“You’re not nearly as screwed up as you would like to be.”
That statement flew out of my mouth when talking to someone I dearly love in the intensity of a deep discussion about some real-life stuff that was going down.
My point in saying it was, what if you’re not screwed up? What if you’re not broken? And what if you’re not a lost cause who just has to get used to how hard this feels right now?
By the way, when you’re in the “shit has hit the fan” moment, positive thinking is not the thing you want to hear.
That statement has reappeared in several conversations since then, including the self-talks I give when I’ve hit my own wall.
Recently, as in three conversations today alone, two yesterday (for real) and dozens in the past few months, I’ve been having conversations with freaking brilliant people where they are saying things like, “if it hasn’t happened by now, what if it doesn’t happen?”
It also sounds like:
What if it’s going to be like this forever?
What if I never change?
What if it’s always this hard?
What if this vision I’ve had is total bullshit?
What if I actually don’t have what it takes to do this?
What if I’ve just been in a delusional relationship with this vision I’ve had for my life and I just need to let the dream go?
Maybe I should just quit.
And BAM, almost out of nowhere this debilitating self-doubt shows up and holy. shit. is. it. intense.
I was in this place a few months ago.
What felt like I was fine, the next day I was not fine.
It made NO sense. I was working with amazing clients in my programs and privately. I was enjoying where my work was expanding and was have an incredible experience getting ready to host my new event.
So what the hell? Why does this happen?
(And if one more person told me to “just choose something different,” or to “get my energy congruent,” I was going to bitch slap them.)
Here’s what I’ve learned:
👉 First, appreciate yourself.
It’s a beautiful and courageous thing to take an honest look at our lives and see what we SAY we would like to change but it hasn’t changed yet.
It can also be a trap of self-judgment that separates ourselves from uncovering the truth of what we REALLY want and the even bigger truth, that YES we can create it.
So appreciate that you have gotten through hard stuff before. Appreciate that you are willing to explore what this is all about.
Appreciate everything and anything you can about yourself. If you can’t think of anything, call a friend and ask them to appreciate you for a minute. You can usually only handle about 60 seconds of praise, but stretch yourself and receive it for at least two minutes.
👉 Second, what’s true about your self-doubt?
Is it possibly shining the light on a habit, pattern, or choice that had to get so loud and ugly for you to decide to do something different?
This kind of brutal honesty can be a hard pill to swallow.
And like Elizabeth Gilbert said, “I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit.”
So what are you willing to change? This can be liberating.
👉 Third, what is really asking to come through you?
Guess what? It will likely take longer than you would like it to.
It probably won’t be a straight path, but with a lot of ebbs and flows.
The other part is in order to receive what’s next, you HAVE to let go of something.
Yep, even letting go of stuff that’s “just fine,” or “it’s okay,” or even “pretty good.”
Are you really okay with just “pretty good?”
👉 Fourth, please ask for help from the right person.
Don’t go to someone who is going to enjoy telling you, “I told you so,” or who will delight in your misery. (If you have people like that in your life, don’t go to them for advice as it’s just a way to sabotage yourself.)
There is something incredibly sacred and healing about simply being witnessed for who you are exactly where you are.
Be willing to be vulnerable and allow yourself to be witnessed.
It will feel as if you’re naked pointing to every flaw you perceive about yourself and that’s okay. You’ll live through it.
👉 Fifth, be patient with yourself.
Dammit. yeah, yeah, patient. I’m the least patient person on the planet, especially with myself.
I sense that this phase of deeply questioning your abilities to create is actually triggering the muscle of self-trust that has atrophied.
Think about it. If you fully and deeply trusted yourself, would self-doubt be making an appearance like this in your life?
As you revive this self-trust muscle, be patient with yourself.
What if this whole fiasco is simply an invitation from that brilliant soul of yours to trust yourself more?
When you’re in the depths of this stuff, intense is an understatement.
👉 Remember that this feeling won’t last forever.
In managing my own mental health, this is something I have to remind myself of often.
In those moments of anxiety, I’m telling myself, “This won’t last forever and even if I think it might this time, I trust that it won’t last forever.” And then breathe. And breathe again. And again…
Keep trusting yourself.