Are You Talking Yourself Out of Doing What You Love?


You’ve done it right?

You’ve caught yourself wanting to take your creative baby out to the world but have convinced yourself that on some level it’s not possible for you. Maybe it’s that you won’t make money doing it or perhaps it’s that you’re scared on it won’t fly so you procrastinate and hold back.

We can all get caught up in talking ourselves out of going for what we want.
We focus on why we can’t do it and get caught in a cycle of limiting beliefs and doubt.

Who do you think you are and aren’t?

Just the other day, I was in a coaching session when a client said to me earnestly, “But I’m not an artist!” She said it so quickly she didn’t see how there, in an instant she had given her power over to a limiting belief. She had an image of a successful artist planted firmly in her head.  It didn’t matter that she was beautifully creative and came alive when she talked about her creative projects.  In her mind, she didn’t match that ideal image and therefore concluded that she wasn’t an artist.  Her talent was discounted in favor of this ideal, perfected image.

We all admire others and their work in the world. It’s natural.  We look out and see talented and successful women doing their thing and a part of us wants what they’ve got. But that doesn’t mean we have to be like them or that their way is the only way to be. Inside of you is a uniqueness that only you have.

I completely understand that you might have a fear of not being good enough but that really doesn’t need to stop you putting yourself out there.

I remember when I first had the idea that I wanted to write a book.  I just kept getting stuck.  I’d sabotage by telling myself it was too simplistic, the idea wasn’t original enough and who was I to call myself a writer.  I wasn’t after all Jane Austen or Alexander McCall Smith.  Yes indeed, who did I think I was to claim that I was a writer?

My coach at the time said to me, “I want you to write a really bad book.”
I replied, “Oh I feel sick, I can’t do that.  That would be awful.”
“Why?” he asked.
“Because what would everyone think?”  I sheepishly replied.

And there, you have it. The reason beneath all of my hesitation, procrastination and fear was because I was afraid of what others might say.

How do we let our light shine when we feel afraid?

Marianne Williamson said it beautifully, “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

  1. Notice what perfected ideals you’re holding up for yourself.  If you’re stopping yourself from getting started because you can’t envision you being successful doing what you love, then the place to start is on your belief system.  You will have evidence stored in your subconscious to keep that limiting belief firmly in place and the real work starts when you learn to let go.
  2. Create a resonant and clear vision of you doing what you love and being successful.  It’s important to have a vision of you standing firmly in your sovereignty and power.  It’s much easier to walk towards a strong vision than move away from something you don’t like.
  3. Get clear about your strengths.  There really is only one you with your unique expression.  Being clear about what gives you resonance and energy and how to create flow by using this power will give you confidence from within.
  4. Walk towards the fear. It’s so common for us to run from fear.  We act as if that’s not true because we find all sorts of logical excuses to stop ourselves.  They sound so reasonable and convincing but at the heart of them is fear. 
  5. Start from where you are. Take baby steps towards your vision.  One foot in front of the other with short-term goals to create and sustain momentum.

And finally, remember as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Every artist was first an amateur.”

What if you gave yourself permission to being again?

4 thoughts on “Are You Talking Yourself Out of Doing What You Love?

  1. That snippet of conversation with your coach is absolutely priceless, Vanessa.

    Even as someone who’s been a professional freelance writer for the past 15 years, I’ve had similar moments of self-doubt–particularly when it came to publish my books last autumn. I ignored self-imposed deadline after self-imposed deadline, before one of my clients went on an 8-week holiday, and I finally said “it’s now or never.” I won’t say I’m *looking forward* to writing my next book, but I will at least know how to shepherd my brain through it, and why it will be worth it.

    1. Hey Jake. Awesome work on getting it done. This conversation reminds me of carrots and sticks! The carrot would be imagining what it will feel like once you’ve got another published and the impact on the readers. The stick might be something like an accountability group where you give money to a chosen charity if you don’t meet your deadlines :-) Either way doubt will just sabotage it right? Steven Pressfield’s having some interesting conversations about morning routines over on his site. Good luck with the next one :-)

  2. Wow. This is great. I’ve recently made a huge commitment (of money, time and emotion) to finally get my big idea off the ground. In my case it wasn’t that I thought the idea wasn’t good enough. It’s a miraculously amazing idea, and I’ve had confirmation of that from a lot of people. My problem was in taking the risk, as I saw it, of trying to make a living from it when I didn’t see a way to do that. With a lot of help and even more work, I’m on my way. Thanks for this!

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