Thursday, November 27, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude #25: Let It Go!

I must be one of very few people who hasn't seen Disney's  Frozen or knows the music from the film. When I told a friend that today's Attitude of Gratitude blog challenge asks about what I'd like to let go of, she joked that I should embed Idina Menzel's rendition of "Let it Go" from the film. Um, no. 

This is an easy challenge. I'd like to let go of insecurity, the sort that plays out in humblebragging and fishing for compliments. I have to be on constant guard against this, with my peers and especially when sharing on social media and blogging. But you already knew that.

I do like sharing. I am social. And I get a lot out of interacting with others, from being a part of and contributing to a community. But insecurity is an ongoing problem, detracting from the good intentions behind sharing. Less so now, but insecurities can flare up like an allergy or fibromyalgia. My insecurity plays out when I think I'm helping someone by sharing ideas or offering suggestions. Often. Unbidden. Relentlessly. Someone will simply share a problem he or she encounters, and I will launch into how I solved that problem, under the guise of being helpful, of course. Eeew. 

Or I plague friends by fishing HARD for compliments. A friend may say I did well on a project or tell me she heard someone else say they liked something I did. So I'll proceed to pester that friend for details. All of them. What did you like about what I did? Really? Why? What exactly did our colleague say? How did my name come up? Under what circumstances? What else did she say? Tell me more! So unattractive. 

My closest friends have come to expect this ritual badgering. Thankfully, they see it as a personality quirk, a minor irritation that comes and goes, like a patch of bad weather or a mild Santa Ana.

Even when I extract a compliment or wheedle the specifics about a third party's positive reaction, I still feel unsatisfied. Using others' positive assessments of me to feed my ego only works for a hot minute before I start to feel empty, hungry for more. 

After reeling in compliments, I worry because I think I've fooled someone or that someone will eventually unmask me for the phony I (think) am. That pesky impostor syndrome. 

I have let go of insecurity occasionally, sometimes for weeks at a time. But I always seem to pick it back up. 

I recognize this might be a lifelong problem, but I'd sure like to hear about other peoples' experience with managing insecurities. Anyone have ideas to help deal with the impostor syndrome? I want to let go of insecurities to avoid turning off my peers and friends, before they let me go.