Self-doubt has been my lifelong companion
I tried all those motivational tools to overcome it but each time I attempted to banish self-doubt with positive affirmations, I ended up in an exhausting internal struggle.
And self-doubt never stayed away for long, it always came back.
The time in my life when I experienced my worst case of self-doubt, I started to think about it differently.
I began to wonder;
"If self-doubt keeps hanging around, maybe it has a purpose?"
(You can read about the time in my life when I experienced my worst case of self-doubt in the introductory chapter of my new book)
In 2017, I qualified as a Transformational Life Coach with The Animas Centre for Coaching.
And then I came back to this question about The Purpose of Self-Doubt and I realised I now had the ability to work with this through my coaching practice.
So, I embarked upon an independent research project with one-to-one case study clients, where we simply explored their experience of self-doubt to see what we could learn about its purpose. After an initial 50 hours of coaching with three case study clients, I developed a coaching model.
I trialed this coaching model over a further 80 hours with another seventeen clients and I began writing my 2nd book based upon this research.
This work has formed the foundation of this concept, which I soon realised I would be learning about for a long time to come.
What has self-doubt done for me?
Ever since I embarked on this project, I have committed to bringing self-doubt to the forefront of my life with the aim of making it a purposeful experience rather than battling to overcome it.
I have lived this work and it has taken me to places I never imagined. I got stuck, frustrated, and utterly overwhelmed. I questioned myself over and over about the validity of this work.
At one point, when I realised the true nature of where self-doubt can lead, I even walked away entirely.
Self-doubt will do this to you. So, why on earth would anyone want to welcome this into their lives and bring it to the forefront of their experience?
I kept coming back to this work because, despite the challenge of discomfort, I knew I was dealing with something meaningful and worthwhile.
And besides, I felt I didn’t have a choice. I wouldn’t go back to the old way of banishing self-doubt in favour of some false confidence or fragile certainty.
Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainty is absurd...
I have learned time and time again that self-doubt cuts through the noise and gets straight to the heart of what’s important. For this reason, I love working with the question of self-doubt in my coaching practice.
Self-doubt brought me the opportunity to go deep, exposing unconscious truths and limiting beliefs. I’ve had an opportunity to uncover these invisible forces that were directing my life, challenge them, update the ones that are not useful and commit to the ones that are.
And even at my most difficult point with the work when I walked away entirely, it was then that I discovered the poet within me.
Self-doubt led me to the pain I had been avoiding and excluding all my life in an effort to belong in the outside world. That pain proved to be:
“The source of creativity
Where you find music, and stories, and pictures, and poetry.”
(From my poem Homeless Soul, which is featured on the introduction for my YouTube Channel Resolution Poems)
Integrative Restoration iRest® Yoga Nidra Meditation
Alongside my coaching, I have worked with Integrative Restoration (iRest®) Yoga Nidra Meditation, which is a form of meditative inquiry based upon the ancient practice of Yoga Nidra.
iRest encompasses the principles that underlie all spiritual traditions and this approach has been central to the challenge of welcoming self-doubt. The principles I have integrated into the practice of making self-doubt a purposeful experience are:
Welcoming everything just as it is
There is nothing to fix or change
We each have an indestructible inner resource
Operating these principles has transformed my relationship with self-doubt.
I have learned to welcome self-doubt, not just tolerate it, which means I embrace its presence in my life. And I do this with the understanding that there is nothing wrong, nothing needs fixing or changing, it is all OK exactly the way it is. This approach has been a revelation for me.
So often, when I have felt uncomfortable in life, I have rushed to find a solution to feel better. This act has usually only caused me more discomfort as I believed there was something wrong with the way I was living and I needed to be better, try harder, prove myself.
And as I have learned to live with the discomfort of self-doubt, it has gifted me with an indestructible inner resource and a resolve that enables me to meet life’s unending challenge in a creative and compassionate manner.
When I was driven by the insecurity of self-doubt, I always had something to prove. This was an exhausting drive that never let up because no matter how much or how many times I proved myself to others, I never believed it myself.
Now I know there’s nothing to prove and I am free to live the life that I want to live.
In March 2021, I met the requirements to become an iRest® Yoga Nidra Level One Meditation Teacher.
I am committed to my personal and professional development
Since 1999 I have been following the 12-step programme of AA and Alanon.
Since this time, I have worked with various modalities of therapy, the most successful being Family Constellations and IOPT (Identity Oriented Psychotrauma Therapy).
I have maintained a consistent (mostly daily) meditation practice since 2016 and I am a Level One iRest Yoga Nidra meditation teacher and I am passionate about the benefits of meditation.
I have benefitted from working with life coaches since 2003 and I have been working with my own coach on a monthly basis since I started training in 2016.
My coaching practice is trauma-informed and I work regularly with a coaching supervisor.
Why does this matter?
I am guided by integrity and believe wholeheartedly in supporting myself so that I can support my clients.