My dirty little secret

One of the reasons that I left my job was to finally break free from the deepest layer of low self-esteem that I hadn’t yet chipped away at.

This probably makes no sense at first blush.

Why would I need to quit my job to work on myself?

Here’s the thing, for years and years I was able to be one of the star performers on my team without dealing with any of my deeply buried self-worth issues.

Sure I had worked through many layers of my own self-doubt over the course of my life, but I knew there was more.

It was my dirty little secret.

My low self-esteem still lurked underneath the surface in certain interactions, assignments, and meetings… and boy did I know how to hide it well.

I knew that running a business would somehow force me to address this issue.

And even though I left my job for this very purpose, I continued to avoid dealing with it for many months.

Because I am that stubborn.

No… scratch that.

Because I was that scared to face the truth.

Until one day…

I decided to send a video of a webinar that I had run to my sales coach.

I knew that I had waffled a little when I started to talk about me and my services, and I wanted her feedback to help me do better the next time around.

So I took a deep breath, and pressed “send.”

I figured she would just give me a few pointers on the structure of what I presented… even though a deeper part of me was yearning for more.

And upon reflection, I think that an even deeper part of me knew that she would give me more, and that I’d be able to receive it from her.

I got her response in a voice message over Facebook Messenger and I’ll never forget hitting play on that day.

As I had predicted, she started off with some feedback on a few structural issues with the way that I presented my services… and then she went straight for the jugular (in a good way).

Her tone both softened and deepened, and she said with the presence of a coach who knows how to show up with both backbone and heart, “There’s something in the way that you spoke about your services that has to do with self-confidence and we could have a deeper conversation about this but… do you believe in yourself Nayla?”

That one simple question brought me to tears.

She had seen that deeply buried part of me… the part that still didn’t feel worthy, in spite of all of the client testimonials, contracts, and praise that I had received over the years.

And I was finally ready to allow someone to do this.

It was in that moment that I stopped hiding from my own dirty little secret.

Having someone hold up the mirror helped me face the truth about how I was feeling about myself.

And this is what ultimately set me free.

I had done enough internal work to avoid some of the common pitfalls that one might experience in these moments.

I didn’t freak out about it.

I didn’t question the value of all of the previous work that I had done on myself.

And I didn’t wander into imposter syndrome territory (i.e., this is the very thing that I help women do – break free from self-doubt).

I know enough about how “life school” works to understand that this is just part of the process of self-development.

The path isn’t a straight line; it’s a spiral.

You continually come back to things you thought you understood and see deeper truths.

– Anonymous

So I simply went with it.

I knew that by facing the reality of how I felt about myself, I would finally start to heal that part of me.

I was ready to rebuild that deeper level of self-confidence that I had somehow lost along the way so that I could step into my full potential as a business owner… and as a human being.

This mind-blowing coaching moment ultimately allowed me to practice using every single life coaching tool in my arsenal on myself.

You see, once I finally stopped hiding from myself, I knew exactly what I needed to do.

And I can now talk about my services without feeling the need to downplay them or tip toe around how transformational my coaching packages will be for my clients.

Like many women, I don’t like admitting that I need help.

I’m working on that 🙂

And asking this coach for feedback on that video was my teeny tiny cry for help.

A part of me was still hoping that it would go unnoticed… that I could continue to “coast.”

But the deeper, wiser part of me… the part that made me quit my job in the first place… was desperately dying to be seen.

And so, when I was ready (or perhaps because I was ready), it happened… and I welcomed it.

As a coach, I’ve had the privilege of holding up the mirror for so many wonderful women during their version of this “teeny tiny cry for help” moment over the past 15 years.

For some of them it’s admitting, out loud, for the first time, that they don’t love themselves.

And for others it’s finally sharing other hidden truths that they’re afraid to admit out loud – like the fact that they don’t believe in themselves… or that they hate their job… or their life.

I’m an expert at holding up the mirror for others… I’ve worked with countless business owners, professionals, and women who are looking to start a new chapter in their lives. And in order to move forward, they need to be seen so that they can see themselves.

The feedback that I invariably receive is that I help them to believe in themselves, to trust themselves, and to stop doubting their intuition… and that our work together produces tangible, life-changing results for them.

It was truly invaluable to have someone hold up the mirror and do this for me when I needed it.

Because this is the only way that we can begin to heal.

I share this story with you today, in the hopes that it might help you or someone you know who doesn’t yet want to be seen… because they’re scared.

This stuff goes far back and it runs deep, so please be both gentle and patient with yourself as you work through it.

I want you to know that you are not alone.

I want you to know that it doesn’t mean that you haven’t made progress.

I want you to know that it doesn’t mean that you’re not good at what you do.

And last but not least, I want you to know that when you’re ready, someone will be there to see you and in lovingly holding up the mirror for you, they’ll help you start to heal too.



PS – Like what you read? Follow me on Facebook for more inspirational stories like this one.

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