MODULE 2 - TRAINING 1
Identifying soul shattering illusions that keep you addicted to self doubt, fear & stress
It's not a coincidence that someone who often doubts herself in her professional journey, also regularly feels stress, fear, anxiety, an all those uncomfortable feelings that don't let us once and for all relax and enjoy our career.
But why is it that, although we try to keep a high self esteem and to embrace confidence, those feelings simply don't come to us? We tell ourselves ''I am confident'', and we act as if we're confident, in the hopes that pretending to be confident will eventually make us feel confident. We tell ourselves ''I am relaxed, I will NOT stress'', in the hopes that our dream will come true.
DON'T FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT
We've heard it a million times: ''Fake it till you make it''. So that's what we do. We fake confidence. But does it work? Nope. And today, you're learning why.
See - Pretending to be confident and trying to look confident, doesn't generate confidence. It's as simple as that. Confidence comes from within. Being able to truly irradiate confidence from the inside out, is a skill that's cultivated and nurtured at the deepest level of connection with yourself, and it has nothing to do with what other people think or say about you. And that's why, in this program we're going to be using the term unshakeable confidence, quite a lot.
What makes our confidence unshakeable, is its strong foundation. Meaning, that whatever others say or think not only about our work, but also about ourselves as human beings, will never be strong enough to make our confidence shake so much that we crumble.
It's okay for other people's opinions to shake us a little bit. After all, we're human beings! But there's a huge different between being able to quickly step into our confidence and inner power after getting any type of negative feedback from the external world, and falling into a dirty cycle of self pity that could not only last for days, weeks or months, but which could also affect how we perceive ourselves from that moment on.
SO HOW DO I DO IT?
So now you're probably thinking ''Okay, Mary. All that sounds very nice. But how do I do that? How do I stop caring about what others think of me, when I feel like I depend on them? What if I get fired? How can I not care about what my colleagues and boss think of me?''
I hear you my love, I hear you. So let's dive into the first step toward letting go of your recurrent feelings of self doubt, stress and fear: understanding where they come from. And let's start diving into where it all starts: self-doubt.
ADDICTION TO SELF-DOUBT
You and I, have both been conditioned since we were little kids. And this conditioning started way before we can even remember being alive. We've been conditioned to live our lives in a permanent search to please others, in order to feel able to validate ourselves.
For most people on this planet, validation exists only outside of ourselves. This sort of makes sense, considering that as human beings, we belong to societies that work based on mutual work and collaboration. It's in our nature to seek understanding and belonging, in order to feel like we're allowed and capable of contributing to the world around us. Because in feeling that we are capable of contributing to those around us, we feel needed and useful. And in feeling useful, we feel like our existence has meaning.
None of that sounds like a bad thing, right? We just want to make sure that we're contributing to those around us. Our intentions are good. So when does this become a bad thing?
WHEN IT ALL GOES TO SH*T
Well - it becomes a bad thing when it harms your ability to enjoy life, because you start living in an almost permanent state of fear of not being able to please others. And that, is what overwhelming self-doubt is all about. Constantly questioning if you're ready for your next challenge, questioning your ability to be good enough, to succeed, to come up with the right ideas, to be able to solve the challenges that come your way. Being driven and tormented by thoughts that tell you...
''What if I'm not meant for this?''
''What is they discover that I wasn't ready for this?''
''What if I screw up?''
''What if I don't get this right?''
''What if it isn't perfect?''
''What if they judge me?''
''What if they don't like me?''
Look my love, all of those thoughts are possibilities. They truly are. But it's the attachment of our value as human beings to these temporary scenarios, and the illusion that they define us permanently, which makes these thoughts so overwhelming, that we even struggle to sleep.
So what's the solution? Is it to stop having these thoughts? Is it to eliminate them? Nope. Not really.
The solution, is to first, understand that not only other people have an opinion about us, but that we also get to have an opinion about ourselves. And second, to understand that the opinion that we have about ourselves is not less important than the opinion that others have about us. In fact, in most cases, our opinion of ourselves is even more important than other people's opinions. And you know why? Because what we believe about ourselves is what drives us each and every second of our lives.
DON'T NEGLECT YOUR OWN OPINION
It's only when we neglect our own opinion of ourselves, and when we don't realise that this opinion is independent from what others could think or say about us, that we unconsciously live our lives in autopilot, always waiting for that other person's validation. We're waiting for other people to decide if we're good enough, if we're doing things the right way, if we're capable of big things, and overall, if we've got what it takes.
