Why You Struggle with Doubt

Why You Struggle with Doubt

19 Why You Struggle with Doubt blog

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

“I know exactly what I want to do!”

“Yes! I’m finally going to commit to my biggest dreams. I know it’s a stretch, but if not now, when?”

“I’m saying yes. I’ve wanted to do this for years. I’m finally going to start this.”

I’m sure you’ve thought something similar to this before.

You feel something deep in your bones. Every cell in your body is cheering you on. You feel excited and a bit nervous, but you finally know what it is you want to do, and you’re ready to commit to it.

Everything in you says, “Woo hoo!”

 

But then what happens?

Maybe a few weeks, days or even hours later, ‘reality’ hits.

You realise that your choices have implications for other people.

And you start to think about how your choices will impact those around you.

You might not be able to help out as much as you’d previously done.

People have come to rely on you.

You don’t want to disappoint anyone.

And then… you find yourself questioning the clarity you had.

Perhaps your own dream can wait?

Perhaps there’ll be a better time to say ‘yes’ to yourself?

After all, you wouldn’t want to inconvenience other people or come across as selfish.

It’s okay, you can follow your dream later, when the time is right for everyone.

And then… just like that, the sparkle in your eye, the passion in your heart and the thrill of possibility dim.

And once more, doubt begins to creep in and suffocate the excitement you’d been feeling.

 

Where does this doubt come from?

Doubt creeps in when you’ve not been taught how to have healthy boundaries.

Think about it – were you ever taught how to set healthy boundaries? Were you taught how to:

  • ask for what you need?
  • confidently say, “No”?
  • disappoint others, so you could be true to yourself?
  • tell people to stop doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable?

Were any of these behaviours modelled to you when you were a child?

If so, you’re incredibly lucky. Most of us were never taught any of these things.

Instead, we were taught to:

  • be agreeable
  • be helpful
  • be nice
  • be seen and not heard
  • sacrifice our own dreams and desires to support others
  • work hard.

And we were taught to do all of this without making a fuss.

So we never learnt how to create healthy boundaries that made us feel safe and confident in expressing ourselves and asking for what we wanted. Instead, we learnt to create patterns of over-giving and people-pleasing.

The people around us probably rewarded us with recognition and praise for prioritising other people’s needs over our own.

 

There’s a difference between recognition and love

Especially when we’re young, it’s easy to confuse recognition and praise with love and acceptance.

If you were anything other than agreeable, helpful or selfless, you may have found all that ‘love’ being withheld. You may have even been called a troublemaker, or selfish or inconsiderate.

Recognition and praise are received for what you do.

Genuine love and acceptance are received for who you are.

Genuine love and acceptance are given regardless of what you do, even when what you do may upset or inconvenience others.

Recognition and praise gets confused with love and acceptance because it feels good. It can feel great to have someone tell you how much they love you / how helpful you are etc, not relaising that this ‘love’ and praise came with conditions – conditions on your behaviour.

So at a young age, you learn to compromise your boundaries, express yourself a little less, speak out a little less often, and be more accommodating, so that you receive positive affirmation and attention from those around you.

This compromising very quickly becomes a habit. And as you go through life, it may even be second nature to many people, who many not even notice that they’re doing it.

 

Assessing your boundaries

Your boundaries probably need strengthening if you notice yourself:

  • constantly anticipating other people’s needs
  • unable to say “No” (or unable to say it without feeling guilty)
  • feeling unsafe about expressing your true thoughts and feelings
  • struggling to clearly communicate your needs, or even to know what you need.

The first step is to recognise that there are different types of boundaries, and then ask yourself how you respond when people cross each type.

 

Emotional Boundaries: Your emotions and feelings

How do you respond if someone tries to tell you that your feelings aren’t valid? Maybe they dismiss you as being ‘too emotional’ or ‘on your period’?

 

Physical Boundaries: Your physical body and physical space

How do you respond to someone getting too close and making you feel uncomfortable, or being overly tactile in a way that you don’t like?

 

Material Boundaries: Things that you own or that you’re looking after

How do you respond when people ask to borrow your things and you’d rather they didn’t? What about when people just help themselves to your things and don’t return them, or return them damaged?

 

Mental Boundaries: Your thoughts, opinions and values

How do you respond to people dismissing your values, talking over you or not honouring your requests?

