She’s talking animatedly about her ideas and vision. She’s articulate and captivating. Her enthusiasm and passion is contagious.
I’m right with her. I see the world through her eyes. I can see the possibility that she sees. And it’s delicious.
And then it comes.
“But what gives me the right to do this?”
Even though I know to expect this from capable, smart, sensitive and creative people, it still surprises me. How can she not see herself the way that I’m seeing her? How can she not see the value in what she is communicating?
So many of the people I work with struggle with this dilemma.
They have a sense of incredible potential inside them. They have so many ideas that fill them with joy, excitement and passion.
When they’re aligned with that energy they feel that anything is possible. They believe what they have to offer is valuable and that they’re capable of making it happen.
But then there’s another side.
The part of them that doubts themselves. That never feels good enough. That doesn’t trust themselves to follow through. That questions their right to do the work that brings them alive.
Which creates a conflict. A push/pull in the way they use their energy.
They take a step forward and then two steps backwards. They’re inconsistent in how they take action so they don’t create momentum.
Which causes incredible frustration!
And feeds the belief that they don’t have what it takes to create their vision. But here’s the good news.
Once you start to recognize this pattern in yourself and start to shift the beliefs which are causing you to stay stuck, you’ll start moving forward with far less stress and effort.
Here are some things you can do to feel more worthy of doing the work which brings you alive and makes the best use of your strengths and talents.
One of the common barriers that people have towards moving in the direction of their dreams is feeling that they’re not good enough, skilled enough or experienced enough.
So they stop.
If this is true for you, I suggest that you stop and pay attention and interrogate that a bit. Ask yourself: Is that true (that I’m not good enough)? Are there other people doing what you want to do who have the same/less experience/qualification/skill that you do?
If you do this and still don’t feel good enough or that you have the right to do the work you need to explore this further.
Many of my clients struggle with imposter syndrome, where their standards for excellence are so high that they’re impossible to live up to. You can read more about the types of imposter syndrome here and pay particular attention to the expert type and see whether that applies to you.
Another issue that could be playing out for you is that you’re worried about what other people think. Some of us have a tendency to need approval from others and a sensitivity to rejection.
If this is the case you may be giving too much attention and importance to what other people think about you. While feedback from others is always valuable, it does need to be balance.
When you have this tendency you can lose touch with what you think.
You can learn to do this by taking the time to meditation or journal and explore more about what it is that you want rather than what other people think. Why do you think that what you have to offer is valuable?
If it turns out that you’re really not good enough to be charging money for what you want to do, that’s ok. It’s what you do with that observation that matters. Instead of getting despondent about where you are, reframe your self-talk from “I’m not good enough” to “I’m not good enough yet” (see Carol Dweck’s TED Talk for more on this.
This helps you shift from getting stuck in self-doubt to being solution focused. Focus on what you need to do to move closer to being good enough.
When you stop feeling caught up in the fear and shame of not feeling good enough and avoiding looking at what’s going on, you’ll start to see that there are possibilities that you didn’t see previously.
There is always a baby step you can take to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
One of my clients is a writer who would love to be self-employed one day. So he’s creating time during his work week to write and develop his skill further in the kind of writing that will give him the best chance of success. He’s joining writing groups and creating a network.
And every baby step he takes allows him to build his confidence about the possibility of success.
Another client wants to be a health coach but although she has done her health coach training she doesn’t feel skilled or confident enough to take on paying clients. So she stalled and did nothing.
When we started working together and shifting the beliefs and fears which were keeping her stuck she was able to create a plan of action to move forward. She continued developing her knowledge through reading and further courses and practiced her coaching skills by taking on people to coach for free at first and then for a very low fee which she incrementally raised as she developed more and more trust in her ability to help people get results.
And in just a few months she was able to start attracting clients that she was confident enough in her ability to deliver results to charge a much higher fee.
Now it’s your turn. Take some time to reflect on what you’ve learned from reading this. Ask yourself two questions to help you integrate any learning. First is: “What did I learn?” and the second is “What do I need to do differently as a result of this learning?”
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