Life

How to Identify & Overcome Imposter Syndrome

The following blog was written by Dr. Eric Perry. I remember reading it when it was originally published. So thankful he shared it again because I really needed this message. Y’all, imposter syndrome is real and from my experience, debilitating. Hopefully Dr. Perry’s blog will help you as much as it has helped me. Enjoy! Shaun

Written by Dr. Eric Perry Image Credit: Pixabay “I have written 11 books but each time I think ‘Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game…

How to Identify & Overcome Imposter Syndrome
Life

Transparency

Being transparent does not mean sharing everything.

As many of you know, I am a big proponent for transparency. I believe that the more transparent a person is, the more human they are. I have always believed that people need to see the struggle or thought process behind the success in order to believe it for themselves. Well, that’s what I believed up until a couple of hours ago. Now, I’m not so sure if that is true.

Here is what just happened to me (yep.. another transparent moment). Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend about a venture. She suggested that I pursue something I had done in the past but not really interested in doing now. We discussed it for a while and I was like, nah, the timing isn’t right. Fast forward to two hours ago when I came across a Facebook memory from 2017 of me actually doing exactly what my friend and I had discussed. Y’all already know I’m emotional so the first thing I wanted to do was share the news with everyone. I wanted to tell everyone that that was where God was leading me. I wanted to share that that particular memory was the confirmation I needed. God instructed my to only tell my friend, the one who I discussed it with. Instead I shared it on Facebook. Immediately I felt convicted. I knew I was not supposed to share it with everyone. You want to know how I knew? Not even 30 minutes before, on another account, I saw this message and saved it.

Yep.. So I went back and made the post private. I did not delete it because it is still confirmation but also a reminder to be obedient. Allowing God to lead sometimes means I cannot be as transparent as I would like to be, and keeping moves to myself does not make me any less human.

I’m learning.

Shaun

Life

Wednesday Writings

It’s not Wednesday yet, but it will be by the time I finish writing. I just need to get this out before I go to sleep. Can’t have this heaviness weighing on me.

Warning: This blog is about one of my favorite television shows. Please feel free to stop reading at any time. Believe me, I know it’s not that interesting. I just need to get this off my chest.

Here we go…

I don’t know why certain things bother me so much. Tonight I was watching one of my favorite shows – Tyler Perry’s The Oval – and there was this scene between this married couple that really upset me. Here’s a little of their backstory:

Richard and Nancy have been married for about 24 years. While Richard was deployed Iraq, Nancy had an affair with Richard’s father and had a son. Nancy kept this secret for over 20 years by pretending he was her nephew. Well, after her son was shot and killed she decided to tell Richard the truth – her nephew was actually her son. AND the only reason she told him was because she needed help with paying for her son’s burial. Can you imagine holding a secret like that for years and only confessing because you’re in a bind? Well, that’s what Nancy did. Honestly, I wasn’t as upset about the secret as I was about how she shared the news. She just blurted it out. No shame. No guilt. No remorse. Just blurted it out. She needed Richard’s help and believed that since he was her husband he was supposed to happily give her the money. She could care less about the weight of the news she had just dropped on him. Talk about trifling!

Okay, now on to the part about the baby being his father’s. So, after Richard found out about Nancy’s son, he wanted to know the father’s identity. For weeks he begged her to tell him. Every time he asked, she would blow him off saying it didn’t matter because it was in the past. Well the more she blew him off, the worse things got between them. He kept telling her that all he wanted was the truth. Since she wouldn’t tell him, he decided he would have an affair of his own. Nancy found out about the affair – which never happened because the other lady didn’t want to be in the middle of their mess – and confessed that she had slept with his father. Of course Richard became upset because he assumed his father raped her. Ha! Not the case at all! She actually seduced his father. Said she was lonely. Now that really made him angry. Okay, so maybe this is when he tried to mess around on her but his love interest didn’t want to be involved in their mess. Talk about a smart move on her part. She saw the exit and took it. Lol

Anyway, Richard managed to avoid Nancy for weeks until tonight. Tonight he gave in and I lost all respect for him. Yes, I lost all respect for a fictional character. It was as if the sex made him forget the hurt and betrayal. Just thinking about it makes me feel sick. So many people were tweeting how happy they were that Nancy finally got her man back. Ugh.. I was not happy at all. In fact, I was pretty upset. How could he give in that easily. Yes, she apologized with words but her actions didn’t show that she was truly sorry. Yes, she continued to try to love on him hoping he would eventually come around; however.. and here’s the kicker.. she never once acknowledged his feelings. Instead she kept telling him that the affair happened years before and that he shouldn’t be upset because she never did it again. But what difference did that make. Whether it happened over 20 years before or the day before, the pain was still the same, especially since he had just found out.

So here’s why it upset me. I believe if someone hurts you and they are truly sorry for their actions, they will selflessly give you time and space to feel, to be, and to heal; and not discount your feelings. Your feelings matter.

I really needed to get that out. I know the characters are fictional and the drama is definitely fake; however, sometimes things are a little too real. I remember being hurt and feeling betrayed. Even though my feelings weren’t acknowledged, they mattered. One thing I regret is not taking the time to feel and heal. Instead I bottled everything up inside and pretended not to hurt. Now I’m feeling. And healing. What a process.

God is good.

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday

Happy Sunday! Wishing all of you a fabulous day. Today I am carrying over yesterday’s suggestion to take things easy. For some reason, I found myself really tense yesterday. I could feel it in my back and neck. My daughter suggested that I get a massage but I declined. Woke up this morning feeling better but still tense. I know what happened. I allowed the mental stress of last week to build up. For months I managed to avoid being super stressed. Then last week it happened. Looking back I can see what happened. Making a mental note not to allow it to happen again. I cannot afford to go backwards. I must continue moving forward.

