We are in the middle of the middle of what is turning out to be a year of profound change.
I’ve spent most of it in this room, shielding from the pandemic, coaching with clients, supporting coaches to create their practices, writing my book proposal, reading a lot, developing Zoom fatigue.
I’m feeling reflective and tentatively hopeful.
Especially about the raised global consciousness about the Black Lives Matter movement. This road has always been beckoning us and now we are walking down it with more awareness and courage to create an equitable world.
From design bloggers to professional footballers we are seeing people take a stand (or a knee) to draw attention to the many covert and blatant forms of inequality and discrimination we have created, tolerated and been complicit in.
And yet you may still find yourself holding back from saying or doing anything.
This is because any risk to our sense of belonging activates our self-doubt.
When it comes to anti-racism work this can leave us:
- Believing it’s safer to be silent, rather than risk conflict
- Labouring over the ‘right’ words
- Deciding you don’t have anything to contribute
- Worrying that you’ll be judged for getting on the ‘virtue bandwagon’
- Intellectualising the issue, rather than feeling the horror
- Comforting yourself with good news stories
- Comforting yourself that your brand isn’t political
- Comforting yourself with sharing other people’s words rather than saying anything yourself.
I think I have experienced all of these over the last few years. Because my self-doubt wants to protect me from ANY risk of rejection, conflict, success, judgement, failure, complexity or disappointment.
And anti-racism work is a full-house of psychological risk.
The Work is going to involve many awkward or difficult conversations with people we love, we care about, we are related to or we work with. It’s likely that something will be at stake in the relationship.
Like any other area in your life where there is a potential conflict, you will face a choice in the moment when self-doubt is probably most activated – to call something out, or to stay silent.
If you want to explore your relationship with conflict and self-doubt, I will be running a Summer class of Courage Under Fire: practical tools for self-doubters who don’t do conflict.
This class is for anyone who avoids anything that smells remotely of confrontation, who never argues with anyone, who is hyper-sensitive to criticism and judgement. This programme will help you feel fully resourced to be braver in your life.
Hello, I'm Sas Petherick. I'm a self-doubt researcher, coach and podcaster who helps thinking humans transcend self-doubt. If you'd like to receive these posts in your inbox please subscribe here (with bonus info and first notice of opportunities to work with me). PS: I totally ♥ Instagram - join me there?