The High Esteem Podcast

When things feel hard, scary, and sort of impossible [coaching episode w/ workbook!]

July 01, 2021 Sarah Erwin: High Esteem Coaching Season 1 Episode 12
The High Esteem Podcast
When things feel hard, scary, and sort of impossible [coaching episode w/ workbook!]
Show Notes Transcript

This episode is your guide/coaching episode that will help you tap into the self-belief that you need to push through those new, hard things!

Folks, I’m talking about those moments when things just feel…. impossible. When a life or career transition seems impossible. When getting good at that new job feels impossible. When tackling your fitness goal or starting your business seems… really darn impossible!

Here’s the thing though: you CAN DO IT. Why? Because you’ve done hard, scary, new things before.

I’m here to help you tap back into that belief and be your strongest, most resourceful self… so let’s get started!

PS: I've created a worksheet to help you make the most of this coaching session. Download it to fill out after the episode if you want to push forward, tap into your self-belief and thrive.

Grab your worksheet here: 

Hey High-esteemers. I am back and I am on the ball this week, creating content feeling good, coming out of some time where things just felt really hard. So starting off by celebrating the progress, celebrating the good things, because it's important. And that's something that we often forget to do, especially if you're me. But again, we can all bring it back, as I often do, as I often say, with being intentional. And right now I am being intentional about celebrating my progress and being intentional about finding my way out of an emotional rat. And being intentional. Like I said in the last episode of the type of person, I want to be in the type of business that I would like to create. And so I want to talk about those times when we feel like everything is really hard. When things just seem impossible. When your goals seem impossible when getting through a transition seems impossible. When getting getting good at a new job feels impossible. When starting to get in shape, whatever that might mean to you. feels impossible when getting through school feels impossible. I want you to individualize this to your life, because this podcast is going to be in more of a sort of coaching style to help coach you through those moments when they happen. They happen all the time, right. And they are often very hard to dig ourselves out of without some clear guidelines, a bit of perspective and some intention. But what it comes down to guys is that we have done hard things before, right? We've done things that have seemed impossible in the past. But this brain does this thing where every time we're in a new situation, we treated as completely unique. Because the circumstances might be unique, we might not have been through that exact thing before. But the struggle, the emotions around the struggle, the uncertainty, the discomfort, the potentially anxiety, the despair, the lack of self belief, whatever it might be, that is likely not new to you, that is likely something that you have experienced before at some point in your life, and you have overcome it. So you don't remember it as clearly unless you intentionally sit down and think about it. The most important thing here is that you can do it and you have done it. Okay, so I want you to focus on that part. But more than that, you're not going to believe that just because I told you, you're the expert on your own life, and but I'm going to help you tap into that belief. And I'm going to help you see that you can. Okay, so first things first, let's go. When was the last time that you felt this way? When did things feel this impossible, like a struggle that you would never get through like a goal you would never accomplish? Like something that you cannot do for whatever reasons your brain is telling you. Because the brain says lots of stuff, we are often our own worst critics. I want you to sit on that. And I want you to think of this in detail. What was going on in your life? What was the thing that felt so hard? What was going through your mind during that time? And what were you feeling each day as you try to accomplish that thing, or as you sat there thinking about doing so as is often the case, right? There's usually a period of sitting on something before we get there, or going home and lying in bed and just going Ah, which is basically the sound of all of my emotions exploding into a sound. What were you saying to your friends, your family, your partner? during that time? What were you going home and ranting about or going out for a drink or a tea or a coffee and just unloading on people about during that time? I really want you to visualize what was going on for you so that you can see the parallels to where you're at in this moment if there are any. And as you're thinking about this, I want you to tap into those emotions that you were feeling in that moment. Did that struggle Feel like it does right now? Maybe the emotions are different, maybe the circumstances are different. But did it feel just as hard? Was it something that was just as powerful. And I'm gonna attach a worksheet to this for you guys. So you can write some of this out in journal style, if that would be easier for you to visualize and process it. But feel free to just get in the moment, wherever you are. Close your eyes, put your feet on the floor, rest your hands at your side, and just try and tap in to that person that you were whenever it was, that thing was happening. Now, how did you get through it? Did you seek out certain supports for yourself? Did you just find that one day it started to come easier? Were there things that you said to yourself? In those moments? Was there a way that you approach your goals? Or broke them down on a day by day basis? Was it time? Was it the support of your community? Was it a coach or a therapist? Think of what that look like? And if you don't know, then that's okay, that's an area to start considering what supports you can seek out. And think about now. Where are you now in comparison to where you were then? What skills have you gained in that time? What changes in perspective Have you had in mood and your ability to cope with uncertainty or stressors? What