No costume needed.
“Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move.”― Osho
Having battled with imposter syndrome for so so long in my 20s but somehow learnt to manage it as I turned into my 30s, I have come to realize that it is not about conquering or denying my fear, but about choosing to dive into and even make friend with it.
We live in a world that believes in an outdated definition of success. For women, success is not only measured by the kind of job/business we have, but also by when and whether we will get married and have babies, and whether we can still look pretty while juggling our many roles.
The fear of not being able to meet these expectations can be overwhelming, or worse, paralysing.
I have been there and looking back, my biggest obstacle to live more authentically (or successfully) has been my limiting beliefs.
Below are some lessons I have learnt during my journey to become the woman I want to be and pursue goals that I once thought were too “big” for me (such as launching a plant-based leather handbag line and a vegan supplement line for women).
This post serves as a reminder for my future self and female readers out there — We are all heroines of our lives.
Not only we are totally capable of saving ourselves from whatever mess we are in, but we are also capable of being truly successful, by our own standards.
Define Your Own Version of Success
How do you define success?
It can be as simple as spending more quality time with your loved ones, to creating an impact on the world.
Your definition of success does not need anyone’s validation except yours.
Also know that success is not an outcome but a journey, a personal and sometimes lonely one.
Review and refine what success means to you consistently is a good way of keeping yourself conscious of what you are pursuing and whether you are in the rat race with no purpose.
My personal definition of success is currently very simple — to fulfil my potential and be a better version of myself than yesterday.
Show Up Afraid
Our fear exists to protect us from danger, but as Osho said, fear is the antithesis of freedom.
Instead of trying to deny or escape from your fear, it may be more effective to live with your fear and to even make friend with it.
Ask yourself, “what is the risk of pursuing and NOT pursuing this? And if the worst happens, so what?”
Time and again, these questions have helped me recognise not only my fears but also desires, and find that either “the worst” actually doesn’t bother me that much, or that a reality check is needed for me to take calculated risks.
Either way, these questions have encouraged me to show up afraid.
Showing up afraid is hard but it is the only way to strive. If you don’t show up for yourself, who else will?
Take Things at Your Own Pace
Just because people at your age are doing this and that doesn’t mean you have to follow their paths. Chances are, they have their own struggles which you don’t see from their seemingly good lives.
Remember that this is your story — you get to decide the pace. Trust that your current circumstance is no coincidence as it happens for you, and it is up to you to discover and learn whatever that means.
There is no ideal time for anything except for growing yourself. Take as much time as you need and give yourself the space to find the answers you are looking for.
When in doubt, listen to your soul, not your ego, and definitely not the crowd.
Develop a System
You hear me, self-discipline alone won’t help you succeed.
Success is a journey — There will be good days and great days, but there will also be bad days.
On these bad days, it helps to have a system in place.
Develop a system with habits that aligns with your goals, so even on days when you don’t feel like doing anything, you have a system to fall back on.
For me, my system includes habits such as reading for one hour every morning and doing a weekly review every Sunday. My system keeps me on track of my goals and progress.
Vulnerability is Sign of Bravery
Just because you are a strong and resilient woman doesn’t mean you are not supposed to expose your vulnerabilities.
On the contrary, admitting your vulnerabilities is the ultimate act of bravery.
Of course, choose the right people to expose those wounds. Everyheroine has a support crew, build one and don’t be shy to ask for help and support when needed.
Finally, be Chill!
You can’t control everything in life — let go of things and circumstances that you can’t change.
Overthinking and worrying about them will not solve anything. It will only take a toll on you (worse yet, probably no one cares…). There are enough other things for you to focus your energy on.
I mean, let review your definition of success and be successful for yourself!
Be happy for the simple fact that, you exist and you have so much potential to pursue whatever your heart desires.
Remember, you are the heroine of your life and you get to write your own story.