Self doubt: Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing.
Here’s a story for you: I’m working on a project as part of my master coaching certification. For part of the project, I turned in a class I had taught that I thought was fine. It was pretty good, actually, I thought.
So I redid it. I listened closely to the original class I taught. When I paid attention I realized the first one had a lot of problems. Namely, I wasn’t very confident so I didn’t show up powerfully and really help my students as much as I could have.
I studied lots of other classes. Took notes. Made a plan for a better outline. Then I tried to record another one. Over and over. Record. Erase. Record. Erase. Then I completely freaked myself out and had to stop.
I spent the evening in a little anxious ball on the couch. Cue tears and an extra episode of Nashville.
My mind was riddled with thoughts like:
Who wants a sniveling and anxious life coach anyway?
I’m a fraud.
I don’t know what I’m talking about. I have no business trying to work with people.
I can laugh about it now. I can be so dramatic!
But there for a minute my psyche was pretty fragile. It was so painful. That day it wasn’t funny at all.
So I did some serious journalling. Had a loving talk with myself. It wasn’t a coddling, snuggly kind of conversation. It was more like this one: “No more. This is unnecessary. You do not need to be anxious and depressed. You know how to get out of this. Practice some mindfulness, move your body, cut way down on the sugar. Most importantly, stop letting the mind run the show.”
#1 rule: if I feel crappy, I’m thinking something that isn’t true.
If there’s one thing I know about it’s how to stop thinking crappy thoughts. It’s the center of my work. The center of the way I live my life. I am certain that I could help anyone see crappy thoughts and show them a new way of handling their mind. There are a lot of things I don’t know about. This is one thing I do.
Bottom line: Enough. I’ve got shit to do. I will not kill myself with my own fear.
Expect fear. It’s part of the deal. It will not make the decisions.
The next day was a whole new day. I redid the class again and turned it in. It was a lot better than the first one I turned in.
You see how it goes?
I talked to a client who had been working on her homework for Your First 3 Clients. She put together notes for an offer she’s putting out there.
What do you think happened?
What always happens. She started doubting her offer and topic. What if-WHAT IF-WHAT IF!!!!
Ahem. It’s just fear.
Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing.
She hasn’t even executed any of the homework. It’s just theory at this point. I told her to just expect that. Every single time you create something and up level your work in any way, your little brain is going to step in and try to “protect” you.
That little lizard brain is totally misguided though.
So don’t listen to it. And don’t take it personally that you’re experiencing self doubt. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. Or that you should change course.
Just expect it. It’s part of the deal.
Here’s how to stay the course in the face of certain self doubt:
1. Expect it.
We’ve already covered this. It’s so important though. When it shows up, if you’re not surprised by it, then it will have so much less power.
2. Create buffers.
You’re going to want to go off course. Build things in place that will keep you from going too far. This is sort of like giving your dog a yard to play in. You’ll let her romp, but she has to stay within the fence.
Learn a method for changing your mood. When you get ready to turn yourself around, it will be a lot easier if you have a way to do it. My favorite is the self coaching model taught by The Life Coach School.
Have a few go-to people you can talk to. You need someone skilled in mood changing. This is not the time for sympathy and ice cream. Have a few people around who know what’s up and can help you step out of your own crap. The best person for this? A life coach. (You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?)
Practice basic body lovin’. You gotta care for your Temple. I’m not talking about perfection here. But cover the basics at least. Do all of the following at least a few times a week.
-Sleep (about 8 hours please)
-Move yo body
-Food (please feed yourself)
-Pleasure (give yourself the feel good. My clients have to have 2 orgasms a week)
-Silence (anything that makes your brain stop: music, meditation, exercise, laughter)
When your body is in decent shape, your mind won’t go as wonky. Think of it as just building a stronger fence so that your romping dog can’t knock it down.
Now you. How do you keep yourself on the sane train?