The “I’m Not Good Enough” Programme – Do You Have It?
I went on one of the many online business webinars today and saw this lovely smart lady giving us so much useful information on how to become more visible online. She was encouraging everyone to give her their “limiting beliefs” “I can’t do ‘x’ because …..” so she could tell us an easy way to get around our problem.
However, if it were only that easy for some of us!
One lady’s comment resonated with me deeply, as I had experienced this thought/belief on many occasions throughout my life. Sally (we’ll call her Sally), said “I’m not good enough for my clients.” The “I’m not good enough…” or “I can’t do it!” belief is a sad but common thought/belief in a lot of people’s heads, especially women.
The webinar host’s response was appropriate and to the point, she said something like: “you can train/help people when you are three times ahead of your client.”
This is useful information; however, if you are one of those unfortunate women who have an ingrained strong thought programmed in your head such as “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do it” (along with a huge dollop of negative emotions like feeling scared, frustrated, angry, resentful etc.) which has been there and played repeatedly over and over again throughout your life for years, this useful piece of information, though helpful, will immediately be discarded.
....Discarded by that part of you that totally believes 100% that “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do it!” along with feeling those accompanying horrible emotions in whatever you may face. And, sadly, no matter how much a big part of you really wants that goal or outcome.
where and when could these unhelpful, demotivating, devaluing programmes come from?...
and how are they installed?
Awareness is the first key to discovering the root of our habitual programmes that are running in the inner sanctum of our minds.
In Victoria's case, her programme of "I'm not good enough" was very deep within her mind; in fact, so deep and ingrained, she had no idea it was even there. So developing that awareness of that particular programme existed as well as running was essential to help Victoria through my Phoenix Programming (Utilizing my Brief Mind-Body Process) to recognize and identify her thought/behaviourial pattern.
Victoria's Goal: One of her goals was to allow more time for her creativity projects. In fact, Victoria, is a lovely highly sensitive woman in her late 50’s who spent most of her life helping others leaving no time to pursue her own creative hobbies. And she didn’t realize just how creative she was already being. She was very creative in finding things to do instead of doing the piece of creative work a part of her so wanted to do! Her washing up, her hoovering, her dusting, helping other people with their problems … you get the picture!
So Victoria's creative project, even though a part of her really wanted it to happen, was never started; Just the idea of putting pen to paper created such anxious thoughts and bad stomach pain that all of a sudden she realized that she didn’t have time! Something else always needed to be done! Some else's problem was more important. So it was just a dream that she kept on thinking about, just one of those “One day I’ll have more time for me and my creativity” thoughts; the layers of disappointment and sadness growing with each passing year.
Victoria even found it challenging to make a few “learning” notes after our client sessions. Until one day, during one of our sessions, she discovered that one of the reasons she procrastinated and avoided putting pen to paper, was that she remembered one of many bad experiences she had had during her early school years.
... the early years... how did the "I'm not good enough" programme become installed?
Now, when Victoria was around 7 years of age, the Catholic school Victoria attended had a Nun who taught her Writing Class. The children were expected to write their words between two specific lines on the paper to practice writing evenly. The teacher saw that a number of the pupils had written their letters outside the lines and this teacher lost it completely. Not only did she become extremely angry and intimidating towards the children but also insisted that all those children who had written outside their lines had to go outside into the corridor to be punished.
Well, as you can imagine, Victoria froze as she was engulfed with overwhelming fear, her stomach was gripped with pain as she wished the floor would swallow her up right there and then! She knew from experience how extremely painful and shaming it was to have her hands slapped with the ruler! And in that moment, this highly sensitive little girl’s young mind concluded that: “I’m not good enough.”
So as the years passed, whenever Victoria tried to put pen to paper, it triggered this bad memory (among others, I’m sure) and she became extremely anxious. Her “I’m not good enough” programme started running, she was completely taken over by so many different overwhelming emotions including fear and shame which then triggered her accompanying stomach pain. Along with the behavioural response of avoiding one of the biggest fears that she had had as a child, so she creatively thought up all sorts of excuses not to put pen to paper to start her creative project.
So what’s a highly sensitive woman with an early childhood terrifying experience around writing to do?
Of course, (as all of us do) she did her best to avoid pain and found excuses upon excuses not to put pen to paper. She procrastinated and avoided ever starting her creative project and over time, became overwhelmingly sad knowing that she was unable to pursue her creativity goals, no matter how hard she tried to pursue her goals.
If only life were that simple...
And, of course, we are complicated beings and living our lives is never this simple, I have over simplified this story. The whole picture (if we can ever accomplish such a mammoth task) includes the fact that her home life wasn’t quite up to scratch either – one of the reasons, was that she had a mum who insisted on sharing her marital problems with her over many years (7 years of age onward). And as a 7-year-old, this definitely messed with her head and her emotions and very possibly contributed to her “I’m not good enough” programme as well but that’s a whole other story for another day and another blog!
So now, thankfully, after working together on my Phoenix Programme, this gorgeous highly sensitive woman is able to put pen to paper and able to show her work to others as well! She is free from that anxiety and fear of the “I’m not good enough” / “I can’t do it” programming and all those uncomfortable accompanying feelings that used to sadly dominate and control her life. Free from procrastination and avoidance; free to enjoy her creative activities. And now Victoria is feeling more happily resourceful, resilient and grounded; She became aware of her unhelpful programme, learnt and healed from her past negative experiences that resulted in storing that that dis-empowering programming and accompanying negative emotions; allowing her live up to her fullest potential and to actively follow her goals in all areas of her life.
Has this story resonated with you in any way? Is there something that you would love to do but somehow never get around to doing it? One clue might be if you had or are having any sort of negative body sensations or thoughts as you read this blog. Locate those thoughts and/or sensations; Gently ask them a few inquiring questions like: What do you want? How old are you? You can also think about who/what experience do these thoughts or sensations remind you of (though don’t force it). When and in what context (and how many times) have you felt this feeling before?
If you do have a reaction to this blog in anyway now or over the next few days, talk it over with a friend and/or find a therapeutic facilitator who helps resolve negative unwanted thoughts, emotions & behaviour to help you to heal those parts of you that have any unresolved issues or unmet needs. Of course, if you would like, you could also contact me to chat about your unresolved issues that you feel are holding you back in some way. Pop your details in my Contact Page and I will get back to you to arrange a convenient time for both of us.
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You only get to live your life once! ... It’s not a dress rehearsal as they say. ... Resolve those issues that are still haunting you and still causing you pain – you won’t regret it!