authentic life Being Authentically You!

Being Authentically You!

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How to get past self-doubt and know that you’re enough.

“Come to think,” he said,” I’m not sure what success looks like. And, the truth is, even if I got what I say I want, I still wouldn’t feel successful.”

“Mark” and I — OK, his name isn’t Mark but the dialogue is true and I do like that name — have known each other for a long time.

His words that day weren’t a surprise. It was the way he looked at me that was different. He was opening the door to a conversation about something he’s always been sensitive about. “What’s going on?” I asked.

“Well,” he replied, “I’ve been working with this coach for some time now. I’m trying to grow my practice and increase my revenue. I’m working really hard to do what she asks me to do, but when I sit down and think of the details, I keep coming to the same conclusion. I can’t raise my fees that much. It’s not realistic and it’s not going to work for me.”

He went on, “I’ve subscribed to all these marketing experts’ newsletters. I read the testimonials on their websites. They all seem to be so successful and they all say the same thing. Yet, here I am, a veteran practitioner and I just can’t do it. Every time I read their emails, I get depressed. I really don’t know what to do.”

I looked at him, took a deep breath and said . . . “Unsubscribe! Do you really need to be reading that stuff if all it does is trigger your self-doubt and make you feel less than?”

“Mark” looked at me, silent for just a moment. “No, I don’t.” he said.

“Good! Go ahead and clean house. Get rid of all that undermines the way you feel about yourself. Have a heart-to-heart with YOU!  Get clear on what success means to you. Work with your coach to set goals that you can believe in; goals that feel realistic to you. As you meet them, you’ll stretch more. Success breeds success.”

“Mark” is a wonderful person and he’s really good at what he does. In my eyes, he’s very successful. (And I’m sure I’m not the only who thinks so.) If only he could see himself as others do.

Do you ever catch yourself questioning your accomplishments because they don’t measure up to someone else’s (seeming) success?

It’s so easy to do, isn’t it? When we look at other people’s lives and accomplishments, all we really see,  is that one dimension that may or may not be real.

We forget that we don’t really know someone by looking at what they outwardly project. Everyone has a story. And, unless we know that story, we won’t know what it feels like to be in that person’s shoes.

I wonder how useful it would be if — once in a while — we could take a peek into somebody else’s life or swap places with the person we envy. My guess is, it wouldn’t look that sexy from the inside.

Which takes us to . . .

The importance of inhabiting our life, fully present!

“What do you mean?” you may ask.  “That sounds a little silly . . . whose life can I inhabit but my own any way?”

If you’d asked me that, you’d be absolutely correct. It’s beyond silly to think that we can live anyone else’s life but ours, right? I knew you knew that. You’ve probably known that forever. You’ve even heard it in books your parents read to you and the books you read to your children.

Remember this? 

Listen . . . no one is immune to self-doubt and self-sabotage. These are the enemies we carry with us to the end. The question is:

How can we thrive in spite of them?

We can talk about this in-depth at another time, but today, I’d like to give you an exercise you can practice, when you get stuck in the hamster wheel of self-depreciation.

Are you currently faced with a decision, a challenge, or situation that makes you doubt yourself, your abilities, or your instincts?

I invite you to play along with me.

For this exercise you’ll need to give yourself 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted time. Sit at a place that’s quiet and safe. It can be your favorite room, a cozy chair, your porch, your garden . . . anywhere you like. Take your journal and a pen with you.

For your convenience, I’ve included an audio along with written instructions.

Ready?

Exercise Instructions Audio

— Sit down, make yourself comfortable, and place your hand over your heart.

— Close your eyes and take a few deep, cleansing breaths. If it helps, you can count to five on the in breath, hold, and count to five on the out breath.

— Allow your breath to return to its normal rhythm.

— Scan your body mentally. Do you feel tension anywhere?

— Breathe into the tension and with each exhalation, feel your body relax.

— Feel the soles of your feet touch the ground. Feel your sitting bones resting comfortably. Know that you’re always supported and held.  

— As you continue breathing, let your mind travel back in time.

— Think of a time when you were feeling low and discouraged. It could be a time when you were feeling unwell, or you were dealing with relationship or career issues. Maybe you were trying to make a difficult decision and you felt torn. Focus on that situation.

