How I Overcame 10-Months of Self-Doubt & Feeling Stuck

emotional intelligence feeling stuck mindfulness productivity self-awareness Nov 02, 2022
I have a confession to make
It has taken me 5 days to write this blog post.
My delay is likely not for the reason you might imagine, however. I wish I could say it was because I lacked ideas, topics, or even the sheer will to put my message out there.
The reality is I have a very difficult time focusing.
I am excellent at generating ideas and starting projects and tasks… but unless there is an imminent deadline, I'm terrible at finishing them.
I've noticed in the last year this behavior has seemingly felt worse or at least more heightened compared to past years. 
I've always found success in most endeavors I put my mind to, however this year I’ve had an overwhelming, looming feeling plague me every workweek. The reasons for this? Well, success” meant completion, and a feeling of success wasn’t showing up for me since my task list to-dos weren’t checked off and closed out.
I'm a professional coach and a creative, so ideas for countless courses, social content, video topics, coaching programs, and even side hustles flooded my mind week after week. 
It created a fire hose effect: I’d go in for a sip, enticed by the excitement and thrill of having fun helping my audience and clients… only to have this same flow overwhelm and knock me down, drown me, and wash away my confidence (and my pride) all in one swell. 
If only I’d been focused on the sip at hand - like really ready to dive in and complete it - maybe I would’ve handled it better; known what to do; be prepared for what was coming.
Did I want success and the win enough? Yes.  So what was my problem?
I had the motivation. I had the creativity. I had the time and energy to work. Yet I couldn’t produce. I couldn’t bring myself to fulfill. 
I began to feel like I was working all the time, spinning all the plates, yet not going anywhere nor having anything to show for it. 
This led me to focus on - well - my focus. 
I started looking at what was distracting me and my workflow in the first place. I started taking actions most people likely would.
  • I researched time management. 
  • I purchased new markers and organizational tools for my office whiteboard and my planner. 
  • I looked up fun ways to stay organized and on task. 
  • I tried out 3 different task apps on my phone. 
  • I Invested my time, energy, and money to learn how to fix my focus issue.
Yet as I took these actions, I still didn’t feel closer to a solution.
The dialogue in my head kept pointing out that I’d never really struggled with focus and completion before, so maybe this was all a sign I’d lost my business magic and mojo.
The dialogue perpetually questioned if I was capable anymore, asking why I was wasting time, and distracting me further by suggesting I search for a new career route just to end the exhaustion of mental gymnastics.
I felt guilty because I didn’t have my focus under control like I “should”. I spent the majority of the year convincing myself I couldn't get things done because I must’ve lost my passion for the topics I used to passionately share with others. 
The self-doubt about my profession and my purpose was loud. If I couldn’t focus and get it together like I used to, could I even make an impact at all moving forward? Was it over?
I even considered leaving entrepreneurship and applying for a job, even though everything in my soul and being told me it wasn’t right and didn’t feel aligned.  
Thanks to self-awareness and emotional intelligence, however, I knew for a fact I had still evolved in this timeframe. My personal life flourished; my professional life had wins and successes - just not the ones I’d imagined (like, HELLO - I co-authored and published a book endorsed by Tony Robbins; recorded and launched a podcast from scratch, and finally received my 500+ hour coaching credential from the ICF!)
And then suddenly… it happened. 
Thanks to being a voracious, lifelong learner, pieces of information I wasn't privy to before fell into my lap and suddenly I recognized why I couldn’t focus.
It had nothing to do with a lack of passion or ability.
It wasn’t a reflection of my effectiveness in helping others.
It wasn’t a sign that I was to ditch the business I'd worked so hard to build and follow another path that isn't destined for me.
Remember - at this point, I was ready to give myself an entirely new identity, workplace, and life purpose all because I couldn't figure out one thing about myself. 
As it turns out (and this may not be breaking news for many of you) focusing is a challenge for me because of the way my brain is. I'm learning that I am neurodivergent and more so than I ever fathomed. 
The same reason it's difficult for me to focus is the same reason I am incredible as a content creator and entrepreneur: that fire hose of new ideas flows freely, and abundantly, and I see the potentiality in those ideas and what they can offer the world and especially to the women I serve.
So try this on for size:
What is something in your life you feel like you’ve been seeking an answer or solution to for months?
As you've been attempting to locate information or pin down an answer, have you noticed you’re willing to jump ship on your heart's desire? On your purpose? On your passion?
Do you feel like you’ve “wasted” or spent “too much” time getting to the bottom of why you don’t perform to the extent and standards you want to?
If so, my invitation to you today is to simply notice the moment(s) you want to jump ship, and instead redirect to learning more about yourself
Grant yourself more time. Consider this portion of your life an investment: devote your time, mind, emotions, and soul to curiosity and learn - in detail - who you are now, what you need now and what you want to create next.
For us to create the life and career success we’re after, we must know ourselves so deeply that who we are now will guide us on what to do next.