Yipee! Welcome to Tame the Doubt Demon Ecourse!
Get Started: Week 1!
1. Bookmark or save the Login page so you can access the course.
2. Have you already completed the Introduction to Tame the Doubt Demon Ecourse? If not, go! We’ll wait right here for you.
3. Download your Tame The Doubt Demon Ebook. All of the activities pages for the ecourse are in the book, along with the content posted online. Follow along week by week. And you can use the ebook as a reminder when the ecourse is over.
4. THIS WEEK
- Watch Week 1 Video: Overcoming the Doubt Demon (That Pesky Critter)
- Complete the Time In Audio Exercise: The Doubt Dump
- Do your Homework: Old Strategies & Instant Doubt Dump
- Bonus! Struggles with My Intimate Buddy Doubt
- Answer the question posted on the Tame the Doubt Demon Facebook Group and leave a comment or question if you’d like.
Week 1: Overcoming The Doubt Demon (That Pesky Little Critter)
Doubt is a little demon in your mind that sounds like:
- You suck.
- You’re not good enough, smart enough, savvy enough, or ___ enough. Plus you don’t have the time or money!
- You’re not a good mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, boss/employee…
- No one likes or cares about you!
- You’ll never accomplish _____, have _____, or be in the relationship of your dreams.
When we listen to and believe the doubt, then we quickly sink into a cycle of feeling crummy. Confusion reigns. And we often become paralyzed not knowing which direction to go. This pesky little critter is powerful.
But I’m sure that you grew up with parents and role models that gave you an in-depth course on how to consciously and productively deal with doubt and fear, right?
What? You neither?
But before we point fingers and play the blame game, I’ll bet that no one offered the Tame the Doubt Demon course to your big people either. When you’re feeling the downer effects of the Doubt Demon – and you don’t know how to tame it, then you have a double whammy in your desire to improve your life or business.
Most of us have, however, learned a lot about doubt and fear from the way it was modeled around us. Without much explanation, you probably witnessed your adults responding to doubt with fight (getting angry, pushing hard to achieve), flight (giving up, leaving before the breakthrough) or freeze (don’t do anything, hide, play small).
While these three responses enable us to cope and struggle our way through life, they don’t allow us to thrive and fully shine. They keep us locked in old patterns instead of allowing a more magnificent version of ourselves to emerge. So I’m going to let you in on the secret about doubt.
How would you like to be a bigger, brighter, sparkly-er version of the real you? Or how about just a little more happiness, or success, or love, or abundance?
Are you nodding yes? Sounds good?
Then you just opened the doorway for doubt and fear to “c’mon in!”
Wait, wait… don’t get scared. This is GOOD news.
Taming the Doubt Demon and its Friend Fear is the fast track to being a more magnificent you and living a life you love. The irony of the Doubt Demon is that the bigger you dream and the brighter you shine, the more opportunity the Doubt Demon has to say “got’cha!” That’s why I’m willing to bet that if you’re wrestling with the Doubt Demon, then you’ve recently invited a bigger vision of yourself into your life (consciously or not). Horray! You’re growing. You’re on your way to clarity and confidence.
To get started in taming our pesky demon, we need to be able to clearly hear and see our doubts. If they lurk in the fuzzy shadows of our consciousness and we don’t have clear awareness of them, then we are powerless to make a choice about how we want to respond to them in a new way. So it’s time to shine a light on them and bring them out of hiding! Then, we can start making friends with our Doubt Demon and use it for faster growth and transformation.
A love note: Throughout this e-course, we’ll be taking “Time In” to turn our attention inward for activities to tame your Doubt Demon + gain clarity. I know it’s tempting to just plow on and skip over them, but for this process to work, you’ve gotta devote some time and effort. I’ll make it as fun and painless as possible! You can listen to the Time In as an audio and then use the pages in your ebook or journal to complete the activity.
Time In: The Doubt Dump
What doubts or fears have been coming up for you lately? I want a full confession. Dump all the doubts out here. Let it rip. Tune into your Doubt Demon. What has that voice in your head been saying? Let it out for a Wild Rumpus. Scribble them down. Don’t just think about them, write them down please.
Now list every doubt you’ve ever had or can remember. All your judgments. Any small niggling thoughts. Give yourself full permission to go for it.
How does your Doubt Demon make you feel?
