Do you ever read something that brings your mind to a halt? That’s what happened when I read this sentence: “People are extremely nice to me now, because I’m no longer a threat.” Polly Kline, 97 (featured in the book ‘Wise Women’ by Joyce Tennison)
I wondered, is this one of the reasons that most people love babies and elderly, because they are not a threat? I had to think hard about this. Do I ever feel threatened by women? If I’m completely truthful, at times, the answer is yes.
But I don’t call it ‘threatened’. I call is self-comparison, or self-doubt. Feelings that are triggered when I perceive I’m not doing enough, or not good enough. So yes, when I meet someone who I deem to be more successful, prettier, smarter, confident – I can feel threatened. Ugh.
Recently, during dinner with a couple of friends the conversation wound around to what seems to be a common trigger for women – ‘not being enough’. My comment was, “I wish I could get hypnotized and have these feelings go away.” But then it hit me, it’s these challenging feelings that have provided the biggest lessons. Some of which I re-learn over and over.
However, when I stopped hiding behind busyness, began practicing stillness (aka, 10 minutes here and there of quiet) and no longer ran from these uncomfortable feelings, I learned that these feelings are not who I am – they are emotions that get in my way. I conjure them. I create them. Which means I can also choose to let them go.
These days, my core issues, like ‘not being enough’ lurk about, but they rarely take me down. It’s more of a tapping on the door to see if I’m home and wanting a visitor.
Here’s a couple of ideas for you, that have helped me:
#1: The next time self-doubt [name your trigger] wraps its arms around you, ask yourself “why have I conjured this, is there a lesson in here?” And then try this…
#2: Name your core issues. I named self-doubt Dory. When Dory shows up, we have a conversation on the threshold (she is no longer allowed inside). If she has a lesson for me, wonderful. If not, I send her on her way!
Kind of strange, I know, but it works wonders for reminding me that this feeling isn’t who I am, it’s just Dory, knocking at my door and I have a choice – let her in and consume my time, or say “not today!”.
What name did you chose for your core issues? Share below – I’d love to hear!