Thanks for Stopping By!

Today is the last day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’d like to say thank you to the organizers, and to everyone who stopped by my blog!

I’ve enjoyed blogging every day, but thinking of topics hasn’t been easy, even with the tips from the organizers. So I think I’m going to go back to the once-a-week blogging thing I’d been doing. I blog here on Thursdays (except February 1, because I’m giving myself a break), and on my author blog on Mondays.

Hope to see you soon!

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is basically the belief that any success you have is a fluke, and that the people around you will figure out you’ve just faked your way to where you are. You downplay your accomplishments and find plenty of excuses why those accomplishments don’t really mean anything.

I found a great post about imposter syndrome recently, so rather than rehash it, I thought I would share: “Do You Suffer from the Imposter Syndrome? by Cindy J. Holbrook.

Others Don’t Define You

Sometimes it’s easy to get hung up on what other people think of us. We try so hard to be what we think others want us to be, or do what we think they want us to do. We try to avoid being judged, but we’re all human, and not judging or being judged is nearly impossible.

But the thing is, other people’s opinions of you aren’t the ones that matter. Even the opinions of those closest to you don’t matter as much as your opinion of yourself.

Things others have said to or about you in the past might have contributed to how you view yourself in the present, but you don’t have to let others thoughts and words define you. You have the power to create yourself as the person you want to be, and no one can take that away from you unless you let them.

Look at yourself and see what’s really there, not what other people tell you they see.

Healthy Eating

I try to eat healthy. I really do. But it isn’t as easy as it seems. I always seem to get hung up wanting something sweet.

The thing I’ve learned that seems to work best is to moderate what I eat in terms of portion sizes. If I try to eat only healthy foods, I’ll end up craving sweet things, and eventually I’ll completely screw up the plan and just go nuts with cookies or ice cream or something. But if I make those things *part* of the plan, along with things that actually are healthy, it works out a lot better for me.

My Bucket List

There are a lot of things I hope to do in my life. Some of them are not necessarily probable, but I’m hoping for them to happen anyway. Other things are ones that I can make happen, if I believe in myself and keep trying.

I want to resurrect my writing career. For several years, I was a published author, writing two very different types of things under two separate pen names. A few years ago, a combination of poor sales and some personal life things derailed the writing, and now I’m facing the first year since 2009 in which I don’t have anything under contract with, or even being considered by, a publisher. For the time being, I’m taking it easy and writing just because I enjoy it, but I hope to resume writing for publication.

I want to do public speaking presentations on my message of self-acceptance and the power to change. I was trying to build that from nothing other than some Facebook Live videos, but I found myself having difficulty finding venues to contact and, more importantly, believing in myself enough to contact them. (Yes, sometimes I have trouble believing in myself. I am, as I said a few posts ago, still on my journey.) So now I’m focusing on contacting libraries and schools to do presentations there, while I continue working on the other aspect of what I hope will become a career in transformational speaking.

I want to travel. I’ve done a little bit of traveling in my life, but there are so many places I’d like to go!

I want to sing onstage, with live musicians. So far the closest I’ve gotten to that is karaoke, which isn’t exactly the same thing.

Those are the big things on my want-to-do list. What do you have on your bucket list?

My Favorite TV Shows

Just for something different and more light-hearted today, in no particular order, here are seven of my favorite TV shows.

  1. Goblin: The Lonely and Great God. This is a Korean drama that was partly filmed in Quebec. I kind of have a thing for Korean dramas, to the extent that I’m trying to learn Korean so I don’t have to always read the subtitles.
  2. Gotham. Because Batman and other heroes and villains. I have a thing for superheroes too.
  3. Lucifer. The ultimate antihero, except he turns out to be pretty heroic in some ways.
  4. Shut Up Flower Boy Band. Another Korean drama, from 2012, with some kick-butt music.
  5. This Is Us. I like the way they weave in the characters’ pasts and presents.
  6. The Orville. Given who’s behind this show, I was prepared for offensive potty humor, but it actually manages to be a good homage to shows like Star Trek. And some of the plots really make me think, which is always a plus.
  7. Runaways. Because superheroes again, but this time teenagers, some of whom are heroic with no special powers at all.

Being Happy With Yourself

There isn’t anything wrong with wanting to change things about yourself. All of us go through times when we recognize the need to change, and life is an ongoing process of growth and change anyway.

But when you decide you want to make a change, first take a look at what you’re changing and try to accept it, or even be happy with it.

Being happy with who you are doesn’t automatically mean there’s nothing to change. It just means that you’ve chosen to recognize that you are a good person with good qualities, and that you’ve chosen to love and accept all parts of yourself, whether or not you want to hold onto those parts.

The first step to making a positive change is to have a positive reason for wanting to do so. If you’re trying to change something about yourself because you don’t like it and don’t want it, you might not be as successful as if you want to change it because you see something better waiting for you on the other side of the change. “Don’t-wanting” the way you are now puts your energy into staying that way, even if that isn’t what you intend, whereas wanting something different will put your energy into the new thing.

Even the aspects of yourself that you want to change are part of what makes up you as a person. You as a person deserve love and respect, and so do the things you want to change, even if they aren’t going to remain part of who you are.

Accept Your Past

One common piece of advice I’ve heard and seen from many sources is to let go of the past. Stop letting it affect you and define you, and move beyond it.

I completely agree with that, but I believe that before you can let it go, you need to accept that it happened. That doesn’t mean being okay with everything, and it definitely doesn’t mean liking everything that’s happened to you. It means simply saying, for example, “Okay, that did happen. It sucked, and it caused me harm, but it happened.”

Your past doesn’t define you, but things that occurred, and more importantly how you handled them, does contribute to who you are, in both positive and negative ways. We build strength by living through and living beyond certain things. We might have gained compassion for others who are in similar situations. Everything that happens in your life, whether good or bad or somewhere in between, adds to the person you are.

If you try to let go of your past by pretending it didn’t happen, as some people seem to do, you’re not only rejecting the events. You’re rejecting a part of yourself. The part that went through those events and rose from them.

You can definitely learn how to stop being affected and defined by your past. It’s desirable to do so, because you are the person you are today, not the one you were then. But there’s a difference between not being affected and defined by your past, or denying it altogether. Part of accepting yourself, even when it’s painful, is accepting the negatives of your life.

Listen to Yourself

Most of us get advice from one time or another, whether we ask for it or not. Sometimes we find information online that’s meant to help us. Well-meaning people make suggestions about how to improve our lives. There’s a wealth of beliefs and thoughts and statements about who we can be, who we should be, and how to get there.

When you’re bombarded with all these messages, it can be difficult to figure out who and what to listen to. Everything sounds reasonable. Some of it sounds like things you could do, or want to do. But there are just so many things to pay attention to, and they can’t all be right.

At times like that, listen to yourself first. Just because something is right for someone else, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. No one knows you better than you know yourself, and that means if you take the time to think about it, to really listen to your inner self, you do know what will and won’t work. So give yourself credit for knowing these things, and listen to yourself above anyone else.