FAIR WARNING: As you do this exercise and listen to the audio, notice if your Doubt Demon comes up and says, “You aren’t doing it right!” or “Is this what she means?” Just dump out all the doubts, worries, judgments, fears onto your page. Doubt is the voice in your head that sounds that, “What if this happens… I don’t know if I should… I’m not going to be able to do that!…”
Make a mental note of when you catch yourself falling into a fight, flight, or freeze strategy when dealing with your Doubt Demon. When you feel stuck, confused, tired, overwhelmed, frustrated, do you:
- We get angry.
- We push ourselves to do more and try harder.
- We go on the attack, blaming others for the way we feel or for what happened. How dare they! He/she makes me so angry!
- We distract ourselves: we use substance or activities to numb sensation. I need a drink/chocolate/ice cream. I need to go shopping/procrastinate.
- We lean away from feeling into over-doing or over-thinking.
- We want to leave the room or situation before the breakthrough. I’m out of here.
- We feel helpless, unable to protect or defend ourselves.
- We become paralyzed and don’t take any action.
- We argue with ourselves about the situation. I should have… Why didn’t I… If I wasn’t so afraid/unsure/more competent, I would have…
Instant Doubt Dump
When you catch yourself falling into an old strategy, or you hear one of your doubts, do an Instant Doubt Dump. Say to yourself, “I hear you! I see you! I don’t believe you!” Picture the doubts pouring out of your head.
Struggles with My Intimate Buddy Doubt
I’ve invited doubt into my life over and over again – each time growing into a bigger vision for myself.
I grew up in Pittsburgh, the daughter of hard-working accountants. I was a Dudley Do Right, who used my overachiever to power through life. I accepted nothing less than straight A+s. On the outside I looked wildly successful and talented. I graduated valedictorian from a top-notch college, was accepted into the prestigious Teach for America program, and featured in The Los Angeles Times and on TV Shows. I co-wrote and published two books within a year of graduating from college. But on the inside, I was racked with “never good enough” and stress. I prided myself in setting goals and accomplishing them, yet I was never happy. My constant drive took a toll on my body as I struggled with chronic bronchitis and migraines. I was proudly independent, yet craved outside approval and attention. In short, I didn’t like myself much and used my accomplishments to cover up not feeling good enough.
For a few years after graduating college, I was pretty pleased with myself even though I was hurting within. I believed that I was a good daughter, a good girlfriend, a good teacher, a good citizen. Then life hit me over a head with a 2×4. Think heartbreak and betrayal with a whooping splash of out of control classroom. Ouch. Within a hellish week, my world collapsed around me and I fell deep into the Doubt Demon’s clutches. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I snap out of my funk? And who was I if I wasn’t a good (fill-in-the-blank) anymore? I fell straight into believing that doubt was bad and I must have done something wrong to invite all this heartache and confusion into my life.
Luckily I serendipitously met don Miguel Ruiz, my first shaman teacher and bestselling author of The Four Agreements, and fell down a rabbit hole that opened the door into an alternate universe – one where I learned how to let go of doubt and fear and allow my heart and intuition to guide my life. I began to see that my first major battle with the Doubt Demon had invited in a bigger, more authentic vision of myself – a spiritual being who deeply desired connection to my life’s purpose and true essence beyond any roles I played in life. I spent years intensively studying with don Miguel until I felt whole, powerful, and confident as a fully shining woman.
Or so I thought!
Feeling healed with intensive shamanic training under my belt would be a super sweet ending to the story… only, you guessed it, since I once again invited in a bigger vision of myself, so I also extended a massive invitation to the Doubt Demon.
(Go, ahead, read that again. I know. Totally wild, a bit crazy, and out of character.)
Yep, this could have been an utter disaster, but we just celebrated our 10-year anniversary. Let me steal Shaman Guy’s favorite saying, “Hold onto your panties, we’re in for a wild ride!” as an accurate summary of my life since then.
For those of you who don’t know this amazing story, let me catch you up. About six months after getting hitched, a little voice inside of me said, “It’s time for you to slow down, stop working, and give up being Little Miss Perfect for good. Time to say goodbye to the overachieving, independent woman that’s got you this far.”
Talk about fear coming up! Breathtaking fear and doubt. My inner voice was telling me that I needed to inform my new husband that I no longer wanted to be the highly successful, hard-working woman he married? Gulp. And I’d have to give up my favorite, relatively successful way of navigating the world? Yikes.
