As women, it’s easy to let our insecurities and self-doubts to take over. Sometimes, those feelings of insecurity and doubt can get so loud, they drown out the rest of us, taking on a role that’s way more powerful than they should.
A friend of mine recently shared that she’s been struggling with her self-esteem. Looking at her, she’s the last person most would expect to feel self-conscious: she’s a beautiful 27-year-old who’s always well-dressed, surrounded by a big group of friends, has an attractive boyfriend, and works at a secure job.
However, her job in sales had recently started putting her in the spotlight, requiring that she be out and about at networking events, and as she spent time around other lovely, successful people, the whispers of her own insecurities started to get louder.
At night, before she went to bed, in the quiet of her room, she’d hear the murmurs. They told her, “You’re not good enough.”
The problem with letting these voices grow stronger is that when you allow them to take hold, they can send you on a downward spiral. When you give these negative voices the power to rule your life, they suddenly tell you what you can and cannot do, how you should or should not live your life. They’ll tell you that you’re not strong enough to handle a promotion, not strong enough to handle a new friendship, or not strong enough to take a risk.
They shut out the real you, and they prevent you from becoming the person you’re meant to be.
My friend shared her insecurities with me, and I helped her to realize that just because she heard this negative, critical voice in her head, she didn’t have to listen to it. I encouraged her to practice: Every time she heard the voice saying, “You’re not good enough,” to repeat to herself, “I am enough.” By the end of our week, she was in tears, having realized how quickly she could turn her self-criticism into a confidence boost. Our self worth is often connected to other people, places and things. When we connect to who we truly are and experience the peace within, we have the opportunity to accept the truth or reject our own selves. It is through the experience of connecting to the highest part of you that creates a knowing that there is no turning back.
It’s amazing how much these voices can hold us back. A few years ago, I was convinced I couldn’t waste time traveling. As an entrepreneur, I only make money when I work—and any time off is profit lost. In need of some restoration and inspiration, I ended up taking a backpacking trip through Italy with a friend. I blogged about the trip—not for money, just for fun and as a creative outlet that would help me to later look back on our time abroad. Taking that time to stop and reflect led me to integrate the transformation that travel offers. The thing is, when we choose to be open and aware, new environments reveal thought patterns that no longer serve us and new inspiration is born.
An excerpt from the blog:
“In Assisi, Italy, it feels as if there is a story that is revealing itself in so many different ways. Everywhere you go has purpose and meaning. Through living by example, St. Francis has changed the world. We have already found ourselves to be living this message as these three words couldn’t not have been more spot on for our journey. However we wonder – how will we cut through the chaos to live this peace back home?
Throughout this trip we have been more aware of when we are “on” or “off”. Between doing what “normal tourists” do vs. what works for us. When we arrived, we couldn’t get our grounding. When we try to force the structure of the typical “tourist” map/book we loose the charm of the city. It’s a more enjoyable experience just venturing out, either ask people along the way or allowing it to be provided to us organically. This adventure is opening our mind and hearts while allowing us to be free. Free from structure, free from what we should be doing and just simply living.”
Most of my life had been filled with structure, “shoulds”, and striving for perfection. While I had grown immensely, Italy offered a new growth. It forced me to be present, live in the moment and allow my curiosity to lead the way. The heaviness of living in my head was no longer there. The joy and freedom of living in my heart, excited for what the next moment would bring opened a door to a part of me that I hadn’t experienced before. I will never forget the day I woke up in Italy with a knowing that my life would never be the same. I embraced every single experience, connection, and ideas inspired in Italy and brought them back to Texas (and more importantly, into my heart).
Ultimately, that blog opened doors for me to lead future travel retreats through Italy—something I never could have imagined getting paid to do, until I took a chance and followed my intuition, rather than the naysayers in my brain. Though the voices in my head nagged me about finances, when I let go and went with the flow, I ended up discovering an entirely new stream of income.
I could have easily stayed home and told myself I was being practical, but when we allow negative voices in our heads to limit us, we limit life’s opportunities as well.
In every moment, we have the opportunity to co-create with the Universe. When we ignore what is on our heart, we ignore the possibilities that can manifest through our heart-felt desires. @RobinEmmerich (Click to Tweet!)
The trick is listening for the voice and identifying it. Do you listen for a voice in your head that seems outside of yourself, endlessly negative, constantly holding you back? Do you pay attention to the limits you’re setting for yourself, whether consciously or otherwise? This week, identify that nagging voice that’s trying to drag you back—then flip the switch to turn its message positive. Let us know what you discover in the comments below!
Robin Emmerich has spent close to a decade coaching some of the most successful women in business. Even with their considerable success, the common denominator is that as much as they seemed to be cruising through life on the outside, they were melting on the inside. It’s why Robin just launched Beauty and the Mess—an athleisure brand creating a sisterhood who understands that life is messy and difficult and challenging, but together, can find the strength to prioritize passion over perfection and fearlessly seek beauty in their everyday lives. She currently offers the CIJourney online course, based on the famed Stanford Masters Degree Course, ‘Creativity in Business,’ individual coaching and worldwide retreats. Connect with Robin at robinemmerich.com on Instagram, or beautyandthemess.com.