Do you have moments wondering “What on earth am I doing?” or observing a serious lack of trust in yourself? If there’s one term I’ve heard in abundance lately it’s “I have self-doubt”. Whether I’m networking, working with clients or chatting with friends it seems we all have moments of self-doubt running parallel with a case of the speed wobbles. Many of us become paralysed by it, leaving us running round in circles.
Self-doubt is defined as a lack of confidence in one’s self and ones abilities. So why is it self-doubt is making such an appearance at a time when we have content galore to help grow our confidence, positive mentoring a phone call away and app’s at our fingertips to solve every problem?
And oh the irony. I have been sitting on completing this blog for a good few weeks. Then it hit me. I had doubt around my abilities and experience to write about this topic. I finally had the realisation that much of this inner chit chat had no substance. So I did some research, delved into what I know from hours of coaching and here’s what I learned.
Self-doubt comes in all shapes and sizes. I’m not sure I’m smart enough to get ahead at work. I’m not good at maintaining friendships. I’ll never be able to reach my goal weight. But what it all boils down to the old chestnut, belief and fear of I’m not good enough. You are good enough of course but right at this minute you are very much not buying that story and instead choosing to not back yourself.
Imposter syndrome is a classic phrase closely linked with self-doubt. I feel like I’m completely winging it and one day everyone will find out I’m a fake. Wow, if I had a dollar for every time I heard that cracker! The ultimate in doubting ourselves at work, not trusting or believing in our abilities. Sure, there are folks out there who are totally winging it but for most of us we have the knowledge, experience and practical know how to be in a role. So why put energy into believing we’ll be caught out? Well, my friends it’s been noted that this doubting business also appears to function exceptionally well as a phenomenal excuse card for not stepping up, pushing harder or going further.
Is there a quick fix for self-doubt? Not exactly as it often stems from stories from our past that we’re holding onto. Whether they be real or imagined, if we’re holding onto resentment, guilt, shame for mistakes of the past they will all lead to self-doubt. Often many people fear they will repeat their own past mistakes or from something a parent has done. And as we know the more we focus on this fears the more likely it is to come to fruition.
In order to overcome self-doubt we need to consistently practice self-forgiveness and self-compassion. As well as doing ourselves a big favour – drop the judgement. How harshly we judge others is a direct reflection of how harshly we are judging ourselves. The same goes for those of us with perfectionist tendencies.
According to a special report Loving You in the spring edition of Wellbeing Australia , if you doubt yourself you are settling for less. To move away from this they suggest we put our attention towards self-empowerment. Acknowledge you create your world and own your choices – no need for external approval or apologies required. We would also want to focus on self-expression – how open are you with your communication style? Do you let have a creative outlet? How authentic is it?
The way our minds are wired for survival we will always find a bit of self-doubt popping up but how much power will you give it?
Happy holiday season and if you’re down under hello summer! I’ve pulled together a holiday reading, viewing and listening list for when you’re relaxing poolside, on a lonnnng roadie or needing some inspirational viewing after eating far too much & need to get yourself up off that couch.
#1 Read: The Power Of Habit. My current read. Fascinating. Find out how the habit of brushing our teeth was formed and why fruit and vege are at the start of the supermarket.
#2 Listen: The Wake Up Project- Jono Fisher has several enlightening conversations with high profile Australian men about masculinity on 2015 and what it means to them. Nigel Marsh and Cameron Clyne were two of my favourites.
#3 View: The Skill of Self Confidence by Dr Ivan Joseph a varsity soccer coach who claims repetition, repetition, repetition is one key to building your confidence.
#4 Read: #girlboss by Sophia Amoruso. A gritty millennial version of Lean In according to reviews. Santa is bringing me this one.
#5 Listen: – Ted Talk Radio on disruptive leadership features Sheryl Sandberg & Drew Dudley (the lollipop guy).
#6 View: 8 Ted Talks curated by Bono – there’s bound to be one in here to get you inspired for 2016. Ken Robinson’s talk about school killing creativity is thought provoking.
#7 Read: Inspired after watching her interview with Marie Forleo recently the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is on my summer reading list to gain insights into not being afraid to explore my creative side – stop worrying about what people think!
#10 Video: In Oprah’s Harvard Commencement Speech 2013 she quotes one of my favourite sayings “this too shall pass”. Oprah suggests we build a resume about who you want to be and asks what is your story that will get you out of your low state. If you love O, you’ll love this.