 

Look at each of these four boundary areas and be honest with yourself about how you communicate what’s acceptable to you and what’s not. Ask yourself:

  • Is it easy for you to assert your boundary?
  • Do you even have boundaries in all of these areas?
  • How could your boundaries in each area be stronger?

 

How to strengthen your boundaries

Start by choosing one area, and consciously focus on what you can do to strengthen your boundaries in that area.

Think about who or what pushes that boundary, and create a plan to support yourself in holding the boundary.

This will probably involve practising how you want to assert your boundary, so that maintaining it when you have to becomes easier and more natural.

Perhaps you could practise phrases such as:

  • “We’ll have to disagree on this topic.”
  • “I’d like to ask that you don’t xyz around me anymore.”
  • “Please step back. You’re making me feel uncomfortable.”
  • “Please ask before you take xyz again.”
  • “You’ve already asked me that, and I’ve given you my answer.”

These phrases may initially feel uncomfortable, but saying them will become easier.

 

Need help setting stronger boundaries?

The clearer your boundaries are, the more you learn to trust and validate yourself.

And the more you trust yourself, the less you seek external validation – which means you doubt yourself less and become more confident in all areas of your life.

For more information on how to set stronger boundaries and stop allowing doubt to hold you back, check out my book: Ditch the Doubt: The Modern-Witch way to create clarity and feel great about your decisions… every time. Available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle.

 

Ditch the Doubt
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Are you ready to Ditch the Doubt?

Are you ready to Ditch the Doubt?

So many of the clients I work with find it hard to make clear, confident decisions and then stand behind them.

Some of them struggle to decide on anything in the first place.

What if they get it wrong? What if they forget to consider something important? What if, regardless of what they decide, they end up hurting or upsetting someone they care about?

So they sit on the fence and end up making the decision not to decide.

Others make a choice and feel good about it in the moment.

But as the day goes on, they begin to doubt themselves. Was that really what they wanted? Was it honestly realistic? Perhaps they should have chosen a better option?

That’s when they start asking themselves:

  • Is this really the right choice for me?
  • What will XYZ think of that choice?
  • Can I really do that?
  • Isn’t that a bit out of reach for me?
  • Am I qualified enough / intelligent enough / rich enough / old enough / young enough / thin enough / funny enough / serious enough?
  • When I tried that in the past, it didn’t work. Am I stupid for thinking it will work this time?
  • Am I just setting myself up to fail?
  • Should I ask a few people and see what they think?

Or perhaps they’re confident in their decision until they speak to a friend or family member who immediately makes them wonder what on earth they were thinking.

So if decision-making isn’t your strong suit, you’re not alone, and help is here!

Let me introduce my latest book:

Ditch the Doubt – The Modern Witch Way to create clarity and feel great about your decisions… every time!

Ditch the Doubt

Available on Amazon

With today’s Full Moon energy in Virgo, get the perfect systems and structure in place as you once and for all Ditch the Doubt!

Once you get your copy of the book, you’ll get exclusive access to live walk-throughs of the processes I share in the book, as well as access to a member only podcast!

We’ll have you ditching the doubt in no time!

I hope you love this as much as I do!

 

When Loyalty Holds You Back

When Loyalty Holds You Back

14 The Sacred Pause - how to navigate the year ahead no atter what happens blog

The stigma of disloyalty

The other day, I asked a client of mine if she was loyal.

She looked at me, horrified. “Of course!” she said to me, half surprised and half indignant that I’d even asked – as if she’d be anything else!

“Yes,” I replied, “and that’s the problem.”

You see, there’s an unwritten law in society – the Law of Loyalty.

You’re expected to be loyal to your family, your culture and even society. But the biggest one is family.

“Blood is thicker than water,” we hear. “They’re your brother/sister/mother/father. You HAVE to forgive them/get along with them/etc.”

If you don’t – or can’t – get along, there’s a real stigma attached to stepping away from your family.

And that’s especially true if you choose to step away from your mother, regardless of her behaviour.

It begins with wanting to be a ‘good girl’

Sometimes, if our families are abusive and unsupportive, we can justify stepping away by telling ourselves that we don’t want to be like them. Even in those situations, though, you may have to fight the conditioning you grew up with – society expects family loyalty above all else.

But what if your family AREN’T awful people? What if they’re not perfect, but they love you and you love them? What if you don’t want to hurt or betray them?

Well, then it’s even harder.

