I’m starting an online business and community around Acts of Bravery! I plan to launch in four weeks. Which means, no matter the state of the website, I’m introducing it to the world April 29th. You guys will keep me accountable to this deadline, right?
What’s Acts of Bravery all about?
Since I made my brave journey public in 2017, quite a few friends, family, and even strangers confessed they wished they could be braver, too.
So, I decided to gather up all my nifty, life-changing tools online and start Acts of Bravery—the go to place to find resources to inspire, empower and motivate you to take those scary steps toward living the life of your dreams. The fun part? I’ll make sure the resources will help no matter where you’ve progressed on the brave journey, whether you’re just sticking your toes into that deep water or have the courage of a lion.
Watch for a sneak peek coming next week!
That sounds great, Rachelle, but what makes you so qualified to help me?
Since 2007, I’ve been on my own brave warrior journey, and in the last decade I’ve learned a ton along the way.
How did I learn these things?
Besides some truly traumatic life circumstances that I’ve navigated through with extensive counseling and came out the other side healed and whole, I have a degree in behavioral science, a minor in psychology, with an emphasis in Christian counseling. I’ve worked in elementary schools mentoring kids one-on-one, in groups, and in classroom presentation which fit core curriculum. I’ve had extensive training in inner healing and have helped hundreds of people break through beliefs that have kept them in bondage to fear and other mental blocks. I’ve taught in all sort of venues from public school classrooms to women’s retreats to trainings. And to top it all off, I have a master’s degree in business and years of experience managing, training, coaching, and leading teams of employees during my business career days.
Sooooooo, wasn’t the title of this post about insecurities?
Right. Thanks for keeping me focused.
Confession time. Sometimes I wake up more mortified about this new business than stoked. All I want is to throw the covers back over my head, snuggle down into the soft womb of my bed, and forget I had this brilliant idea in the first place. I mean, who am I to think I can pull something like this off? I’m just . . . me. Me with all my flaws, all my weaknesses, all my insecurities—insecurities which take this prime opportunity to rattle off why I suck.
I see you all nodding in unison.
Was that a hallelujah in the back?
Some days, I swat away the insecurities with ease. Other days, it takes me half the morning to pull out of this funk. The worst days? I never get my head out of my arse. But I’ve noticed an extremely interesting fact about this ongoing battle. The insecurities that sink their grubby claws into my confidence are the same mundane ones. Every time.
To extract those claws, get on with life, and rock my day, I use a three-step process. And I want to share them with you.
Step 1: Write Down Those Plaguing Insecurities
Have you ever noticed when you feel overwhelmed with those thirty to-do items swirling around in your head, creating a list helps calm your mind, and suddenly life doesn’t feel so bleak?
Here’s why writing things down works.
First, we get that mess out of our heads onto something tangible that we can hold in our hands. Now, our minds don’t feel like they must perform mental contortion acts to keep from forgetting that dentist appointment tomorrow at two. It’s free to do other things, like be creative or concentrate on that work project. And now, you have a list that you can check off (super fun!) and know you aren’t forgetting anything important.
Second, once you get all that swirling mess out of your head and onto paper, miracle of miracles, it doesn’t look so overwhelming anymore does it? Writing it down, seeing what’s swirling up there, and taking a realistic look at things, somehow strips the emotional power from it, too. I use this technique with my family all the time.
Let’s use my daughter having trouble with a friend as an example.
What I say: Tell me all about it. What exactly went wrong? List the problems for me.
Nine times out of ten, getting her thoughts organized, seeing what she really believes about the situation, and knowing it’s not as bad as her mind played it up to be, helps resolve an issue she’s been steaming over for days.
This is the same with our insecurities. Try it. Right now. Grab a notebook and pen and go for it. List out every single one as it pops in your mind, no matter how ridiculous or heart-piercing it may feel. Purge those babies out.
Feels good doesn’t it?
Step 2: Confess to an Accountability Partner
I know, I know. It was hard enough to write those insecurities down and now I’m asking you to tell someone about it?
Here’s why. Writing them down strips insecurities of their power but saying them out loud gives it that one-two punch. And if you’re confessing to someone who knows you, loves you, and roots for you? They will tell you the truth of those insecurities and help you overcome them.
But don’t just pick someone at random; this person needs some defining qualities.
- They know your heart and your mind intimately. They see you.
- They believe in you and root for you.
- They are safe, kind with words, will keep your conversation private, and won’t use this information against you later.
- They call you out of your crap. In a positive, uplifting, you-can-do-this way.
For me? This is my husband. He knows me, every last detail. He knows my heart, my experience, my thoughts, my dreams, my capabilities. This gem of a man believes in me. He’s my number one fan, always rooting for me. But, he also knows my weaknesses, my limits, and when I’m deviating from my values and purpose. More importantly, when he sees even a hint of this deviation, he calls it out. Won’t spare me an inch. Which, is what I desperately need when insecurities hedge me in like a mosh pit at a Nine Inch Nails concert.
Step 3: Turn Those Insecurities into Affirmations
This step feels a little excruciating to me, but it’s so, so necessary. Something about the hard work of transforming those insecurities *ahem—lies* into truth intimidates me.
My best guess is the Id part of my brain wants to keep me safe. And the caveman Id equates all fear, no matter how big or small, to saber tooth cat danger. Why risk failing or looking stupid while I can hide under the covers, snuggly warm and safe?
But if we plan on transforming these paralyzing insecurity days into fleeting moments, we need a few affirmations to get us thinking in the right direction. It’s hard work. And once you get them written, they may not feel like the truth, especially amid that crushing mosh pit, but they are. Stand firm on their foundation.
So, you ask, how do I turn insecurities into affirmations?
Dig out that notebook and pen again and write out the exact opposite of that insecurity.
Let’s use the one I woke up with as an example.
Insecurity: I’m a fraud. I have no business trying to help others be brave and live the life of their dreams.
Affirmation: Not only do I have degrees in psychology and business, I have a ton of life, work, and relational experience and training in breaking through fear, being brave, and running tenaciously after my dreams.
Okay, not really. Writing your affirmations may take you a while. And when they’re finished, they may seem liar-liar-pants-on-fire false. But every word is true. You and your accountability partner made sure of that. So, trust them more than your caveman Id. Read them daily, and as you do, visualize specific scenarios from your past when you lived that truth. Then take a deep breath, let that truth settle, and go back to rocking your day.
Before you go!
In the comments, tell me all about the biggest, baddest, meanest obstacle blocking your path to bravery. Your insight will help me tailor resources just for you. Who knows? Maybe your specific question will end up being the topic of my next blog, podcast, or e-course and be the catalyst to help countless other brave warriors!
And if you found this post helpful, help a girl out and pass it on!