“My house is currently a nightmare.”

“No one in my family is talking to each other right now.”

“I’m in a lot of credit card debt, even though I make plenty of money. I am terrified to look at my finances.”

Being a therapist(ish) for 17 years, I have heard a lot of confessions like these from outwardly very successful, capable people. High performers. Folks who seem like they have it ALL together. You’d never guess they have these problems.

I believe these secret messes are responsible for a lot of the “imposter syndrome” and intense inner criticisms you are going through on a daily basis.

After all,” as your inner critic says, “how capable of an adult are you if your sink is constantly full of dirty dishes?!


gif of a cartoon sloth looking at a pile of dirty dishes in the sink and sinking down out of the frame. Text reads "I'm gonna do the dishes right away. Said no one ever."Credit: @slothilda

The truth is that no one is living a perfectly polished life all the time. And most of the messes are things we feel internally

For example, a TikTok creator I love, @UnderTheDeskNews, just posted a very professional video today about how they were having a panic attack…and how you can’t tell from the outside looking in.

On the inside, we can feel like things are falling apart. But on the outside, it’s rarely noticeable. We are all so good at pretending things are fine, slipping on a mask for social acceptability.

We keep our messes secret because we think we will be exiled for having them. We think other people will judge us and not be able to relate. And honestly, sometimes that’s true. Not everyone is good at handling your mess with compassion. 

But you deserve to find places where your secret mess is not only held in compassion, but also met with the right support, whether that’s a dishwashing buddy or a friendly ear or even transformational work. 

We ALL have secret messes. So please give yourself a lot more compassion for not having it all together…because NONE of us do.


Image of a purple background with a gold sparkle border with text in the center reading "Give yourself grace for not having it together. Because none of us do."


Where’s a place in your life that you’re secretly messy?
Can you stop giving yourself such a hard time about that, and consider giving yourself compassion there instead?

What support could really turn that around for you?


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