Because going against their wishes and expectations can feel ‘disloyal’. And nobody likes to think of themselves as disloyal.

Being ‘disloyal’ makes you a ‘bad’ person. It means you’re not a ‘good girl’ – and our society constantly rewards women who show up as good girls.

Being a good girl has likely earned you love, praise and recognition from the people around you. But those rewards come with a cost.

They often come from prioritising other people over yourself. They come from avoiding ever making other people uncomfortable. And they come from being agreeable and not making a fuss, even when you really want to speak out constructively about something that’s important to you.

But when you step out on your own path, part of the journey is about dismantling your role as a good girl.

It’s about prioritising what you want – even if that makes other people feel uncomfortable. It’s about putting yourself first, even if you have to make a fuss, ignore the status quo and disagree with all that you’ve been taught.

In a nutshell, it demands that you become disloyal.

 

Sometimes being loyal to yourself means being disloyal to someone else

Stepping onto your own path means you may have to be disloyal to everything your family, culture or society expects – or even demands – of you.

Note that when I say ‘being disloyal to your family’, I don’t mean abandoning them (unless you need to for your physical and emotional safety or well-being, anyway).

Instead, I mean being disloyal to your family’s patterns, behaviours and stories while remaining in a loving relationship with them. And these patterns and stories may be about money, happiness, work, health, love, education, etc. For example:

  • Perhaps you want to start your own business, but your family story is one of working hard, focusing on safety and sacrificing your dreams for job security and a good wage.
  • Perhaps your parents value education over all else, but studying for a degree didn’t suit or interest you.
  • Perhaps your family believes that the harder you work, the more honourable you are – but you want a life full of grace, ease and flow.

Regardless, when I talk about disloyalty, I’m talking about being disloyal to the patterns you’ve inherited that have stopped you from following your dreams.

I’m talking about letting go of all the patterns and behaviours that don’t align with or serve the person you know yourself to truly be (or the person you want to become).

In other words, I’m saying that being disloyal to these stories and patterns allows you to be loyal to yourself. It allows you to study what you want, love who you want and do what you want.

You may think you know what you want from life. But if you’re anything like so many of the women I work with, as soon as what you want diverges from what your family wants or expects, you start feeling ‘disloyal’.

This creates cognitive dissonance, the mental conflict that occurs when a person’s behaviors and beliefs do not align. So instead of staying on your chosen path, you find yourself unconsciously drifting back to your family values where you’re comfortable. And then you find yourself not sticking to your decision and wondering why you seem to be sabotaging yourself (yet again).

There’s only one way to live the life you want, instead of the one that’s expected of you. You need to become disloyal to all the stories, patterns and behaviours that no longer serve you.

Your family might not understand your choices, but that’s OK. They don’t have to understand. The choices are your choices, not theirs.

But you have to make those choices.

Because if you don’t – if you’re disloyal to yourself – you just end up dissatisfied, frustrated and resentful.

 

I’m not saying that it’s easy

Let’s be honest: it’s hard to be disloyal the way I’ve talked about above.

The collective stories and patterns you’ve inherited are powerful. The shared beliefs about what’s right and wrong, true and false, are what hold a family, a culture or a society together.

Unchallenged, they dictate who you should be, and how you should behave. They become inextricably wrapped up in your identity as part of that family, culture or society.

So letting them go can mean stepping away from all that you know. It will mean stepping away from this collective conditioning to discover your own sense of self. It will also mean understanding that ‘this is the way something’s always been done’ isn’t a good enough reason for requiring yourself to continue to do it that way.

Of course, stating that you don’t want to do something any more is the easy part.

The hard part comes when you actually try to take action based on what you want. That’s when the Law of Loyalty shows up to remind you how ‘bad’ it is to be disloyal.

Yes, you want to walk your own path and live on your own terms. But you’re human. Human beings are designed to live in communities. It’s natural to feel worried or scared about being alone and left out. But when you choose to step away from the collective pattern, you’ll create your own personal revolution.

It’s time to remember that your path requires you to get clear on who you are and what’s important to you. Not what’s important to your family, your culture or society, but what’s important to you.

It’s time to decipher what your true beliefs and values are, not just the ones you’ve been told you ‘should’ have.

It’s time to break free from the constraints that have been holding you back and claim the freedom to explore who you really are.

If you’re ready to do this, then I invite you to look at my course that will help you to cut through the expectations and the ‘should’s’, as you get crystal clear clarity on what you really want and desire in life with this simple 5-step P.O.W.E.R. experience.

