“We see things not as they are, but as we are.” ~ H.M. Tomlinson
“I’m just not good enough” is a phrase I hear from many of my clients. Maybe they don’t use those exact words, but the feeling behind many of their roadblocks can be traced back to whether or not they feel like they measure up in their own minds or in the mind of someone else.
For example, one client said to me, “I’m not happy.” Why? “Because I worked really hard on a session for my client and she didn’t respond well at all.” Is that really your fault? “If I was a better coach, they’d love everything I do.” Is that realistic? “Maybe. Maybe, not. I just feel like I’m not good enough to be a coach.” Bingo!
People seem to try to cope with these feeling of being “not good enough” in one of two ways: They either reinforce their unworthiness through self-destruction, or they constantly push themselves to achieve an insatiable amount of MORE.
When you let “I’m not good enough” drive you, you give your power away and you’re no longer in charge of your life. You’re letting your life be defined by what you think society, culture, family, and peers want from you. When in reality, those who matter love you as you are and aren’t measuring you by some impossible standard. And those who don’t matter aren’t thinking about you at all. It really boils down to your own perception of yourself. You’re telling yourself “when I am X or do X, I will be enough.”
It’s time to break free from this catch-22. Here are eight things to remember when you’re feeling that you’re not good enough…
1. Mindfully embrace the moment. Don’t worry about what happened in the past or what might in the future. All you can influence is NOW. Greet it with acceptance and curiosity, looking for what it can teach you.
2. Make friends with your inner critic. Your inner critic is trying to keep you safe: safe from judgment, safe from failure, safe from disappointment. It resides in your vulnerability, where it really hurts. But when you examine that vulnerability with mindfulness, you can thank your inner critic for a job well done. Always look for the positive and quit dwelling on the negative. I love how Lori Deschene put it, “We can’t hate ourselves into a version of ourselves we can love.”
3. Forgive yourself. When you feel angry, disappointed or hurt, turn inwardly, connect with yourself and lovingly forgive yourself of the things that trigger these responses.
4. Stop negative self-talk. Don’t believe everything you think. Not all thoughts are true. Challenge them and tell the unhealthy ones to go away. As Jon Kabat-Zinn wisely said, “Until you stop breathing, there’s more right with you than wrong with you.”
5. Focus on the reasons why you are enough. Practice greater self-awareness and take note of how your life impacts others. Did you make someone smile, relieve a worry, dry a tear? You matter.
6. Be authentic. Comparing yourself to others and hiding who you really are is unproductive. Look at yourself and other people through a lens of compassion and understanding rather than judgment and jealousy. See that we’re all people on a journey with something unique and valuable to offer to the world.
7. Remember how far you’ve come. It’s so easy to forget all the baby steps it took to get you to where you are. But each one was a victory that you won! Remember them. Don’t let them slip away without celebration.
8. Let others love you. Take down the walls. Let their love reach you, even if you’re feeling angry, shamed or anxious. They want to give you love, because they know you deserve it. Listen to them. Their love is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
From this moment forward, observe every unworthy or unlovable thought with mindfulness. Be curious about its positive intention. Acknowledge to yourself that the old way of talking to yourself is no longer acceptable.
And, every time you say out loud a self-loathing or self-deprecating comment, stop yourself and reframe your comment to a positive comment. The more you speak positivity into your life, the more peace you will achieve, until one day, I promise, you will believe that you are good enough.
If you haven’t done so yet, please sign up for my free newsletter. It’s always filled with motivational insights and inspirational tips to help you become a person who is truly comfortable in your own skin.
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” ~ Vince Lombardi
We often hear about the need for willpower and getting tough with yourself to create the best version of yourself. I’ve written blog posts on how you can use both of these to your advantage. However, willpower and self-discipline, by their very nature, are internal forces you use when you don’t necessarily want to do something, but you know it’s for your own good to do so. And therein lies the flaw to solely relying on willpower and self-discipline — if you don’t really want to do it, you’re NOT GOING TO DO IT! To achieve your goals and attain your dream it’s imperative to first answer the question, “How badly do I want it?” because that kicks in the awesome and unstoppable power of commitment!
Of course, willpower and self-discipline have their place. They’re handy for keeping you on track and getting you past the times when you’re feeling low or are momentarily distracted or tempted to take your eyes off of your desired outcome. They remind you of your passion and get you back in alignment with the power of your commitment. And once that happens, the distraction or temptation loses its power over you. I love how Kenneth Blanchard puts it:
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”
Consider this: people who excel, for example Olympic gold medalists, aren’t driven by their willpower or their self-discipline. They don’t wake up each morning and think, “I’m so looking forward to making myself do something today.” No, they’re driven by their vision of standing on the highest podium, bending their head to receive the shiny medal, as the crowd goes wild, cheering their name! They want that prize more than anything, so they’re willing to do whatever it takes to beat everyone else. That’s the power of commitment!
