How to avoid the spiral of self-doubt.

I was a girl.  I was not worthy – WRONG – I am a girl and I am totally worthy.

I was 7 and it was my brothers 9th birthday.  My Mum, Dad, brother, sister and I were all sat on my parents bed giving him his presents and cards.  I remember, so vividly, my brother opening a card from my grandparents.  He had been given £20 taped to a brand new, super cool, scalextric.  In the seconds that followed I recall feeling jealous, sad.  Now I see that I felt undeserving and unworthy.  Why? Because three months earlier I had my birthday and my grandparents gave me a pair of socks.

As a child listening to my grandparents, I heard that boys were more important than girls.  That my brother would carry on our family name and I couldn’t as I would always take my husbands.  Birthdays and Christmas’ mirrored the conversations I heard in the gifts he received from my grandparents being better than those I was given.

These moments, these snippets of conversations, made me believe that I wasn’t worthy or deserving.  And that completely sucks.

And this wasn’t in the dark ages, nor even post-war.  This was 1988.

I was told I wasn’t good enough – WRONG – no one gets to decide whether I am good enough but me.

When I was 11 I wanted to be a criminologist (I mentioned this in my previous post).  I was a little obsessed with what made people do what they did.  I used to get a weekly magazine called Real Life Crimes. I had every copy.

I remember being 15 and sat in the careers office at school.  We had each been given an appointment to talk about what subjects to study at A Level (for anyone outside of the UK this is the school period aged 16-18).  We talked about what we wanted to do for a career and what subjects would be best suited for us to take in order to reach our career goals.  I talked passionately about my dream of becoming a criminologist.  The careers teacher sat there blankly and said:

‘Rebecca, you need to be strong in science to be able to do that sort of job, you are not strong in science.  You should choose a different career path’.

In the space of 30 seconds, my fear of not being good enough was developed.  I didn’t recognize that if I worked harder that anything would be possible.  I was told I wasn’t good enough and I believed it.  And that belief lasted a long, long time.

The things that happen when we are young shape our beliefs for when we are grown adults.

And as adults trying to succeed in business these beliefs get in the way.  How can I earn $xxx, I am not worthy.  Why will anyone want to work with me.  I am not good enough.  I don’t deserve their love.  I need to prove myself to them.

These feelings of not being good enough, not being worthy turn into fear, worry, anxiety.  And this has a massive impact on how we cope with day to day pressures, stress, grief.  How can we then be successful if we are weighed down with these negative feelings?

It’s important for us to pay attention to whatever thought or emotion we feel when we feel it. Yes, it’s ok to listen to that little voice inside your head as long as you question it back.  It’s also extremely important to assess whether that thought is preventing us from realizing a goal or dream, helping us move forward with our businesses.  Or whether we just need to have a little courage and act.  Open that door to a world of opportunity and possibility.

I know it’s far easier to say it rather than do it.  I’ve been there (and will be talking about that in my next post).   So I’ll let you in on a quick way to start avoiding this spiral of self-doubt.

  1. Stop – when you start experiencing these negative thoughts or feelings, stop.
  1. Acknowledge –  don’t dwell, but acknowledge your feelings.
  1. Think positively – what’s a good reason or a positive feeling or thought to the situation?
  1. React – always react after a pause and a positive thought. You’re more likely to be open to opportunity and growth!

And remember, your past experiences have shaped your beliefs today.  Don’t let your feelings and thoughts stand in the way of an opportunity.  You’re capable of success and happiness if you just put your mind to it.

Becky x

 

I am ready to leap.

For the last few years I’ve held a personal planning retreat as my husband and I have had a pretty big goal we wanted to reach. This summer we achieved that goal, which was purchasing our forever home. It was a goal we worked tirelessly for over three years, and it felt amazing to achieve it in July.

So this year my planning retreat was especially epic as I needed to set a new big goal.

Since we moved in I’ve had a serious vision of how I want the property and land, we have, work for us. To help earn money and boost our local economy. And so my big three year goal is to build a workshop where I can run day retreats such as yoga, painting, tai chi, furniture restoration and mindfulness.  I also want to have part of our land dedicated to glamping and we are investigating yurts to offer a back to nature experience.

But this vision has had me distracted from the business I’ve been trying to build over the last few months, which is a productivity coaching business. I want to be completely open and honest with you in that I’ve really struggled over the last month in seeing how this coaching business fits in with my bigger plans. But I guess it’s more than that, because I’ve realised that productivity was something I fell into. After learning all about productivity to help me out of a mess I since went on to do it as my day job.

But after doing some serious soul searching and intense meditation it’s become very apparent to me that although I’m good at it, productivity isn’t my passion, it’s not what gets me leaping out of bed in the morning.

And that’s pretty important right? To find something that makes you smile and happy.  To have a job that doesn’t feel like work?

So I spent some time really thinking about what I love to do. And this made me go back to what I dreamt of doing as a child, which apart from being a princess, was to be a criminologist.  I apologise if anyone finds this weird, but from about the age of 11 I was intrigued by what made people do what they did.  In particular, it was what made people who committed serious crimes do what they do.  However, for a number of reasons, which I’ll talk about another day, I never made it down that path.

After studying for a degree in tourism and business management I got a job that all my friends envied as I ran events all over the world and got to travel to some amazing places. Peru, South Africa, Canada, all over America and Europe. Although I loved every second I never felt it was my true calling, I had to work hard to get it right, I wasn’t a natural. By the time I hit my mid-twenties I was spending a lot of my spare time researching psychology courses.  At the same time, I met my now husband, and his military career took us in a different direction. I don’t regret anything as my life with him has been and continues to be amazing.

But, after the birth of our second child three years ago, I realised that I wanted to spend more time at home, but we couldn’t afford for me to be a stay at home mum. And to be honest I’m not sure I wanted to either. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of working and the independence it gives me.

So I started dreaming of going back to school and studying counselling.  But this was at the same time as we started really wanting to push forward with our dream of a house in the countryside and acres of land. After numerous discussions with my husband I agreed that I would carry on working to enable us to fund that dream.

What has this all told me?

Going back over my career aspirations has confirmed that coaching is definitely the right path for me to be on.  I’m a natural cheerleader, empowerer, problem solver. But I’m also passionate about helping women get to the bottom of what’s preventing them from achieving true happiness and success and how they can develop their real self to change this.

This is mostly to do with that little voice inside our head that fills us with worry, anxiety, negativity, that makes us judge ourselves and question our choices and decisions, you know those nagging thoughts of self-doubt.  Feelings of not being good enough, lacking self-worth.  But that little voice is not our reality.  And if we give it too much attention it can be destructive.

It’s a voice that’s grown louder and louder over the years thanks to earlier experiences.  However, in listening to our little voice, we are not assessing a current situation and we then miss out on opportunities.

The more we develop our real self, the more we become aware of our feelings and emotions right in the moment, the less influence that little voice will have on us and we can open our hearts and minds to opportunity, true happiness and success. And finally we can become the successful, confident, truly happy entrepreneur we know we should be.

I am really excited about my new venture, my new challenge.  I will be sharing more about how I have overcome the little voice inside my head over the coming weeks and telling you how and why I now feel good enough, how I know I am worthy and deserving of the true happiness and success I feel every day.

Becky x