A gift from self-doubt? I hear you ask suspiciously. I know! Who knew right?! If you’re like me, then you’ve probably been plagued by self-doubt in your life. That’s 40 years’ worth of struggle for me. Frankly, I’m over it.
Let me take you through the events that unlocked it for me.
Self-Doubt’s icy grip
Self-doubt’s frustrating. I get a great idea, only for that little gremlin to arrive and keep poking me, “Are you sure you want to do that?”
It doesn’t take long for it to call back-up: its wicked stepmother fear.
Fear’s that dark room with a supposed grizzly monster waiting to do unthinkable things to me.
But when has that ever happened??? The worst parts I mean. I’m still here. I haven’t lost any limbs to monster fear activity.
It makes sense that my DNA is encoded with the fight or flight response to being outside of my comfort zone. In the stone age being alive meant what I was doing was working – and stepping out the cave jeopardised that.
No matter how many times I rationalise this though, it doesn’t stop self-doubt from creeping in. Ever.
So, what can I do??
Unlocking the gift
There is hope. I recently enforced an 11 day ‘silent retreat’ while on our stay home order in New York. This was the result of attending NourishX’s ‘digital balance’ course and seeing how much I use my phone each day and how quickly that time becomes a full month out of the year. Throw in a bombardment of news from every angle about COVID-19 and quite frankly, I’d had enough.
I needed a mental break away from the barrage of fear being pushed into the world.
It was exactly what I needed.
The break gave my mind the freedom to explore ideas like self-doubt from a place of love without distraction, to analyse it’s recurring role in my movie.
It was only on the Tenth evening that I wrote this epiphany in my reflections before bed:
‘We can’t remove self-doubt – it’s ALWAYS going to nag us – like our moms to pick our clothes up off the floor. They only stop nagging when we take action and pick up the clothes! It’s not the self-doubt (nagging mom) that’s the problem, it’s the inaction that is’
Jesus only took 40 days in the dessert. I took 40 years…
Jokes aside, I’m incredibly grateful to understand this at such a young age.
I re-framed my understanding of self-doubt and realised it’s not something to overcome: it’s a guide, a neon sign shining ‘THIS WAY’.
How crazy is that???
Fear and self-doubt are actually here to show me the way.
That’s their gift – they confirm I’m on the right path.
What I love about this revelation, is it reinforces all the ancient wisdom around flowing with life, not forcing it.
Think about it. Who ‘wins’ in any battle?
Good versus evil. Man versus woman. Beach versus ocean.
Self-doubt isn’t something to overcome – but rather understand and use.
Instead of succumbing to it, I’m learning to pause and reflect realising:
The bigger the doubt, the greater the growth waiting on the other side of taking action.
It’s about the Journey
Since my teenage years, I strive to improve, grow and learn. I was aiming for a specific point I was supposed to reach before serving others.
The question at the center was always ‘why am I here?’
That’s a pretty broad (never mind daunting) question, implying something to reach waaaaaaaay in the distance.
It was only while climbing the stairs in our building training for my next challenge that I had a better question enter my head:
‘What am I made of?’
I tell you, it was like fireworks went off in my brain! Such a simple question to constantly push me to do my best now. Whatever I learn, will be carried into my next challenge I create to face; or the bigger ones like a world-wide shutdown.
This was first taught to me climbing Table Mountain every day for a year and I’m happy to report – the lessons were learned! I know this because my gratitude and enjoyment happened every day – and not when I completed it. It happened along the entire path – and not just at the top.
This taught me why someone can experience depression or a lack of fulfillment when completing a goal.
The goal doesn’t bring fulfillment, appreciating the growth along the way does.
I have a bonus secret to share:
Whatever idea you have that sets your soul on fire? Everything you need to achieve it is already inside you. It won’t magically be given to you once you complete it, as though a queen appears to knight you.
I’m picking the clothes up off the floor now without being shouted at.
I hope you do too.
If you want more information on the Digital Balance Course click HERE
My last post was about feeling inspired and
removing blockages. Inspiration is the easy part, today I’m sharing 8 tips I’ve
used successfully to help you act on your inspiration and implement daily
rituals to become part of the 9%
We’re all trying to improve something, but no matter how inspired we get, as soon as we’re back to our real life it’s a slippery slope back to old patterns.
‘Unleash the Power Within’ was exactly like
the moment I had the idea to climb Table Mountain every day for a year.
My soul. Was on. Fire.
Opportunities flooded me from the idea and I focused on the solutions to each problem or challenge I’d face (like having no days off for an entire year, gale force winds, seriously cold and wet weather but a few) instead of letting them dissuade me.
As strong as that was, the outside world came
along to poke its negativity holes in my full bucket of water.
One by one the holes started spewing more water until it felt like there’s no more inspiration left.
Should you just give up? Never! Can you do anything to negate that? Absolutely! It’s why you here.
I hope this creates opportunities for ideas to flow and for you to feel what it’s like to have your soul set on fire. Mind, body and spirit in synch, like a grand cosmic alignment.
Living your purpose.
Set an Audacious Goal
This gives you a clear place to work back from. Get fired up because now you can break down what needs to happen each day. Training or preparation – essentially – becomes a way to condition our brain to enjoy pushing our capabilities for our ultimate goals.
Have fun with it! I’m currently doing hill training in preparation for my next event and I love pushing extra each day. Comparing today versus yesterday and this week versus last week, and tracking progress creates the only competitive streak that matters: being better than you were yesterday.
HOT TIP: Going bigger stretches you; when your gut feeling is one of great excitement – go for it! Don’t keep it bottled up and don’t let others dissuade you – they can only meet you at their level of experience and understanding.