is going on in your life that you thought was impossible once? What are some of those things that you've done? Now, that did not occur in that previous picture when it was a struggle? And did you get there? Okay, did you get there and what have you gained in that time, I often use a tool in my coaching. And I think I've talked about it on past episodes, called the 555 rule. And now I want to be really honest that the number five isn't based on any sort of science. It's just what resonated with me. But the tool itself proves effective. And that is the idea of comparing a point with a point in the past. And then another point in the past. And this exercise is meant to teach us that we can do things that we haven't before and help us figure out how to get out of our current rut. But the biggest part there is tapping into that self belief, and building that self trust and confidence, muscle self trust and confidence. They're like muscles, I talk about it all the time. But the more we exercise it, the more we tap into it, the more we will exist in that place of trust in our own abilities and be able to move forward without being riddled and dragged down by that self doubt. So when I asked you where you are in your life compared to where you are now, you can use this as a tool to help you reflect. The way it goes is this, you just pick an area of your life. Okay, so let's talk about this goal, or this hard thing you're trying to overcome. And now let's reflect on and write down where you were five weeks ago, and then where you were five months ago. And then where you were five years ago. And often what comes up is that people realize that they've accomplished things that they never thought were possible, and they've evolved and become a whole different person. And when you write in those details that I've been discussing, in this episode, those skills that you've gained those changes in your perspective, the differences in who you are and how you're living to your values, and how you're living to your integrity, that really helps us see that we can do it. So use that if you want. But I really want you to tap into where you are today in comparison to where you were at that last time that you were facing the impossible. And now guys, this isn't a perfect exercise where you're going to only come up with perfection for yourself, because we are all our own worst enemies sometimes in that way. And like I said, the self critic can be pretty intense. And I will do an episode on that in the future. But if there is an area where you're like, Oh, I wish I was further there, okay, I want you to practice writing that down. You know, you can have like a little parking lot area in your notebook where you write down points to get back to Okay, things that you might want to work on. And I want you to practice putting those down. And using them as an observational point, not a judgment. Okay, so if you're like, Oh, I actually really had wanted to work on becoming a expert rock climber at that time. And then I got really distracted in my relationship. And oh, that didn't happen. If that comes up for you just write it down. Because that can be a point of reflecting on maybe that you can make that a goal later on. And you can examine whether that's important too, and you can still get back to it. But I don't want you to get distracted by those things. So write them down, acknowledge them, allow your brain to do that. But then take a deep breath and return to the exercise and we want to be building that trust. And if we have that trust, we can accomplish and tackle some of those things going forward. But it doesn't need to be right now. But if you do come across some things that you wish you focused on, if those are relevant to your current problem, see where you can implement a focus, see my if that might be something that might help you push through this hard thing. highlight those strengths for yourself that did help you get through it, right. So if you were able to ask for help, and you sought out a mentor in a job that was really difficult for you, and a therapist for you on the side, and those are things that really helped you through, write those down as strengths, because maybe those are things that you can tap into, again, that ability to self advocate, that ability to seek support, and the power of self that support for you to get through it. The ability to self advocate the confidence to do so seeking help, those are strengths, even things like seeking help from other people can be strengths, and they are if they helped us, and what was hard for you to get through those things, what actually held you back when you're getting through this hard thing. So these are the quote unquote, weaknesses, and I say, quote, unquote, because there are things that we can work on. And I think that word comes with some judgment. But we all do have areas that are more difficult for us. So for me, it is organization in the traditional sense of the word for that, that is something that I have learned over time, I, when I look back, and I say okay, if I'd been more organized, I might have been more helpful in the in the future in the in the present, rather, I can think, Okay, how can I account for that? How can I account for that weakness that came up last time that will allow me to move forward and not get dragged down by it? And not? Oh, it's going to be so hard because of the organization issue? No, what systems? Can I develop? Who can I get to help me? And maybe what, what support? Can I ask for from work? How can I advocate for myself? What can I do? What can I put in place to keep that from being as much of a barrier for me going forward, so I want you to account for the weaknesses not get dragged down by them. And some of that stuff can be delegated or outsourced. Or we can have the help of technology or an app or, you know, maybe we book an hour every month with our supervisor, if we're in a supportive workplace. To help us with some of that time management stuff. I don't know what it looks like for you. And I don't know what the weaknesses, but the point and the important part is that you account for it without judging it. And next, the goal setting, okay, when we're talking about this hard thing, okay, we want to actually set a goal in terms of what we're aiming to