#11 Read: The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer. Definitely for those very much into personal development literature. I’ll be reading this to expand my horizons around his philosophy of “You don’t attract what you want. You attract what you are”.
I’d love to hear what you’re reading, viewing or listening to over the holidays – let me know what has rocked your world this year. Thank you to everyone who made suggestions for my summer list. Happy holidays!
My Nan did yoga until well into her 80s and mum has been doing it for over 40 years. My dad claims to have been an avid yogi in the 70s but none of us have seen one pigeon pose. He claims it’s all in his mind. I have an on/off affair with yoga. I did it every day in July but only 3 times since then. Oops. So while I’m super excited to be joining the Wanderlust tribe I have been a little apprehensive as to experiencing yogues full time for 4 days.
Day one. I’m a newbie. My buddy isn’t turning up till Day 3 so I’m lurging looking for new yoga friends – anyone? I used to feel really uncomfortable meeting new people (networking guide blog coming in November) but Ive found the more you do it the easier it gets and luckily for me yoga folk are super friendly especially the Wanderlust team.
I kick off with some meditation under a tee-pi. Clear head. Tick. Done. 5 year old Bec is drawn to the hula-hoop dancing session. And after about half an hour of awkward thrusting, wiggling & whacking my comrades with my hoop – I got it! Look, it’s not something I’ll be doing back on Bondi beach but it was fun.
Hungry, all I could find in a hurry was Mexican which was NOT a good idea before SUP (stand up paddleboard) yoga. I’d been hanging out to try this for a while. And it was HARD. Good hard but I was the first to schimmy sideways (gracefully) into the water after a very tricky warrior pose gone wrong and let me tell you the Mexican swirling about in my tummy did not help. But I loved it & will definitely do it again. I joined the press conference at the end of the evening with a delightful sunset backdrop over Twin Waters, Novotel. It dawned on me what a massive feat it must be to curate, design and engineer this festival. I can’t wait for tomorrow.
First a confession. I am one of those annoying early bird types. I kicked off today at 5am hiking up a steep path to Mt Coolum to discover serene pano views. I slip slid my way back down the hill to join a Surf 101 class. The sea had more motion in it than my washing machine on a heavy cycle but the crew created an awesome yoga / mindfulness blend with a surf lesson – my brain even recalled how to stand up on the board and I fell in love with surfing all over again. Full of ‘must get back into this when I get home’ type feelings.
Next up I chose to listen to Lola Berry (a well-known nutrition personality in Australia) talk about keeping an eye out for nasties in your food. The worst one – for those of you who drink ‘diet’ anything was the chemical 951 – it’s absolute poison. Ugh what are we doing putting this stuff in our bodies! Another super interesting point and I know many of you might relate – is getting a little too obsessed with one type of super food, O-ding on it and sometimes even forming an allergy. Guilty! I did this by having kale every day for a year in my green smoothies. It sounds so simple but variety is the spice of life right? Just because bone broth is awesome doesn’t mean we need to have it everyday.
The afternoon was spent in three 90 minute yoga classes back to back. Yes three. No time for any leisurely Mexican today. If I’m honest, today all I ate was protein bars – hmm not sure what Lola would say about those nourishment options. I’ve done enough hip opening and ‘attempted’ crows to last me till Christmas. The yogatainment was in full force with how to workshops, bends and mantras giving me the realisation that there is a lot more to yoga than a simple downward dog.
There’s heaps of cool music tonight but I’m exhausted and this early bird needs to be ready for tomorrow’s 630am meditation on the beach. Tweet tweet. Time to press the activewear!
Another perfectly stunning day on the Sunshine Coast. Kicking off the day at 630am with a standout visualisation meditation from Swami G. I know this isn’t everyone’s cuppa tea but if you can handle sitting on a picture perfect beach and taking a few deep breaths in and out you would cope.
Next up was Acroyoga for beginners. Let’s just say I won’t be signing up for Cirque de Soleil anytime soon. It’s really interesting to observe the ego during challenging new experiences like this where it’s easy to compare yourself to others or ‘wish’ you could be better. I managed a half flying something and while it wasn’t pretty it did feel pretty cool and the best bit is playing like a kid again and not taking everything so seriously!
