasts a second while we can dwell on the negatives of a situation for days, weeks, months.
The imposter in me is strong today. It believes that this mark is a fluke, that all the hard work I put in counts for nothing. Maybe it even got mixed up with someone else’s. These ideas almost sound delusional. And I’m sick of feeling time and time again that I’m not good enough only to be presented evidence that suggests maybe I am to then immediately begin the cycle again. The cycle where the “not good enough” part represents 90% of my time and the “maybe good enough portion” equals 10%.
So I want things to change. And here’s how I’m doing it.
Write a positive affirmation
I know, I know. Positive affirmations sound wanky and like they’re not going to work but let’s just suspend belief and give them a try, okay? I’ve dedicated a page in the front of my daily journal to look at every day with a few lines to remind myself of every day. Writing down that you are good enough and that you deserve happiness is a good way to refresh those thoughts even when you wake up feeling the opposite.
Share your successes
I’ve always been really embarrassed to admit when I’m doing well. I think this is partly because I hate boasting anyway but also that I often feel that I’m not worthy of my successes (hello impostor syndrome). So I’m trying to get out of that habit as it only stands to reinforce my negative feelings. Now when I do well I’m trying not to shy away from telling others.
Work on traps of negative thinking
My biggest downfall is overgeneralising situations. If something bad happens once, I find it very hard to do the thing again and not think that something bad will happen this time. This is really hard to stop doing but just being aware that this is a pattern I tend to fall into has been a hugely helpful way for me to do something about it.
Do you fall into these traps? Have you found ways to combat it? Let me know in the comments!