How to Break Through Self-Doubt And Fear

Written by Beate Chelette

Once these thoughts of self-doubt and fear come into our head, it’s hard to get rid of them. They manifest into other areas of our lives and before too long, we’re deep in a funk.

Once these thoughts of self-doubt and fear come into our head, it’s hard to get rid of them. They manifest into other areas of our lives and before too long, we’re deep in a funk.

We’ve all been there in our personal or professional lives…

It’s been a bad day/week/year where nothing seems to be working like we planned. People are counting on us (and we are counting on us) to make this–whatever it is–come together. But it’s not happening and we’re starting to wonder if it will ever work. Is it us? Is it them? Is it because we’re just not good enough?

Once these thoughts of self-doubt and fear come into our head, it’s hard to get rid of them. They manifest into other areas of our lives and before too long, we’re deep in a funk.

I’ve been a regular visitor to Funkland and I know how dreadful the rides are. I want to share with you the method that I designed to pull myself out of a funk and through my dark tunnels. I call it K.A.R.L. and I consider him my trusted helper and a man I can always rely on.

Step 1: KNOW

Using the first letter of K.A.R.L. we do the best we can to take a step back and give the situation as much of an objective look as possible. We need to be (honestly) aware of what’s going on.

I remember times when doubt and fear took over my life. My business wasn’t moving along as well as I expected and each day seemed to present more problems. I couldn’t seem to feel my creativity, which meant I couldn’t write, which meant I couldn’t move forward with what needed to be done. I was frustrated and filled with negative thoughts and I considered giving up on my dreams. Was I overworked? Yes. Was I taking care of myself? No. Was I having any fun? No.

I realized I had put so much pressure on myself that I was destined to crash and burn. So, I called in the troops and got support from my girlfriends. I had a conversation with a male friend about figuring out more “male” ways to get through this. I reread articles I have written about conquering fears. I tried everything I could think of–but nothing helped. The situation was at a standstill.

Step 2: ACCEPT

The truth is, I don’t get to that low place by accident. I did it to myself. I have a tendency to push or force situations even when all I feel is resistance because, for some reason, I think something horrible is going to happen if I don’t stick to “the plan.”

The disaster movie unfolds in my mind…If I can’t come up with the tagline for my project, I won’t be ready for the next team meeting. If I am not ready, we have nothing to talk about. I’ll be wasting everyone’s time and it’s costly to have a team of seven sit around doing nothing… And on it goes. Women are especially good at letting this scenario play out endlessly.

But what if we distance ourselves and look at our situations dispassionately? Get a reality check and take a closer look. What if it doesn’t get done today? What will happen if you don’t write that article, do that load of laundry, wash those dishes, make that difficult phone call, or have that tagline ready? Would the consequence really be so bad?

Our frantic state of mind prevents us from finding easy solutions. It finally dawned on me that sometimes we have to walk away to get back to a mindset that allows us to move forward.

We have to dump our fear and self-doubt and learn to accept that life is not linear. We aren’t in control of as much as we think we are.

In my situation, the worst-case scenario was that things would be delayed. And really, if the tagline I came up with under pressure was no good, we would be no further ahead. I had no reason to doubt myself. After all, I made it this far, didn’t I? I also had no reason to be afraid. So, I decided to…

Step 3: RELAX

If it can’t be done right now, then we may as well chill out. Releasing the pressure is the most effective way to get the juices going again. Now is the time to find an activity or place that will get us back to our essence, our conscious selves.

For me, it was a visit to my church for a spiritual midweek fix from Agape and Rev. Michael Beckwith. I arrived early so I could meditate to quiet my mind and open up so I could receive what I needed. What resonates with us is what we need to pay close attention to.

The topic that evening was all about transformation. Transforming means that you go in one way but you come out a different way. It is not possible to transform without a change.

It was exactly what I needed to hear and I realized my problem. I had to allow this change, this deviation from “the plan,” to take place without judgment and without pushing. If the words weren’t flowing from me, I had to set a new course of action.

Step 4: LIVE

We know what is going on now, we have accepted what we can’t change, we relax into our situation, and finally, we recognize that we may as well get back to our regular lives. Let’s be here in the present. Let us live in today, not thinking of the future and not lamenting in the past.

I like the expression that the reward of a pursuing your goals isn’t necessarily the destination, but the path you experience along the way. What can we do to enjoy it to the fullest? I like to schedule fun time, like a tennis match and girls night out. When you make plans for You, add those commitments to your calendar because we want to be as diligent about our fun time as we are about our work.

It dawned on me that I had only scheduled activities related to work and nothing that would elevate me personally. With my K.A.R.L. mindset back on track, I started to take action to make the changes that would bring me back to me.

I took a trip to Chicago and spent the weekend with my daughter. I had dinner with a childhood friend. I took a long, lovely walk in Millennium Park. I saw a play and relished in some serious mom-daughter love infusion. All of which made me feel like myself again. And you know what happened? I was able to write.

Remember to seek K.A.R.L. when you are feeling stuck with your own self-doubts and fears. He’s someone who will always be there for you when you need him.

What do you do when you need to get yourself back to your more relaxed version? Please share. We all need a little help sometimes.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

I now accept that I cannot survive on work alone. I love what I do and it is a part of me, but in the past, I have neglected to make time for fun outside of my work. There have been times when I don’t want to go out with friends because it seemed like an interruption to my work, but I have learned that I need to balance all areas of my life in order to be the best I can be.

What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

I have a wonderful support group of friends. Coming from Germany, the first years in America were rather lonely, especially when I was raising my young daughter solo while trying to build a business. I had almost zero social life, but now I have a wonderful network of amazing people who I can always rely on (including K.A.R.L.).

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

I became a millionaire when I sold a company that I created from scratch to business mogul, Bill Gates. Now, my goals are focused on empowering women and creating a community of support and sisterhood through The Women’s Code.

We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?

Even though my passion is to help others build their self-confidence and live up to their potentials, I sometimes need a dose of my own medicine. I have a reputation for being strong-willed and confident, which is true–but not 100% of the time. I don’t think anyone can be. I like to think that acknowledging my ups and downs and being honest about them makes it easier for people to relate to me, but sometimes it’s hard to admit that I need help, too. I have to remember that being human is not a weakness.

“I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!)

Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?

…hill. Going for a one hour walk helps me find clarity and eliminate distractions from my thoughts. I love when I am standing at the top of the hill with a breathtaking 360 degree view of Los Angeles. It puts things in perspective.

About the author

Beate Chelette

At heart, I’m an entrepreneur and I’m at my best when coming up with ideas for new companies, polishing those ideas, and working with a team to implement them.
In the workplace, I have learned to overcome numerous obstacles including corporate treachery, sabotaging coworkers, and dysfunctional teams. I found ways to succeed in my professional life while my personal life fell apart. These are the experiences that now shape my coaching and consulting programs.
My latest passion is to help others through my programs. When I am not on the road sharing The Women’s Code, I work with private and corporate clients and assist them to build their businesses and train their teams.

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