Step Three: Healing Thyself
If you have ever found yourself saying things like the following, that’s a big clue you are suffering – needlessly – from the Impostor Syndrome.
|“Well, I know I ran the whole Fisheries conference, but that was only because….”
|· “…I had help”
· “…I had to”
· “…My boss made me”
· “…Nobody else would do it”
· “…I got stuck with it”
· “…it wasn’t that difficult”
If you have ever found yourself saying things like the following, you’ll know you are suffering from low self-esteem.
|“Well, I know I ran the whole Fisheries conference, but….”
|· “…it was a failure”
· “…I made a mess of it”
· “…The handouts weren’t perfect
· “…My boss was disappointed”
· “…it sucked because I suck”
· “…I couldn’t do that nowadays”
And yes, you may have really great reasons for having low self-esteem. Your monster parents or spouse brain-washed you into thinking you were no good for anything. (And that typically goes with becoming a perfectionist in later life; and suffering massive anxiety attacks, as well as procrastination and burn-outs; and an inability to believe in yourself.)
Now if that sounds like you, pay attention, because these next two statements are particularly important.
- There are thousands of really successful men and women online entrepreneurs who have been exactly where you are standing now
- Yes, they are sometimes still racked with insecurities. But they’ve finally learned to stop being frightened of the clown.
They can see past him to their goal: He’s just the man in the scary mask – and they are just as big as he is, and no longer children.
In other words, you’re not doomed. You need to cut yourself some slack, stop beating yourself up for not being at the top of Mount Everest in your flip-flops (the way your inner bogeyman – or ex-husband – always insisted and sneered that you should be) and just focus on changing one single thought – and taking one single, positive action that will move you towards your goal – at a time.
Taking Healing Thyself to the Next Level
There are many techniques and tricks you can use to help yourself get past your inner bogeymen – but this is the beauty of taking healing yourself to the next level:
- There’s only one action you have to take.
And that is: Make up your mind – right now, with every fiber of your being – that you are going to go the distance and do what it takes to reach your goal. And nothing – and no one – is going to stop you.
Then begin by taking that one, simple step – by changing that one, fatal self-limiting belief that is holding you tightly by the ankles.
(You were right: You were doomed – by giving that self-limiting belief such power – so much so that you focused on it and allowed it to derail you every time you took a step forward and were met with resistance.)
How do you change it? Really change it at a gut level?
- Every time you catch yourself thinking that thought – whatever it is – put your hand right on your solar plexus, and reframe that thought into the new belief you would like to have, from now on. Say your new, positive thought out loud. And say it in a firm voice.
|Old Self-Limiting Thought||New, Positive Belief|
|“I failed again. I’m never going to get it right. I always blow everything.”||“I own my mistakes and learn from them. And I am looking forward to owning my successes and enjoying them.”|
One caution: Be sure to create and choose your own new Positive Belief thought.
The key is to create or choose a new Positive Belief thought that really resonates with you on a strong, emotional level when you put your hand on your gut.
If you are coming from years in a deep, dark place, using a “positive affirmation” that someone else (or some book) suggests may leave you feeling even more like a phony than ever – and even more filled with despair. (The reason? Those writing the affirmations are at a much higher emotional energy level than you are, right now. You need to pick a thought you can believe in – your first truly achievable emotional, mindset goal.)
Other exercises you can practice:
- Set aside a single, set period for worrying every day. Every time you have an anxious or frightening thought, deliberately table it for your worry period. Make your worry period at the same time, in the same spot, every day. During that time, catastrophize as much as you want; encourage yourself to go over the top.
If you do this when you are not feeling stressed (and even if you are), you will soon re-train your brain and re-wire your neural pathways to take a much more balanced, reasonable and objective view of thoughts that normally derail you.
- Read books that inspire you; about people who you’d follow to the ends of the earth – stories that feel positive and uplifting (even if the characters or people go through dark events or challenges). And especially books that make you laugh or smile.
It doesn’t matter if these books are fiction or non-fiction, biography or fantasy, literary classics or romances: If they make you feel better about life and for a time put you in a place that’s much nicer than reality, that can really help shift your confidence.
- Exercise – even if it’s just a fast walk round the block. I’m sure you’ve heard that one before, but if you’ve taken changing your one self-limiting thought seriously, you may find yourself much better able to do this.
And if, for some reason, you still can’t get up the nerve to join a gym, or you can’t stand the summer heat, then visit