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Avoidance Coping

Lesson 11 from: How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence

Mel Robbins

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Lesson Info

11. Avoidance Coping

Hiding, or avoidance coping, is triggered by fear. Mel discusses how to stop shrinking to avoid people, being a chicken about money or terms of contracts, and procrastinating.

Lesson Info

Avoidance Coping

Next trap, hiding. Ooh. (gulps) Right? Hiding. Hiding is when you shrink. This one blows when you really see it. It really does. It's triggered by fear. I don't know what fear, but it's triggered by fear. That if you were to step into your full potential and take on that new P&L at work, or you were to step into your full potential and put your work out there, or you step into your full potential and just share the idea that you have. Like, that something is gonna trigger you. It's like that kid that's standing on the edge, you know, looking down, and it just, the more you think about it, and then you just want to shrink away. Hiding is when you avoid people. And you avoid phone calls. So if you have somebody that you need to talk to and you are hiding, you're avoiding them, if you have calls that you need to make, and you're not making them because you're worried about how it's gonna go, this is hiding. What happens again, is it's triggered by fear or self-doubt or insecurity, and...

then the action is to shrink. The action is to avoid. For those of you that are silent. So you're in a relationship and you're not happy. You just shut up and put up. This is a form of hiding. It's triggered by self-doubt. Being a chicken about money. Or terms. Terms because terms are sticky in the creative business. The licensing and the rights and the this and the that, and how much am I actually producing for you? And the other form of hiding is procrastinating because you are avoiding. Absolutely avoiding. Did we mike Jennie? Yes. Ho! Come on, give her a round of applause. (audience clapping) I don't know that you're hiding or not, but we all, you know, here's the thing. We fall in every category. Every one of us do. There is some area of your life that you're hiding in. There are other areas where you're gangbuster. There are some areas of your life where you hesitate. So the key, and again, this comes back to I think the greatest skill in life that'll give you the most freedom and control and joy and opportunity and magic is self-monitoring, self-control. Because when you can switch gears in a moment, you can make anything happen. So, um, hi. Hello. Don't make me cry. Just kidding. Now I want to. (audience laughs) I dared her. Yeah. So what would you cry about? Facing how I'm hiding. Okay, well tell us, how are you hiding? So I, for a living, help people stop sabotaging themselves. And then, for a living, I sabotage myself. So how do you sabotage yourself? What do you do? I don't ask for opportunities. You were saying that earlier, I'm kind of waiting to be discovered. And I stay hidden, okay. Here it comes. Here it comes, go. I stay hidden behind a 13-inch screen that only shows me from here up. Oh. Yeah, because I live stream like crazy. Social media has let me hide. I can make money from the shoulder up. Gotcha. And then you don't have to see what I actually look like. So, um... Until today. So, good for you for getting up here. Yeah. Although, I didn't give you a choice. Um, so what I hear is, you know, you're in that bad part of the imposter syndrome. Big time. Big time. And that, it's interesting because what's the difference between who you project and who you think you are? Who I project is a person that is extraordinarily great at helping people see themselves, and pushing the mirror right to their nose, and helping them realize how much inner chatter in their brain is holding them back, and I project that I'm great at that because I am actually really great at doing that, for other people. I bet you are. So tell me this, because it's about your, is it about your body? Yeah, it's body image crap, top to bottom. And how long have you been dealing with this? Life? Seriously, how long? Most of my adult life. Yeah, probably since I came out. Okay. And what, um, why is it out of integrity? Well, because life coaches look like you, darling. They don't look like me, you know what I mean? They do? Well, that's what they're supposed to look like, or whatever, you know, that there's this, there's a standard of success that looks a certain way. And I don't match that standard. Says who? Says me and all the noise in my head. Yep. I can relate to this. So, because I think I shared earlier that, you know, I, being one of the few, there's a lot more men in the personal development business kind of space, and I often look at what they're doing and then use it as a way to invalidate where I am. Big time. And social media is both a wonderful tool for stalking and getting great ideas, and a kiss of death for your self-esteem because it allows you to measure where you are against other people and create these false standards, like the one that you created. Because if I look at, like, the person that I admire the most in the personal development space, it's Oprah, and if I were to say, "You gotta look like Oprah "in order to be that successful," I actually match none of that. I'm not her age, I'm not her skin color, I'm not, you know, her shape, none of it. She's got the, yeah, I don't have her money, like, I, we just, you know. I have kids, she doesn't have kids, I'm married, she's not married, like, just, you could come up with every single standard to define yourself by I'm not that. And this is, what you have on your hands is a battle you can win, but it's a battle that starts, I think, first, I'm gonna contradict myself because this is a life-long thing. I think it starts with the habit of how you talk to yourself. Yeah. I mean, I study this from the inside out. I'm obsessed with learning about this. I wrote a book about this. See, knowledge is a trap. Isn't it? Knowledge is a trap. I wrote an entire book on the inner critic. So how does it make you feel to know that you're putting the advice out but not following it? Oh, it feels like crap. I have good moments, and I have good life compartments. Like, I'm great about it in certain life compartments. When it comes to building my coaching business, I'm really great at building a coaching business that is a best kept secret, with a handful of people who trust me. It sounds terrifying, 'cause it sounds like you're having an affair. Seriously, like, that your business is an affair, or your life is an affair, and your business is gonna find out. Yeah. But as much as I want so much to make my work a household name, and not because I want fame, but because I really am on to something. I've created something for the first time in my life that I'm extraordinarily proud of that actually frickin' works. Okay, so remember when I told you that you're here for a reason. Yes. And remember how I told you that I walked into that hotel and had that weird woo-woo kind of experience of, "Oh my gosh, this is a new chapter "and it's in this exact same place." You're starting a new chapter that you've been resisting. In order for me to reach the level of success that I have achieved in the last seven years, which every single day surprises me, I had to deal with myself. I was an asshole, seriously. I mean, I may talk really tough, but I was Stoneheart. I suffered from anxiety. I had a drinking problem. I did not exercise at all, I was very unhealthy and ate like garbage, and I was super impatient, and not present with my kids. And I also had not yet developed the ability to withstand criticism, to fully show up and let everybody react and, you know, see how you are and learn how to understand that when somebody criticizes you, it's either their stuff, right? It's always their stuff, actually. Or, if it rattles you, it's 'cause they're hitting a button that strikes a nerve. And so, it was only until I discovered this rule and I started to go to work on the gap between who I wanted to be and was presenting myself as. This is as a wife, this is as a mom, this is as a friend, I was a lousy friend. Very insecure, competitive, you know, and you know, I even still kind of have that legacy stuff come up. But I think that this is a moment in time where you get to decide what is the next chapter? Because you are, the one thing I know you're really good at is compartmentalizing. Yeah. Everything has a tidy box. And this fits here, and this fits here, and this fits here, and this is how I control everything. And wouldn't it be liberating to be able to just show up and be exactly who you are, and exactly who you're not. Well, that's why I had to come out here. That's why I had to show up here, and it took everything I had, I almost no-showed on you. When I was getting in the lift from the hotel, it was so terrifying. Why, what was there? I was so terrified of showing up, potentially on camera, full body. Why don't we stand up and do this. Come on. Oh, Jesus. All right, here we go, right? (audience clapping) Get over here, get over here! Okay, yes? I was just terrified, I was terrified, I'm terrified of judgment, I think you nailed it, right? I'm terrified of judgment, and I think it's because, what's so funny is that I don't think any human being could judge me nearly as harshly as I've judged myself. Okay, go. And yet I'm terrified that somebody's gonna see me, and they're gonna see what, they're gonna see my imperfections. And I really want to push through that, because you're right, that's what I want, and that's what I shared with you when I wanted to come here is I want to not just get past this, but to talk about it and just start a conversation about it. That's what you need to be coaching on, by the way. Yeah. No, I'm serious, like, the holding, you go, the thing that has also skyrocketed my success is because I just talk about what's going on. Most experts would show up here and tell you that they, that, you know, it's the perfect course, and they got it all nailed, and they've done it this way. I'm explaining to you that I'm having anxiety last night, and stress cramps before I go to the bathroom, and because that's the truth. And if you were to be fully vulnerable, and I think what would be super powerful, being a creator, is to document how you go to war. Yeah. With this. For yourself. And that you vlog about it, and that you, 'cause there are some brands that are about being an expert that's above everybody. There are some brands that are all about being side by side. There are some brands that are, "I talk down 'cause I know best." There are other brands that are conversations, and I think you've been having the wrong conversation as a way to also hide. Yeah. I agree, I agree, I mean, I think I shared with you guys that I've been noodling on doing this web series called Diary of a Fat Life Coach. Yes! (audience laughs) I would watch that! Facebook, watch, Facebook needs this on their watch, this is fricking amazing. Now, here's the thing, stop. Okay, I want to tell every creator out there, the days of you getting a television deal are over. You don't need one. If you create a vlog, and you push play, you have a show! Yeah, yeah. So it's not like, if part of the thing that you're doing by hiding and hesitating too, is saying, "Oh, well, I gotta come up with a pitch, "and then I gotta do a pilot, and then I gotta go shop it "to ABC, and NBC, and this, that, and the other thing, "and I gotta get a writer, and what about the legal, "and how's this gonna work, and (mumbling)." Those days are over! We live in the greatest fucking time in the planet to be a creator! We do! Are you kidding me? It's amazing! So, like, that is what you need to do. Yeah. Because that is real, and that is your brand, and that is actually the impact that you want to make. And so, I think that is, like, the coolest thing ever. Thank you. So what are you, now, you are gonna get judgments, and here's what's gonna happen. Yeah. So one of the greatest things about CNN, other than I'm, like, super nerdy and intellectually curious so it was like a smorgasbord of ideas to be there as a commentator and to still be part of the team, was that it gave me a crash course in handling criticism, particularly as a woman. When you put yourself out there, and you start leveraging social media in particular, to grow your business, to share your ideas, to share your films, the studies show every single thing that I've ever experienced anecdotally, you will be attacked, you will be. Like, I always get about my neck, like, I guess I have one of those waddle things, I don't know, like, when the camera comes. Oh, it's fine, like, I talk, I don't care! But every time somebody attacks me, here's what I want you to, here's what I want all of you. So first of all, it's them. When somebody reacts with emotion to you, whether it's a customer, or it is a prospect, or it's a friend, or it's a troll online, (audience laughs) they only react when you hit a nerve. And when you hit a nerve, it's a direct hit on the truth for them. Because if somebody says something you agree with, you're not gonna be elevated to flip them off. Yeah. It's only if somebody says, and if somebody were to say, "You're a lousy mother, Mel," it would actually not rattle me at all because I know that's not true. Yeah. If they say, "You're a shitty friend," I have insecurity about that, and so that would hit a nerve that's somewhere deep down inside based on my past, I would react. Well, that's just it, I feel like I'm so terrified, I've been so terrified for years. For three years, I didn't have my photograph on my website. It wasn't on there because you would see I was fat and gay. You would figure those things out. Oh, double hex. Now, I'd rather people figure those things out if they're afraid of that and run before I have to know who they are. So I've realized that if I'm just willing to say, "This is my story, this is who I am, "this is what I'm working on, I'm a work in progress," it's not as scary. You know what everyone else does? Who else is a work in progress? Raise your hand. See? Like, it's like, "Yes! "Finally!" Right, exactly. I'm not the sage on the stage, I'm the guide on the side. And you're still doing it. You're still showing up every day. And you may decide you just fricking love your body! And that's that, and that's what, that's actually where you come out at this. You may decide that, "Holy cow, like, "there's power in loving myself "and putting myself out there. "Everything that I am, everything that I'm not, "and taking control of my health 'cause that matters to me." Well, and I am taking control of my health and I'm doing those things, but I don't have to wait until I've earned it, I don't have to wait until I've hit whatever, to start talking about that. And that's what I've been doing, I've been hiding, and terrified that somebody would see the work in progress before it's done. Oh, okay, so I've got a distinction for you that I want, okay, great. So the next chapter of your business is not about coaching people and talking to people, it's about demonstrating change. Oh. So, it's about me? Yes. You know how hard that is for me? But not you, like, look, if you want your own show and the spotlight and the, but it's not, it's a different point of view. So Gary Vaynerchuk recently made this switch, and I think it's really powerful, where, I also wondered if it was in reaction, in full disclosure, to Casey Neistat doing the whole Creator series, right? Gary started pounding in his daily V, hustle, hustle, hustle, hustle, videos, about the fact that he's documenting what he does. Documenting, documenting, documenting, documenting, instead of creating, and see, it was interesting when he said that because I think, as I think about my own business and what I'm doing, what I'm putting out, the second that I stopped giving advice and I just started sharing the journey, and I started demonstrating the change, and I started being curious about new ways to do things, everything also shifted because it again, shifted the brand itself, and why I do things, and how I do things. And so, it is about you, only because you're using your own BS and your own struggles and your own daily mental thing, in order to show an example to the world of how you can, too. And I do that in my little bubble. And now it's about doing it not there. Hold on, you don't do that. No, okay. You don't do that. That's why you're upset. Yeah. You're really good at talking and that is a gift. I want you to inspire and coach people in a completely different way. Okay? Yeah. Did you get what you came for? And then some. Awesome. Thank you. Awesome. Oh, what's your full name so people that need a coach, and that we can watch was it called, the Fat something Life Coach? So, I'm Coach Jennie, if you look me up, Jennie with an I-E. My book is Hilda, and the series is gonna be called Diary of a Fat Life Coach. Diary of a Fat Life Coach, I'm tuning in. Awesome, awesome! All right, good job. Thank you so much. My pleasure, my pleasure. I wanted to start here before we jump into the third triggers, I want to show you some things. We talked a little bit about hiding and what it feels like, now let me show you the signs of how that becomes a habit, and how you're gonna break it. 'Cause the advice can get really redundant, but when you see why this works, so let's say you go into a meeting at work or you have a pitch meeting, or you're gonna meet with investors. You're meeting with investors, right? Okay, and so what happens when you meet, how do you say your first names? Sayed. Sayed. Do we have a microphone? He's got one mike. So Sayed, when you go into a pitch meeting with an investor, what is it that happens to you that is impacting your ability to close deals for your company? Yeah, I think the biggest problem is you have to deal with the biases and nobody talks about it and people deny that, but as somebody who faces that every day, you know that something is happening, and you know, that's one of the things, in addition to other things. What happens in your head? So you walk into a meeting, it's your turn to talk about your company and everybody turns and looks at you like, "Okay." So do you face self-doubt when you're in a situation, when you're having to pitch, or, you know, you're in a course so that you can have more confidence, how is self-doubt impacting your ability to land funding or to meet the investors that you need to meet? Yeah, I don't seek investors as much as I should do. It's a numbers game, but I hardly play the numbers game. Ho, gotcha. So is that, so what you're taking away from this is that you're seeing that you're not even trying? Yeah. Gotcha. So here's the other thing that's gonna happen for you, because when you're somebody that hides, when you walk into the meeting and you don't have the number of tries behind you, this particular meeting, when people turn and look at you, it's gonna immediately have that wave of feelings come up. They're gonna come up, and then you're gonna not want to say anything, right? Because now you're gonna be managing your feelings. Instead, you're gonna go five, four, three, two, one, silently, don't say it out loud, 'kay? 'Cause then they're gonna think that, "Ooh, I'm not gonna put my money behind this guy. "There's something up." That's gonna give you the confidence and the control in a moment, okay? Do you understand? Sure. So there's two ways I want you, as somebody that's looking for investors, that's not even out there doing it, that I want you to use this. Number one, every single day, you're gonna carve out time and you're gonna make one move forward to contact an investor, whether it's an email, or a pitch deck, or a business plan, or networking, you're gonna find, or you know, finding an event that you can go to to network at, applying to business plan competitions, one move every single day to move it forward. The other thing you're gonna do is when you walk into these meetings because the first couple times that you do it, it's gonna stink 'cause it's new. You're gonna use the stuff we're talking about to manage the feelings that come up so that you can maintain control while you're pitching, okay? Okay. You got it, you got any questions? Uh, no, I think I'm... You just would like to sit down and get out of the spotlight? (audience laughs) Yes. Okay, good. Awesome, okay. See, a little speed-coaching. Well, he said he wanted investors, so there you go. And see, here's, I think you're starting, I hope you're starting to see, all of you, that without playing the numbers game, confidence is a numbers game. Your success is a numbers game. Do you know how many paintings Picasso painted in his lifetime? He had almost 100 masterpieces. Do you know how many paintings he painted in his lifetime? More than 50,000. Everybody that is in the game of success is playing the numbers game, okay? Dyson, you know the Dyson vacuum cleaners? They did almost 5,000 prototypes for the first one. So, if you want to improve, if you want to find the investors, you are literally, go 100 conversations for one good one. Particularly in that business, 'cause you're dealing with so much ego, and people are used to, you know, folks coming in and asking for money. So, there is another bias that's out there which is, "I hear the same, I hear a lot all the time," and so you gotta bring something special to the table. So just keep trying, and you'll find, it's a numbers game.