do, or some mini goals. So we might be wanting to succeed at work. Very, very big goal. But what little things do we need to focus on to do that? And and I wanted to introduce this concept of compassionate goal setting. I brought it up in a past podcast episode very loosely, but I believe in it really strongly. And some people are like, Oh, well, if I don't set a hard goal, I won't do it. But I want you to ask yourself, like, what mindset Do you have to be in to accomplish our goals, and where has it worked, and sometimes it does work. But whether we continue to do it is a thing. And whether we're in that mindset now, where we'll be successful is a whole other thing. So the point here is to figure out what your what barriers are coming out for yourself. And I often hear this with people in terms of setting really large goals, especially when they're overwhelmed or when that goal is something that they haven't been working on yet, or they haven't been working up to. And we're starting all at once. So we're starting with the end goal, I'm going to get in shape. So to get in shape, I'm going to work out an hour every single day, even though I haven't been able to do two half hour sessions a week, for the last year. And I'm not saying it's impossible, but I want you to think about what happens when you don't meet that goal that day. Because what often happens is if we set a goal that's so big, even if it seems in that moment, like we're you know, we're so pumped up, I'm gonna do this, if we set a goal that's too big. And that's not not not realistic to realize, I don't like that word, but that we're not set up to do yet. And we don't have the habits in place. And we don't have the mindset in place to do and we haven't built all of that, that I guess confidence and even in terms of his exercise, or we just haven't built that into our lives yet. What often happens is killing people don't do it the first couple times ago, I knew I would fail at this, I knew I was a failure, I can't do it. I just can't stick the consistency rah rah, rah, God, I hate myself for this, why can't I just do it and they start to spiral. So I really want you to start with something that you can't talk yourself out of with that goal, okay. And then if you find that that's if it's not working, if you're not able to be consistent with it, use that as feedback that is just feedback that your life isn't set up for that yet, or you don't have the habits in place yet. And go back a few notches and start smaller. So with fitness, this could be literally starting with doing 10 minutes of exercise a day, or three times a week for half an hour. My partner and I did. We had a spreadsheet where we just documented 30 minutes of any exercise every day. And that could be a walk, it could be anything. Once we got in that habit. We added in a couple times a week that we had more intensive exercise which we call the intensives, which is just because we're nerds. And then every month we revisit the goals and sometimes we were finding we weren't meeting our goal. So we're like okay, no four times a week isn't working yet. We're gonna stick to three until this is a habit and eventually Now we've gotten up to consistently four times a week for the past few months. But it started with a half an hour a day of literally like a walk. And this isn't a fitness podcast, I'm just using that as an example. Because what I did was I built in self compassion so that if I didn't get it, but I have an hour a is something that is realistic to do most days. But on the days that it didn't happen, I built in a rule, and that rule for me was, if you don't do it, we just make it up another day. So making up a half an hour on another day, wasn't actually that hard. One day, I took an hour walk for that day, I mess and it was fine. And then even if you're not doing that, even if you're not making up for it, it could be building in that self compassion building and what you're going to do when you fail, this is how I'm going to act when I when I don't meet this goal for a day, if that happens, I'm going to go to my journal, and I'm going to write out a plan for what I could do to make it more realistic for me. And that is your plan instead of sitting there wallowing. So I want you to contingency plan for your goals in a compassionate way, how you're going to get yourself on track versus beating yourself off of it. And if it's a really big thing, and you're not sure how to break it down into goals, this is an area where a coach could help you. I am happy to be that coach, I am not currently taking clients but I am starting a waitlist. So feel free to shoot me an email so that or actually, you can still book a call with me and we can discuss it and then I can get you in as soon as a slot opens up. And if you want to do it on your own, you can even just think of like if you can't break it down into like a half an hour or something a day. So your goal is just getting through the anxiety of a new job, you can just think of it as an aspect of that that you want to start by working on. So maybe you're not going to break it down into time. But maybe you can focus on an aspect. Maybe it's this month, I'm just going to focus on learning the job. Next month, I'm going to focus on speaking up in meetings, the next month, I'm going to focus on getting involved in some extra projects, set yourself up for success. And that is so important. That's why I say compassionate goal setting because if we have goals, that we aren't beating ourselves off track for every time we make a mistake, because they're too big, or they're not clear, and we're just constantly angry at ourselves. That's not building our confidence. That's not building our self trust is actually doing the opposite. We're literally beating ourselves further off the track from where we want to be. But if we're compassionate about these things, guys, then we can go farther, we can get through those impossible things by by being intentional. And by being gentle with ourselves and helping us get on track in a way that we need. Having that honesty and being able to check in with ourselves about what's going on and and how to get through it and what we need in those moments. And if we're focused on building a habit, if we're focusing on getting ourselves through one thing,

