Is Self-Doubt Holding You Back?
Have you ever taken a leap into the unknown and found yourself reeling in self-doubt, worry, and overwhelm along the journey?
I’m in the middle of that right now.
As I write this, I’m sitting in the waiting area of an RV repair shop in Arizona with my partner and our dog, waiting for the diagnostics on our generator that’s not working.
We are just one week into our year long exploration of full time living, traveling, and working in our 31 ft. renovated airstream land yacht. There have been lots of bumps along the way, both literally and figuratively speaking, and each bump has thrown me more and more into a self defeating story…
“Did I make a mistake? Maybe I’m not cut out for this. This isn’t the way it was ‘suppose’ to be. I ‘should’ have known better. This just isn’t for me. My work is going to suffer from this. I’m going to disappoint everyone. They’ll see me as a fraud. This sucks! I suck!”
This sort of emotionally charged, anxious thought process eventually led me to a sort of breakdown. I just lost it one day, crazy lady style. I lost touch with myself and showed up that day in a way that I can only thank the stars for blessing me with such a patient and compassionate partner.
Though breakdowns can feel like the end of the world, they often lead to a breakthrough…if you have the right support to help you see the lesson and bring you back to your true source of power.
I’m endlessly grateful for the resources I’ve created in my life. From my books (oh how I love my books), to my mentors (what would I do w/o you?!), to my friends who inspire and encourage me because they too are daring to live life fully (you remind me daily, I’m not crazy - I’m courageous).
One of the most precious things I’ve ever received support with is how to deal with the self-doubt, worry, and overwhelm that comes up when I stretch myself into the unknown and out of my comfort zone. It’s been the very thing that has allowed for me to create a life, not just live one…but truly create one.
In my last blog post about overwhelm I dropped a mention that I would be writing about something I refer to as IBSC (itty bitty shitty committee).
These are the voices of your inner critic and they tend to speak up louder and more voraciously when you’re playing the game of life bigger and bringing more of your full self to the world.
It’s important to know that we all have an IBSC and we all have experienced ‘the stop’ these voices can encourage in us in following our deepest desires (or enjoying them). It’s also critical to know that these voices are not out to hurt us. They are meant to keep us ‘safe’ - it’s simply an expression of our innate safety instinct so that we don’t experience emotional and/or physical pain.
The problem with this, is it can also stop us from experiencing life fully. These voices can stop us from taking steps towards a life that feels more aligned, more adventurous, more impactful, more present, and more joyful. It can also keep us from being curious and appreciative along the journey when we do ‘take a leap’ out of our comfort zone and into our fulfillment zone.
In honor of support I want to share 4 steps that have profoundly served me in my own life as I play bigger in bringing my full self to the world.
4 Steps to Deal with Self-Doubt and Live More Fully:
1. Recognize the voice, not as YOU, but as your IBSC
These voices can have a pretty strong hold on us, so the first thing you’ll want to do is release the grip a bit. I suggest creating characters that personify your Itty Bitty Shitty Committee. I did this exercise years ago in a yoga teacher training and it has been life changing for me. My IBSC looks like puppets from The Fraggle Rock. Every time I think of this it makes me laugh at those voices a little, not taking them so seriously.
2. Notice the mind trap the inner critic has you caught up in
I learned this from a book called The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Workbook. The 7 traps are negative self talk, catastrophizing, the ‘shoulds,’ mind reading, the eternal expert, emphasizing the negative and discounting the positive, and blaming. You can learn more about these 7 mind traps in a free soulful life design course I created, illuminated. Access this free resource here
3. Ask curious, open-ended questions about the situation
When our IBSC is leading the way we can recognize it in our own words. We will most likely be proclaiming fixed judgements and definitive endings about the situation. An example might look like asking a question such as, “how might it be possible to…?” Rather than, “This sucks and I don’t know what to do!”
4. Remember that your IBSC speaking up is a sign that you’re taking steps in bringing your full self to the world
The goal is not to banish the voice, it’s to understand it and not let it take the driver’s seat in your life. In her book Playing Big, Tara Mohr speaks about the IBSC as the risk aversion department, ‘The folks over at the Risk Aversion Department don’t coordinate with the folks in the Fulfillment Department. They don’t care if you have a fulfilled or self-actualized day in your life! They’ll be pleased if you feel relatively bored, numbed out, and sad - as long as you stay stuck in the zone of the familiar.’ So be kind to yourself and honor your courage for discovering your own way to living a fulfilled and actualized life.
If you feel called to step into a life that feels more true to who you are and how you want to create, lead, and share your gifts with the world, I invite your explore how The Changemaker Circle can support you along that journey.
I’ve created a few ways to make this as easy of a YES as possible, so if you feel curious, I’d love to connect. Send me a message here, let me know you're interested, and I'll send you my calendar to schedule a conversation. We will jam about your dreams and the change you want to create, which ways the IBSC tends to stop you from bringing your full self to the world, and how I can support you in living into your fulfillment zone.
I’m curious, which step resonated with you the most and how do you deal with self-doubt? Comment below.
In honor of support,