I’d worked for another local DV org for 14 and a half years before making a transition to working in Honeyberry Studios full-time and have always been a big fan of the Network.
So I was honored and surprised when I got an email from my friend, Eli, who is the Board President at the organization a few weeks ago.
In his email, he said he thought I’d be a great candidate for the position and asked if I’d be interested in joining the team.
I was very excited for the prospect of joining the Board but hesitated to say yes at first because I didn’t feel qualified.
When I pictured “Board of Directors,” I imagined a group of people who are white, older (than me), upper-middle class, and have a corporate job or a “real” business.
(You know, not a “handmade” kind of business…)
I didn’t fit the profile at all 🤷🏻♀️
Big imposter syndrome kicked in, and I was swallowed in a whirlpool of “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios.
What if I suck at the job? What if I couldn’t deliver what they expected from me? What if I make a bad decision or give terrible advice? What if it’s more time-consuming and stressful than I think?
I was afraid they’d find me out.
They’d be disappointed and it’d be super awkward. And then they’d wish they’d never asked me to join the team, and now they have to have a meeting to make a plan to gently exit me from the Board and never speak about it ever again.
I know, my imagination runs WILDsometimes – it’s good for my creative work, but not so good for other situations 😛😭
Eli and I had a few back-and-forth about the logistics and my concerns – he patiently reassured me that I had a combination of qualities they were looking for.
While I still felt an imposter-syndrome hangover, I wrote this letter of intent.
That’s when I knew I really, really wanted to do this.
So I was very happy when I got a call from Eli several days later telling me that I was officially IN! 🥳
Interesting, though, that my imposter syndrome got even worse when I shared the news on social media.
A lot of people sent me kind, encouraging messages and congratulated me. It was wonderful and overwhelming at the same time.
Overwhelming because a lof of the comments were about me as a person, like “you’re great” or “you’re wonderful” and I didn’t feel I deserved it.
I was telling Dave how these comments were making me uneasy because I hadn’t actually done anything yet.
A little voice inside me was saying, “Yuko, anyone can join the Board. But what are you going to accomplish? You’ve been away from the work for so long. Do you remember half of the things you said on your resume?”
Yeah, right. People should really hold off on congratulating me until I do something awesome.
Maybe I shoud’ve kept it a secret.
And then Dave said, “You know you’re gonna do great work, right?”
Sometimes when my brain tells me I can’t do something, I listen to the people I trust, who say “yes you can.”
If I trust their judgement, and they say they believe in me, then I should believe in myself, too, you know?
It’s so meta, but I think you get it.
And that’s how I’ve gotten over the most recent bout of self-doubt.
Being uncomfortable with something new and unknown is healthy.
I know I’ll continue to have moments of insecurities throughout my life – after all, I’m a human being with lots of feelings (LOTS) – but I’ll also continue to learn and practice skills and tools to manage them more effectively so I can get back to being my whole self more quickly.
Why am I telling you all this?
Well, because I wanted you to know it’s OK if you feel this way too.
You’re not a robot🤖
Sometimes we stumble and get stuck. There is no shame in that, my friend.
(It’s a practice I’ve been sticking to since October 2015 inspired by seanwes.)
I often get asked what I do during my sabbaticals.
I stick to my routine more or less because I feel the best when I follow my routine. I also maintain my biz, like responding to emails and shipping orders. I try not to schedule big deadlines during my sabbaticals.
Other than that, I prefer to not have anything pre-scheduled so I can do whatever I feel like!
If Dave happens to be around during my sabbaticals (he also has his own business), we might go see a movie or go thrift shopping. Maybe I do a big picture planning for my business. Or just read and doodle on my couch.
(You can read my blog posts to see what I’ve done during my past sabbaticals.)
I do what refuels me.
I work very hard while I’m “on” so having a regular recharge time has kept me from getting burnt out.
Do you have a regular time off or self-care routine? What refills your energy reservoir? Or are you having a hard time taking care of yourself?
Tell me in the comments 😊 I genuinely love hearing from you!
There won’t be any blog post next week. See you in a couple of weeks 😘
I wrote this post for my newsletter a week ago – the event has already passed (or if you read this when it comes out, you can still catch the last day of the event ) but thought my self-care strategies would work for any time I have a demanding schedule… so here you go! Hope it inspires your own self-care goals 😉
I’m exhibiting at NW Flower & Garden Festival for the first time this year. I’m super excited for the big show this week – and feeling nervous.
Feeling nervous not only because it’s a big investment for Honeyberry Studios, but I’m worried I’ll be completely exhausted after 5 long days (11+ hours) of being in public.
Being the biggest introvert I’ve ever met, I know spending that much time around people is going to drain me of all the energy. Probably by day 2. Terrible.
So I have a few self-care strategies to help me get through the week:
Stock up on foods: I don’t like spending a ton of money on foods at show venues (plus I don’t really have time to get away from my booth to wait in line.) We went grocery shopping yesterday and bought a bunch of snacks, lunch foods, and beverages to take with me. Plus I have some frozen leftovers in our freezer I can just thaw out. I know I won’t have time to cook for 5 days, so now I’m well stocked with foods I could possibly want!
Ask for help: Dave will also be out of town most of the week and I had a shipping conundrum. I ended up asking my kind neighbor for help, and she’s gonna take some packages to the post office for me while I work at the show. I feel so much better reaching out for help! If this is hard for you, remember, people who care about you want to help you if you let them.
Sleep: This is gonna be hard. I’ve been trying to get 8 hours of sleep every night after watching this interview on Joe Rogan show. But, the NWFGS goes until 8pm most of the days, and by the time I get home, it’ll be 9, and then I need to unwind for a couple of hours before I go to sleep (some people, like my husband Dave, are lucky enough to be able to sleep whenever, wherever – that is not me, unfortunately.) and I have to be up at 5-5:30 the next morning. So, no, I won’t be getting 8 hours of sleep. I’ll shoot for 7 if I can!
Let it go: I believe mental well-being is as important, if not more important, as physical. So my biggest intention for self-care this week is – let go of all the expectations. I’ll try not to obsess about everything going as planned (because you know it won’t!) and be ok with that. I’ll do what makes me feel good, and that includes cutting myself some slack when I don’t meet my goals. After all, 5 days out of your entire life is a really short time. It feels overwhelming now, but I know once it’s done, I won’t even think about it. So why stress about it today? I’ve done everything in my control to make it a successful week, and I trust that I’ll figure it out if something doesn’t work.
And I know I’ll have fun, too. Meeting customers and making friends with other vendors is always delightful 💗
So I’m taking a deep breath and moving forward with peaceful mind.
Hope you’ll have a self-care-filled week, my friend!