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What makes us stop believing in ourselves?

When I turned 50, well maybe a couple of years before that, I began to question what I had accomplished, the place I had reached, and how I wanted to learn to live my second adulthood. In that process, I discovered how many times, wrongly, I had stopped believing in myself and my abilities.

This doesn't mean that I wasn't still successful; I'm talking about what was going through my mind and how, upon reflection, I observed that there were specific situations that didn't flow as I would have liked. When I managed to dissect the situation with the help of a coach, I realized that I had forgotten or rather tucked away deep down in a drawer, those achievements, those goals and targets I had reached with much effort, and I allowed doubts about my capabilities to take hold.

At the same time, I began to notice how many of my clients and people close to me, who also had experience or time under their belts, were experiencing something similar. For example, I encountered a director who began to question if his presentations were as good as before. What I could see was someone with enormous potential and a lot to offer.

What makes them think that they are no longer good at something they once mastered perfectly?

I also encountered a young woman who was trying to raise her voice in meetings without feeling uncomfortable or judged for speaking up. She felt that if she contributed a comment to the conversation, it wasn't heard, and if someone else, especially a man, spoke, his observations were taken into account.

I've always questioned if this is the story we want to tell or if it's really happening.

What causes us to question what we do, to feel observed or judged, and to doubt our potential?

I'm not a psychologist or a social researcher; I don't have hard data to confirm what I'm telling you, but I have seen that in most cases, it's because we stop observing ourselves, stop being centered, and because we give permission to those limiting beliefs, prioritizing what others think or say instead of believing in ourselves first. As I always say...

"If I don't believe in myself, why would others?"

When you give yourself your place first, with the humility to recognize that you don't know everything, but that you value all the effort, hard work, and results of what you've created, you position yourself in a situation of openness to continue growing and learning.

These moments of reflection, from my point of view, are what lead to reinvention in people. It's okay to say I no longer like what I've learned; it worked at the time, but I feel it's time to reinvent myself and stretch, and I take the good, and choose where I want to keep learning and growing. This thought makes a radical difference from completely ceasing to believe in oneself and putting oneself at the bottom rung, punishing oneself or speaking to oneself as if one weren't good enough.

Last week, I did an activity with a group of women in my reinvention forum, where they shared their experiences, achievements, their unique values, and the talents that have brought them to where they are. When most of them realized that they were filled with energy and a desire to move forward, to rescue themselves for the value they have and not for the challenges they face, it created spaces of creativity for reinventing ourselves.

Personal reinvention doesn't work without first recognizing, observing, embracing my achievements and what I am, and knowing that we are neither owners of the truth nor do we know everything there is to know, and that if I focus on what I do know about myself and my worth, I can continue to seek innovative ways of doing things.

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