It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, it’s that I’m too shy to say anything. Publicly, that is.Lauren Erickson, Student
I have this perpetual fear of not being “enough,” complemented with a steaming hot side dish of “imposter syndrome.” I’m positive that’s something almost everyone has experienced or tasted the residual energy of. And the thing is, I think everyone has gotten caught a time or two in the prickly clutches of Not-Enoughness and/or Imposter Syndrome, whether it be through mental health battles, self-image, or what have you. By now, I’m an expert at detecting what my depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem look like, sound like, and feel like. The part of people’s stories I’ve always and will forever be captivated by are their personal transformations– what I’ve started calling their, “conscious evolutions.”
I believe it’s extremely important to learn from our inner conflicts through a conscious shift in perspective, as well as document it all as much as possible so others can, to paraphrase Ehraz Ahmed, take a piece of it to add to their own survival guides.
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A couple months ago, I decided to organize every single journal entry I’ve ever written–sixteen years-worth–into one big, chronological compilation of thoughts. In fact, I literally named the thing, “All My Thoughts From 2004 to 2020.” I was so excited about it that I ended up writing it all in two days.
Two hundred and twenty pages, folks.
In two days.
And you know what? I discovered something amazing. Despite the heap of depressive and deeply introspective comments on said Not-Enoughness and Imposter Syndrome, there were also a decent handful of nice entries. I had forgotten I’d written them, and they ultimately came together into one beautiful life theme: self-compassion.
With everything I’ve been through, with the weight of all the expectations I’ve placed on my shoulders on behalf of everyone else, I learned how resilient I was, how much credit I denied myself, and how strong I actually, truly was.
I was tough in the softest way.
Like the Michelin Tire Man.
It was one of the most rewarding experiences I ever offered to myself, and it was then that I realized the importance of writing through your life. Of documenting your own personal progress. And, even more importantly, sharing that wisdom with others. It’s imperative to offer the things that comforted you during challenging times. What helped you? What kept you soft?
Books, journals, playlists, songs, daydreams, poems. These things mean something on purpose.
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How would you like to inspire others?
Everyone has something to say about how they processed an experience, digested an emotion, or learned to be their own best friend. If you’re not much for writing, it’s absolutely worth exploring other platforms. There are videos, podcasts, book reviews. If you don’t want to create something, then empathize with something.
I’m learning to become more comfortable with my own thoughts and in my own skin. I have something worth listening to and so do you. Whether or not you think you’re an interesting person, it is interesting to watch how someone understands something. There’s a different language for every experience and what you have to say could be someone’s favorite survival tip.
So above all else, this is what I have to offer: express something that’s meaningful to you and believe it’s allowed to take up space.
Provide a link for people to check out what you are up to
See Lauren’s YouTube Channel here
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