Story Time

Story Time

As I write this I am just hours away from presenting to a group on the topic of building confidence. Stories are important in training and I’ve been mulling some over to share and thought I’d share some with you.

Many years ago I had an encounter with a close friend that I was building a non-profit organization with. It was a super painful conversation that questioned, criticized and judged multiple aspects of who I was and how I lived my life.

To say it left me shaken would be a gross understatement. It led to a mild depression and I sought out the help of a counselor. 

In the course of working with Jeff it came to light that I had a rich breeding ground for doubting myself with some faulty core beliefs about myself and my intelligence.

Poor inner confidence vastly increases the pain of judgment and criticism from others!


At the time I had completed approximately 5 Masters-level courses in counseling from 2 different universities. (One being the same one my counselor graduated from.) In commenting on how I was doing in them I remarked that “I got ‘A’s’ but just because they are ‘bird schools’”.

Needless to say this did not go over well. Jeff’s response was something like:

“Let me get this straight. You just wrote off two institutions to explain why you could get ‘A’s’ instead of entertaining the possibility that you might be smart?” (Then added, ‘one of which I attended and have my degree from’). Wow.

It was an aha moment for me. It triggered a memory.

When I was doing my undergrad degree in Psychology my siblings and I had all landed at my parents’ place with our partners and a photo was taken of us sitting on their lawn. My Mom had proudly reviewed it in my presence saying something like: 

“There’s my son the Doctor, there’s my daughter-in-law the speech pathologist, there’s my son the social worker, there’s my daughter-in-law the nurse, there’s my son-in-law the pastor, and there’s my daughter, Marilyn.”

It had crushed me at the time but, more importantly, I had drawn some false conclusions about myself in that comparison to my siblings. My brothers were the smart ones. Not me.

Why am I telling you all this?

Each of us has a story of where we came to own some limiting and false beliefs about ourself. Places where we welcomed and installed a glass ceiling of our own making for our life.

I can now easily say that I am smart. That is not arrogance or a lack of humility. It’s a fact.

What are your stories? 

Where did someone’s criticism or comments have you draw some limiting conclusions about who you are?

Would you be willing to do some homework?

Write out your top 3 accomplishments and then, for each write out the skills and abilities that you have that let you get to those accomplishments.


Thanks for listening to story time.

Until next week,

Marilyn

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