The Impostor Syndrome and self-sabotage are best friends forever.

A lot has been said and discussed in the past couple of weeks. Mostly with my coworkers and my outside of work friends about the impostor syndrome and the self-sabotage most of us suffer from. Some of us suffer in silence because if you say it out loud, you make it real and a problem to be solved.

I’m the queen of self-sabotage. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s because I rather play it safe, than take the risks I need in order to get things done. You can see it clearly in my writing. In my mind, I already failed too much, too many times. I keep thinking that the clock is ticking and I’m getting nothing out of life, when in fact, I’m just protecting myself from another failure.

That’s how I was raised. I was never good at school, so why would I even try it? I was always mocked by family members, until recently, when I decided to go to Culinary school.

“You never cooked. Why do you want to try this now? What are you gonna cook by the way?” they said with a smirk on their face.

Life passes by me because even though I’m not a great mastermind, I still can get things done when my brain it’s not being interrupted by self-consciousness. I saw a meme on Instagram the other day saying “I can cook, study, be a good mom, a good employee, a good wife and so on” and one of my friends said “I can also do all that, but I’m not good at any of it” and that’s exactly how I feel.

The pressure to be good at everything these days is exhausting.

I have been looking for help in podcasts, my horoscope, my close friends, people that know me from childhood, and it’s been very helpful. Being an immigrant also aggravates the impostor syndrome to its highest levels.

It always feels like I’m trying something I’m not supposed to be doing.

Then there is always an American who will get more done at work or will get more of what they are doing in life in general. Sometimes I freeze, thinking I’m trying too hard.

Another reason why I always end up working in hotels, even having experiences in different areas, I’m never confident enough to venture out of my comfort zone.

Why would I actually get a job I’m passionate about, instead of staying in a position where I know how everything is going to unroll, day after day, year after year? It’s the commodity of not taking chances because again, you don’t feel capable to compete on the same level with others, so you don’t apply.

Maybe because you don’t have all the qualifications they ask from you, not all the software, not the 5 year+ portfolios.

The impostor syndrome has been haunting me since I moved to the United States. That has a lot to deal with the people you surround yourself with, and how they are going to push you forward.

If you grew up in an environment where people kept doubting your abilities to do anything other than what it expects from you, you have the tendency of thinking you are not worthy of anything. That only got worse when I saw how competitive with everything Americans really are. I couldn’t keep up and I still can’t keep up with it.

My job was to wait tables, endlessly. I never saw my value outside of the restaurant industry.

For a great number of years, I only thought I was a great server, and a great server only. My job was to wait tables, endlessly. I never saw my value outside of the restaurant industry, because, in my mind, that was the only thing I was able to do.

I learned along the way that my value is not based on the job I’m good at. One Day one guest at the table I was serving asked me “Are you a server and what?”.

At first, I didn’t understand the question, but then I realized that he was asking that because everyone in that field is getting ready for something else.

Either a music career, to be a nurse, or a photographer. In my case, I told him “I’m server for now, but soon I will be a writer”.

That phrase alone gave me goosebumps. For the rest of the night, I questioned if  I would ever indeed write something worthy and if I was ever going to be ready to be a writer.

That’s where the self-sabotage and the impostor syndrome hold hands and plot against me.

The self-sabotage works in destroying my confidence, and the impostor syndrome works to show me I will never be good enough. But I’m good enough, and so are you.

What I’m trying to work on now, is take it day by day, without thinking too far in advance, so I don’t sink my own plans along the way, as I usually do. Take small steps and make sure you are moving forward. Make plans and be sure to be true to yourself and what you want.

If it’s working as a CEO of Google, fight for it, if it’s to have your own business, go for it. If it’s to write a novel, go for it. Don’t let anyone trick you into thinking you are not good enough. I had to work so hard to keep this blog alive, because of all the doubts I had about writing in a second language.

I was scared to sound fake, to look like I was trying to use a cause I defend so much my anchor, and/or why would people want to read something from someone whose first language is not English?

