I just can’t believe it – why is that?

I was walking down the hallway and several of my lab mates shared that they really enjoyed the workshop that I just gave them and that they found it really useful. They told me they had never thought about writing that way before. They hadn’t realized that others found it hard too and now they feel less alone. They felt like now they had somewhere that they could start. They felt like maybe they could do this.

I was overwhelmed and elated.

I had worked at developing these ideas and knowledge for more than 10 years and finally shared them with my colleagues. This was a goal I had worked on with my coach and with the support of my friends and colleagues for months to stay with it and complete the workshop.  

I started to have thoughts like: 

“This can’t be true. The information can’t be that useful to them. They are just saying that because they feel like they have to. It’s just because they know me that they are saying that. They are just being nice.”

Now that I have continued to achieve more of my goals, with the support and container of my coach and support from my mentors, I am realizing that my brain was trying really hard to make sense of something new.

My brain was not yet believing that I had completed a shared a workshop full of my ideas and experience and that it was really truly valuable to others. Not yet. Even in the midst of all the evidence of participants genuinely sharing with me how much they felt it helped them. 

What is happening here? 1) We want to achieve a goal 2) We set out and work to achieve the goal 3) We achieve the goal. Our brain works to not believe it?

It actually makes sense and we can bring some compassion to ourselves here. Our brains like the patterns that we are already in. If you have ever tried to start an exercising routine or any new habit, you will understand this. Whatever this acheievement has brought you, it is a new pattern; perhaps even a new identity. Whatever we achieved has not happened yet and our brain is not accustomed to it.

This is our brain’s way of trying to make sense of something new: our brain says it either didn’t happen or it’s not enough. 

How can we support ourselves to believe the goals that we have achieved? 

  1. Write down your goals so that you can see when you have achieved them and avoid dismissing them.
  2. Practise believing the new goal ahead of time to give your brain a chance to get used to the idea of achieving it. 
  3. Focus on the process of achieving the goal and your growth that has happened as a result of it. 
  4. When you achieve your goal, hold the space for it. Notice whether your brain is ready quickly find and move onto the next goal and dismiss the achievement completely, or maybe you feel like what you achieved is not enough (even though it was when you set out the goal), or just feeling like you can’t believe it. Having the support of a coach can be helpful to point out to us our sneaky brain when we are not seeing this for ourselves. 
  5. If you notice this is happening for you, ask yourself, why is it hard for me to hold the space for this achievement? Bringing understanding and compassion to this for yourself will allow you to hold it more easily for your next goal. Hello growth!  

Now that I share my knowledge through one-on-one coaching and through workshops regularly it’s becoming easier to believe that what I am sharing is useful and valuable. My clients are creating evidence for me that it is hard for my brain to dismiss or counter. 

Now, I do believe that what I have to share is of value and that it is serving and supporting others. As I move into new goals and continue to grow, new challenges, self-doubts and opportunities to grow come up. 

As I achieve my next goal, I do not believe it at first, and then, after some practise, suddenly, I do. This is possible.

If you are feeling like all of the achievements that you have created for yourself don’t seem to be enough or you are always heading into the next goal without really understanding what the point is, I invite you to email me at support@melissaeanders.com for a complimentary Discovery Call so that we can learn more about what’s happening for you and whether the work I do is a good fit for you.

Sincerely, 
Melissa 

Inspired by the work that I do with my coach Jennifer L. Sherwood who I am eternally grateful to for pointing out to me that which I cannot see and one of my mentors Brooke Castillo and her thoughts on the Capacity to Have and How to Believe New Things

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