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
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 got into work that morning and received the single most dreaded voicemail message that you can get from your boss… “Can you come see me in my office as soon as you get here?”
I could tell from his tone that something was up.
And it wasn’t good.
My mind started racing…
What could it be?
Did something blow up on one of my cases?
Was there a big new crisis in the organization that we needed to help out with?
Was it that presentation I kiiiiiiiiind of didn’t edit properly?
Or maybe I was reading too much into things and he simply wanted to chat about something innocuous like planning the Christmas party.
The suspense was killing me.
After briefly contemplating faking my own death… I headed over to his office with a notepad (and a subtle sense of dread).
Last year, at around this time, one my mentors unsubscribed from my email list.
Now, don’t get me wrong here… I had been running my business for long enough to have become at peace with the fact that people will regularly subscribe and unsubscribe from my email list based on where they’re at in their personal development journeys.
It was all goooooooooood!
And, just as I was feeling a strong sense equanimity in this area, WHAM! Life hit me with this little situation to work through.
Ouch! It hurt.
Has this ever happened to you?
You feel like you’ve made incredible progress in a certain area of your life and then something triggers you right back into that place of fear and self-doubt that you thought you’d left behind.
And then you start to question whether you’ve made any progress at all.
My first attempt at having a difficult conversation “better” than I typically did wasn’t a big blow-up or a life changing moment. It involved returning a watch to a store.
I bought my first fancy watch in my early 20’s and it had broken… for the second time in the same exact place. I suspected that the sales clerk would suggest doing the exact same thing she did the first time – send the watch away to the Montreal store for repair. And I doubted that this would work.
When she suggested exactly this, instead of arguing or caving in, I thought, OK… this is my chance to practice. I asked her with genuine curiosity, “What makes you think it will actually be repaired this time?”
How do you handle
Do you notice when
you’re being hard on yourself… and then judge yourself for not being able to
stop your thoughts?
Or perhaps you try
saying positive affirmations, hoping that they’ll help you feel better… but you
often end up just feeling even worse about yourself.
We all have so much to
offer and yet, because of self-doubt we often hesitate to share our true selves
with the world.
So what CAN we do
about our negative self-talk?
I have several techniques
to help uproot negative thinking patterns, which I use on myself and with my
And none of them