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)
(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!)
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.