Sampled a ‘living pizza’ today. Yes all raw, organic, GF, DF etc etc. It tasted delicious. Pity my stomach didn’t really agree so much.
Some cool chats about self-love, managing positive and negative core beliefs and a sneaky nana nap on the beach before a final 90 minute class on setting intentions and rocking a few vinyasa moves to Fat Freddy’s drop (all the classes have DJs most of which are kiwis – only the best!).
I’m so tight from all the downward dogging and planking I could hardly pop my left hip while listening to the legendary sounds of Donovan Frankenreiter – a free massage tent is probably a good idea for a sponsor next year.
Wow. That was an awesome experience. Here’s what I learnt after 4 days of Wanderlusting on the Sunshine Coast.
I really enjoy yoga and the zen zone it gives me (could’ve been tricky otherwise)
Ayurveda translates to the science of life. I loved the thought that everything in life is food – all you take in you absorb. Consider what you are digesting and surrounding yourself with.
Totally agreed with the concept taught to students from Duncan Peak of Power Living Confrontation with expectation is manipulation. Confrontation without compassion is abuse.
Keep your eye out for Teff – it’s going to be the new super food.
There are three parts to your shoulders – thanks Amy Ippoliti from yogaglo.com. It’s change how I look at posture. Stand proud like a toddler.
Noticing my ego during a yoga dance class telling myself I looked like a fruit loop then getting over myself & enjoying the experience so much more.
Sharing Wanderlust with a wonderful friend was a real bonus as was having time on my own to process ‘stuff’ and met some really lovely folk.
The heart has it’s own version ‘brain’ according to research done by HeartMath is the U.S. They’ve also found our heart communicates via electromagnetic field interactions with our brain that can be detected 5 or 6 feet away. Fascinating. More.
There are some really strong, flexible, talented young women out there providing awesome role models for women of all ages.
While my pigeon may’ve improved, my crow and headstands are very much still a work in progress and I’m happy to leave acroyogues to the experts.
It’d be awesome to see more guys at these events. There are just as many classes which would appeal to blokes who like keeping in shape.
Blogging everyday is intense but satisfying.
I love the Sunshine Coast. The temperature, the beaches, the vibes. Hello #happyplace.
Don’t leave dropping off your hire car till the last minute. My zen momentarily disappeared as I realised I had 5 minutes to drop the rental car off at a closed office, with no where to leave the key a bit down the road from the airport. Sprinting to the departure gate was er… exhilarating.
After one of these events you always make big claims about all that yoga, surfing, meditation and Qi Dong you’re going to squeeze in. I’m being realistic as I plan these into the week and having a yoga buddy to hold me accountable will also help when I get a case of excusesology.
The team at Wanderlust produced an incredible festival. If you like yoga, wellness, meditation, cool tunes and want to get out of your routine then definitely consider checking out one of their upcoming festivals. You don’t have to do 4 days – there are day passes but I think at least two day is ideal to fully soak up the vibe and stretch out your body and mind in a fun, supportive, open, friendly community vibe. I’ll definitely be back.
When the All Blacks win the next rugby world cup the Kiwis will have no problem celebrating. When your friend, colleague, child or even pet has a success you have no issue applauding. But giving ourselves a high five when we make it to a milestone & shouting “Good on me” from the rooftops? It seems to feel a little squeamish.
As The You Project turns one this week and LinkedIn’s constant alerts signal more excitement about the anniversary than me I questioned why is it that I felt so uncomfortable celebrating. Particularly outwardly. Down-under we like to think we have a ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ criticising any sign of a self-promoter however Tony Robbins who has worked with millions of people worldwide assures us we are not that special, this is a worldwide phenomenon – we just have a good name for it.
Most of us were brought up not to brag about achievements and those kids that did were certainly frowned on. But why do we accept someone being proud of their achievement as bad? Is it possible to re-frame our beliefs around this in order for us to display pride more freely?
One of the most common barriers to acknowledging success is worrying about what people will think. But as Marie Forleo reminded clients in a recent vlog there are always going to be people who judge you. Key question: Who are you living your life for? Are you trying to live your whole life not judged by anyone? Because we know that is actually not possible and attempting it is going to be very unfulfilling. Draw a line in the sand & leave the naysayers who judge where they are – they’re not likely to be crucial to your success anyway.
