Kick that Self-Doubt to the curb!

Kick it to the curb


With an election imminent, we are continually bombarded with the antics of politicians. And it got me thinking… maybe we could be more like them, take a leaf out of the politicians’ handbook.

What?!!? I hear you yell and scream. Bloody politicians, can’t trust them, can’t believe them, always tooting their own horn. Why on earth would I want to be like them?

Frankly they don’t give a toss what you think about them. Well they do, because they want you to vote for them, but honestly they all think they’re great. They sprout their policies and beliefs to all and sundry. Those that like them stay, those that don’t – ignore them. And really they don’t care. They move on to the next town for their campaign and know they will pick up more sympathisers – oops voters – elsewhere. They have no self-doubt; they don’t have time for it.

And this why my thoughts led me to politicians – they have to be the one group of people with a severe lack of self-doubt (or at least that’s what they show). And that is the page of the handbook that could be very handy.

Self-doubt (from hereon in written as SD) can be very debilitating. It hits all of us at some point in our lives – some more than others. SD is a hindrance that has been put upon us by well-meaning parents- “Oh you don’t want to be a Policeman, that is a dangerous occupation, why don’t you try banking?”, not so well-meaning teachers “Oh you want to be a doctor do you? Your grades will never be good enough”, and others’ ‘well-meaning advice’ that we have listened to throughout our lives.

You are not on your own. People from all walks of life have SDs. From well-known actors and artists who fear they will be tapped on the shoulder and told “you shouldn’t be here”, to business owners and entrepreneurs who have a fear of failure (as well as success) and feel like imposters because they’re struggling with the one million other things they’re not doing at that moment. The parents who fear they’re not good enough when it comes to raising the children, the kids next door who despair “I can’t run/swim/ride a bike…” “I’m too fat/skinny/tall/short…”“I’m not popular enough…”

The doctors, the teachers, the bus driver…

The list goes on.

It is not discriminatory; SD wracks us all at some point. And why does SD always seem to pop up when we want to try something new? “I want to ice skate but I’m too old and what will my kids think?” “I want to visit a nude beach but I’m not skinny enough and people will laugh at me?” “I don’t want kids, that makes me a mean person, oh and what will Grandma think?” It goes on and on.

SD stops you in your tracks from reaching your beautiful potential and living the life you truly deserve.

But it is how you react to that screaming little voice in our head that determines how much SD will affect you. SD is often the underlying cause of procrastination or intense pessimism – “Oh I’m not good enough so I won’t try new things”. However, put to good use, SD can become a motivator. You can use that mean little voice in your head to fuel your motivation to improve yourself. Fight that voice. Become indignant. “Oh you think I can’t do that do you? Well watch me!!”

I have no quick cure to overcome SD, it usually has a tight hold. However, I do have a few things you can try to lessen its grip on you.

Focus on the positive. Find something, anything, that you can look at and think – I did that, I really am good at some stuff. Have you taken a really nice photo and thought wow that looks nice? Have you written a nice email and cheered someone up recently? Did you put those shelves up yourself? Did everyone love dinner that you cooked last night? Did you walk around the block without puffing? Focus on what you have achieved so you can focus on what you really want to achieve – if you let yourself. Counteract those negative thoughts with positive energy. Positive energy goes a long way to kick self-doubt.

Look after yourself, nurture yourself. You need to take care of your own needs – eat well, drink well (water, herbal teas, – I’m not talking alcohol here), look after your body and mind. Be grateful for what you have. I have a journal- in the morning I write 10 things that I love, and at night before I go to bed I write 10 things that I am happy and grateful for. It makes me feel good to start and end the day. Meditate to relax and stay in the present. If you look after yourself, you start to feel good about yourself. If you feel good about yourself, you will want more to feel good about and then you’ll start saying no to self-doubt.

Find support – whether it is from your soul sisters, your partner, friends, family, or a coach. Support and reassurance from others goes a long way to helping fight SD. Sure sometimes they may point out your flaws (with love of course), but usually they rally to support you when needed. If you don’t have this around you, then find it. If all your friends do is find flaws and negativity, gently reduce the time you spend with them, distance yourself. Support and reassurance is the antidote to self-doubt.

Take one small step. I’ve said it, and quoted it over and over again, but all it takes is one small step. One small step is all you need to start your journey on growth. People with a growth mindset see challenges and failures as opportunities to grow; they do not dwell on what might have been. As you grow you will kick that self-doubt to the curb and start climbing mountains.

Now SD will never disappear entirely. It will rear its ugly, mean little head every now and then, but it comes down to how you react to it. How loud you let it scream. You need to turn that “You can’t do that!” to “You can’t do that?” to “Can you do that?” to “You can do that!”