Until the day I found my voice and here I’m today saying, if I could do all that, in a second language, so could you. I wrote a few other posts about that, that I’m gonna link here so you can tag along on how I did it. One of my favorite posts I wrote so far is  https://liveoutloudtoo.com/papercuts/ 

also https://liveoutloudtoo.com/you-are-enough/

XXX

I just realized today that I have more followers on this blog than I expected. And for you, I’m thankful. I’m just an immigrant trying to live out loud, in all the complexity that it is to leave away from my home country.

I also know that are millions and millions of us out here trying so hard. Crying in our sleep, sending money home, buying unnecessary stuff to keep us happy.

Don’t you ever feel like you don’t belong!

Thanks for reading! I see you somewhere out there!

J.Snelly

 

I’m not hiding my accent or who I’m anymore. Here is why

I’m not hiding my accent or who I’m anymore. Here is why :

When I arrived in America, my nationality was stamped on my forehead. I had a heavy accent, my voice was loud, and I laughed even when the joke was about me and my culture. A few years passed and I started to understand all those jokes were about how I sounded my quirky behavior, and all the judgment coming from my new American friends.

The last picture in Brazil, before moving to the US of A in 2012.

While I wanted to blend in, I was cutting the tree branches, one by one, until I felt like I had no identity anymore. That behavioral change hit its peak when I lived in Georgia.

Georgia on my mind

Working in a restaurant, as a server, with an entire Southern American crew, the boss, the supervisor, and the other servers, I felt compelled to muffle my feelings and choke on sentimentalism. Get up, put on a happy face, work 14 hours a day, while being homesick and broken inside. You have no right to complain. You are a second-class citizen.

I listened to diminishing jokes about my culture, which some of those people thought it was funny to make fun of, second-guessing my abilities to work like the others, leaving me to be the last one to be a trainer. Only because of the place I came from and the way I sounded.

Never arrived late at work, never called in sick, and it was on the team since the first week they opened. Being oversee by management, bothered me because I knew I was working hard, crying on the way back home. Exhausted, because I knew I needed to be better than everyone else, even when I was not being watched by anyone.You can’t relax like you peers. I was still a second-class citizen.

The hard path to belong.

One day, I was so irritated by that situation, I started to look on Youtube, how Hollywood actresses changed that accent for different roles in movies. I found exercises you could do, to minimize, and make your speech clear. My husband got mad at me, saying he loved my accent, while I told him,” I need the job, we need that job. I can’t be fired because they think I have language barrier by the way I sound.”

I couldn’t quit, because for the entire year I worked there, I was still working towards my permanent residency. And he was still at Chiropractic school.

Many of the problems I encounter here in America, is because of the lack of confidence I have ingrained in me because, for the longest time, I had been quiet just to get by. Every time I look for a job that’s not restaurant-related I think “why would they hire me, instead of a born and raised American?” So I freeze and don’t complete the application. That’s where I find myself these days.

My Production Company is going great. In my mind. Not in real life.

There is nothing in this country that encourages people like me, to step up and find their way. I’m always held back by some stupid insecurity that shouldn’t exist, that it was caused by the system. Since the dawn of time, if you are different, you don’t feel like belong here.

I’m working towards having my own production company, which right at this moment is very successful in my brain, but completely paralyzed by fear in real life. I wish I could blame the Pandemic, maybe I can partially. Being a multi-hyphenated person, I did more than just write. I also draw, photograph, make videos and learn about websites, among other things to fill up my days. Instead of focusing on only one thing.

Why would someone have to change their names to fit in?

A segment on the news just showed a lady who had to adapt her name, to succeed in Corporate America. Once again, if you are different from what’s expected, you have to suffer, to adapt to a certain way people will accept you.

It happens to all of us that fit in the box. It’s frustrating to live in a society that makes us all sound the same, dress the same and look the same. The lady from the segment decided she was going to use her full name, instead of adaptation, and she looked happy. How can you tell someone to change who they are, to fit in? That’s pure evil.

People are easy to judge and label you. Either by where you came from, the way you behave, or your name. I had to lower my voice, because “it’s too Brazilian” and we are loud. I stand too close to people in the line, and we talk touching people. Americans hate that. I learned about it at the first restaurant I worked in in Chicago. Every time I talked to them, if I move my hand to touch their shoulder, they would flinch. Sometimes, I did it on purpose, their reaction always made me giggle.

