How to battle impostor syndrome


In my practice, the most common confession clients share is that they think they’re a failure or a fraud. “Why are other people so self-assured while they struggle with constantly feeling inadequate?” they think.

This feeling of inadequacy followed one of my clients, Mandi, to work and was beginning to hold her back in her career. By all outward standards, Mandi is successful. She has multiple college degrees, a well-paying job, and was recently promoted to a management position.  

Yet nearly every day she goes to battle with her inner critic, the voice in her head that says she’s not good enough or smart enough. She worries that someday soon she’ll finally be exposed as unqualified for her job. In an attempt to control her fear, she’ll stay up all night perfecting projects before submitting them. Even though her team praises her work, Mandi is quick to poke holes and criticize
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Instant Insight: There’s no need to sparkle


You don’t have to be in a store that sells throw pillows to know that there is already enough pressure to shine, seize the day, and be wild or bold or fearless. And while this isn’t terrible advice, motivation and success aren’t one-size-fits-all propositions. There is strength in being comfortable and confident in your own place.

With that inspiration in mind, we offer this week’s Instant Insight:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips to help you keep it real
Bust through obstacles on your way to greatness with Unstuck Tip Cards — four reusable decks that help you fight procrastination, stop negative thinking, boost productivity, and get more creative.
Learn
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3 easy ways to stay optimistic


Stop me if you’ve heard this one: You finally manage to schedule dinner with a group of friends that you never get to see. The food is delicious and the service great — even during an awkward moment when you order your meal and loudly mispronounce the dish. (Coq au vin is a cruel mistress.) The embarrassing exchange happens in less than 15 seconds, but when you think back on it a few days later, you still cringe.

What gives? Overall, the dinner was fantastic and your faux pas was a momentary blip. Why does the one small part of a highly enjoyable, two-hour event get prime billing in your memory reel?

The spell of negative thinking

This all-too-familiar phenomenon is called the “negativity bias” and it’s pretty much universal. Our brains are hardwired to prioritize bad, difficult, or painful thoughts over positive ones.

Making matters worse, negative events quickly lodge themselves in our
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Video: 3 techniques to becoming more self-aware


We recently talked about the many benefits of cultivating more self-awareness and what it takes to see ourselves more fully. It’s not always an easy task, but there are plenty of ways to do it.

We thought of five exercises. Tasha Eurich, who wrote the book on self-awareness, outlines three other ways to think about becoming self-aware from a more strategic point-of-view. Have a look below:

 

 

Tips to help you keep it real
Bust through obstacles on your way to greatness with Unstuck Tip Cards — four reusable decks that help you fight procrastination, stop negative thinking, boost productivity, and get more creative.
Learn
read more

Why are mental health days such a big deal?


It all started with an email from Madalyn Parker, a web developer in Michigan. “I’m taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health,” Parker recently wrote to a few members of her office. “Hopefully I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%.”

Here’s how Ben Congleton, her boss and the company’s CEO, replied:

 

Hey Madalyn, I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this. Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health – I can’t believe this is not standard practice at all organizations. You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.

Depending on where you live or what you do, this correspondence might not seem like anything remarkable. However, after Parker tweeted
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8 great quotes for Nelson Mandela Day


Nelson Mandela Day, July 18, was designated by the UN General Assembly in 2008 as a call to action to make the world a better place. An unarguably worthy pursuit.

At Unstuck, we believe that pursuit starts with ourselves. As we each strive, individually, to be more patient, understanding, and open, as well as less critical, prideful, and resistant, we can’t help but contribute to a better world.  

In celebration of Mr. Mandela, and all of us who seek to be our best selves, we offer eight inspiring Mandela quotes, paired with some actionable Unstuck advice.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Read this: How to boost your stick-to-it-tiveness

 

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Read this: Are
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It’s high time to make a mid-year resolution


No matter how hard we try to make effective resolutions each new year, an estimated 80 percent(!) of them fail by the second week of February. There are plenty of reasons for this: Cold weather for some, the post-holiday blues for others. Some researchers believe that the most depressing day of the year is in late January, which hardly seems like the time to add the pressure of your loftiest ambitions to the equation.

But who says that resolutions have to be set in January? And who says that you can’t rededicate yourself again in the summer? Regardless of whether your old goals still loom or if they’ve been replaced by more pressing ones, we’ve made this handy printable guide with 10 tips to recharge your resolutions.

DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE: Stalled on your goal? 10 tips to get going again 

 

 

 

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What cultivating more self-awareness can do for you


Anyone who’s ever been stuck at brunch listening to someone bragging about a date they had the night before knows how important and elusive self-awareness can be.

The term itself is loaded and complicated. The Oxford English dictionary defines it simply as “conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.” But there is a lot more to self-awareness than being in touch with yourself.

The power and challenges of self-awareness

The power of being self-aware is that it helps you become conscious of your own habits and decide if you need to change them. It also helps you realize when you’ve told a joke that quite didn’t land or pushes you to speak louder when you sense that someone can’t quite hear you. But it’s a difficult balance; becoming too self-conscious can be just as dangerous as not being aware enough of your own tendencies.

Making matters worse, people are less self-aware than we think
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Why you should always nap with a spoon


The slow part of my day — when there isn’t any wind in my sails — is usually between 2:30 and 4:30. With lunch eaten and afternoon work piling up, time seems to slow down. Minutes take what feels like hours to pass. Thoughts seem to slow down with the time and energy takes a massive dip. For me, the choice it always comes down to seems to be between coffee and a nap.

For a long time, coffee usually won. That’s because of an abiding love of coffee, of course, but it’s also because I used to be a terrible napper. In fact, it wouldn’t be much of an overstatement to say that I actually hated naps. Instead of refreshing breaks, they felt more like terrible miniature comas that I would awake from even more drained and grumpy than before. And they almost always lasted much longer than I expected, so
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6 motivating mantras to live by


Here at Unstuck, we recently explored the unexpected benefits of talking to yourself, which may help you find clarity and motivation in your life. But, for some, this tactic may introduce a completely new question: What if you don’t know what to say?

One good option is a mantra. Reciting a mantra — which translates to “mind instrument” in Sanskrit — is a favorite practice among meditators and yogis alike. Its aim is to provide a positive and transportive guard, either against distraction or feelings of worry. Though mantras have traditionally been very precisely chosen words, they have also come to simply be the words we live by, be it meaningful quotes or inspirational phrases.

Recently, we posted a call for mantras on Twitter and here is one response we especially liked: “If you’re gonna be a bear, be a grizzly!” If you have a mantra you live by, we’d love to
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