Setting very high standards and the ‘I’m not enough’ syndrome also hold us back from celebrating success. “Once I have reached 1,000 clients or when I get the promotion then I’ll celebrate”. But this is a moving goal post. If you work like this, there will always be another goal to achieve and you’ll also miss out on the awesome dopamine which comes from acknowledging an awesome outcome.
How to say “good on ya” and reap the rewards:
Enjoying your success builds confidence, self-worth and creates a positive energy around you which people find infectious and want to get on board with.
Acknowledging your achievement inwardly by meditating, journalling or pondering as you exercise recalling HOW you got to where you are today. The lessons, the wins and the challenges you overcame along the way.
It’s not ALL about you. Celebrate your achievements with those key players who helped you get there & spread the good vibes by asking them what they have done lately they are proud of?
Celebrating doesn’t have to be a big night on the ‘turps’ or a $500 day spa package. Come up with a list of small treats, activities or moments.
YOU are the key pillar to the success in your life. If you can’t say good job to yourself why should anyone else?
The YOU Project is still very much in its infancy. No bids for takeovers just yet. It’s been an exhilarating roller coaster ride of self-discovery, intensive networking and dealing with an HR manager, marketing and finance departments with different agendas has had it’s moments. However while there is so much still to accomplish I have made it to a year. Every day I still feel so excited to work with my awesome clients and help move them to more fulfilling places. I get to learn and develop new inspiring content, create workshops and have some awesome projects in the pipeline. A massive part of my year has also been reaffirming what incredible support I have from my network of mentors, clients, family & friends which has given me so many rewarding opportunities.
So I’m going to toot my horn this week. Toot toot. I’m proud The YOU Project has turned one. I’m not worried if people judge me for feeling a bit of goodness. That is their choice. I’m walking the walk of what I spend my days encouraging my clients to do – take a moment to go “Yes, actually Bec, good work, keep it up”.
So what latest achievement are you proud of? Your task for this week is ASK 3 people what they are most proud of at the moment then share yours – a little self promo never hurt anyone. I want to hear about it!
Finally, a massivethank you to all the awesome clients, mentors, family and friends who have been so incredibly supportive to me these past twelve months. I look forward to celebrating with you all soon.
I’m a straight shooter. And I’m not afraid to point out the glaringly obvious. It’s 1 July today. We’re half way through 2015. Around about now you start procrastinating about tax or filling in your automated yet clunky KPI Internal Comms system ‘demonstrating’ what a terrific year you’ve had so far for your manager to rush through to meet internal deadlines. But here’s something outrageous. How about putting some time aside to actually reflect on your year so far?
Here’s some key questions to kick start your own personal mid-year review.
Source your goals, be they in your head or on paper. How are you tracking? What have been your wins? Where do you need to focus your efforts to keep winning? What has slowed you down & how will you look to solve these challenges?
Your approach. Rather than being attached to a set outcome as you begin each action, consider your strategic approach for each goal especially around who you are being. Do you need to adjust your openness to improve a relationship? Can you find more joy in the everyday, seemingly mundane things?
Your support crew. Who are you going to recruit/ keep on board to assist you to make the rest of 2015 a stellar year? Equally who will you offer support and advice to you – remembering contribution is a key attribute to achieving greater happiness in your life.
Imagine it’s the Christmas party season of 2015. You’re making the rounds. When people ask you how your year was what do you tell them? Make a list with all the areas important to you e.g happiness, health, fitness, love, career, finance, relationships, travel, family, hobbies, home, etc
What are three actions you will commit to completing this week to get you on your way to achieving your big ticket items and small every day wins? Email them to a trusted friend who will hold you accountable or feel free to send them my way.
Ideally set aside 1-2 hours to reflect, refocus and refresh your outlook for 2015 but if you can only find 15 minutes just do it! You’re well ahead of the game already by even reading this.
I have a few places left at my women’s workshop The Direction Momentum in Bondi on 12th of July. A great opportunity if you or anyone you know is drifting along or needs some motivation!
I noted recently how many metaphors and language there is around focus and goal setting with roads and travelling. Journeys, direction, path, momentum, wheels in mud, road map, stuck at a fork in the road, the road less travelled, crossroads, life intersections the list goes on. So I thought the image I took en route to Mt Hutt , Canterbury, N.Z. on Saturday was apt for today’s blog.