I was so excited; he was finally coming over for a visit!
The last time we were together, I thought I had ruined everything between the two of us, but the very fact that he was coming over told me I had worried for nothing!
I decided to make my famous “blonde brownies!” Well, they were famous among my siblings, but to be honest, I think my brothers would have eaten anything I baked for them!
The brownies were cooling in the kitchen and I could hardly wait for him to arrive; everything was going to be OK!
As I sat in the living room, eagerly anticipating his arrival, I thought back to the last time we were together and why I thought I had ruined everything.
He had invited me to spend time with him while he babysit for the neighbors. After the kids had gone to bed, he turned on some music, then he turned to me and said, “when this song is over, it will be time for you to make your move.”
Make my move? What did that even mean; what moves?
As the song got closer to the end, I felt myself start to panic. What was I supposed to do? I had no idea; so, I just sat there and smiled at him.
When the song was over, he said, “times up” what are you going to do next?” I’m sure I said something absolutely brilliant and romantic like, “I don’t know, what do you want me to do?”
What I remember more than anything was the disappointment I felt for not knowing what to do and that’s when I started crying.
It felt like everything I had been holding inside of me was coming out with my tears and I couldn’t even talk. I just sat there and cried until the parents came home, paid him for babysitting, and we drove away in silence. The opportunity had passed, whatever was supposed to happen, didn’t happen.
But now, everything was going to be OK, because I had made my famous brownies!
When he finally arrived, he didn’t exactly look happy to see me, so I led him to the couch and ran to get the brownies.
When I proudly held the brownies up for his inspection, he just looked at me and said, “I don’t want any brownies, I can’t stay. I just came here to tell you that we can’t see each other anymore.”
I felt my heart drop to the pit of my stomach and as I was holding back the tears, I asked him why? His words hit me like a blow to the stomach, as he told me that his parents had high hopes and dreams for him, and they didn’t see me as an asset to his future.
And then he left.
I wanted him to come back so I could explain about the night we babysat together.
But I knew that even if he came back, I wouldn’t be able to tell him.
How was I supposed to tell him that he was my knight in shining armor and I had hoped he would carry me away from the awful secrets I was being forced to keep?
How was I supposed to explain the ugly secret I’d been keeping for the past three years?
How was I supposed to tell him that my father had threatened me within an inch of my life if I dared to ever tell anyone about the ongoing sexual abuse he had forced me to endure?
As I stood there, looking down at my pan of brownies, I suddenly became very aware of everything that was wrong with me.
I didn’t have any moves!
I wasn’t an asset to anyone’s future.
I was trying and failing to fit in at the 12th school in nine years.
I had no one to talk to and my mother was an expert at letting me know she could hardly stand the sight of me. Even when she did talk to me it was only to tell me that I was worthless and that I would never amount to anything.
What was wrong with me that even my own mother hated me?
Once again, I questioned the reason I’d ever been born.
Something told me my famous blonde brownies would never be special again.
My 15-year old self could not see my value, I could only see what I thought was wrong with me.
That’s the day I stopped making my famous brownies, because they only made me relive the feelings and emotions from that night.
That night became the story that I would share with myself and others to explain why I always felt so sad, how miserable I was, how unloved I was, how unworthy I was and why I had no self-worth.
Until one day I learned it was possible to go beyond my story, and I learned to start questioning my beliefs about my self-worth. Once I started asking questions, I also stopped living in fear and keeping the secrets that others threatened me not to tell!
As I discovered that my beliefs about myself and others were open for debate, I started questioning other things I had been taught to believe. I also learned that the fear of what would happen if I stopped keeping secrets was not real.
I discovered I’d been taught so many beliefs that were based on lies, half-truths and fears!
Like the belief that my mother hated the sight of me; I had that one wrong. I learned that she knew what my father was doing to me but didn’t have the resources or the mental strength to deal with it, so she just kept quiet. But the sight of me brought her so much shame that she couldn’t stand to look at me.
As children, we can only learn based on what we’re taught by our parents or those people who are closest to us. We believe what they teach us and then we go on to form our beliefs about what we can or cannot do – until we learn to question those beliefs.
We can’t go back and change the events, but we can learn how the feelings and emotions from those events are feeding into our adult beliefs and how they're creating more beliefs that turn into limiting beliefs, impostor beliefs and beliefs about what we can and cannot do. When we master those beliefs, the stories we’ve told for so long begin to change. They stop being stories of sadness, anger or feeling like a victim. The stories then become the very credentials of who we came here to be.
We stop believing that we could never be an asset to someone else’s future!
And when our beliefs change, the thoughts we think change, the words we use change and the doors that we thought were closed to us are suddenly flung wide open with unlimited possibilities!
Because there’s no greater feeling in the world than when someone tells you, “you can’t do that” and you can confidently turn to them and say, “Wanna bet? Just watch me!”
After that, brownies are just something delicious to eat!
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei
There I was, Long Beach, California - home of the Long Beach International Karate Tournament!
I was a 2nd Degree Brown Belt - waiting for my turn in the ring!
I thought about all of the competitors who had competed here before me; many great tournament fighters earned their stripes at this tournament, including Chuck Norris, Tony Martinez Sr., Mike Stone, Joe Lewis, Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, Billy Blanks, Jerry Piddington, and "Superfoot" Bill Wallace.
This was the place Bruce Lee was first introduced to the martial arts community in August 1964, and demonstrated his one-inch punch and two-finger push-ups.
I heard them call my name, stepped into the ring, and looked up at into the faces of 7 Black Belt judges waiting for me to begin!
My Sensei had taught me a 7th Degree Black Belt kata and the time had come for me to show what I’d learned by competing at the Long Beach International Karate Tournament!
I was definitely "in the zone!"
For nine months I had studied, corrected and perfected the kata in preparation for the tournament!
I knew that kata backwards and forwards and could have done it in my sleep!
But as I stood there, looking into the eyes of those seven Black Belt judges, I could feel my knowledge drain from my mind.
😨It was as though a wall of white had come down between me and the judges;
😨My mind and my body were frozen,
😨Time seemed to have stopped,
😨I could no longer hear the shouts from the surrounding competitors!
That’s when I heard my 🕵️♀Impostor Syndrome whispered in my ear, "who do you think you are, competing with a 7th Degree Black Belt kata in front of all these Black Belt judges?"
I felt like an 🕵️♀impostor
I felt like a fraud
I felt out of my league
But most of all, I felt 😓intimidated!
As my mind deserted me, I tried to focus so my body could begin the movements that were so familiar to me, but all I could think to do was acknowledge the judges and bow out of the ring.
As soon as I left the ring my mind kicked into gear,
I wanted to run right back in there for a do-over but,
a do-over was not an option! ☹
That experience was over 20 years ago!
There were many tournaments after that, but first, I had to learn to master my beliefs around the Impostor Syndrome.
Today, that would NEVER happen to me because I've learned how to eliminate impostor beliefs BEFORE they have a chance to sabotage my success!
If you’re tired of the Impostor Syndrome sabotaging your success, CLICK HERE and learn how you too can recognize and eliminate The Impostor Syndrome!
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei