As my two years in this program are winding down and graduation is in sight, the reality that I will be making a life-altering change is kicking in…and so is my little Monster.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about the Monster that follows me around and whispers anxiety-provoking questions in my ear like:

“What’s next?”

“Is this the right move?”

“Are you competent enough?”

“Did you do enough these past two years?”

“Are you moving back in with your parents?”

This Monster doesn’t care what you are doing. It has no mercy. It will sense a moment of weakness and speak up at the worst moment. It could be during a presentation, after consulting, in a job, or right as you are trying to fall asleep. It whispers tiny nagging thoughts that keep you up at night like “Your classmate got into a Doctorate program, what are you doing with your life?”

The Monster is distracting, off-putting and pulls your attention away from what is important: the present moment.

So how do you silence this monster? How do you silence self-doubt and uncertainty?

Some ways to shut the little Monster up using techniques we teach our athletes:

  1. Fight back against the Monster! Anytime the Monster tries to tell you that you are not good enough, you block it’s thoughts with a positive thought.
  2. Or, you can choose to ignore the Monster and not give power to it. The more you ignore the thoughts and not give power to it, the Monster becomes quieter. Eventually it sullenly follows you around unable to make a sound, and unable to be heard. Monster conquered.

It is easy to tell our clients or athletes to block negative thoughts or not give power to them. But it is much more difficult to practice what we preach. I often have to remind myself that despite what the Monster says, I am competent in what I do. I am making the right choices for myself, and am capable of achieving what I set out to accomplish.

Uncertainty of the next step is scary and uncomfortable. It makes no sense to add to that unease by listening to a Monster filling our heads with self-doubt. All we can do is trust our training, appreciate our own unique strengths, and be comfortable with the uncomfortable.

When that Monster rears it’s head in the future (and it will), we can choose to block it or ignore it, and ultimately silence it.

– Maggie Jasper –