Escape The Vat of Doom
You are likely familiar with the concept of "Imposter Syndrome". Imposter Syndrome is the feeling you get when you think you aren't worthy of the role you have and that any moment you will be "found out" as an imposter with all of the negative consequences you can imagine happening as a consequence. Feeling like you are unworthy is part of being in the "Vat of Doom".
It isn't the only thing of course. There is the feeling of "not enough" and all of its subsidiaries, including but not limited to:
The "not enough" feeling is also part of being in the "Vat of Doom".
Then we get to any negative emotion which are also part of the "Vat of Doom". Some of the popular options are:
However, some of the real attractions to the "Vat of Doom" are our inner fears. Fears such as:
In the coaching world, the voices we hear in the Vat of Doom are often refered to as our "inner critic", or gremlin voice or saboteur’s voice. In any case, if you have those negative, self critical voices in your head - then congratulations, you are a healthy human being. We all have them. The question is, "How much credence are you giving them and what is listening to them costing you?"
One of the foundational elements of my personal coaching work is to help people understand their personal Vat of Doom and then provide them with the tools, techniques and perspectives to help them escape the energy sucking, negative nellie voices that are conspiring to keep them small.
How much time and energy are you expending in your personal Vat of Doom? Might that energy be more productive elsehwere?
Choose to Respond Rather Than React
Do you feel like a victim of your circumstances? Are you forever running just to keep up, often to someone else's agenda? Are you ready to take on ownership of your experiences in life...to take full accountability for how you experience things? This can be a daunting undertaking - even intimidating to many. The upside is that you are both empowered and free.
Much of the stress in our lives comes from our reacting to things that happen to us. As we react to every bit of external stimuli, we feel like we are off centre, unbalanced and in hyper adrenalin mode all day long...every day. It can be exhausting, frustrating and disempowering to say the least.
What might be different if you could "choose" how to respond, rather than reacting? What if you were to clearly identify your locus of control and choose to take accountability for things that are within it? What if you got to release your commitment to outcomes that are outside of your control?
Personal empowerment demands that we take ownership for our experience that falls within our locus of control and acknowledge that we are fully able and capable of dealing with whatever is outside our control by making conscious choice. Choosing to be calm. Choosing to be mindful. Choosing to be effective.
It is simple but challenging and yet the upside is almost limitless. The freedom to choose your experience of life is well worth the effort it takes. Are you up for owning your satisfaction in life?
Commit to Your Noble Purpose
I love the story of a man approaching a castle gate only to be confronted by the guard standing there. The guard asks the man:
The man then asks the guard how much he is paid and offers to double it if he agrees to one thing. "What must I do?", asks the guard, to which the man replies, "Every time you see me, you must ask me those same three questions."
It seems like human beings are wired to cherish meaning in their lives and yet more often than not, this meaning or noble purpose seems as best elusive and at worse, non-existent. I believe that it exists in each of us and that what is lacking is the time and guidance to help discover it.
One of the impediments that often get in the way of people unearthing their noble purpose is the belief that it has to be right. In fact, your noble purpose is always in draft form - forever influenced by your life's journey, your experiences and the person you are becoming. So do not stress about it being 100% accurate. The value is in the feeling it instills in you, not in any pretense of perfection.
I have found that when people have identified and started to refine their noble purpose, that it has a hugely profound impact on helping them make congruent decisions in their lives all the while reducing stress and creating a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.
So, what is your noble purpose? What calls to you when the going gets tough? What would gaining clarity on this do for you? Do you want to find out?