By Corinne Mossman
Life has a way of presenting us with a multitude of competing priorities, which can cause us to feel overwhelmed or stretched thin. I’ve personally experienced the weight of these pressures, accompanied by the never-ending pursuit of perfection and relentless doubts from imposter syndrome. I invite you to step into my vulnerable world as I share my ongoing journey of finding balance, prioritizing self-care, and learning to embrace imperfection.
Competing Priorities and the Art of Prioritization: Balancing competing priorities has been a constant theme in my life. The demands of work, ongoing education, personal commitments, and relationships often would leave me torn or overcome with the possibility of failing something or someone important to me. Toss in a pinch of “analysis paralysis” which occurs when overthinking prevents a decision, and you’ve got a perfect storm. It was essential for me to take a step back and reassess what truly mattered to me. I am learning to clarify my values and long-term goals, allowing them to guide my decision-making process. I am discovering the power delegating tasks when possible and saying “no” to avoid overcommitting. By doing so, I am reclaiming control over my time and prioritizing the things that align most closely.
Not Meeting Deadlines: There are instances when I miss deadlines, and the weight of disappointment settles heavily upon me. In the past I would let it shake my self-confidence and play into my imposter syndrome doubts. Now in these moments, self-compassion is my lifeline. Instead of scolding myself for falling short, I choose to view these setbacks as opportunities for growth. I am learning to reflect on the factors that contributed to missing the deadlines and make a conscious effort to learn from those experiences. I am starting to remind myself that setbacks do not define my worth and that it’s okay to stumble along the way.
The Weight of Imposter Syndrome: Imposter syndrome has been a constant companion on my journey. It whispers in my ear, questioning my abilities and achievements, making me doubt myself. But I’ve come to understand that many successful individuals experience imposter syndrome too. I began celebrating my accomplishments, no matter how small, and reminding myself that I have earned my place through hard work and dedication. Surrounding myself with a supportive network of friends and mentors who uplift and encourage me play a crucial role in combating the negative self-talk.
Managing Stress: Navigating the challenges of competing priorities and imposter syndrome bring about stress in anyone’s life. Recognizing the importance of self-care should be of utmost importance. I am trying to make a conscious effort to prioritize activities that rejuvenate my spirit and bring me joy. Whether it is taking walks in nature, practicing mindfulness, or engaging in creative hobbies, I am realizing that self-care is not a luxury but a necessity. The last few years have taught me to listen to my both my mind and body’s needs, nourish with healthy food, get sufficient restful sleep, and incorporate regular activity into my routine.
The Illusion of Perfection: I have often found myself caught in the trap of seeking perfection, convinced that flawless execution and unwavering productivity were the only paths to success. But in reality, this pursuit is nothing more than an illusion that leaves you feeling inadequate and drained. Everyone has a different version of what perfection looks like anyway, so by those criteria, perfection is unattainable. My imperfections are what make me unique and authentic.
This journey has been an ongoing process of self-discovery and growth. I’ve learned to let go of the pursuit of perfection and embrace the beauty of my imperfections. I remind myself that setbacks are not indicators of failure but opportunities for learning and resilience. As I continue on this journey, I encourage you to embrace imperfection, and be kind to yourself. I’m learning that true success lies not in perfection but in embracing our authentic imperfect selves.