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The Sacred Pause: How to navigate the year ahead, no matter what happens

The Sacred Pause: How to navigate the year ahead, no matter what happens

14 The Sacred Pause - how to navigate the year ahead no atter what happens blog

My daily practices kept me sane last year

2020 was, without a doubt, an unprecedented year. And yes, I’ve heard it called many things, but I think I’ll stick with ‘unprecedented’.

It was a year that forced many people to assess (or re-assess) their priorities.

And whilst 2020 was an extreme example of how to cope with, and navigate, change, it did remind me of the importance of having a daily practice to keep me from getting lost in a sea of overwhelm or despair.

No matter what goes on in my life or the world around me, my daily practices give me space. They allow me to take a pause, come back to my own centre and respond from a place of greater inner calm.

Do I always manage this kind of calm response?

No, of course not! I’m human.

But do I feel better for knowing that I can turn to my practice in times of overwhelm or confusion and it will give me a moment of inner calm, so I can choose how to respond to a situation, instead of reacting in the heat of the moment. Absolutely!

 

The idea of a Sacred Pause isn’t new

People used to find their moments of pause and solace in religious practices and rites of passage. But today, many of us have turned away from traditional religious practices.

We’ve turned away from outdated models of worship, and from an absolute, dualistic focus on right and wrong or good and bad. We’ve also turned away from paths with very dogmatic views of the world that have little room for nuance, tolerance and change.

But once we stepped away from religion, we didn’t replace the practices that once had value and offered meaning to our lives with anything else.

As a result, so many of us feel spiritually ‘empty’. We lack a certain sense of community and connection that leaves us searching for meaning elsewhere, without really knowing what we’re looking for.

Historically, when communities were hit by tragedy or anguish, they’d have a place to come together. They had a practice they could share, be that praying, lighting candles or just being together as part of a congregation in a place of worship.

Of course, 2020 removed that option for the few people who do follow those religious practices. Still, they could carry out their practices at home, knowing that others were doing the same. They could still feel that sense of community and connection.

Most of us who’ve left religion behind, however, no longer have a practice to turn to when times are challenging. We’re left feeling alone, buffeted by events and feelings, not knowing how to come back to our centre and find a place of calm and clarity.

 

You don’t need religion to take a Sacred Pause

If you’re one of those people, I’d like to share one of my own practices with you. I hope that it helps you find a moment of calm within you, no matter what’s going on in your life or the world around you.

I hope it helps you come back to your centre and find a moment to pause, catch your breath and breathe again.

I call this practice the Sacred Pause.

I first heard the term ‘sacred pause’ from Molly Remer. And as soon as I heard those words, they gave me a sense of calm.

A sacred pause.

In a world that’s getting busier and louder, with ever-increasing distractions, the words reminded me that my life was indeed missing a pause of any kind. And it was definitely void of any kind of sacredness.

I’d turned away from any religious practices when I was a teenager.

My family wasn’t particularly religious, and I remember feeling very sceptical about religion as a teenager.

I sometimes went to Catholic Mass with a friend, and I used to get annoyed by all the ‘asking for forgiveness’ that seemed to go on during the service. On more than one occasion, I thought to myself that I didn’t want forgiveness, and how dare they assume that I’d done something wrong?!

Other than that, my mum only ever took us to church twice in my childhood for any regular length of time. The first time was when she got divorced. The second was when she got re-married – we went to church so that she could have a church service to get married a second time. In fact, it was really just a blessing disguised as a wedding, which seemed like cherry-picking that, again, annoyed my angsty teenage self.

And whilst I like the idea today of being able to find comfort in religion, I don’t like hypocrisy that we see in so many people who claim to be religious.

So I’ve made sure that the practice I want to share can be done by anyone of any religion or faith (or of none at all).

It’s a practice that you can make your own, so you have something to turn to when you need to come back to centre and feel connected. A practice that you can use when the world around you doesn’t make sense, and you want to connect with something that can bring you purpose and meaning.

 

Want to know more about the Sacred Pause?

Click here to get access to a video walk through of this practice for the Sacred Pause.

Take 15 minutes to join me, as you re-group your energy, come back to centre, and leave feeling, refreshed, aligned, and more yourself once more.

 

PRACTICAL AND MAGICAL

I’ve put together a collection of energy-clearing meditations to support you with the ART of being more you!