Since we were little kids, we've been doing everything in our lives, to get someone else's approval. It all started with seeing your mom's smile, and getting a ''god job!'' or avoiding a ''you should've tried harder'' from your dad. And all of a sudden, this conditioning, which was once only meant to encourage you to improve yourself a little more, became your worst internal enemy.
INNER VS. OUTER VALIDATION
See - the problem isn't that we enjoy external validation. Validation feels good no matter where it comes from. The problem is that we weren't taught that our own validation is the most important validation of all, because it's the one that drives us every minute of the day.
Our own inner validation is responsible for the energy and enthusiasm that we bring into our work. It's this validation the one that will propel us forward not only when everything is going nice and easy, but also when we challenge ourselves beyond what feels comfortable for us. This is the validation that minute by minute allows you to enjoy your journey, because no matter the outcome, the mistakes, the obstacles and the falls, it tells you that you're good enough, because you're doing your best.
SOUL SHATTERING ILLUSION
Living in a world where what we do is valid and meaningful only when others validate it, is a choice. And I understand if it doesn't feel like it right now. You're so used to waiting for someone else's approval, that feeling joyful, relaxed and serene, without knowing if you'll get that validation, has never felt like an option. But use this moment of your life to open up to the idea that your own inner validation is something that you're deserving of cultivating and living by.
Needing other people's validations in order to validate yourself and what you do, is a soul shattering illusion. An illusion that completely disconnects you from your powerful and unique ability to create as only you can do, while enjoying your creative process. An illusion that you've been living in for so long, that you can barely notice that it's an illusion. And an illusion that's responsible for every bit of self-doubt that you feel along your journey.
This illusion shows up in the form of doubting yourself and feeling tense until you're proven that you smart and capable by the people around you. It's an illusion that makes you feel like you'll be able to release your self-doubt right around the corner, right after achieving that next thing.
ALL WE HAVE IS NOW
It's an illusion that doesn't allow you to enjoy the present moment, which is really the only moment that exists. The past is gone and the future will only exist when it comes to live in the present moment. What this means, is that you only get to enjoy your life, right now. And in this moment, there will always be some sort of uncertainty, and imperfection. So why wait until you know everything and until everything is perfect? Why wait for a moment that will never come? Why not learn to fall in love with the present moment, with all of its mystery and imperfections, and in the gratitude of this moment, do our best to welcome the best possible future, from a place of joy and excitement?
Self-doubt on its own, is not nearly as painful, as everything that it brings with it. And this leads us to fear and stress, which are basically self-doubt's children.
FEAR & STRESS
See - when you've accepted that you need other people's validation to be relaxed and joyful, you've unconsciously also said yes to living in a permanent state of self-doubt, until proven by others that you're good enough. And what this creates, is a permanent state of fear of failure.
So let's define what a failure is, by first defining what a mistake is. A mistake is what a bump in the road turns into, when we attach to that bump, the meaning of it being wrong. And failure, is what a mistake turns into, when we attach to that mistake the meaning of it not only being permanent, but also of it defining our worth.
THE BIG F
The word failure is an extremely disempowering word, that carries loads of assumptions in it. And guess what? Being afraid of failure, already implies that you see bumps along the road as something that shouldn't happen, turning them into mistakes, and it also implies that you believe that mistakes permanently define your worth.
But if you didn't believe any of that, failure wouldn't even ever be a possibility. All there would be, is the possibility to find bumps along the road, and that doesn't sound so scary right? All of a sudden, mistakes and failures are not even a thing, they don't even exist. They don't exist for you. All that there is, is the possibility of finding obstacles that will guide you to do things differently next time. That's it!
When we combine doubting ourselves unless someone else validates us, with considering failure as a possibility in our lives, guess what happens? We not only welcome fear into our lives, but we welcome overwhelming fear. The kind of fear that paralyses us and doesn't let us sleep.
And guess what happens when you approach everything in your to-do list, doubting yourself and overwhelmed with huge fear of failure? You stress. It's the constant worrying and the pressure that you feel to prove that you're good enough, while not even believing it yourself, which creates the stress you feel.
THE ROAD TO SERENITY
So there's really no way to release your unconscious addiction to stress, and fear of failure, without releasing your self-doubt, and also releasing all the assumptions behind the word failure. Because If you believe in yourself with all your guts, and you shift your perception about mistakes, from them being giant failures to them being simple bumps along the road, there's no way you'll stress. You'll be the most relaxed, confident and serene person there is.