As Sir Edmund Hilary once said “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”.

So start conquering. I hope I have given you food for thought. And if you need some help, remember I am here. Contact me so I can help you kick that self-doubt to the curb.

Start Kicking Up Your Heels,


PS Don’t forget to vote – remember, make it count 🙂

Should you? Really?

Shouldyou really

How often do you have conversations in your head that start with “I really should do xyz” but deep down, in your core you really don’t want to?

I’ll bet there were a lot of heads nodding, uh-huh’s going on, and hands in the air. Unfortunately, it is a normal part of a lot of people’s lives.

Although there are times when these statements are helpful e.g. “I should not get drunk and drive home”, more often they can create unrealistic expectations. “I should” or “I must” can put unreasonable demands or pressure on yourself and on others too.

Now, as I said there are times ‘I should’ can be helpful – I mean we all know what we really ‘should’ do in terms of legalities etc., and even then, if you are willing to accept the consequences of what you should or shouldn’t do, then do- or don’t.  But otherwise, in your day to day life, why ‘should’ you?

What is it that makes us ‘should’?

Most times, ‘should’ starts with our need to please others –

“I should go to Law School, Medical School, Whatever School because my mother/father did, their mother/father did and it is what everyone expects me to do.”

“I should like her/him because my parents like her/him and they think she/he will be great for me.”

“I shouldn’t wear that because they will think…”


Can you see the underlying pattern here?

It’s not I ‘should’ do this, that, or the other because I will feel good, it’s I ‘should’ do this, that, or the other because of other peoples’ expectations. It will make them feel better, not you!

What happened to your expectation of your own happiness? Has it become an automatic habit to disregard your own happiness?

Maybe you grew up in a family where your mother did things for other people because she felt she ‘should’, that’s her lot in life (and a LOT of mothers feel like this – sadly). And you have it now ingrained in your psyche that this is your lot in life. You became a people pleaser because that’s what you were shown to do. You should do things to make other people happy, often sacrificing your own happiness in the meantime.

When we people please, when we do what we ‘should’, we are saying YES to others, NA-AH to ourselves. In that moment we are not being true to ourselves.

Now, in no way am I saying don’t do things for others, what I am saying is do things for others if you truly want to, if you’re loving what you’re doing and there’s no little voice going “Oh come on, you really ‘should’ do that because… just ignore how you’re really feeling.” Do things for others because it feels right – right down to your core.

And whilst we are on the subject of should, how often do you place expectations on your friends and loved ones?

“If they really loved me they should do this…”

“If she really liked me she should treat me like…”

“He’s my brother so he should…”

Again, STOP with the should-ing. Let go of your expectations, let people behave in a way they want to behave, and allow them to express their own feeling, wants, needs and ways of being. Wouldn’t you rather someone did something for you because they loved doing it for you – not because they should?

‘Should’ places expectations on yourself and others and can set you up for pain and disappointment, or at the very least a tightness in your belly. So remember keep yourself away from feeling rotten and do things out of love and happiness. Not because you should!

It starts one little step at a time. The next time someone asks you for something you don’t want to give, gently and with love, say “No, I’d rather not at this time.” The first few times you will feel icky – because, hey, that’s how you have ingrained it into your soul – “I must, I must”, but over time and with practice, like anything, it will become easier. Say no to the ‘I shoulds’ and a resounding YES to the ‘I wants’. Treat yourself how you expect others to treat you. Put your happiness in the forefront of the picture.

If this is something you have difficulty with, then contact me. Let’s have a chat and see if I can help you get over your should. And not because you should – but because you want to.

Start Kicking Up Your Heels,


Are you stuck in a rut?

stuck in a rut

How often do you wake up in the morning, jump out of bed and think “Hooray, another day!!” and it’s not the weekend??

Most days? Well that’s fabulous – and you can probably stop reading now, this stuff might bore you.

The rest of you? Rarely? Never?

You wake up, hit the alarm clock – it’s not really the clock’s fault you know, it was manufactured to make that noise every morning. Get out of bed and think “Same old, same old”?

Not a great way to start the day, hey?

But you know you have to get up, you know you have to go to work – some of you hate it, some of you tolerate it – but hey that’s a whole other blog. Anyway it’s Groundhog day. I’m talking the movie with Bill Murray in 1993 – the weatherman doomed to spend the rest of eternity in the same place, seeing the same people, doing the same thing over and over and over again.

