Archive for ToBeReviewed

Self-doubt is the Destroyer of Dreams

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Do not let self-doubt cost you what it cost me.

Today we are going to talk about self-doubt. How many times have you had a good idea that you proposed to one or two people only to have that idea not resonate with them? Have you ever had what you thought was a great idea that got no support from anyone else, so you just shelved it? How often have you moved on from an idea after one or two rejections and never thought about it again?

In March of 2020 when the global pandemic hit and everything happened, I was connected to a professional wrestler who was high-up in All Elite Wrestling (AEW). I reached out to him as soon as fans were no longer allowed in arenas with an idea I had. I texted him and suggested that, since there were no fans in the arena, they could run something like a YouTube Live Event. They would feed the video from the attendees watching at home on to the big video board they have in the arena. They would also pump the sound back into the arena. I sent one text and never heard anything back.

At a conscious level, I figured that he was just too busy or too nice of a guy to say he did not like the idea. At a subconscious level, self-doubt crept in and I figured it was just a bad idea and there was no use in pushing it or anything like it any further. A few months later, a competing company World Wrestling Entertainment (yes that WWE) unveiled their new Thunderdome arena. This arena came complete with video screens of fans watching the action and reacting to it from home. When I found out about it I both smiled and cried. I smiled because it let me know that some of my creative and out-there ideas are not as out-there as they may seem. I cried because I realized I allowed self-doubt to stop me from pushing my idea forward. An idea that, in the end, a version of it is being seen by millions of people each week.

When self-doubt controls what we do, we lose out on some incredible opportunities. While you may feel the doubts are well-founded, I invite you to ask yourself a question. What if the doubts are not well founded? What if you push past what you are feeling and find the right person to resonate with your idea? What if you keep pushing until the idea is a success?

Fear is a wedge used in the crack of self-doubt to split you from the things you desire most.

How this applies to fear

When it comes to fear and self-doubt, fear is one of the biggest drivers of self-doubt. If we have even the smallest sliver of doubt in ourselves and we allow fear to insert itself into that crack, it acts like a wedge that drives us away from what we desire. A wedge, by itself, can keep things apart. A wedge, by itself, cannot split anything. It takes someone hitting the wedge and driving it deeper into the crack for it to split two things farther apart. Sometimes, other people can be the ones hammering at the wedge of fear and driving it deeper into our self-doubt. Other times, we are the ones hitting that wedge of fear. In either case, we are in control. We can stop others and ourselves from hitting our fear wedge. I empathize with you and the fact that it does not always feel that way. Many times, in my life I have felt like I had no control. When this happens to you, do what I do, borrow the faith someone else has in you. If you feel you cannot find anyone who has faith in you, get a good coach, mentor, or therapist. One that wants to see you succeed and has faith in you.

How this applies to authentic empathy

When it comes to authentic empathy and self-doubt, when self-doubt crops up, give yourself the authentic empathy you need to push through it. If someone comes to you in a state of self-doubt and you think they are looking for pity, I invite you to look at what they are going through a different way. When people struggle with self-doubt, they are not looking for pity. What they are looking for is authentic empathy. They are looking for someone to have faith in them and feel authentic empathy for them and the fact that, given an honest choice, they would snap their fingers and get rid of the doubt they have in themselves. They are looking for you to experience authentic empathy for them and the fact that things have gotten to a point where they are not currently able to snap their fingers and make their self-doubt go away. They need love, time, support, and authentic empathy to help them make it go away.

How this applies to WACASHWI

When it comes to WACASHWI and self-doubt, while moving things on to and through you list you will question yourself. You will question if you really Want to do something, if you really Can do something, if you really Should do something, and if you really Will do something. That questioning is a good, natural, healthy part of the process. While questioning yourself, I invite you to consider why you answer ‘no’ to something. I invite you to consider what role self-doubt plays in your decisions. This will allow you to get the support you need for those things you have a deep desire to put on the list and make happen.

Your daily invitations…

  • I invite you to think about something that you have been putting off doing because of self-doubt.
  • I invite you to consider how you would feel and what it would look like for you to overcome your self-doubts about this one thing.
  • I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
  • I invite you to talk about your thoughts, considerations and feelings with a friend, family member, coach, mentor, or therapist who supports you and can give you the authentic empathy you need to start moving forward.

Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?

This all is but one step in your journey to living a more stress-free life, beating the demons of fear, and raising your level of authentic empathy towards yourself and others.