Unapologetically Brazilian

Practically having to be reborn as a new person, learn all the values, all the habits, the food, the behavior, the laws of the land in my 30’s. While still being who I’m and who I was before, it’s a daily challenge. Because of that pressure, I let go of worrying about my accent and I’m not worried about it anymore. If I sound like I just arrived here, while asking where the bathroom is in Disneyland, deal with it.

The beauty of being yourself it’s to live free. There are no laws that say that you have to fit in, look and act the same to belong. I wonder why we are so drawn to characters on shows that are funny and quirky, its probably because they are a portrait of something we would like to be in real life.

As I get older, I care less and less about what people think about me and my life, and you should too. It’s fun to be different, to have your vocabulary and the unique way you sound to others. Don’t hide anymore. Make a promise to yourself that, after the Corona Crisis, you will be reborn into something you always wanted to be.

There is no more time to waste. Not after this crisis. Not after being locked up at home, like a bird in a cage, for an entire year and counting.

My promise to myself is not trying to change who I’m anymore to fit in the American patterns. That means that I will be loud, I will be emotional, and I won’t hide where I’m from anymore. I belong to this country as much as any other person born and raised here. My culture will just add up to stir the pot. Like many other cultures that makes this country so amazing and so appealing for all of us.

I had a similar post about this last year Be True to your School

This one was about empowering and embracing your weirdness. This time around it’s to embrace your plenitude and your culture, as part of yourself, of who I’m.

How to get out of the rut in 5 different ways.

How my brain looks like in 2021
Photo by Ddddddarya on Unsplash

We turn on the tv, we listen to podcasts, and even on my IG feed is people yelling something about the government, the Corona Virus, the vaccine, and being a hundred percent honest, I’m exhausted.Everyone is loud and it seems like the voice in my brain is being muffled by the world’s crisis. It feels like it’s never-ending. This post is about how to get out of the rut and get things done, when the times are hard.

It’s been a few days that I feel like I’m on a rut. I sit down, look at my computer, type a few titles, and leave. It feels like my brain got me into a panicked mode, due to all that is happening with the world lately. Especially living in the United States. 

My blog is my passion project. I’m thankful for having a platform to write about what’s been bothering me, so I can help you to understand that I’m probably going through the same. What helps me to fix the situation, or at least manage it better. I’m no expert, but I believe we all have different experiences worth sharing. 

Almost every morning, I write on my planner what I intent for what my day should be. It usually includes some tasks over the phone and mostly my writing plans for the day. It’s usually one or two hours of writing and then work on some pins, schedule, and so on. But the days where the pages are empty and I need to force myself to sit down and write, this is what I do:

Watch inspiring videos. 

“You can fail at what you don’t love, so might as well do what you love”

Watch interviews or short videos of how people started their careers or how after a long time trying, they finally made it. Or a masterclass on a subject I want to learn more about. It usually helps me to get up and get stuff done. A few months ago, I watched Spike Lee on Indie Movies and now I just started Issa Rae. I need to see people who succeeded in what I want to work on, like Screenwriting. I look for classes where I know people can inspire me in terms of ‘I was different, but I made it through”  

Listen to Music or your favorite Podcast. 

Music somehow is always in the background, when I need inspiration for my stories, or just to get out of my couch, when bad days hit hard. I like to listen to the radio station, most of the time. I guess being a kid from the ’90s, I got used to switching stations and not just skip songs endlessly. 

Having someone interacting with you, about that song they are about to play is also fun. That’s probably why I like Podcasts. 

I wrote a post about Podcasts for Self- Care, where I listed the ones I like the most, like Gretchen Ruben, “Happier”, Jay Shetty “On Purpose” and Rachel Hollis Podcast. 

Here is the post if you like to know more about it 

Talk to your friends. 

Not just online. I know for us, millennials, it’s hard to make phone calls, but it’s worth it if you are checking in with a friend. It’s important to keep in touch with people that keep you grounded and inspired. People that listen to you talk about your crazy plans, and encouraging you, even though they have no idea if you will go through with it. 