These meditations bring together my 20 years of experience working as a transformations kinesiologist and my love of all things practical. They are around 8-10 minutes long and filled with energy clearings so that you can release old patterns that no longer serve you.

I wanted to make these super accessible and have made them Pay What You Can (click here to learn my selfish reason they’re pay what you can).

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How to Make Even the Trickiest of Decisions

How to Make Even the Trickiest of Decisions

This week I’ve seen a lot of clients who’ve been caught up and wrangling with decisions they need to make in life, the BIG ones and the everyday ones. 

I’m sure at some point you’ve experienced what they’re going through too?

  • Being clear, then moments later doubting yourself
  • Second guessing what you want or need
  • Second guessing what you think other people want or need
  • Prioritising the needs of others over yourself
  • Bending under the weight of expectations
  • Getting clear, and then doubting yourself again…. and again… and again…

I’m so confused arghhhh

 

Back to basics to beat overwhelm

What if I told you there was a simple way to step out of overwhelm and indecision and into clarity and alignment?

And would it be even better if I told you it would only take a couple of minutes for you to do?

Maybe I feel called to speak about things that overwhelm us, as here in the UK, we are in the middle of the summer holidays, and this is the first time my little boy has had them.

Whilst it’s been amazing and filled with lots of laughter, adventures and trips… it’s also been a little on the exhausting side too lol (anyone who’s been around 5 year olds will know what I mean!) 

This is why we practice

This daily practice that I’m about to share with you has made sure that I can stay centred and focused on connection and fun, rather than feeling frazzled and (too) overwhelmed!

 

The Sacred Practice

The practice I want to share with you is my SACRED Practice. It’s a moment to connect in with yourself, to ground deeply into your own wisdom, so that you can make decisions from a place of clarity, power and alignment, rather than from fear or overwhelm.

 

You can download the practice here: www.RebeccaAnuwen.com/Sacred

 

A Sacred Pause

It was only the other day that I actually realised just how much the idea of the a Sacred Pause really is the foundation of all of my work.

This Sacred Practice is the ultimate Sacred Pause. A moment to stop, to rest your energy and bring yourself into alignment so that you can make clear decisions and move forward with clarity.

Even my social media accounts have the idea of a Sacred Pause at the heart of them.

My Moon Musing Facebook group is all about take a moment out of your day to check in with your energy and notice how it’s dancing with the cycles of the moon.

And most recently I’m experimenting with making my Instagram feed a place to pause and take a moment to rest – yes even on social media!

What do you think…. It makes me feel ahhhh:

So whatever’s going on in your life, if it’s a decision you need to make, summer holidays you’re trying to get through, or you just want a moment of peace and time to pause in an ever busy world, I recommend you try this practice, you can access it for free: 

 

Is balance really what you need?

Is balance really what you need?

The other day I was chatting to a client about the idea of balance, and I asked her if balance was actually something anyone could realistically attain on a sustainable basis?

I know many people strive for it, but is it truly possible to find that all elusive balance?

The dictionary defines balance as:

‘when there is an even distribution of weight’, ‘when something is steady that it doesn’t fall’.

But surely we desire more for ourselves and our lives, rather than something that doesn’t fall over?

Nature teaches us to dance…

When I have questions about life,  I always look to nature.

And when I thought about balance in nature, I realised it doesn’t really have a balance.

It has two equinoxes a year, when light and dark is balanced, but they only last for a moment…

The rest of the time nature is in a rhythmic dance of light and dark, of growth and decay, of contraction, expansion and ebb and flow.

It works in a rhythmic harmony embracing change, rather than striving for a static balance of of sameness.

 

Finding your own rhythm 

This then got me thinking about harmony.

The dictionary defines harmony as:

‘the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole’ and in a ‘state of agreement and accord’.

Perhaps harmony is what we should be aiming for. 

Striving less to not fall over, and aim more for a pleasing life of wholeness, free of unnecessary struggle.

Perhaps we should accept that we might not find balance across all areas of our lives, maybe it’s not even possible… 

But what if we accepted that some parts of our lives need more attention than others, and knowing that those needs and levels of attention change over time.

And that’s okay.

If we can find our own ever-changing rhythmic dance within our own lives, perhaps that’s more pleasurable than striving for something that may not even be possible, or if balance is possible, maybe it’s only sustainable for that short moment of time?