Productivity Tuesday: False Beliefs (with coaching podcast!)

Kellee Weinhold

By Kellee Weinhold, TPII Productivity Coach

Welcome to the Productivity Post and Podcast! Each Tuesday, I post a short blog post and recorded coaching session.

Keep reading and then click on the recording link below to learn how to recognize false beliefs and make friends with your personal Blue Meanies! 🙂


The Topic This Week: False Beliefs

If you are struggling to write, I can pretty much guarantee you that your avoidance is based on false beliefs. Beliefs that you have carefully cultivated and fed until they have become the monsters blocking the door to productivity. And, to make matters worse, every time you walk up to that door and see the snarling beast, you probably freak out and feed it again, with negative self talk (made up of many of the stories I wrote about in last week’s post.)

The thing is, you didn’t come to this dark and twisty place overnight, or with a single bad experience. Rather, you slowly trained the beast (which is actually just your brain) that writing was something to be afraid of.  And you didn’t do it with what you say to yourself, but with actual lived experiences.

Let’s say you sat down to write and you had a rough time. Maybe you couldn’t quite figure out how to say something or the theory was hard to grasp. Whatever it was, it sucked. You sat there staring at the screen and the fear of failure started to rise in your throat. What if I don’t know how to do this? What if I never finish/get a job/get tenure, <fill in the blank>. Now you are FREAKING OUT! Your brain will do anything to get you away from that panic. Time to check Facebook!

Your next writing session comes along. Your ever-helpful brain is poised to categorize the experience.  It finds you remembering that previous experience of writing, feeling anxious, and panicking. Cue the categorization: Writing = anxiety. You start writing already feeling anxious and, well… you know how that ends.

With just a few more writing/anxiety/I suck sessions, you don’t even have to write to feel inadequate. You just THINK about writing and that prehistoric lizard brain of yours goes on high alert. DANGER! RUN! WE ARE GOING TO DIE!

And who delivers the warning? The beasties I lovingly refer to as The Blue Meanies.  The Blue Meanies live in your lizard brain.  And what do they tell you? Every negative thought that has ever made its way into your psyche. All in an attempt to protect you!

But, thankfully, you have read this post, so now you will recognize all of the crap you have been feeding that monster and stop. Phew! Glad that is over!

Oops. Not so fast. The thing is, you can’t just tell Blue Meanies to shut up. They really, really want you to STOP doing the thing that might not work. So, they aren’t going to stop just because you say so.  Fear and loathing don’t work that way. They don’t go away on command. Negative self talk requires engagement.

So, if you are awash in false beliefs that set off a litany of terror, the solution is not to shove them away or cover them with the shame. The path to getting through that door goes right through those thoughts. We need to get up close and personal with the monsters. Talk to them. Schedule visits. Get compassionately curious. It’s the intimacy is what allows us to release the false beliefs.

Want to know more about how to make friends with your Blue Meanies?  In this live coaching session, I tell you how!

 

“We can use the presence of gnawing self-doubt, as it arises, as a call to open into more spacious awareness. We can look more deeply at the beliefs that give rise to the self-doubt and ask ourselves if we really want to continue investing these presumed inadequacies with our mind’s capacity to endow belief.” Kathleeen Dowling Singh, “The Grace in Living”

 

PS: Join us on FB Live: Thursdays at 8 a.m. Pacific!

 

About Karen

I am a former tenured professor at two institutions–University of Oregon and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I have trained numerous Ph.D. students, now gainfully employed in academia, and handled a number of successful tenure cases as Department Head. I’ve created this business, The Professor Is In, to guide graduate students and junior faculty through grad school, the job search, and tenure. I am the advisor they should already have, but probably don’t.


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