I haven’t yet shared highvibED.com publicly (at the time of writing this blog) and I’ve already taken it offline. Twice.
Reason being, I took a couple hard tumbles in the opposite direction of high vibe and I was ashamed. I didn’t think I was measuring up to my expected perfect level of communication when engaging in a delicate conversation with some family members. I wanted the kind of communication that would allow for my most authentic expression and their immediate understanding. But that high vibe talking and listening I longed for just wasn’t flowing.
A familiar ol’ mental b-roll started playing in my mind. The kind that has crept in in low vibe times before. This time, in the form of Who do I think I am to talk conscious living? Clearly, I’m no expert at it... This is a huge undertaking. I’m already in over my head… Launching a blog based on the promotion of high vibe teaching, leading, parenting? More like… outing myself as a high vibe FAKE. –type thoughts. You know, the sort of stuff that really oozes confidence and self love. Pardon the sarcasm.
My ego likes to hold onto the myth that if I’m going to talk about something, I should be living it 100% of the time, perfectly. My wiser self recognizes that perfection doesn’t exist. Perfection equals expectation. And, expectation equals conditional love. That is, I’ll love myself or others only if certain conditions are met. This mentality of “should” means that if I’m not doing as I “should”, then I’m not doing enough. I’m not enough. I’m a sham. I am not worthy or deserving.
There is a term for the overarching disorder that takes over in moments like these. “Impostor syndrome” is a real thing. I first came across the term during week one of grad school and it can be defined as this:
A false and sometimes crippling belief that one’s successes are the product of luck or fraud rather than skill.
Its symptoms include:
- Feeling incompetent or inadequate
- Feeling like one doesn’t belong
- Analysis to the point of paralysis (inactivity); stopping before one begins
- Discounting successes and having difficulty accepting praise
- Being described as a perfectionist and over-achiever
- Fear that one isn’t naturally enough (shame)
Shame expert Brené Brown describes the essence of shame as “the fear of not being worthy of real connection”. She references shame as being “the swampland of the soul”. I wanted to delete this site because I felt unworthy of connecting with you all in this way. I felt I didn’t earn the right to write. I feared I didn’t belong in the sacred community of high vibers (even though I was fairly sure that wasn’t a thing). My soul was temporarily stuck in the muck and it took real courage to breathe, feel the fear, and do it anyway.
Because, in the high vibe life, integrity trumps comfort. Every time. I believe in connection, that we are worthy of each other’s attention, and that we’re in this together. And, I’ve committed to acting on what I believe. Even if it feels unfamiliar and uncomfortable at first.
To get unstuck I:
- Get real, acknowledge that I’m in a hard place, and remind myself to ease up. I ask, lightly, Why do I have to be perfect anyway? Who do I have to impress? Go easy on yourself. You do you.
- Say Thanks to the hard work that has brought me where I am today. I appreciate all the challenges and opportunities, ebbs and flows, my privilege and heartache. I douse myself in gratitude, because it is the antidote to fear.
- Honour and harness my inner critic. Every time I fumble or “fail” to be high vibe, my critic lets me know and I am presented with an opportunity to grow. I need to nurture my inner critic. Give her space to be heard to she can keep me humble.
Initial research found that women experience the Syndrome more fiercely than men, however 70% of us – regardless of sex – will experience it at some point in our lives. As a woman, though, it’s true I’ve been socialized to be pretty, sweet, gentle, eloquent, an exceptional multi-tasker, and such. Brené says, “For women, shame is do it all, do it perfectly, and never let them see you sweat … it’s a web of unattainable, conflicting competing expectation about who we’re supposed to be”. Therefore, if we don’t act, look or speak the way we “should” then society deems us unworthy and Impostor Syndrome thrives.
I admit that I’m not 100% high vibe, 100% of the time. No one is or needs to be. I’m no expert, but I’m also no impostor. It is the human experience to weave in and out of various levels of consciousness. It’s not all or nothing, this or that. It’s all of it. It’s messy, imperfect, beautiful, whole.
By the way, if Queen Brené is new to you, you might want to hop on over to view her TED talks, The Power of Vulnerability first, then Listening to Shame, read her books (starting with Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead), listen to a podcast with Oprah, Lewis Howes, etc., and follow her blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram
…. and be prepared to sign up for her #WholeheartedRevolution. She is High Vibe Tribe.