Stop Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

I’ve been guilty of this for years. No matter how successful I am, or the good things that come my way, I’m still waiting for the other…

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Out riding in Myles Standish State Forest in Massachusetts. Photo credit: Stacey Stearns

I’ve been guilty of this for years. No matter how successful I am, or the good things that come my way, I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. It comes in different fashions, waiting for the “but” statement when I receive a compliment or the constant self-doubt in my mind.

Here’s a secret. The other shoe probably will drop, and it’s outside of our control. I’ve had medical hiccups, made mistakes at work, and said things I regret to those I’m closest to. We all have. The important thing is not to dwell on the past. Focus on the here and now, and enjoy the good moments.

The other shoe may not drop today (or ever), so why tarnish a happy memory with worry and self-doubt?

It took me a long time to get to this place in life. Last year, I was struggling with self-doubt again. I read The Leadership Gap by Lolly Daskal. I immediately recognized myself in the rebel leader archetype, and the imposter syndrome that this archetype must overcome. In her book, Lolly offers advise for overcoming the imposter syndrome, and they are tips we can all use:

“Stop comparing yourself to others,

Make a list of your accomplishments,

Remind yourself there is no such thing as perfect, and

Create an inner circle that supports you.”

What do I take away from all of this? I need to own my success and my failures. And so do you. Each of us has unique talents and gifts that we share with the world around us. We are valued by our family and friends for different reasons. We are on a different journey and at a different place in our lives than those around us. Keep all of these thoughts with you. Continue to learn, grow, and achieve.

Reading a book, article, or attending a seminar is not a cure-all. It’s a reminder. We need to constantly be learning, improving, and chasing the shadows out of our minds. Jon Gordon makes a good point when he states that we shouldn’t listen to the voices in our head, we need to talk to ourselves instead. Fill your mind with positive thoughts.

I incorporate several different strategies into my routine:

Write thank you notes to those who lift you up along the way.

Get outside. The nature fix is real. I try and go for a walk every day at work and home. On the weekends, I’m out riding a horse.

Support your friends and family. Lift others up, and in turn you will feel better about yourself. It’s so important that we all help each other.

Keep reading and learning. I learn something from every book or article I read. And many times, they are filled with good reminders that I needed to re-learn.

Make time for fun. It can’t be all work or you will sabotage yourself.

The next time you start thinking the other shoe might drop, stop. Change the recording in your head. Go for a walk. Write a thank you note. List your accomplishments. Call a friend. Remember that your contributions to this world are unique and needed.

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