I had friends in my teenage years, which we are still friends, who believed in me so much when I said I was going to move to America. They never laughed, they just supported me, the same way they still do, when I tell them I want to create a web series and have my own production company someday. 

Friends don’t laugh at your plans. They push me to keep working. Surround yourself with people that push you forward. People that make plans. Other than just sitting around waiting for life to happen. 

Be positive about your ongoing projects. 

Sometimes it seems hard because nothing is happening, or at least not happening the way you expect it to. When I have a new post on the blog, I monitor to see how many views, comments, how many pins I should keep working on. Even though I have SEO on the blog, sometimes it doesn’t happen. Not overnight. 

I read that a blog takes about two years of consistent work to pick up its pace. It all depends on the subject, the Niche, the sharing platforms, and the marketing. It’s a lot to work on your own. This is the very first time in my life, I didn’t give up on something. I want to make work.  

Creating a schedule or on what to work makes it easier. And don’t get bumped if it didn’t work at first. Keep trying. I heard people say and read in different articles about “How long are you going to be trying so you see this is not gonna work?” What I learned in life is, if it’s truly your passion you don’t give up. You adapt. You make your dreams work for you. 

I have a dream to be a screenwriter, but for now, I will keep writing what I can, to keep my dream alive, while I work for it.  

Read a passage from your favorite book 

Every time I read a book, I underline a few passages I like. The latest one I read was Untamed, by Glennon Doyle. The entire book is a blessing and she is delightful, I finished the book wanting to be friends with her and her family. One of the most iconic lines of the book is: “Now that we don’t have to be good, we can be free.” You don’t need to be good at everything, a good mother, a good wife, a good worker. You can be you, once you break free of whatever is keeping you attached to the wall. 

Another book I keep at my hand’s reach is Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear, from Elizabeth Gilbert. 

This book is a constant reminder that yes, I can live my dream and you can live yours. It doesn’t matter how crazy it sounds. Have I told you about my dream of having a production company (again)? Anyway, my favorite passage of this books says “You don’t need anybody’s permission to live a creative life” 

I didn’t grow up with parents who were creative in any way. Those Boomers only taught me to get in college to get a job and be able to sustain my livelihood. Being an only child was what made me creative. 

From a very early age, I knew I wanted to write, I just didn’t know what or how. In school, I was a very good conversationalist, always telling different stories and talking everyone’s ears out. 

Take your time!

The last thing I want to say is: Take your time. You are not behind, you are not wasting your days if you are not always busy. Watch TV, laugh at those memes and when you feel ready, get up and go work on your dreams. I struggled with that for the longest time, as I keep thinking I’m already in my mid 30’s and didn’t accomplish anything. That’s why I ended up in this rut and had to find ways to cope and try to keep working, instead of feeling sorry for myself. 

Even though there are days when I mope and spend the day feeling sorry for myself. It’s all good.

Hope you had a good beginning of the new year!

Stay strong! Stay Healthy!

J.G.Snelly

Five podcasts to listen for self-care

I grew up listening to the radio. My mom used to turn on the radio in the morning, while we were having breakfast together, so she could listen to the host pray and inform her about the news. Time goes by and the the radio is replaced by electronic devices, like the mp3, mp4, and iPods.

None of this contained any kind of information, lectures, or prayers, only music. In 2004, the audio blogging took flight, only to make life more enjoyable for people who can’t focus on reading. It makes a lot of sense, as time passes, people are more and more into their phone, instead of the book. The attention span is real. 

The podcasts become a type of radio on-demand, where you choose what kind of information you like, the genre you enjoy listening to. Or you if you are like me, and you can’t get enough of your favorite author and keeps digging for more. I have been listening to podcasts for a few years now, and my favorite ones are, of course, the authors I read, who are most likely to be self-improvement writers. 

Never having money to pay for therapy, I found on the shows, the voice of guidance I needed. On my daily walks, during quarantine, I constantly tried to find someone to tell me what the heck was going on in my brain, and how could work through it. There was too much information on my mind, too much time to think, and much more time available to feel useless.

