Our most powerful selves come from our most vulnerable selves.
Recently, I’ve been fascinated with that inner shame monster that lives within all of us. What the f@#! is it doing there? While I originally sought a way to silence that voice, I’ve realized there is real value in listening to it without judgment and recognizing it as a tool to guide me.
But that doesn’t mean I obey the voice telling me “I’m not good enough.” There’s no way I’m staying in my apartment and ordering from seamless.com for the rest of my life! Instead, what I’ve learned is this:
that voice of vulnerability is my self-doubt needing to be embraced as a teacher.
For example, launching my own business brings out a lot of insecurities I didn’t know existed. Will I make it? Am I smart enough? What if I don’t know what I’m doing? These vulnerable moments allowed me to connect to myself and others and address the underlying fear perception we all have: Fear of not being good enough.
Here is how I got real with that fear and shifted my perception:
1. Sit with the icky uncomfortable feeling and just feel it. Without judgement. Just feel it. Ask yourself:
- What am I feeling?
- Where in my body do I feel it?
- Does this feeling make me feel big or small? Expansive or contracted?
Small and contracted
- What triggered this?
The realization that I’m overwhelmed without a roadmap
to create my own business
2. Now that you’ve sat with and recognized the fear and emotion, out it from its closet and shine some light on it. Do this by identifying the root fear behind the feeling in this moment and ask yourself:
- What fear-based story from my past or what underlying fear does this emotion echo?
I’m scared that I’m not good enough. This stems from my buying into
the perception that I need to “measure up” to some arbitrary set of
3. Great work! It isn't always easy to identify where we've strayed from our truth. This step is the most powerful one: Take a deep breath and say:
I choose to see this fear differently.
Sound unrealistic? It’s really not, the simple willingness to shift your perception allows you to question your fears on a more fundamental level. It opens you up to limitless possibilities. Even if you don’t truly feel it at the time, stating it is the first step. Willingness is a key component of shifting your perception.
4. Choose a loving perception
- Ask yourself: Why have I accepted this as a truth? Is there a more loving perception I could take?
- Be empathetic. Your shift of perception may look like this: In this moment, I don’t know what to do, but I have everything I need inside me. I have the intelligence to figure things out and the ability to reach out to others to fill in the gaps.
5. Time to throw down the “F-Bomb.” No, not that one. The philosophical F-bomb is forgiveness. Forgiving others is important, but the real power and progress is in forgiving yourself for believing your fear to be your reality.
Simply state: I forgive myself for believing that I am not good enough.
- Have gratitude for the circumstances that brought you to this point. These moments are assignments that allow us to address issues on a higher level. Opportunities to shift your perception connect you more powerfully to your truth.
6. Get on with it! Find one thing you can do right now to get yourself in the right direction. This is guided action, not fear-based action. Guided action is the type of action that inspires you to make that to-do list, write that email, or sign up for that class. Fear-based action is the type that tells you to eat another bowl of ice cream and turn on the TV. Which type of action would your best self take? For me, I decided to write this post and out my vulnerability. I knew that building a business of value is based on sharing my truth.
- What might your guided action look like?
To sum it up: When you have a moment of self-doubt:
1. Feel it to heal it!
2. Recognize it for what it is: a fear of not being good enough.
3. Be willing to shift your perception
4. Choose a loving perception
5. Forgive yourself.
6. Do something, even if it's small.
Notice the moment after you take that inspired action. How do you feel?
When action comes from a place of awareness, it is in alignment with our higher purpose.
Aligned action leads to a higher level of creativity and productivity.
Take a moment to clue into those feelings of vulnerability you may have and out it. Take advantage of this opportunity for growth and deeper connection.
It will serve as your compass moving forward.