Last week I was ashamed to be called an NLP practitioner, a hypnotherapist, a psychology student or even someone who is mindful and meditates. I truly didn’t feel worthy of any of these titles. I felt I had let myself down and my teachers down.
Because my mindset was wavering and its default was anxiety. I was on holiday to do a big hike (it took 12hrs…) and I was doubting my ability to do it.
There was a lot of reasons why I was doubting myself, most of which only transpired once I started walking. I hadn’t been hill-walking for a while so I was out of practice and didn’t feel I was fit enough to do it. It was going to be a very hot day and last time I was out in the sun all day I got heat stroke (not nice!). I kept associating the giant mountain we were to climb and the long walk in with another similar scary giant mountain and a long walk in I did a few years ago (that realisation didn’t come until two-thirds up!). I was nervous about the exam results due out the next day. Furthermore, my cousin had recently died and I felt I ought to be at the funeral instead of being on holiday having fun. Equally, the last time I saw him was with my gran and that brought back a lot of sad (and happy) memories, hence I didn’t feel emotionally stable which was not helping stabilise my mindset.
I was really ashamed of the whole experience and relieved only my partner and his parents & brother ‘seen’ it. I was excited when I got to the top safely and then later back home in one piece (although a tad knackered!). I’m still a little ashamed if honest to be telling you now (I almost backed out of writing this blog) and yet I acknowledge that because of the certificates and experience I have, I knew what to do about it. Some people don’t and that saddens me.
I knew to focus on my breath. I knew to take deep breaths in and exhale out for longer. I knew to explore my fears. I knew to journal. I knew how to relax enough to get some sleep. I knew to how to bring myself back into the present moment even if I didn’t stay there long. I knew to protect myself from the sun and keep sipping water. I knew to talk to someone (and grateful my partner humoured me at 1 am). I knew there had to be some sort of association with the fear but as I didn’t consciously know what it was, I knew I then had to communicate with my unconscious, and thankfully I knew how to do this.
Upon reflection it got me thinking. Just because we know what we know, it doesn’t mean we’re perfect and problem-free. It doesn’t mean we’re invincible. We’re human and that means we’re susceptible to the human conditions of emotions, physical abilities and the stereotyping and associations that the brain does to conserve energy.
I then realised that it’s this drive to perfection that holds us back. The fear of being ‘found out’. The fear of someone who knows us well to tell the world, that we don’t really know it all yet. However, by sharing our vulnerabilities we inspire others.
I almost held back from sharing my mistakes in Successful Business Minds. I didn’t want the world to know that I wasn’t really looking after my money for a brief period despite being a chartered management accountant. I didn’t want the world to know that I had money and success hang ups too. I had shared these things with clients privately (although that took courage too!) but writing it in the book made it public. Yet when I shared these things, it helped the reader, just as it helped my clients. I‘ve had so many people tell me privately how much that book has changed their life and business.
So I encourage you to be bold and share your mistakes (and solutions!) with others. Perfection is the carrot on the string. Always teasing you, always out of reach. You will never reach it. Yet, you are not imperfect either. Accept yourself as you are now. You will learn from your mistakes and become better at what you do, but never be ashamed of who you once were. Put your mistakes to good use by helping others.
We are all unique and we all have secrets to tell and yet we each have the ability to communicate with one another and help one another too. We are all trying to make the best of what we have and yet we all seem to be doing it alone. But imagine a world where we all help one another. A world we’re actively working together to make our lives universally more fun and enjoyable.
© HM Coaching Ltd