2.Do One Thing Now
Thinking about aaaaaaall the days ahead will drive you insane and most likely overwhelm you.
Focus on a simple fact: I just need to act today.
I had six months to train my mind and body.
I worked out a plan on how to be ready for the audacious challenge of tackling
the vertical equivalent of 71 Mt Everests.
You know what I started with?
I stopped using the lifts.
I lived on the 8th floor of an apartment block. Forgot something at the shops? Off I went back down the stairs – get it – and back up. No excuses. No exceptions.
A small decision that was easily implementable with massive ramifications.
HOT TIP: What you think today, is the same as what will happen tomorrow. ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ is a phrase that keeps you busy but gets you nowhere – like being on a rocking chair.
3. Your Inner Voice
Dr John Demartini says ‘when the voice
and vision on the inside is more profound than all the opinions on the outside;
you’ve begun to master your life’.
It’s your life. It’s your tapestry of
experience you’re creating. Following through on an idea that ignites you
creates momentum for the next idea to arrive. You don’t need permission or
justification from the outside world.
99% of people didn’t understand or even
believe I could climb Table Mountain every day. Did it matter? Their opinions
weren’t the ones climbing the mountain.
HOT TIP: When you get an idea that inspires growth and positive change? It won’t matter what others have to say. Keep your actions aligned to why you got excited in the first place.
4. Highways have Onramps
Why? They allow us to transition from a slow speed up to what’s required. Think about what your onramp looks like to go from inspired to implemented.
My body wasn’t ready for 365 consecutive summits in 2017– so my plan was to ramp up my training getting the mind and body ready. I even simulated fatigue and ignored the ‘I don’t feel like it’ days by doing a leg workout at gym before heading to my first climb of the week.
July: 1 weekly summit up Table Mountain.
August: 2 summits every week
September: 3 summits
November I was in the United States rallying support for my challenge; which created an opportunity to climb after 27 hours of travelling back for Miami to Cape Town that afternoon I landed. Then I slept, woke up and climbed again.
December I completed eight days in a row mid-month as a final test of will and fitness.
I was ready.
HOT TIP: You’re building a habit; a new lifestyle – the only quick fix is making a decision in your mind. When you realise you’re in it for the long haul, you create incremental sustainable gains towards your goal.
Become dogged in your pursuit to achieve the outcome of your inspiration. You equal chance of failing as succeeding – so which one will you focus on?
Focus on failure and you’ll find excuses. Focus on success and you’ll find solutions.
It’s no good looking at the top of the
mountain wanting to be there. You’ve got to put one foot in front of the other
to make that a reality.
HOT TIP: You got excited and inspired for a reason. When those days of ‘I don’t feel like it’ come, focus on what got you fired up in the first place. Think of a way to get back into that state – a song. A special move. A vision board of everything you stand to gain. Then take that next small step to make it reality.
6. Linking Pain to Pleasure
Achievement lies on the other side of the
pain, be persistent and learn from the lessons you get to achieve your goal.
Climbing Table Mountain once is tough.
Twice will leave most people knackered and perhaps taking a bit longer to get
up off the toilet a couple days later.
I obsessed on the benefits of accomplishing something so outlandish. I believe in sharing what I learn so I knew I’d be able to share this and empower you to push through and successfully hit your goals.
‘Pain’ is simply the universes way of
testing resolve to see who genuinely wants what they desire. The greater the ‘pain’
– the greater the reward on the other side.
I say pain, but really its just a
readjustment to living outside our comfort zone.
If I’m doing it right, pain never goes away – and I know I’m growing.
HOT TIP: The hardest part’s getting started. You’re already a master at talking yourself out of it – so use that same skill to talk yourself INTO it. Do whatever it takes to get excited! Condition yourself to feel the way you do afterwards when the endorphins are flowing like the satisfaction of completing another workout. Today’s a success – celebrate that!
7. ‘Who’ instead of ‘How’
You don’t procrastinate because you’re
lazy. You procrastinate because you don’t have clarity on where you want
to go – or the next steps to get there.
In short, we get paralysed on HOW to
do it. That’s been me for the last five months prior to UPW.
The correct question is ‘WHO can I
enlist to empower me to get there?’ when I don’t have the answers.
Hiring coaches has created clarity on what to do next. Their 62 years of experience combined with a desire to create successful driven individuals focused on adding value back into the world, means our values align and their proven methods immediately put my train back on track.
HOT TIP: Stop agonising over how you need to progress and ask the question who can empower you to get where you want? Don’t be too stubborn to ask locals where to go when you’re lost. This is why coaching is so important.
Are you still not able to get yourself
pumped up to follow through and build momentum?
Practice daily gratitude.
Focusing on what’s already right in your life and all the ways you were challenged in the past to get to today builds joy in the moment now. You’ve made it! You’re here! Celebrate that and embrace gratitude.
Gratitude enables you to enjoy the process and be the fuel to your momentum.
HOT TIP: Swap ‘I have to’ with ‘I get to’. I’m grateful for my amazing body that looks after me and helps me experience the beauty in this world. Gratitude helps me appreciate the smallest things and realisehow blessed I am.
Demand Higher Standards
You know yourself better than anybody. Be realistic about your goals and what path to take. Wanting to be the best triathlete when you don’t even know how to swim makes no sense. You can do it! If you understand exactly how much work you need to put in.
Don;t beat yourself up if you miss a days. Or two. Weekly targets allow you to track consistency. Missing days should be an exception.
Again: What you think today – is what
you’ll do tomorrow.
Get into the habit of doing something when
you think about it.
Whatever your goal, crafting excellence
takes time – and the reward is a sustainable ingrained lifestyle to achieve
Now isn’t that worth taking time to savour?
Kick ‘one day’ to the curb. Switch the words around.
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