I’ve just come off a call with my coach in San Francisco. Andrea is amazing – she’s an Life Empowerment Coach and has been guiding me with much love and patience on a journey of self discovery over the past six months. Pretty scary work sometimes, choosing to look at my fears and the patterns that play out again and again that hold me back from becoming who I want to be in life and business.
I have homework today! And so I am turning that into a blog post here, just in case you might also share these feelings and experiences too. You’re not alone.
My deepest fears, we discovered are judgement and rejection. And these fears stem from a sub conscious core belief of unworthiness.
This plays out in my life in procrastination. When I doubt that I am ‘enough’, procrastination is a very effective way of avoiding the risk of putting my work out there where it can be judged….. so I take another course, read another blog, watch another video, attend another webinar, download another white paper, ask another opinion. All in the search of a perfection that simply does not exist.
I often don’t trust my inner voice, the spark of inspiration that planted the seed of an idea in the first place. So I take my precious seed of an idea, the glimmer of creativity, a newly forming thought or concept and I present it, tentatively to another person for their feedback.
And I hold my breath as they casually glance at it (as how can they possibly know how delicate and precious it is to me, I would not dare to communicate that fragility – “just when you have a moment, it’s not that important”).
Or they pull out their microscope, looking at it from every angle, searching for the flaws (as I have asked for their honest opinion – “don’t hold back, I really want to know what you think”, whilst my heart is in my mouth).
And even when I have their feedback, that feedback that I wanted and asked for, it may backfire on me. If it’s positive – “were they just being kind to me”? = doubt. Or, if some suggestions were made for change = “Well, yep, that just confirms what I suspected, that is was a dumb idea”…
None of that sounds very healthy does it? And often, it’s all going on under the surface without our conscious awareness until we realise something is not right inside and developed the willingness and the courage to ask for help in discovering exactly what that is. Why it is that I oscillate between excitement and inspiration and negativity and fear? How can I change this?
What’s the alternative? I’m learning that it’s about coming from a place of intrinsic worthiness. Recognising my innate tendency to default to seeking validation, approval, acknowledgement, to be made whole from the outside in. Realising the reality is that our foundations can only ever be built to last from the inside out.
Self compassion is at the heart of this experience. When you become aware of defaulting to old patterns, reminding yourself that you are choosing a new way to live now. A rueful laugh – “I forgive myself for thinking I need approval, an external green light”.
Instead, I’ll write a new story. I’ll tell myself “the truth is I love what I have created. It’s in alignment with me, with who I am and what I believe and what is important to me. The truth is, it feels a little scary putting this out into the world without even a smidgen of approval from those around me. Like I’m jumping off without a safety net. But I’m going to do it anyway”.
Sometimes we need to take the first step even when we can’t possibly see the whole staircase. That’s when our courage is given the chance to grow, when we take another step forward into living our true wholehearted life.
Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a deep breath and hitting publish on a blog post.
P.S: You can reach Andrea here if you’d like to explore working with her 🙂