On a more positive note! Yesterday, I attended the first day of our national dietetics conference. Honestly, I had no intentions of attending the virtual conference. Virtual experiences just are not the same as in person experiences. Well, at the last minute I decided to attend and I am glad I did. During yesterday’s session, I had the opportunity to chat and tweet with other registered dietitians. Of course it was not the same as interacting with them in person, but it made me feel somewhat normal again. I’m attending more sessions today and tomorrow. Hopefully this is the last year we meet virtually. I need human contact. Smile

You know what, I can already feel the tension easing. This week is going to be a stress-free week because I am going to intentionally make sure it is.

As always, thanks for reading. Please enjoy your week!

Shaun

Life

Wednesday Writings

This morning I woke up with Whitney Houston’s I Didn’t Know My Own Strength playing over and over in my head. Truthfully, how I have made it thus far is a blur. As I look back over my adulthood, I’m amazed at how many challenges I encountered and actually overcame. Some, I thought I would never make it through. Yet I’m here. I made it!

Transparent Moment –

Last night I received a credit alert informing me that my credit score had increased in double digits. In tears as I write. Allow me to share why this is so significant. Here’s my story.

When I was 23 years old, I filed for bankruptcy. At the time, I was a single mom with a debt I believed I could not repay. My daughter was almost two years old and daycare was eating up most of my paycheck – especially when I worked 12 hour shifts on nights and weekends. Therefore, I relied on credit cards to purchase food and necessities and pay bills.

The other day I was looking through old photos and came across pictures of my first apartment. I had moved from a small, fully furnished trailer/mobile home to this huge empty apartment, and the only living room furniture I could afford was two black bean bag chairs and a small stool, which held my lamp. I remember sleeping in my daughter’s toddler bed (I’m short- smile) until I could get a bed of my own. Which, of course, was purchased on credit. Needless to say, by the time my daughter was two, I was drowning in debt. I knew I had to find a way out and I believed bankruptcy was the solution. Some of you may ask why I did not ask for help since I was in the military. Well, I was too embarrassed to ask for help. I was constantly being praised for being a young, single mom with my life “together,” so it was hard asking for help. Talk about the stress of trying to be perfect, all while falling apart inside. It was too much!

Just like the day I decided to join the Air Force, deciding to file for bankruptcy was a spontaneous move. I did not have a plan in place nor a lawyer in mind. One day I just woke up and decided to search the yellow pages of the phone book for a bankruptcy lawyer. Listen, one thing about me, when I’m fed up with my circumstances, I will find a way out. Sometimes I do not make the best decisions but I get out. After finding a lawyer who seemed kind on paper (and he was very kind), I scheduled a meeting. Two months and $850 later, the majority of my debt was gone. I still had my car and furniture notes, but I could breathe again. It wasn’t until years later that I actually looked at the amount of debt charged off – $6500. Only $6500 worth of debt. I cannot believe such a small amount of debt caused so much anguish.

Fast forward to about eight years ago. For the second time in my life, I was drowning in debt, but this time I was married and making more money than I ever had. Two incomes and I was living off of payday loans – five payday loans to be exact – three local and two online, plus credit card debt. Yep.. that’s how I was living. I was a mess! I have never been into material things (clothes, shoes, bags, cars, etc.), but I loved to travel and I loved food (and still love both – smile). Honestly, I’m not sure when everything got out of hand, but it did. The sad part is my ex-husband had no idea. He was clueless about what was happening. He never knew how I made ends meet because everything that was in his name was always paid first. I made sure of that.

Months before we separated, I had watched the documentary Spent: Looking for Change . Y’all, that documentary changed my life. I finally felt like I wasn’t the only one who had gotten in over my head and couldn’t get out. So many of the stories resonated with me. The thing that mostly stood out was the sharers willingness to make hard sacrifices to get out of debt. Afterwards, I was inspired to change. Unfortunately, at the time that I chose to clean up my debt, my marriage was also ending. I remember finally paying off my last payday loan only to have my ex reroute his direct deposit to another account. This caused our joint, and my only, account to be overdrawn. All of the automatic payments that came out on the first of the month were either paid through overdraft or returned. I was hundreds in the whole. The only way I knew to get out was to either write more checks (payday loans), try to get a long-term loan, ask him for money (which was what he wanted) or let it ride. I decided to let it ride until the electricity was cut off. Sigh. I’m not going to retell everything that happened during the following months because I don’t want to relive it. Just know that that particular year was one of my hardest – from driving a car that was on its last leg to foreclosure, but I made it through!

Now, here I am seven years after the separation (now divorce), making far less money, in a fairly new house and car (no car note), barely any credit card debt, money in my bank account and savings, bills paid and my credit score increasing. Yesterday, I went to start my car and the battery was dead. Now I’m really in tears. You don’t know how good it felt to be able to purchase a battery without worrying about where the money would come from or what sacrifices I would have to make just to purchase it.

Y’all, I have come a long way to get where I am today. It was not easy. Believe me, the struggle was real. I’m so grateful I stuck with God and allowed Him to lead. For real! It was because of Him that I made it. One day I’ll share my entire story. Believe me, it was all God. Yep.. I’m crying. It was ALL God!

As always, thank you for reading. Wishing you an absolutely wonderful day.

Be Blessed

Shaun