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Ratings and Reviews

Michal Levi

Let me start by saying I bought a book of hers and could not get through it. I just tuned in live today out of curiosity.. with low expectations. BUT WOW. THIS WAS FANTASTIC! As someone who teaches professionally (and has won teaching awards), I have to say I was in AWE of what a great teacher she was. Also, while she is not a licensed therapist, which some have complained about, she is so gifted in this area. WOW she has a talent! Watching her with individuals from the audience was moving, informative and inspirational! UTTERLY AWESOME! Truly glad I took the time just in case there was any value to it. THERE WAS IN FACT A LOT OF VALUE! Thanks Mel! Hey, I may even try to pick up that book of yours again. BRAVO!

Go2 Norway

Wow! The science-behind-typical-human-behaviors that fuel self-doubt AND clear ways to understand how to acknowledge those, and move into confidence-through-action. Easy and interesting ways to remember the points! Marvelous presenter skills -- a real model, and inspiration. Actual coaching sessions within the class to make it real. Mel is totally herself, and vulnerabilities become her strength in real-time, which class participants also lived out in real-time as well. Very memorable. And, the explanation of anxiety as a high energy state matching excitement more than calm was significant, as well as the myths about confidence (such as confidence is not about a personality; rather, action). Well organized, made sense, and I will integrate multiple parts daily! THANKS, MEL!!!

Wild Flower Murals

I'm training to be a life coach and have been a public muralist for years. I've been researching creativity, self initiated empowerment and positive psychology from various angles for many years- in hopes to make it accessible to many. I initially came across Mel's book and was wholly impressed by how effective yet simple the 5-4-3-2-1 book was. I am so glad I took this course, it is the best of the best of the best!!!

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