Released on 10th February 2020
This week’s ‘Friday Shot of Clarity’ is running a little late – apologies!
One of the things almost everyone runs into sooner or later is feelings of ‘self-doubt’, often taking the form of a kind of ‘who am I to do this / say this etc’.
It often comes up shortly after someone gets fresh inspiration about a direction they’d like to move in, or something they’d love to create.
Last week, I was doing a coaching demo with a client, and this exact thing came up.The client wanted to do meaningful work as a coach around the climate crisis, helping people develop resilience.
She’d been hit by inspiration to do a workshop, and was full of energy for it, but then got struck by self-doubt.
When she reached out to me, she was stuck.She felt guilty charging money and was afraid she’d have to go back to the corporate job she didn’t believe in.
During the coaching session, I listened as deeply as I could while she explained her situation to me.
As I listened and spoke, we started to fall into a feeling of connection.
At a certain point in the conversation, it occurred to me to tell her this story…
About 14 years ago, I felt very inspired to do some to some talks and workshops for men.
I wanted to teach guys what I’d learned about how to be more attractive to women.
I announced the first talk to the people in my community, and 30 or 40 guys bought tickets.
When I’d had the idea, I’d been feeling full of inspiration and purpose, but as the evening of the first talk got closer, that changed completely.
I was filled with feelings of self-doubt and insecurity.
My head filled up with chatter.
“Who am I to talk to these guys about being more attractive?”
“I’ve got a bunch of issues; what was I thinking of when I announced this?”
I felt like a fraud.
On the day of the talk, I felt so uncomfortable that I was thinking of cancelling it, when I suddenly had an idea…
I would take my chequebook!
If the talk turned out to be awful, I could give everyone their money back.
I was still full of self-doubt, but now I had a backup plan.
In fact, the self-doubt and insecurity were at fever pitch just before I took to the stage.
And then something extraordinary happened.
I started speaking, and everything fell into place.
I loved giving the talk.
The audience loved the talk.
I knew in my heart that what I was doing that night was *exactly* what I was meant to be doing.
And it was only after it was all over, and I was on my way home that I asked myself the question:
“What was all the self-doubt about?”
And I had a sudden realisation.
The ego – all our ideas about ourselves – only holds information about the past.
The ego is a rear-view mirror.
It doesn’t know anything about the future.
It doesn’t know anything about who we truly are.
It doesn’t know anything about love.
From time to time, we fall out of those ideas about ourselves, about life, and we wake up to the truth of the moment. We catch a glimpse of who we really are.
Those glimpses leave us with inspiration, possibility and sometimes a sense of direction.
And as we start to move in that direction, the ego starts losing its shit.
You see, the ego doesn’t know about the future, about possibility, about who you really are.
So as we’re guided by glimpses of who we really are, our old ideas about ourselves get thrown into focus, ready to be burned away.
And that’s when I realised…
Self-doubt can be a go-signal; a green light; a sign that you’re on the right track.
In fact, when you’re being guided by wisdom and inspiration, you can count on self-doubt popping up……
as you break out of the cocoon of your old ideas about yourself and what’s possible for you……
and start spreading your wings, taking action and moving forwards.
Q: Would you like to see the video of the coaching demo where I told this story?
PS I’ve decided to do another 12-week coaching immersion, where you get 1:1 coaching from me in a group context. We’re starting in a few weeks, and if you want to find out more, here are the details of two of the tracks:
There’s also going to be a ‘personal transformation’ track. If you’d like more details about that, click here to reply and write ‘personal transformation’ and we’ll send them over.