I appreciate you!

 

Authentic Empathy and Letting Go – Part 1

Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes

Knowing when to let someone go even when you experience authentic empathy for them.

Do you feel that that once you experience authentic empathy for someone you will keep them in your life forever? How do you know it is time to let someone go? Does this change when you believe you understand them and experience authentic empathy for them? Do you believe that letting people’s words or actions negatively affect you, shows a lack of authentic empathy on your part?

I was dating someone once who I knew at a deep and intimate level. I knew she was a good person in her heart and soul. I felt and believed I understood her. During our relationship, she said and did some things that made me feel uncomfortable. It was never anything physical and most of the things would be considered small in nature. Any time something would happen, she would have a good reason why it happened. Each time, I would end up believing she was coming from a good place. One time, we were talking about sneakers. Eventually, the conversation got to the old Sketchers sneakers that had the rounded bottom on them.

As we started to talk about them, she started to laugh at how they looked. As she continued to laugh, I could feel my facial expression changing into one of displeasure. She noticed that and said, “Oh honey. You did not own a pair of those sneakers. Did you?” The truth was that, at the time we met, I owned two pair. I wore them most places because I liked the thicker sole and how I felt after walking. I never wore them around her because I knew that some people thought they looked funny. When we first got together, I did not want to let something as unimportant as the sneakers ruin things.

When I said I had owned two pairs, the discussion went from how funny they looked to why I never wore them around her. She could tell it upset me that she found the sneakers funny. Throughout the rest of the conversation, she focused on one of two things. One was that she believed I must have felt they looked funny too because I never wore them around her. Her other focus was that she believed that I was not as comfortable as I said I was about them. For my part, I focused on how her making fun of the way the sneakers looked made me feel.

As the conversation ended, while I understood why she made fun of the sneakers, I lacked authentic empathy for her when it came to why she got so upset during the conversation. As I continued to think about the conversation, I realized why she got so upset. If I was too afraid to wear a pair of funny sneakers around her, what else was I too afraid to be open to her about. (Spoiler alert: nothing. As a side note, I had not come to appreciate the power of authentic empathy yet. This is one of those instances that led me to discovering the concept.)

Over the course of our relationships, these situations would happen every now and then. While most were not that bad on their own, the cumulative effect they had on me took its toll. This continued to happen even after I discovered how to experience authentic empathy for her. No matter how much I experienced authentic empathy for her, who she was and why some things happened, it did not stop those situations from negatively affecting me.

Before I went thought this experience, I believed that understanding someone was akin to loving them for who they are. As I went through this experience, I came to realize that it was experiencing authentic empathy for someone that equated to loving people for who they are, and I believed that authentic empathy was enough to keep a relationship together. Now I realize that even authentic empathy will not keep someone in your life if the negative effects of them being in your life (on you or them) are too severe.

When we meet people, we start off trying to understand them and have them understand us. Sometimes, understanding is all it takes for people to be in our lives forever. Other times, it takes developing authentic empathy for them. Experiencing authentic empathy for them when they say what they say, do what they do, and are the away they are. In the end, you accept them for who and what they are. You accept that their words and actions come from the right place. You accept them.

Sometimes, acceptance is not enough. Sometimes, you can understand someone, experience authentic empathy for that person and still have that person’s words or action have a negative effect on you. When that happens to you, I invite you to either figure out a way for that person not to have a net-negative effect on your life or to let them go. If things are bad, there is no need for you to be a martyr and keep them in your life.

You can experience authentic empathy for someone, love them for who they are and still let them go.

How this applies to fear

When it comes to fear and letting someone go who negatively affects us that we also experience authentic empathy towards, many of us fear that we will regret letting the person go. We make excuses for keeping them in our lives. To work through this fear, we need to realize the truth in the old saying; when one door closes another one opens. As we move on from the people who negatively affect us, we open our hearts and lives and make room for the people who will positively impact us.

How this applies to WACASHWI

When it comes to WACASHWI and letting someone go who negatively affects us that we also experience authentic empathy towards, the people you keep in your life will influence you along your journey. If you keep people who have a negative impact on you, they will have a negative influence on your journey. I invite you to work to keep people close to you who positively impact your life and your journey.

Your daily invitations…

  • I invite you to think about one person in your life that you empathize with and that adds to your stress level.
  • I invite you to consider why you are experiencing the additional stress.
  • I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
  • I invite you to talk to the person you are thinking about to see what can be done about the stress you are experiencing.

Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?

This all is but one step in your journey to living a more stress-free life, beating the demons of fear, and raising your level of authentic empathy towards yourself and others.

I appreciate you!

Authentic Empathy, Understanding and Forgiveness

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Forgiveness as it Relates to Understanding and Authentic Empathy

When it comes to understanding and authentic empathy, forgiveness is a key component. Why? When someone close to you continually says they understand you and you realize they do not or cannot give you authentic empathy, forgiveness is the best tool you can use to get over the pain and frustration this causes.

How would you feel if someone showed you forgiveness the next time you had a challenge understanding them? Do you feel that forgiving someone is condoning their actions? Do you feel that forgiving someone will reinforce their behavior? What are the benefits you can initially coming along with forgiving someone?

When it comes to authentic empathy, understanding, I had to learn the hard way about utilizing forgiveness to get over pain and frustration. I was dating a woman who would sometimes remind me, when had a disagreement or a challenge, that she was trying to understand me. She would tell me about things she had read or things she had found to understand me better. Eventually, I realized that she was finding things to explain her understanding of me and what she thought I was going through.

There is a world of difference between finding things to validate what you think someone is going though and finding things to understand who a person is. As she would point out articles that she read, I was both appreciative and resentful. I appreciated the fact that she was trying. I was resentful because I saw these articles as fitting her perception of who I was and not how I saw myself. The more resentful I became, the more distant our relationship became. She spent time trying to prove one thing and I spent time trying to prove something else.

To her credit, she was trying. She wanted things to work between us. I did see that while we were together, and I had the desire to make things work too. I just could not get over the fact that I did not see myself as she saw me. What I did not realize at the time was that, if I would have had forgiveness in my heart for her not seeing me as I was, I would have been able to better understand her and better able to experience authentic empathy for her and the experiences she had that led her to think like she did.

At the time, my belief was that forgiving someone was condoning their actions and agreeing with them. Also, I felt it was egotistical of me to “forgive” someone for something they did that they thought was nice or kind. Even as I write this today, I hear how condescending the concept of forgiving someone could sound. The thing I do to keep it from being condescending is keep the thought of forgiveness to myself and let my actions speak for themselves. In other words, I feel a level of forgiveness for some that softens how I react and interact with them.

The other thing I realize as I look back on things is that her life experiences were different than mine. Given her life experiences, I understand why she saw things the way she did. Given what she went through in her life, I now feel authentic empathy for her.

When someone does not have the same experiences as you do, it makes it that much more difficult for them to relate to you. They understand at an intellectual level what you are going though. They may even say the right things. However, their lack of experiences means they struggle to experience authentic empathy for you.

Think of it this way… if you have never broken a bone, will you be able to feel the pain someone close to you is going through when they break a bone? Most likely not. On one hand, you will be able to understand that they are in pain. On the other hand, the closest you will come to feeling their pain is if they can describe the pain to you in a way you can relate to.

Is it not the right and kind thing to do to forgive someone who has little or no basis to experience authentic empathy for you? Forgiveness does not mean you need to keep someone in your life. If the lack of empathy from someone is causing you stress and keeping them in your life is a net-negative, you may need to move on from the friendship/relationship.

Forgiveness is a gift you give both yourself and the person who is struggling to empathize with you.

How this applies to fear

When it comes to fear and forgiving someone, many of us are afraid that forgiving someone means that we condone their actions or are reinforcing a thought or behavior we do not agree with. To overcome this fear, remember, forgiveness merely means that you understand and have empathy for why someone did what they did.

How this applies to WACASHWI

When it comes to WACASHWI and forgiving someone, as you move things on to and through the process, you will have enough to worry about without having to carry around a suitcase full of resentment. Living in a state of forgiveness and figuring out who in your life is a net-positive and who is a net-negative will allow you to focus your precious mental energy on the thing on your list. This will benefit you and those around you.

Your daily invitations…

  • I invite you to think about people in your life you feel do not empathize with you.
  • I invite you to consider forgiving at least one person whom you feel does not empathize with you.
  • I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
  • I invite you to talk the people you thought about above and start showing them you forgive them.
  • I invite you to talk with a coach, mentor, or therapist if these thoughts stir up emptions or feeling that you have a challenge handling.

Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?

This all is but one step in your journey to living a more stress-free life, beating the demons of fear, and raising your level of authentic empathy towards yourself and others.

I appreciate you!