Don’t Let Doubt Sit At Your Table

Hi Guys!



Several years ago I had the pleasure of meeting a brilliant young man whose capacity for risk-taking and his pure tenacity brought him significant entrepreneurial achievement well before the age of 30. 


His name is Mike and, on the outside, Mike was living one heck of a success story but, on the inside, things looked much different.


With his rise came new challenges and Mike found himself alone and in unfamiliar territory. When he looked out to the business community for camaraderie, connection and support he saw nothing but hostile ground.


He found the community leaders were intimidating, aloof and elusive. Even his vendors seemed distant and disrespectful!


As with most things that are not working in our lives, we discovered that Mike had some significant disempowering beliefs he was holding, and I was certain that these were serving as a barrier to him connecting meaningfully with his peers in the business world.


When we dug in we uncovered that Mike saw himself as “an underling and a second-class citizen.”


He was certain that other business owners and the movers and shakers of the world were not only out of reach but decidedly uninterested in someone like him.


These beliefs not only stopped him from taking action and weakened any effort he might attempt but they seemed to put a grey film over his entire being.  


Mike had succumbed to his own life-sucking negative thinking and it would just not do!


To help clear the shadows and reclaim his confidence I walked Mike through a process that I use in the Make Your Life Program called Exorcizing Your Alter Ego. 


In this process we actually pull the negative thoughts right out of your head, and give them an identity.  By distinguishing these thoughts for what they are – a useless blob of inaccurate and unhelpful mental junk – the individual gains a new power to put these thoughts aside instead of believing them and living under their tyranny.


For Mike, when he was able to distinguish the thoughts that were holding him back,  pull them out and get a really good look at them, a huge light bulb went on!


This is what was illuminated….


“I can see it!” Mike exclaimed! “It is as though I have this set of advisors sitting with me around a large table. 


Many of them praise me, acknowledge my successes, see all that I have done and celebrate my potential but…. there is one who is not so generous. 


There is one who sees my limitations.  He tells me I can’t cut it, that the people I want to know want nothing to do with me and that I will fail, crash and burn and leave my employees out on the street without jobs. “


“But get this!” He continues incredulously. “Guess where this guy is sitting? For some reason I gave him the seat at the head of the table!  As though he’s right! As though what he has to say is so much more valid and important than all the good stuff coming from everyone else!! “


It was a powerful insight and a wonderful analogy but Mike wasn’t done. He went on to declare…


“From here forward I will absolutely not let “Doubt” sit at my table!!”


And that moment of clarity, freed his mind and the rest followed (A la En Vogue.)


He wrote it on his wall, looked at it every day and lived by it.


In the following 4 months Mike met more business leaders than he had spoken to over the previous 4 years. 


He was connecting with the city’s movers and shakers and, lo and behold, they were actually excited to know him and collaborate!


Vendors not only found a new responsiveness, they were flying him out to see them, greeting him with limos and taking him out on yachts!


And the business community he had deeply longed to fit into had started congregating at his facility for their social mixers.


The world changed for him and a world of opportunities opened up when he stopped letting doubt sit at his table. 



Who are you letting sit at your table?


As you read about Mike, you no doubt recognized that you have some of your own limiting thoughts rolling around and limiting your life.  If you check in and see who the offender is, can you name him or her?


Is “Doubt” sitting at the head of your table?


Perhaps it’s “Fear”…


Or “Self hatred” (ouch)


Or “Criticism”


(I used to have someone I call “Betty” sitting at the head of my table but now I keep her in a very small box, in an attic in Switzerland!)


The invitation:


Take a few minutes to get in touch with your own self-critic by writing out some of its favorite lines (you know then ones  “you’re not good enough” “you will fail” “nobody likes you”) and then give your new friend a name. 


Recognize that they have no place sitting at your table (much less at the head of it) and reclaim your rightful spot in the seat of honor.


Freedom awaits! (More elbow room too!)





Need a little help with those disempowering beliefs?  Connect to your personal power with Coach Joelle's new CD An Introduction To Passionate Powerful Living.  


  1. I love this, Joelle! It totally clicked for me to realize how much power we can give our negative and how it can affect how others react to us, even when we don't know it!
    I was so inspired that I wrote a little something as I reminder for myself and I though others might enjoy it too!
    I am sitting in a boardroom at a long table with nine members of the company’s executive team, including myself, about to commence our morning meeting. 
    Before the meeting is even called to order, two very chipper executives with pom poms in hand, leap up from their seats and start to cheer.
    “We rock! We are the best company ever! We are so awesome! Yay us!”
    There are three others, more conservative, who prefer a modest approach. They smile politely, appreciating the positivity while realizing serious issues must be addressed. The cheerleaders’ cell phones go off and, as they read an arriving text message, they gasp and sit down without another peep. They appear to be on the verge of tears but we continue.
    One of the conservative members addresses the actions of the day before and acknowledges the company’s positive progress. The conservatives offer a golf clap and a “Well done. Good form.” followed by “Now, let’s see how we can do things better.” Their cell phones also ring and upon reading their text, mumble and decide it is better to keep quiet.
    Recently a few employees have been promoted and now join the executive ranks. I have been finding them troubling, clearly not team players, and have wondered how they have been allowed such influence in the company.
    When we bring up a possible new project one announces, “You know, we don’t really have enough resources so why are we even attempting this project?” And when attempting to dissect our somewhat less than effective marketing strategies, he muses, “Do we really have anything significant to offer our clients? Maybe we’re just plain not good enough at what we do?”
    But we’re not ready to just pack up shop just yet and I introduce what I think is a brilliant new advertising campaign. Another new recruit, a skittish little thing, chimes in to bust my bubble. 
    “But what if we try it and it doesn’t work out?” she worries, “What if our clients develop too high expectations of us that we can’t make good on? Or, Heaven forbid, what if we embarrass ourselves?” 
    I try to ensure the group that we do indeed have something worthwhile to offer and promotion is worth the possible risks but the third new addition, not even bothering to look up from his text messaging, can’t seem to keep his mouth shut.
    “If we’re not absolutely top-knotch amazing, which we’re clearly not, and if we’re not able to meet the needs of every person on the planet, which we clearly can’t, we shouldn’t be in business at all. Who are we kidding anyway? We suck. We’ll never be able to turn a profit. We’ll never be in the black.”
    I listen and observe the team. I take in everything they have to say and am wondering how we’re ever going to get anything accomplished.  As they continue to bicker and argue with each other, in the midst of contemplation. I glance down and, for the first time, become aware of the name plate on the table in front of me. I pick up the name plate, turn it around to read the CEO designation above my name and I finally understand who is really in charge and what must be done.
    And, with a move worthy of the Donald himself, I point my finger and announce, “Doubt, Fear and Self-hatred – Your Fired!” 

  2. Completely and totally AWESOME!!! Great work!! When I got to the end I went "yes! Yes! YES!!!" 

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