— Witness what was going on – as if from afar. Is there anything your present self would like to say to that person in the past that could help? What did you learn about yourself while navigating that challenge?

— If you can’t think of anything, that’s OK. Take a deep breath and send love and compassion to that person you used to be.

— Now, bring your attention to the present. What is it you’re dealing with that you feel challenged by? Focus on this current situation.

— What is the problem? How does it make you feel? Are there other people involved?

— Keep breathing. Now shift your attention to the outcome. What would you like to happen? What would the ideal outcome be for you? Let your imagination go. Don’t limit yourself and don’t edit.

— When you have a clear vision of your ideal outcome, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What are some actions I could take to help my vision come alive? Where do I start?”

— Keep breathing and let the answers come to you. 

— If you begin to feel frustrated or anxious, take a deep breath, and shift your focus.

— Imagine your daughter, son, or someone you love very much has come to you with this problem. This person is looking to you for help and guidance. 

— What would you tell this person? What advice would you give that person you love?

— Keep breathing. Answers may come in the form of words, sentences, or images.

— When you’re ready, take another deep breath, and slowly open your eyes.

Move gently and allow your body to adjust. 

Pick up your pen and journal and write down what came up for you.

How did this exercise feel? 

What did you come away with?

Is there anything you can use or take action on right now?

Remember . . . “You have brain in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss

If you have any questions about the exercise or you’d like to talk it through and share what came up for you, go ahead and add your comment to this post or email me at yota@openforsuccess.com

I’d love to hear from you.

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Yota Schneider

Yota is a mentor, teacher, and retreat leader who helps people navigate life’s inevitable changes mindfully and intentionally. Her approach is deeply influenced by her cultural roots, work and life experience, and her long-term practice of mindfulness meditation.
In addition to her work with individual clients, Yota speaks and writes on mindful living, overcoming self-doubt, and the art of letting go.
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5 thoughts on “Being Authentically You!

  1. I couldn’t share this one fast enough, Yota – GREAT post! Love it.

    “Mark” is fortunate to have you in his circle of friends. Your advice to “unsubscribe” from negative newsletters is spot on.

    Everything is so in-your-face on the internet nowadays and it’s very hard to ignore all the shouting and the noise. And emails?! There’s so much boasting and inflated claims, it makes me sick. I’d welcome a nice slice of honesty pie, for a change, how about you? I really wish online marketers and email marketers would stop to consider the damage they’re doing by not sharing what I’ll call the whole truth. They do everyone a disservice by touting how “easy” it is to “quickly” have success in business. I say phooey!

    I love your foundational message here. There’s only one of YOU, Yota, and only one of me. Success, in my opinion, isn’t always measured in dollars and cents and the talents, skills, and experience we bring to the table are uniquely our own.

    Pardon me while I step away …
    Seems I have some housecleaning to do in my email inbox. 🙂

    Wonderful piece! Thank you for your top notch insights, Yota.

    1. Thank you for stopping by and adding your personal take to this, Melanie! You said it really well . . . Certain Marketing gurus have gone “rogue” 🙂 Their claims are over the top and misleading. Let’s not even start on the “passive income” trend. Too much hype, too little substance and truth all wrapped up in a glittery little package.
      I hope your “housecleaning” was productive:-)
      Hugs.

  2. You’ve shared so many riches here, Yota. What resonates most with me are:

    1. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s a slippery, unproductive slope. There will always be others that are more…but that’s not important. What matters is that you focus on who you are, what’s important to you, and what makes sense based on that.

    2. Access your previous successes and challenges as a source of learning and confidence. Build from your strengths.

    3. Always love returning to Dr. Suess’ wisdom.

    4. Agree with Melanie that “Mark” is blessed to have you as a friend…and to remind him to release those things, activities, people that erode his vision and self-esteem.

    1. Hi Linda, welcome back! Thank you for stopping by. It makes sense that these points would resonate with you. You’re one of the most authentic people I know. I love how you’re spelling out for us the importance of accessing our previous experience as a source of learning and confidence. That’s the difference between looking outside of ourselves and delving into our own experience for strength and clarity. Looking outside of ourselves can result in self-doubt and anxiety. Trusting our life and experience can serve as a springboard to great heights.

  3. Great choice of words….”Trusting our life and experience can serve as a springboard to great heights.” What a wonderful thought to end the day with. Thank you, thank you.

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