While it’s good to strengthen your willpower and self-discipline, it would serve you best to focus on strengthening your commitment to the few things that are truly important to you. The more committed you are to an outcome the more real it is to you, and the easier it is to choose the things that support that commitment. As Jim Rohn said, “Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.”
Maintaining your commitment is often easier when you buddy up with someone who has similar commitments.
For example, several years ago, I enrolled in a coach development program through Coaches Rising and met Louise Santiago. I’m a somatic coach, and Louise is an executive leadership coach. We quickly realized we had a deep commitment to helping women identify and bring forth their innate leadership skills to expand their world, their community, and themselves. We began a business partnership at Newave Leaders where we empower women and we lead a life-enriching annual women’s retreat. These retreats are opportunities for highly-motivated women to travel the world and explore how we can use the power of commitment to achieve the next level of growth. (If you’re interested in learning more about Newave Leaders, check out our blog, or sign up for our newsletter.)
Working with Louise has helped me become crystal clear that intentional self-leadership is the core principle for my own coaching practice. To make intentional commitments requires that you make sense of your story, understand where you come from and what you believe, and importantly, how your emotions are showing up in your body. All these things are shaping your ability to step into the next phase of your life.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Commitment is what transforms a promise into a reality.” What promise have you made to yourself that hasn’t become a reality yet, because you’re not quite sure how to make it happen? Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I love working with women who want to unleash the power of commitment in their lives.
“Don’t die with your music still in you.” ~ Wayne Dyer
What makes you different from other people? What’s that one special thing you bring to the table that no one can do like you do? Surprisingly, these two questions can even leave highly successful people speechless. We have so much trouble assessing ourselves, knowing ourselves. But if you’re brave enough to do the work, the answer to the question, “What is my gift” will give you unending confidence and will reinvigorate your thirst for life.
Your gift is not a talent or the skillset you’ve acquired. It’s the thing that you’re intrinsically good at without any effort on your part. You display it at work and on vacation, whether you’re alone or with someone. It’s fueled by your deepest passion and nurtured by your highest purpose. It could be how you can:
- Stir the pot so people bring their best to the table in new and creative ways.
- Make sense of a situation or data and know what the next step is.
- Mediate and resolve any conflict.
- Sing like a rock star.
- Make people laugh.
- Get things done.
- Show empathy.
Why does it matter that you answer the question, what is my gift? You can certainly live by mindlessly going through the motions, being a cog in someone else’s wheel. But if you want to live an extraordinary life, you’ll find your gift.
To find your gift, you’ll first want to know what’s keeping you from identifying it.
What are your roadblocks to answering: What is my gift? Here are some common ones…
I’m so ordinary I couldn’t possibly have a special gift. Let’s nip this one in the bud right now! There has never been, nor will there ever be, another YOU. You are a unique combination of genetics, environmental influences, hopes, dreams and desires. Someone else may do what you do, but they’ll never do it like you do.
Teachers, parents, or bosses, make me feel less than and unworthy. Not everyone lives in a nurturing environment. When your unique gift isn’t acknowledged or is worse, belittled, you can learn to minimize its value or lose sight of it altogether. Don’t let their shortsightedness rob you of the power that comes with finding and sharing your gift. Do it for you and for those around you.
I don’t want the spotlight on me. It may feel more comfortable in the shadows. By staying small, you may think you’re honoring others, so they stay in the spotlight. But in reality, you’re selfishly withholding from them something that could make them even better. Your gift plus their gift can create a synergy that creates something neither of you can do individually.
Get the focus off of yourself and what others might think of you, and on to the positive outcome you can make. Even if you fear success because you don’t think you deserve it or you’re not ready for it, remember what Maryanne Williamson said,
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?’”
I don’t want to be too pushy. It’s good to recognize that others should be allowed to shine, but don’t think that means you can’t shine too! The key is to learn better communication skills so you can express your gift in an authentic and totally comfortable way, while, at the same time, accepting the gifts of others.
I don’t want to get involved. Taking responsibility for and using your gift mindfully takes guts. Yes, it’s easier to procrastinate and let others take over while you wait for the perfect time to shine. Life is short and unpredictable. Do you really want to be that person always standing on the outside looking in and who says, “I wish I would have…”
Not only is it important to know your own gift, but we can help others discover their gifts too! If you’d like to learn how, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). We’ll explore how you can bring your gift forth in a more fulfilling and meaningful way.
“If you pick the right small behavior and sequence it right, then you won’t have to motivate yourself to have it grow. It will just happen naturally, like a good seed planted in a good spot.” ~ BJ Fogg
The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition that they have the power to shape their reality through the way they think, believe or expect. One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is by practicing everyday rituals. When I read “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, I loved his powerful observation about habits or rituals: “And once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom and the responsibility to remake them.”
