June 24, 2024

Are you holding yourself back?

What limiting beliefs and views have stopped you from investing in yourself to live your best life?

Over the past years of working as a coach I have observed something that has surprised and puzzled me.

I’ve always wanted to be accessible to all people – including those on a lesser income – so I had the idea of offering scholarships to people committed to investing time and energy in themselves so that they too could develop, live their best lives and offer more to others and the world, not just people who could afford to take up coaching with me.

And in all these years I’ve had very few clients apply for a coaching scholarship. Why is that? Here I am, making my services accessible to all, but few take up the offer, what’s going on?

I got curious and talked to a few people about it. What they said surprised me:

“I wouldn’t apply because I don’t feel good enough to take up such an offer. It’s for other people but not for me.”

This statement was also echoed by those who could afford to pay for coaching. In my conversations, I heard limiting beliefs and views that have stopped people from investing in themselves to live the life they would love to live - whether it’s at work, at home or in their social life:

  • I’m an imposter, not good enough, and I don’t deserve it.
  • I’m a failure and therefore I’m a problem.
  • I have nothing to contribute to the world.
  • I’m scared of not being able to do what I want.

None of these beliefs are true, and yet, when we buy into one or all of these views, they become our reality. It’s called the confirmation bias. It’s hugely painful, it makes us small and keeps us stuck.

These have been my own limiting views of myself and life for a long time and I still come up against them. They caused me a constant undercurrent of anxiety, self-imposed pressure and harsh self-judgement. And this in turn led to me doubting myself, doubting life and feeling inadequate and under-confident.

Examining and bringing awareness to our conditioned, habitual ways of thinking, perceiving, judging, behaving and relating to self, others and to a larger life, is an ongoing practice and a huge opportunity for change and growth.

All of us share a common longing and desire, consciously or unconsciously: to live a meaningful life, to contribute to something that is bigger than our self with a small ‘s’. Intuitively we know there is a Self with a capital ‘S’, a Self that feels connected to and cares for others, that wants to have a purpose and direction in life. The good news is: it’s possible.

Here are some helpful tips how to work with imposter syndrome:

  1. Recognise thoughts: e.g. "I'm not good enough. I don't deserve it."
  2. Recognise emotion: e.g. "I'm feeling sad, low, despondent, small etc"
  3. Work with your inner-critic and practise self-kindness: "It's not true that I'm not good enough. I deserve this. I can do it. I'm committed to learning and growing."
  4. Keep a strength journal. Only focus on what you are good at.
  5. Ask others how they see you and what your strengths are (you may be surprised)
  6. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. You are human and imperfect.
  7. Let go of comparing yourself to others. You are you and unique.
  8. Remember why you are here, e.g.: "I’m here or I’m doing this because I love doing what I'm doing and know what I’m good at.”

Suffering from imposter syndrome is optional. You can let it go by taking the above simple, yet liberating steps. It will increase your confidence and your overall experience of life. It can be life-changing.

I’ll leave you with this poem by John O’Donohue. I could not give a more beautiful encouragement and invitation to life.

May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.

Why not book a complimentary initial coaching conversation outdoors or online?