I did tell Shaman Guy, and bless his heart, he agreed to financially support us – with one condition. We would need to move from sunny, southern California where I had a job, a spiritual community, and fantastic friends to frigid New England where I knew no one – but where Shaman Guy knew he could kick-start his construction business.
If you see skid marks on I-80 cross-country, those would be mine. I tearfully and reluctantly agreed and packed up my life to move to the Bubble, a town north of Boston, sight unseen. We drove cross-country and as we passed the Boston Airport, Shaman Guy started getting excited. We’re almost there! He couldn’t wait to show off our fairy tale town where he formerly lived. As we passed through the “City of Sin,” the town between the airport and the Bubble, the Doubt Demon grabbed me in its clutches. Tears started welling up as I looked glumly at the industrial buildings, trash by the side of the road, and grey skies that passed by. As Shaman Guy’s excitement rose, my heart sank. What had I gotten myself into?
I felt all alone. No friends, no community within 3,000 miles. It was cold. I was unemployed. And now a wife and instant stepmom. Oh, and did I mention that we were over five figures in credit card debt? Perfect time to quit your job, right?
That winter I hibernated. I got out of bed only to feed myself and my family. I was completely and utterly miserable. There wasn’t a day that went by when I didn’t doubt my sanity, my reasons, my faith. And I was pissed at all my friends and spiritual teacher back in Cali. Why did they “let” me do this? What possessed me to move and try out this cockamamie plan?
The Doubt Demon ate me alive. What was wrong with me? Didn’t I ask for the luxury of not working? Why wasn’t I enjoying my time off? Why wasn’t I tougher? This was NOT how I was raised or what I was meant to be doing with my life.
Then spring came. I emerged. A more grounded, shinier, more compassion me came out with the tulips. I discovered that I alone was responsible for my choices, my life, my creation. I let go of the crutches of my spiritual community and teacher and had to walk the talk by myself. I threw out my old identity and old beliefs so that a new vision of myself could be present. And I had to dig deep in my medicine bag and actually put all the tools that don Miguel taught me into practice. Plus I invented a few of my own.
I went on to create my own spiritual community, make friends with some of the most supportive women friends in the world, teach my own truth, and build a stronger relationship with myself and my husband. We also paid off the debt, bought not one, but two beautiful homes, and are still madly in love.
Moving east was one of the best decisions of my life. It taught me how to handle doubt and forced me to shine more fully. My encounters with the Doubt Demon created a more magnificent version of myself. And it gives me great pleasure to pass these tools onto you.
Now maybe you haven’t done anything as brash as agree to marry your hubby on your first date or move cross-country in massive debt with no job. But like all of us, I’ve dealt with everyday kind of doubts too.
When I was in the process of writing Shaman Girl (the book), I busted out 700 pages in six months. Who-hoo! Exciting. Then I received valuable, astute feedback from my editor and the Doubt Demon kicked in. What was this book really about? Could I ever edit it down? Were her edits the direction I wanted to go in?
Of course, Doubt Demon showed up. While I have authored and published resource guides, this was the first time I was writing a memoir. I was inviting in a bigger vision of myself as a writer of a memoir so all the doubt came up – and needed to clear out. I put the book aside for a month in frustration and confusion. Did I really want to even finish this project? Then I saw what was happening.
Doubt! Aha! I walked myself through the tried and true steps that I’ll be sharing with you and voila, I redirected my energy into my business and made a plan to pick up the manuscript again. By using the doubt constructively, I was able to not only become more authentic and confident within, but was able to have a business breakthrough and create a clearer version of Shaman Girl that reflects the story and message I most want to communicate. And of course as I keep growing my business and stepping out of hiding as a transformational life coach, shaman, and teacher, I have the opportunity to overcome more doubts along the way.
We all face doubt – whether it’s about a momentous life change or as a parent or in our business. I’ll be weaving more examples in through this ebook. And while I wish I could say that I’ve never faced a doubt since my whirlwind change of life, let me assure you that I still face down the Doubt Demon, only now I know how to tame it. I actually welcome it into my life because even though navigating through doubt sucks, it also means that I’m growing into a bigger, more authentic version of my self.
Now that you’ve heard about a few of my (hopefully inspiring and reassuring) struggles and success, let’s demystify the Doubt Demon. See you in Week 2!
I’m ready for Week 2! Click here.