Kaltenberger Ritterspiele

There’s a lot of talk about social proof when it comes to building a business but what do you do when you feel a little soft when it comes to your credibility?

One of the women in an online group I’m part of is running into this issue. She’s a coach on a journey to becoming a full-fledged entrepreneur and she wants to help other women do the same.

But what happens when someone asks the question “How can you help others do this when you haven’t done it yourself?”

It’s normal to feel a bit deflated. When others doubt us, suddenly we start doubting ourselves despite how brilliant and passionate we really are.

The good news? You can nip this whole ugly process in the bud.

Empower Yourself with a Positive Story

Our instincts kick in and our defenses go up in the face of criticism. The trouble comes when we let our hang ups and gremlins take control of our inner dialogue.

Instead, remember that sometimes we process opinions as if they are fact.

So assess the comment as objectively as possible. What’s true, what’s perception and what’s coming from left field?

If I have one enemy in this world, it’s algebra. I simply don’t get it. From the time I could talk, I remember my mother telling me about how bad she was at math. Unknowingly, she was sowing a seed in my brain – carefully fertilizing it until one day – as I entered sophomore year of high school, my mother’s “bad at math” story grew like a toxic weed through my very core. For the first time in my life, I was dangerously close to failing a subject in school. I remember wondering to myself how could an A and B student become a failure in one fell swoop?

Of course the story I started to tell myself was that I, like my mother before me, was destined to be bad at math. And whenever someone else verified that story – my classmates, my teachers, my family – the weeds grew out of control.

We all have stories we tell ourselves. Oftentimes, they are wrong. That was the case with my math story. I was suffering from a limiting belief hidden deep inside. When that belief began to manifest outwardly, and when others started to confirm it, that’s when story took over.

Here’s what I know to be true nearly 25 years later.

I struggled with algebra. I even got a big fat F on my algebra mid-term and I was devastated at the time.

Did that mean I was bad at math? Well, no. Despite my affinity and skill with words, my SAT math scores beat out my verbal by nearly 100 points. I actually excelled at geometry, trigonometry and calculus. And, while I don’t use any of this advanced math today, I have a knack for estimating and budgeting. It’s even kind of fun for me.

Yet, I still catch myself today saying numbers aren’t my thing. So be wary of the stories you tell yourself and the influence of someone else’s words [Click to Tweet].

Reframe Your Story for Success

Mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell said “If you want to change the world, you have to change the metaphor.”

Awareness of your true limitations is the first step in reframing your story. So when someone questions your abilities, use that to assess and, if needed, let go of a story that’s not serving you.

I realized that was what was happening to my group buddy. Outside influences appeared to be confirming an internal story that did not serve her well. While it’s true that she hasn’t achieved the outcome she is trying to teach others, she is actively taking the journey and others out there will admire her for making progress. As long as she reframes and shares her authentic story, I know she will achieve her dreams.

Are you ready to move people – even your critics – so you can create meaningful, profitable relationships? Schedule a Discovery Session with me today and learn the one thing you can do right now to quell any critic and bring your message to life.




  1. Krista on May 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Thank you for this. Great message and powerful reframe.

    • prwriter on May 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      Thank you Krista. Glad you found it helpful.

  2. Heather Poduska on May 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Great article Gayle!

    I just bumped up against this challenge recently when a potential client asked me “How do I know you can help me?” As an answer I explained my process, however, I wish I had said something about being good at what I do and confident in my skills.

    I also love the saying “Even a 4th grader is a God to a 3rd grader!” It always reminds me that you don’t have to be perfect to be helpful.

    • prwriter on May 11, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Thanks Heather. I’ve never heard that saying before but I love it.

  3. […] experience or that they can’t teach people to do something they’ve yet to do (check out my gremlin post from earlier this […]

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