I truly believe it is our responsibility to change something in our lives that isn’t working for us or that isn’t challenging us to reach our full potential. Oftentimes, we get stuck because we don’t know where to start. So, I’m going to share some of my everyday rituals to help you explore possibilities for enriching your own life. My everyday rituals include:
Getting restorative sleep. Early to bed, early to rise is the motto I live by.
Working out. I move my body first thing each day.
Eating breakfast and dinner with my honey, because I want us to continue feeling connected and close.
Guarding my boundaries. For example, I hold to my ‘No work before 10’ policy fairly well.
Eating clean. For me that means, eating whole foods and not drinking alcohol. A couple of years ago, I started noticing that just the little bit of alcohol (my hubby makes some tasty homebrew!) would leave me feeling sluggish and fuzzy for a few days afterwards. I started to pay attention to that and experimented with no alcohol for a few weeks and then reintroduced it. It became clear that my body was telling me that consuming alcohol was not in alignment with how I wanted to feel and operate in the world. Do your own experiment. Notice what is no longer needed in your life and create new ways to support yourself throughout the day.
Fostering personal growth. I listen to podcasts, audiobooks, take online classes on a regular basis, use Tea Time and self-editing to be current with my emotional and mental state. I see my coach regularly to always have better perspective on situations and make better decisions. I know that I’m stronger when I support myself in a consistent and deliberate way.
Fully being present when I take time off. Whether it’s a retreat, a vacation with my family (I look forward to my yearly trips to visit my mom, brother and niece – they are nourishing and exciting!) I take time to unplug and get away so that I can return feeling refreshed and recharged.
Making changes. I need to change something in my life on a yearly basis. It might be changing the furniture around or updating my website, experiment with no meat for a month or taking a new route to work. I need to try Neways often (my business name is Neways after all!)
Expressing Gratitude. I like sending handwritten notes to people I love. I like surprising people with a thoughtful gift or just saying “you are important to me”. It’s a way I also acknowledge how blessed I am.
Has my list of everyday rituals given you some ideas of what new rituals you’d like to implement in your own life? Why not make this a family topic and come up with some rituals that help you reconnect with yourselves and each other? And I’d love it if we could stay connected too! Please sign up for my newsletter to stay current with the changes I’m making — in my own life and in those of my clients — including my Foundations of Life Coaching and NLP training coming up September 26 to 29, 2019.
“A daily ritual is a way of saying, I’m voting for myself. I’m taking care of myself.” ~ Mariel Hemingway
When you feel overwhelmed, because your life is out of control, how do you regain your balance, centeredness, and harmony? Do you have a particular ritual you rely on? Of all the things that empower us, the one that I think is most sustainable is harnessing the power of rituals.
The power of rituals that I’m referring to are the daily actions, habits, routines or patterns that keep you grounded and centered throughout your day. No doubt, you’ve experienced how one event can send you spiraling down until your whole day has been ruined. On the other hand, I hope you’ve also experienced how starting each day with a quiet, mindful practice can give you focus and strength that you can continually draw on throughout any crisis during the day.
Just as we harness a powerful horse to take us in the direction we want it to go, we can engage the power of rituals intentionally with a definite destination in mind. Whether it’s feeling better physically, connecting more fully with loved ones, achieving satisfaction from your work…
Tapping into the power of rituals involves creating an intention, then making repetitive, beneficial choices and actions until they become an ingrained habit. It becomes part of who you are. You wouldn’t consider going a day without engaging in it. Repetition makes your new ritual easier and, once it’s established, it takes much less effort on your part.
We naturally develop rituals around daily activities. Think for a moment how you get ready for work, travel to the office, and how you proceed through your work load. What rituals have you already formed?
I love what Stephen Covey said — “Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.”
Therefore, harnessing the power of rituals helps you:
- reconnect with what’s important to your inner self.
- become the creator of your reality.
- make order out of life’s chaos.
- enter the zone more easily.
- perform at a predictably high level, without over-thinking.
There are many ways of checking in and reconnecting with yourself. Here are just a few examples of how you can use the power of rituals in your own life:
- Sit outside with a cup of coffee as the sun arises to set intentions for the day.
- Read your collection of inspirational, motivational messages, when stressed, to regain your composure.
- Stop, stretch, breathe to reconnect with what your body is telling you.
- Light a candle or smell essential oils to calm, focus and prepare yourself for a challenge.
- Go to your sacred place, to reflect and meditate on what’s truly important to you.
- Before a challenging event, check in with a trusted friend or coach.
- At the end of each day, grab a drink, go to the back patio, and talk with and listen to your significant other.
The most helpful rituals engage all of your senses, as this anchors the experience and allows you to revisit it in your mind when you need to be centered during the day. Simple and intentional rituals are the best. They set you up for the best possibility of success.
A ritual is usually comprised of a certain series of actions you do over and over again. You can harness the power of rituals by breaking down the individual steps and tweaking each one individually.
Would you like to learn more about the power of rituals in your life? Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to brainstorm some ideas with you so it can relieve your feelings of being overwhelmed by your workload or personal responsibilities.