Janine Smith

Hiding away at the back…

for mums newcastle and tyneside

This week I have found myself googling ‘why do I feel inadequate?’ ‘why do I feel unworthy’ ‘how do I stop overthinking?’ and ‘how to feel good enough’ in search of articles and self help books to help me get a grip on the lack of confidence I can sometimes be consumed by.

I am writing this not for sympathy or praise but to share because I can’t be the only person who struggles with this both professionally and personally. I never shy away from writing about the tough issues and if this post can help someone else feel less alone, then it has been worth my overshare.

The truth is that I have always held myself back and I need to stop. I am at a point in my life – almost 50! – where invisibility happens, society doesn’t see the middle-aged woman and her menopausal woes. When I look at my life on paper, it’s all great and I have no regrets about the choices I have made but, going forward, I need to be less scared to stand up and be counted. The bottom line for me is that I just don’t ever feel good enough at anything, my inner critic takes over, as does self-doubt and then I hide at the back of the room.

I have started to see that my comfort zone has actually confined me to the place I have given myself near the back so maybe it’s time to step out of it. I’m just not sure how to do that. So, why am I writing this? I want this realisation to result in something positive – for me both personally and professionally – but also to help someone else who might be feeling equally as lost and frustrated.

I’m going to write more about identifying and making the changes to believe in myself more and to change my mindset so I’m no longer hiding away. My hope is that sharing it will also make me accountable and to write about whether it is possible to give my brain a shake and to change those negative default settings. These will be more personal posts but they will involve being parented, being a parent and looking at some of the strategies needed by all of us to deal with stress, low mood, imposter syndrome and that part of our brain that tells us we are crap.

Janine – mum, wife, friend and me
Also a fan of podcasts, gin, walking, birth and working with parents.

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An experienced specialist in pregnancy, birth & early parenting, I have worked with parents since 2002. I am based in the North East so I regularly work with parents from Newcastle, Northumberland, Gateshead and across North Tyneside. Face-to-face sessions will continue with North East parents but digital courses and online sessions means I can work with parents everywhere.