I’m not saying that podcasts should ever replace therapy. But I also understand that when we don’t have the money to pay for professional care, we have to find different ways to cope. Many people found peace in meditation, I tried and got 10 minutes max. Days I can seat through, and days my mind is on full speed. CBD oil helps me to balance whatever it dancing inside of my brain cells. 

Here is a list of the five podcasts I listen to for self-care and daily boost!

Happier – With Gretchen Rubin

The book “The Happiness Project” saved my life in 2014, when I needed to find some joy in my life, after moving from Chicago to Georgia. At that time, nothing seemed right, and I was looking for words of encouragement. I found it and recommended the book to everyone. Gretchen studies happiness and with her sister, they created the podcast with the same name. They always give you tips on how to live happier and improve your habits in your daily life. They have book clubs on happiness, newsletter, and all the fun content while helping us to improve our life.

The Rachel Hollis Podcast

Rachel Hollis is like a mentor to me. Some people have Oprah, Michelle Obama I have Mrs.Hollis. I read both of her books and now I need to get the newest one, “Didn’t see that coming” because I have this weird feeling even though she doesn’t know me, she knows what’s going on in my life. Last year, while I walk around Chicago, I listened to “ Girl, Stop apologizing”, in the audiobook format. I laughed, I cried, I pushed myself through the words I was listening to: Find the reasons why you are creating the excuses to not do what you want it, and fix it. After I finished the audiobook, I was in desperate need of more guidance. Again, also much like free therapy. The podcasts had many words of encouragement and solutions for your mind and souls. 

On Purpose – Jay Shetty

I found out about Jay Shetty when he was on Mrs. Hollis’s show to talk about his life changes and new book. Jay left everything behind in his 20’s to become a monk in India, for four years. In his podcasts, he talks to people about self-centering, meditation, care, and mindedness. He talks about the importance of meditation and to look inside yourself, as you are the only person you will ever have to please. It hit me hard when he said that some people choose their careers based on what is going to make their parents proud and happy, instead of the individual self. I had to choose hospitality management first because that would allow me “to get a job and pay the bills.” Only took me 14 years to get out of the rut of getting paid to serve others. 

Unlocking Us – Brene Brown

Another favorite writer, Brene Brown talks about unlocking our true potential by daring to live a more fulfilling life. Having the audacity to show up for the fight and half of the battle is conquered. Brene is a Ph.D. in vulnerability and in her book she talks about fragility and how we don’t accomplish what we want, mainly because we are scared of being judged. How many times I put up a story I would like to write because I didn’t think people would like it, or understand it? Afraid of being judge set many steps back in my life and still is. Nothing is ever good enough and I’m always self-doubting myself because someone else is better, has more experience, and more funds to get the project done. There is also the fact that I’m an immigrant and I have to walk around the block three times before I ever think I’m good at something to move on with my projects. 

To be continued – Cristela Alonzo

This is not only about self-improvement, is about laughing at yourself and situations life throws at you. Cristela is a stand-up comedian, actress, and hilarious. I watched her standup special on Netflix and the joke about how the tomatoes of WholeFoods have better treatment than she ever will stay on my mind forever. The entire bit of WholeFood is hilarious. Thankfully, at least one good thing was, when the quarantine started, she started recording a podcast alone in her house. I was walking to Target alone and laughing at her story about how they didn’t find out about Vicks to cure the Corona Virus. Cristela is Latina and the daughter of immigrants, so she knows the drill, and her jokes are very much alike to what I live through in this country.   

Add on- Creatively Disrespectful  

It’s more like a daily rant about everyday life. Demeatrie is a Chef, Entrepreneur of Color, author, and a very dear friend of mine. Creatively Disrespectful is about the challenges she faces in the culinary industry, the difficulties that it takes to run a business during the pandemic. While still keeping the joy in cooking for people. I participated in a few episodes, complaining about Austin, talking about the events we worked together while still in quarantine, and tv shows like 90day fiancee and Love after lock-up.   

These ones are my favorites and listen to it on a weekly basis, some of them are released on different days of the week, so you can subscribe to all of them and listen on your way to work or as you please. 

Hope you enjoy the list of podcasts!

See you in a few days!

J.G.Snelly