Sign in

A publication from Medium on personal development.


In Forge. More on Medium.

You’re doing a lot—and you’re good at it. Stop trying to make it look easy.

Photo: PBNJ Productions/Getty Images

Last weekend, I hosted a birthday party for my nephew. At one point, I was shuttling between the stove inside and the grill outside to finish the taco filling for the kids and grilled chicken for the grownups. When my sister asked how she could help, my first instinct was to say that I didn’t need any. Then I realized I was being ridiculous and asked her to grate cheese and chop lettuce. We chatted while we prepped.

What almost stopped me from accepting her offer? The desire to make things look easy.

This tendency sits at the junction of…

😴 Tip: Tell yourself a bedtime story about your day.

Here’s a lovely ritual that works just as well for adults as it does for kids: Tell yourself a story about your day. It’s a spin on the research-backed “third-person pep-talk.” Basically, before you go to bed, you narrate your day in your head, spotlighting yourself as the imperfect hero. For example: “Today, Michelle woke up and was feeling overwhelmed and sluggish, so she decided to take a walk and think through her priorities. That helped her a lot.” It sounds a little silly, we know. But there’s power in…

🐸 Tip: Give your inner critic its own wacky persona.

If your inner critic is preventing you from being your best self, here’s a piece of advice from Yi Shun Lai: Give it its own weird persona. As she writes on Forge, her inner critic is “Clarence,” a bumbling, warty toad that likes to hang out on her shoulder. The trick is empowering because the moment you anthropomorphize your imposter syndrome/writer’s block/whatever-it-is-keeping-you-from-your-full-potential, it’s no longer a part of you or something you have to take responsibility for. It’s just an annoying little critter who sometimes overstays his welcome. …

🎤 Today’s Tip: Borrow some affirmations from Taylor Swift.

“I’ve found time can heal most anything,” said a wise sage, Taylor Swift, in her recently rereleased song “Fifteen.” The artist behind the Daylight Illustrations Instagram account has illustrated this along the other most inspiring affirmations from Fearless (Taylor’s Version, of course), and they’re the perfect mood-lifters — and an instant reminder that sometimes you just gotta do things your own way, “headfirst, fearless.” Check them out and go forth with that “gonna be all right some day” energy.

💖 More from Forge on positive self-talk:

How You Should Talk to…

‘Fuck it and it’s okay’ (🖕and👌): a stance to breathe into right now

Photo: Natalie Obermaier

The warrior pose, for those unfamiliar, is a yoga pose meant to instill strength and confidence. After the year we’ve had, it’s also a pose that’s due for an upgrade. We need a new warrior pose for 2021. Something mighty, compassionate, and sustainable — a stance that both soothes and empowers.

I present to you:

Fuck it and it’s okay. This pose can be done sitting, standing, on a Zoom call… or anywhere you have your hands free: With your left hand do the gyan mudra — that’s your “it’s okay” hand (👌) to non-yoga people. And with the other…

💬 Today’s tip: The quickest way to cure your imposter syndrome is to talk about it.

If you’re one of the lucky ones with a steady job right now, chances are you’ve spent some time recently feeling like a fraud. Why are you still working while so many millions are unemployed? When is your boss finally going to realize you have no idea what you’re doing?

The good news is: You’re not alone. As Robert Roy Britt writes, imposter syndrome is everywhere, from the C-Suite to Hollywood to the Zoom square next door.

And the even better news is that…

Imposter syndrome is heightened by the stress of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you have to listen to it

Photo: Kelvin Murray/Getty Images

Curled up on the bed at a hotel in Las Vegas, I texted a colleague to cancel the meeting we’d scheduled for later that day. I just couldn’t bring myself to show up. I was at the Consumer Electronics Show, an annual trade show where I was supposed to be working on business development, something I felt completely unqualified to do. …

The New Self-Help

Shonda Rhimes breaks it down in ‘Year of Yes’

This story is part of The New Self-Help: 21 Books for a Better You in the 21st Century.

At a dinner celebrating women in the TV industry, Shonda Rhimes recalls in her book, Year of Yes, the emcee called out each honoree by name and spoke of her accomplishments. The response of each and every one of these accomplished women deflected or downplayed the praise.

“What is wrong with us?!” the TV mogul and legendary showrunner asks.

This vignette gets to the heart of Rhimes’ book, which traces her yearlong experiment of saying “yes” to opportunities and challenges that come…

Science-backed strategies for creating your own confidence boost

Photo: ideabug/Getty Images

If life were a sports movie, you’d have on-demand access to energetic coaches with booming voices, ready at a moment’s notice to inspire you through the next challenge. Whenever you were gearing up to initiate an awkward relationship talk or deliver a presentation in front of your terrifyingly stone-faced boss — boom, there would be Coach, fresh from the locker room to remind you that you’ve got heart and that winning is all about your attitude. Now go get ’em, champ.

Unfortunately, we’re usually left to do our own dirty work — to stare in the mirror, rack our brains…

Be the MVP of sucking at something

A group of senior women having fun and playing basketball.
A group of senior women having fun and playing basketball.
Photo: Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

My short-lived, middle-school basketball career could more accurately be described as one long lesson in bench warming. I don’t know if it was actual skill or blind adrenaline that powered my preteen self through the tryouts, but somehow, I made the team. I couldn’t believe it when I saw my name on the roster thumbtacked to the bulletin board by the locker room. I’ll make them so glad they picked me, I thought. I’ll be MVP.

I most definitely was not the MVP. Instead, I scored two points all season. Four months. One basket. Two points. I spent the rest…


A publication from Medium on personal development.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store