How To Stop Trying To Prove You Aren’t Good Enough
The problem with worry is that we attract the very thing we are trying to avoid. We live a self-fulfilling prophecy. Life keeps its agreement with us through our beliefs, because whatever we think about, we bring about. Life is like a mirror. It reflects back whatever image we present to it.”
— Dr. Robert Anthony, author
Recently I had a conversation with my boyfriend that kind of messed with me. Immediately following it I thought I shook off, but I didn’t.
While sipping tequila and talking about my business (it’s a great combo, right?), he shared with me that over the holidays my dad questioned why he supported my dream to be an entrepreneur.
My dad has his concerns, and he’s my dad. He worries about my responsibilities as a single mom without much support, and knows the risk of owning your own business.
It isn’t secure or stable; it’s risky and scary and unpredictable.
My dad was projecting his own fears about the risks of owning your own business and supporting a family, and while Ryan shared this with me the only thing I heard was - he doesn’t think I can do it.
Which turned into, I can’t do it.
It became proof that what I thought was true.
Ryan made it very clear that he believes in me and I defaulted to brushing the whole conversation off as if it wasn’t a big deal. I even said,, “I’ll prove everyone wrong”, to drive it home. But the truth was, I couldn’t get the conversation out of my head.
In fact, over the past few days I have found a million reasons why I can’t be successful. I’ve been looking for proof of why I should give up the dream and get a “real job” with a paycheck and a 401k.
The more I look, the more reasons I find.
For instance, I had a major plumbing leak in my new house earlier this week, and I found a way to make that about why I shouldn’t pursue the entrepreneur life. I immediately saw dollar signs and told myself that if I had a “real job” I wouldn’t have to worry about this stuff.
Oh the things we blow out of proportion in order to validate our beliefs.
I talk about this all the time, but it’s important to keep reminding you - your mental activity shapes your brain and shapes the neural structure in your brain. Confirmation bias is the built-in human tendency to seek information that proves our pre-existing beliefs and ignore information that proves the contrary.
Psychologists have been conducting studies on confirmation bias since the early 1970s, and the studies show that people will believe anythingif it confirms what they already think, even when given hard evidence that they are wrong. 🤔
In this increasingly complex world, our brains find it easier and more comfortable to make decisions based on these old neuron patterns. Trying to filter through all of the conflicting information that is available is just too much work. We opt for consistency over truth.
Here’s how it shows up for us in life…
If you identify with a belief like ‘I am not good enough,’ you will look at your circumstances through the lens of that belief. You will also interpret how others view you through that same lens. And as a result, you will no doubt be able to find a whole bunch of ‘evidence’ to support that negative self-image.
Perhaps you have a health goal, but because you have the belief that you can’t be a healthy person, you find all kinds of reasons why it’s true. You tried all the diets and failed, you tried all the exercise programs and quit, and you have no “willpower when it comes to sweets. (Sabotage.)
Or maybe you want to ask for a raise, but you identify with the belief that you aren’t worth the money you desire. So, you find reasons you shouldn’t ask for what you want. You should be grateful for the job you have, your boss probably doesn’t think you deserve it, and you make a good living already.
The brain doesn’t care about you growing. In fact, it wants you to stay stuck because that means it doesn’t have to worry about being uncomfortable or working hard. And the problem is, confirmation bias can affect your judgment in ways that can be quite damaging to you.
It’s where dreams get lost.
So what do we do about this?
The beauty of the brain is that it is reprogrammable, so hacking confirmation bias is totally possible. Practicing self-awareness and looking for evidence that DISCOMFIRMS your own beliefs are the key ways to beat it.
Here are two things you can do right now:
Pay attention to your thoughts. When you have a negative thought pop up, because you will, ask yourself - “is this thought useful?” If it isn’t, work to challenge the thought and find evidence as to why you shouldn’t believe it. Regardless of whether or not it’s true, if it doesn’t help you move forward in a positive direction, you’ve gotta replace it. So challenge it, create a new thought that serves you, and witness a shift in your actions as a result.
Keep a “swipe file”. Advertising professionals “swipe” examples of great marketing copy or advertising slogans and put them into a file to call upon for ideas and inspiration later. For those moments when fear and self-doubt creep in, or even if you just need a little boost of encouragement, you should have your own swipe file of evidence that you’re a badass. Collect thank you notes, document setbacks you’ve overcome and keep track of your achievements - no matter how big or small - and put them in your own “swipe file”, perhaps label it “badass file”. The goal is to create evidence that you are appreciated to counter a fear of “not good enough”.
I can tell you from experience, because I do it, that it works. While I may have let the conversation about my Dad get to me, using both these tools allowed me to get my shit together and realize I CAN and I WILL continue to pursue my dream.
These fears are universal. Not feeling like we’re good enough to find love, build a successful business, reach a health goal…it’s natural. So please, don’t take it personally.
The difference between those of us who live out those dreams and those who give up, is choosing to NOT give energy to that voice that tells you that you can’t.
So, start paying attention to the thoughts you have. If you catch yourself in a place of fear and doubt, it just means that you’re aware and you can choose to shift.
You can and you WILL.
And hey, if you want to dive deeper into creating confidence along with a group of like-minded badasses, consider attending my next Refresh VIP Day on May 10th. We will be working and playing out at Lake Las Vegas and I’d love to see you there! (Use discount code BLOG to receive an additional $50 off!)