I’ve been cookin’ up some new stuff for y’all lately — you’ve got a brand new website on the way on July 9 as well as some really fun announcements (you know that eBook you’ve been wanting on curvy pose modifications..?).
I can hardly wait!
And some days, I can hardly stand it.
Because self-doubt is pounding at the door, desperately wanting to get in.
I was talking with a friend recently and said that any creative project (in my case, writing a book, but this has also been true for me in the process of learning to love my body) is a constant exercise in how much self-doubt and insecurity you can withstand.
Because, at least for me, it’s definitely coming.
As soon as I realized this was a predictable pattern, it became easier to deal with. Here’s my formula:
Starting Something New = Self-Doubt = Me Thinking I Shouldn’t Do It At All
Too Big For Your Britches Syndrome
This is when I fall immediately into thinking I’ve gotten “too big for my britches.” That’s a terrible saying, don’t you think? It seems designed to “keep people in their place” (another saying I loathe). We certainly have a strange relationship to owning our strengths.
It seems we’re constantly trying to reel ourselves back or push ourselves forward — and sometimes both simultaneously.
What this Applies To
I think this conundrum applies to any number of endeavors, including starting to practice yoga or progressing along in our yoga practice, perhaps even considering becoming a teacher.
“Who am I to think I could do that? Who would even take me seriously?”
That’s a question I’ve only asked myself — oh, probably a million times (give or take a few hundred thousand).
But here’s the real question: “When will I take myself seriously?”
What It Boils Down To
Because here’s what it’s all about: trusting yourself to stay with the process.
When you figure out your self-doubt equation, you can begin spotting it sooner and sooner. Once you spot it, you’re in good territory: you know what to expect and that you can approach it with compassion.
It’s the “this too shall pass” of self-doubt.
Here’s how it works for me: I’m sitting here, innocently writing, when all of a sudden I feel the self-doubt set in. “This is the dumbest thing anyone has ever written in the entire history of the whole wide world.” “No one cares about this, and everyone already knows it.” “You better start scouting the classifieds for a new job ASAP.”
That continues anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours (days, weeks, etc.), depending on how much time I give it.
Eventually, I realize — “Oh, wait. What if these things aren’t true? What if it’s just the self-doubt bugaboo again?”
(Hint: it’s always the self-doubt bugaboo again.)
The Self-Doubt Questionnaire
With my newfound understanding in hand, I can then start asking my self-doubt some questions:
- Is what I’m doing really irrelevant (not needed, impossible, out of my reach, etc.)? No, of course not.
- Will others decry me in the streets when they see this? Almost definitely not, and even if they do, I’ll survive.
- What’s really going on here? The usual is happening, and I just need to move through it.
- What would make me feel better and able to proceed? Taking the dogs for a walk and then starting again when I return.
Once I know what’s got a hold of me (and that it’s expected and will return again), I can make a plan. It’s not about forcing it to never return and then shaming myself when it does. It’s about recognizing that I’m in the midst of a very human predicament and giving myself permission to see it and then mosey along.
When I meet it again, I will recognize it more quickly and have even more tools in my toolbox to greet it — and then send it packing.
Want to know more about all these fun Curvy goings-on? Be sure to sign up for my mailing list to get the curvy scoop! Mailing list peeps may or may not be getting a 48 hour pre-sale of the book next week, at 50% off the regular price. (Hint: they definitely will be!)