I had a very insightful call with coach @davekibby earlier this week. It was the last session of six and we went full circle and ended up back to the first conversation that we started with. It’s almost as if the Universe knew what it was doing – I mean, who’d have thought that there was an intelligence behind life that could guide us back to the beginning?
We were talking about ‘putting myself out there’ and how there’s a lot of discomfort in that for me. I want to be seen, I want to make a difference, I want to make money and have a successful career and I’m doing loads of things in that direction, but when it comes to the crunch, what I really feel like doing is running for the hills. I line up all of my ducks to give me the sense of achievement (for instance website, social media, flyers, etc.) and then I shoot them all down as my ‘imposter syndrome’ takes over and I lose all confidence as my thinking goes off on one: ‘Who are you to be an expert in this?’ ‘Why do would people be interested in what you have to say?’ ‘You’re not as qualified as so-and-so in this area. You need to get more training!’ Sound familiar?
What I’ve come to see through Dave’s poking and prodding is that this all stems from a sense of lack. You’ve heard the saying ‘All the gear no idea,’ right? You could also change it up slightly to ‘All the gear, still full of fear!’ Either way, that’s me. I get an idea in my head and off I go – full steam ahead gathering up all the ‘stuff I need to live out my latest vision or hobby. This time, I’m really gonna be all in and be the best at…
- Snorkelling – haven’t put a flipper in the water yet
- Dieting/fitness – yeah, let’s not even go there! Not enough paper to list all the exercise contraptions I’ve bought and diet clubs I’ve joined over the years
- Podcasting – did four episodes and ran out of steam (they were good episodes though!)
- Camping – got a gorgeous new bell tent a couple of years ago with a log burner – it’s not been outside my back garden
The list goes on. I’m a cross between a magpie and a swan. I like to collect shiny things that I think will improve or enhance my life or career (AKA the above list and more) and then swan about looking all confident on the surface – look at me, I’ve got ‘XYZ’, but underneath I’m not feeling confident at all and I’m flapping around LF!
Gathering stuff might give me a temporary ‘feel good’ feeling because I’m taking some kind of action and feel like I’m making progress, and it’s give an impression to the outside world that I’m on it, but it isn’t going to resolve my sense of lack out of which these actions arise in the first place!
It’s like feeling really hungry, and then gathering up all the ingredients I need to make a curry – chicken, spices, onion, coconut milk, coriander, rice etc. and then parading around showing them off to everyone, ‘Hey look at me – I’ve got everything right here for a delicious curry! It’s all really good local produce!’
But if I think I’m not a confident cook and aren’t able to take further action, I’m not satisfying my hunger or anyone else’s. I’ve just got a bunch of ingredients, which on their own don’t do really do anything. Sure, I could nibble on some rice and it might give me some temporary satisfaction, but it’s not really what I’m looking for. If I want to cook the most delicious curry ever, having all the best ingredients is meaningless unless I move into my discomfort (that feeling of not being a great cook) by taking action (cooking). It’s in the releasing of that tension that I am set free. In the same way that resting my hand on a hotplate is a signal for me to move my hand, the pain or discomfort I feel from my sense of lack is also my signal to move. It’s in the moving, or the releasing of that tension, that I am able to heal!
There’s wisdom in that feeling of fear and discomfort. That feeling isn’t telling us anything other than we’ve got a lot of thinking about lack (however that shows up for each of us). It doesn’t tell us anything about what we’re capable of, in the same way that a broken arm doesn’t define who we are. There’s no difference.
If this is something that resonates with you, I’m releasing my own tension by hosting a webinar on Wednesday 23rd August at 8pm to explore this even further. I have no idea what this will look like, I may show up and not have a word to say, or you may not be able to shut me up – I just don’t know! But I won’t know either way until I do show up! And I hope you will too. Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve like to get involved in this conversation and I’ll send you the link.
PS. Dave made me do it! 🙂