I've been in a long relationship with myself. I've watched in wonder at how resourceful, capable, confident and loving I can be towards myself. And I've learned that I have some stories that hold me hostage to some negative thinking that attacks my wellbeing and derails me from living with the passion and integrity that I value. They tell me I am a loser, impulsive, distracting and not good enough.
These are stories about how others are seeing me: my physical appearance, how much I talk, the choices I've made. Stories about where I failed to show up for my son, my siblings, my extended family. Stories about opportunities I missed and what I'm not doing enough of.
Most of us have stories like this that sometimes nudge out the reality of accomplishment and presence. And they are just stories. While there is usually some element of truth in all our stories, they are not ever the whole truth. It becomes a 'habit' to trot these stories out when they can do the most damage. In our most vulnerable states, we open up the evidence drawer and pull out the stories that confirm what we are believing in the moment; that somehow we are not measuring up.
What if the stories we told had a different ending? What if we hear the first rumblings of self-negating and we Pause. That's Pause with a Capital P. Pause to breathe, Pause to slow down, Pause to give ourselves a moment or two to connect with our body and spirit. What if in that moment we acknowledged that there is more to the story than what we are hearing. As my friend's mom said "You weren't perfect but you mostly got it right." I love that. We were not perfect and never should have expected that of ourselves. But sometimes our stories try to convince us otherwise.
Consider a story you have about yourself that is draining you of joy and peace. Take a good look at the facts and ask yourself what gifts of wisdom you can draw from it. Ask yourself if this is really the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Find within the story both empathy and acceptance of who you are including all the ways you are precious. This is how you start using the stories you tell yourself about yourself to build inner resilience. I'd love to hear how you turned a story into a gift.
Ms. Daryl Wood, CPCC is a fearless champion of No-Drama Living and Inner Resilience for Women in Leadership.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to keep going and I ask myself if I am really cut out to be a solopreneur. Maybe it would be much easier to join a team or a corporate environment where history, culture and shared goals create enough momentum to get through the rough patches.
I am lucky enough to have great colleagues who are willing to listen, coach or empathize. But ultimately, it usually comes down to me and my business. And no matter how certain I am of what I am taking on; no matter how passionate I believe in my own brand of genius; no matter how committed I am to putting in long hours; being mostly alone on the job can lead to lots of self-doubt.
When I push past my limits to dive into new territory I find myself battling with the voice inside that echoes from my past: “Who do you think you are?” I am disappointed that it still has power over me and can stop me in my tracks. As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes I crumble and begin to question my every move.
And sometimes I just keep going. I take a deep breath, and even when I don’t feel the same excitement and resonance that sparked my new adventure, I take baby steps towards what I dream of. The ‘Who do you think you are?’ voice can elicit lots of self-diminishment and yet it can also prompt me to reflect on the proof that I am doing very good work and have lots of evidence that I’m on target.
It occurs to me that many of us are hard-wired to keep going; to not give up. How else could we overcome some of the challenges that block our path at every turn? Tune in next time for some proven tips on facing down the inner critic.
Ms. Daryl Wood, CPCC is a fearless champion of No-Drama Living for Women in Leadership.