we accomplish that thing, and we you know, tick it off if you're a checklist person, and we feel that sense of reward. And what does that do, that sense of reward motivates us to keep going and keep trying and push forward with that goal. So don't be dissuaded by being small, or you know, quote unquote, wishy washy with the compassionate goal setting, I get that it sounds a little bit like, I guess, hippie dippie. But I really don't care because it is effective. And I think that that ability to contingency plan for when we quote unquote fail as well is something that can help a lot of us to interrupt that thought cycle that says you're terrible at this and gets us further away from where we want to be. And as promised, I have attached the worksheet that I designed to help walk you through this very exercise in the link below. So just look at the bottom of the bio for this episode. The link will bring you right through to a sign up sheet just type in your email quickly and then it will be sent directly to your inbox it will be an editable PDF so you can fill it out right there and keep a copy for yourself to refer back to whenever you need to. And I've even included the parking lot at the bottom for things that are distracting you or for goals that you want to work on later when something comes up in terms of what you might not have accomplished that you want to so that you can acknowledge it park that idea get to it later after you walk through this exercise and once you've instilled that confidence and are on your way to your current goals, tell me what you want to hear from here what you want help with because I'm very receptive to that and I will tell her my episodes to you so love you all thank you for being here and

feeling okay everyone that is it for today but

if you like this episode, don't forget to hit subscribe and leave me a review because of course it really helps me and my podcasts out. For more tips, training and tools to help you hold yourself in high esteem. Follow me on my Instagram page at your underscore high underscore esteem underscore and join the your high esteem Facebook groups through the link in the show notes if you would like to do this work with your community together in my groups. To learn more about me and my private coaching, head over to www dot high esteem and browse programs and free tools there. Thanks so much for tuning in and I'm so excited to see you all in the next episode. Bye, everyone.

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