Sound familiar? Get up, get ready for work, go to work, spend 8-10 hours a day at work, come home, prepare the dinner (or sit in front of the television whilst it’s being prepared for you), eat dinner, watch television, go to bed. Get up, get ready for work… Ringing any bells?

Sure, we need order and discipline at times in our lives, some call it routine. I call it stuck in a rut. And the longer you stay there, the deeper the rut, the harder it is to climb out of the ravine you are digging. Harder to jump off the wheel. You’ll start to feel trapped, joyless, bored.

Well it’s time to shake it up!!

Not all day, every day, but little by little, one step at a time.

It’s time to have fun, otherwise the stress of your rut will do infinite harm.

Now I’m not saying quite your job, sell your home, kick the kids out, what I’m saying is – Start Small.

Something ridiculously easy to do (but we often do not) is leave the office at lunch. How many of you sit at your desk, eat your lunch and continue to work through? Okay, a few of you may take a few minutes to scroll through social media while you’re scoffing your sandwich, but how many of you actually get up out of your seat and go outside? Take your sandwich, take your phone (if you must) and go for a walk. Get some fresh air. Raining? Find a dry spot and call a friend, catch up with someone you haven’t seen in a while. See how you feel when it’s time to go back to the office. REFRESHED!

Drive to and fro work every day? Take a different route on the way home (not on the way – I don’t want you to stress about being late). You’ve got a GPS, ask for an alternate route. You might discover places you’ve never seen before. (That’s how I found a fabulous little coffee shop tucked away in a corner off the beaten track one day).

When you get home from work, get changed. Get out of your work clothes. Hey you might have some lovely clothes on, but the work day is over. Put on some comfy clothes – or get dolled up – whatever makes you feel good, just get out of 9-5 mode.

Keep the television turned off. Home alone? Put on some of your favourite music, and dance around the house. Family home? Strike up a conversation – just don’t plonk yourself down

automatically in front of the television – that thing draws the life out of you (and it’s probably the news – bad news, anyway).

Set the dinner table with napkins and a candle, make it special, and have dinner with your partner/and or family as often as their sporting/social life will let you. A nice setting breaks up the monotony of eating from a tray on your lap in front of the television (and research will tell you that it is infinitely better for your health). It can even be a reheated frozen meal – but eaten off a plate, sitting at a table, makes it all the more special. And some great conversations and planning can go on around the dinner table.

After dinner rather than scatter to other ends of the house, each person on their phone, tablet, or PC – stay and play. UNO anyone? Monopoly? Something that will make you laugh (and at times scowl) at each other for just a little while. The dishes will wait. They’ll still be there in an hour. When was the last time you played a game?

If there is just the two of you – here’s a suggestion – PLAY together. I was reading recently about a couple who felt their lives had stagnated – they’d forgotten how to have fun. Every night after work they’d come home and same old, same old (how common is that?). They decided enough is enough. They made a commitment to each other to liven things up. So every Thursday they put up a sign in their lounge room – NO ADULTS ALLOWED! KIDS 5 – 7 YEARS ONLY! And for one full hour every Thursday night they played like they were kids. 5-7 years old.

Sounds childish? It is.

Sounds fun? It is.

Hide and Go Seek. Hopscotch. Cops and Robbers. Tip. On cooler nights they painted and drew, they played dress ups.

Sure it was awkward at first (because honestly it can take a while to remember how to behave like a kid – we are so conditioned to grow up and act your age), but after the first couple of sessions they learnt to relax and go with the flow. And have so much fun.

Once in a while, do something bigger – more out of routine. Sundays normally spent having breakfast, doing the lawns, changing the sheets, lazing around all arvo (or worse still doing housework)? How about shaking it up. Take your breakfast to a park, eat outside. Go for a hike. Visit an art gallery or museum. Go somewhere, do something you don’t normally do. It doesn’t have to involve money – there are lots of free activities, check out your local area’s website, there’s bound to be stuff to do. And when you go in to work on Monday, you’ll have something to talk about rather than answer the question “How was your weekend?” with a “Same old, same old”.

We get into a rut, we become complacent, we don’t question things, we don’t think of living a different way.

Don’t wait for a near death experience to shake you out of your rut. Take responsibility to make change, and take action. Do something, anything, to create momentum and get out of your rut. Get off that hamster wheel. Start with one small thing at a time.

There’s a multitude of areas in your life that can be classed as ‘rut’ worthy, but to keep it brief and at least get you started on thinking, I’ve only glossed over some things here with you today. If you feel you are in a deep ravine, and you need some help getting out, contact me. Let me help you discover what it is you want to be, do and have. Let me help you start kicking up your heels and having a fabulous life.