• cathryn-lavery-67852
    5 Types of Self-Doubt and How to Overcome Them 5 Types of Self-Doubt and How to Overcome Them

    5 Types of Self-Doubt and How to Overcome Them

5 Types of Self-Doubt and How to Overcome Them

Do you have ideas about things you want to create that you can’t seem to make happen? Like a book to write, a blog to start or a business to build?

If so, it may be that self-doubt is holding you back.

Just this morning I’ve worked with two highly intelligent and creative clients who when receiving praise from others couldn’t acknowledge it.

Both of these clients struggle with something called imposter syndrome which is a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

If you struggle with imposter syndrome, nothing you ever accomplish feels good enough. You’re more likely to believe that any success is the result of luck, rather than your effort and abilities.

And it holds you back significantly.

When you consistently doubt yourself you’ll find it hard to take risks and say yes to opportunities which stretch you out of your comfort zone. You’re more likely to procrastinate or continuously work at perfecting your work so that you never put it out into the world.

In the last post I wrote about How to Increase Your Motivation so you can work on your idea. The first factor which increases motivation was expectancy which is about the answer to the question: Are you confident in your ability to create whatever it is you aspire to create?

If you struggle with imposter syndrome or are in the process of recovery, your expectancy will likely be low. You’ll need to address these feelings of self-doubt so that you can increase your productivity and make your ideas happen with far less stress.

But first, you need to develop awareness about your imposter syndrome. It turns out that they’re 5 different types which […]

Developing Shame Resilience

ShameIn this week’s Sounds True Self Acceptance Project, Brene Brown speaks about the process of building shame resilience. I highly recommend listening to this talk. For those of you who won’t get the opportunity, I will summarize the main points.

Brene has been researching shame, courage, authenticity and vulnerability for many, many years and has given an excellent talk on Ted that is also worth watching. In this talk she starts off by stating her belief that the obstacles to self acceptance are feelings of lack of worthiness of love and belonging. The root of this is shame. Shame is a feeling which she describes as universal, part of our basic need for love and belonging which is hardwired into us. So shame is part of the human experience and unless we have psychopathic tendencies, it is unavoidable. Therefore she recommends that instead of trying to set unrealistic goals like trying to avoid the unavoidable, we should rather focus on building resilience to shame.

  • The first thing Brene recommends is recognizing the physiology of your shame experience so that you can recognize when you are feeling shame. For most people, the feeling corresponds to the stress response  as shame feels traumatic. So you may notice a sinking sensation in your stomach, rapid heart rate, sweaty palms, and specifically to shame, the urge to hide away, such as avoiding eye contact.We also need to identify what triggered the feeling. In some cases this may be obvious whereas others it may be more subtle, and may even be a thought we have.
  • She then suggests we reach out and share our shame experience with […]

Building Resilience During Stressful Times

Life's enjoymentMost of us know that chronic stress isn’t good for us and that it can be damaging to our physical and mental health. Many studies show the negative impact of stress on physical health such as blood pressure, immune functioning, and heart disease etc, but few address the effects on mental health. Increasingly however, studies are showing that chronic stress has a negative effect on brain functioning, leading to changes that make us more vulnerable to difficulties such as depression, addiction, memory loss, learning difficulties as well as a range of others.

We also know that we should be exercising, eating better and relaxing more to help ourselves deal with the impact of stress. But most of us do not, citing lack of time and energy as the main reasons. We are living in times of rapid change and unpredictability, most of which is out of our personal control. Each of these factors have been shown to contribute to experiencing stress, and we are now experiencing all three together. The key message, however, is that it is not the once off stressful events that are the most problematic, but the cumulative effects of daily stressors that do the most damage. It is therefore so important that we prioritize our physical and mental health and make lasting changes to protect ourselves against the damaging effects of long term stress. Our relatively new understanding of the plasticity of the brain allows us to make changes that can reverse the damage that has already been done. However, prevention is better than cure and making changes to protect the body and brain against damage is worth investing time and energy in.

I am going to be […]

Neuroception: a key concept for understanding anxiety and depression

Neuroception is a term coined by Professor Stephen Porges and refers to the neural circuit that evaluates risk from cues in the environment. In the stress literature the term perception is often used to describe how it is our perception of threat, rather than an objective evaluation of the stressor that leads to feelings of anxiety. E.g. a potential job interview may lead to feelings of anxiety although it does not pose any real threat to our safety. However Professor Porges states that perception is an inaccurate way to describe the process as the evaluation of environmental cues often occurs outside of conscious awareness.  Faulty neuroception, the inaccurate evaluation of risk where there is no threat, therefore may lie at the root of many difficulties such as anxiety and depression disorders, as well as schizophrenia, autism and reactive attachment disorder. A person may therefore be unable to inhibit defense systems in a safe environment, or they may be unable to activate defense systems in a risky one, or a combination of both.

For more information read Neuroception: a subconscious system for detecting threats and safety