The Great Lie

by Amy on May 19, 2015


“Becky” is one of my favorite people.

She’s smart, kind and a complete smart ass.

She’s wicked talented.

And she was my client for about six months.

It’s been a couple years since I’ve worked with her. She’s in the middle of a product launch… finally getting her work out into the world. And I’m thrilled!

I’d like to think that my work with her has something to do with it…

Who ever really knows?

But while she was my client, she struggled with the most mammoth self-doubt. It was enormous. And even though I’m supposed to stay neutral, I left those coaching calls feeling so discouraged.

Can’t she see how brilliant her ideas are?

Why doesn’t she get how wonderful she is?

How can I get her to see how many people she could help?

“Becky” is not the only client I’ve had like this. Not by a landslide.

Confession: it’s a big reason why I stopped working individually with clients.

It breaks my heart when people cannot see their own worth.

And I can’t stay neutral. I will not drop my agenda.

I want every fucking soul to know they are absolutely indispensable.

I’m obsessed. I think about this a lot.

Here’s what I think:

You might aspire to be a writer or an actor, an entrepreneur or a politician…

If you tell me you’re afraid of putting yourself out there… I’m willing to bet that somebody or some combination of somebody’s tried to “put you in your place” for being YOU.

Maybe they rolled their eyes at you. Or laughed at you. Or made fun of you in front of other people. Or maybe they spanked you or put you in time-out. Or tried to “reason” with you. Or worse…

They had power over you.

It makes sense that you would want to avoid that kind of treatment in the future. Psychologists call it “Rejection Sensitivity.”

Here’s what I don’t get.

Why would you avoid putting yourself out there in all situations? Why wouldn’t you avoid the people who hurt you and go for it in other environments…?

There’s a psychological defense mechanism called Introjection. It’s when we blame ourselves for the shitty things that other people do.

Most of the clients I’ve worked with who are most terrified of “putting themselves out there” have been on the receiving end of some pretty shitty stuff at a young age. And the shitty stuff was done or said by a grown up, somebody they trusted. Someone they relied on to get their needs met.

So it makes complete sense to me that, as a sweet little child, you’d rather blame yourself for this shitty behavior than have to believe that something was wrong with the person you trust. That would scare you. You NEEDED them after all. YOU LOVED them after all.

So you internalize a lie.

You are less.

You are bad.

You are unworthy.


And then you grow into an adult. Who listens, with yearning, to your heart’s song.

But you still believe the lie.

And so you hide.

You don’t put yourself out there.

You cope in ways you’re not proud of. Maybe it’s alcohol, or TV, the internet, donuts…

But it all provides more evidence for the lie you believe about yourself.

It’s such an OLD lie. You are so used to it.

But what if, just for a moment, you entertained another possibility…

What if just for a second, you considered that there Might Not Be Anything Wrong With You.

What if, just for a second, you considered that there were people in your life who made mistakes.

They didn’t treat you the way you deserved to be treated, as the beautiful soul you were and have always been.

Can you see that?

Can you see the possibility of it?

Can you allow yourself to consider that YOU are not, at all, bad, unworthy, or less?

That at one time, you were an innocent child who didn’t know what to make of that kind of treatment.

I want you to see the truth, so badly.

What would be different if you could finally see that you are good, you are worthy and YOU ARE AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ENOUGH?


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle May 21, 2015 at 12:40 am

Oh my goodness Amy!!! SO GOOD. I was totally thinking about this very thing this week. As you know, serious significant life draining doubt has been my companion for WAY too long. The break up has been long and tumultuous and definitely helped me grow. However, it’s always been your words and wisdom and amazing example of what is possible that helped me in the very beginning to even remotely consider that I was a snowflake. You’re the bomb. Love you lady!!! xoxoxo


amy May 22, 2015 at 1:40 am

I LOVE YOU Michelle! Thank you for that. Tears.


Virginia May 21, 2015 at 7:20 pm

I was never put down (I am so grateful for that),however, I was not given a lot of encouragement or support either. So….I have played small. At 64, I am ready to stop that and live more fully. I want to make a difference for others so I am writing a series of eBooks under the umbrella title of Permission Granted. Sometimes it is as simple as someone saying: “It’s okay to do what you want to do. I believe in you and am here for you.”


amy May 22, 2015 at 1:39 am

How wonderful Virginia! YOU GO! Nothing makes me happier to hear that you are out there doing your thing!!!


Janet May 22, 2015 at 3:25 pm

Thanks, Amy, I love anything that makes me feel freer and it’s lovely to read that understanding that it was easier to blame myself, and there was me thinking it’s true that I’m rubbish n not good enough etc. Thanks for writing this xx


amy May 22, 2015 at 4:40 pm

Whatever brings that feeling of relief and freedom is our body’s way of telling us it’s hitting on the truth! So glad you felt freer Janet!


Debbie September 7, 2015 at 2:59 pm

This blog post really spoke to me today. I realized that even though I really enjoy giving classes when I am in the moment, I always dread the days leading up to the class. If my class were to be canceled, I would be relieved! And yet when I do force myself to go out and teach, I enjoy it. But as soon as I leave, I’m afraid of the next class again. What’s up with that? Why can’t I stop that feeling of dread? It’s totally holding me back.


Lorraine November 2, 2015 at 5:44 pm

Excellent post. This is something I work with with clients but it has been a HUGE, ENORMOUS, ALL-ENCOMPASSING struggle in my own life. These are things I know intellectually, but to convince my brain that my younger self was OK, that the things that happened to her were not her fault, that has been an enormous undertaking that has taken years and years of work. Sometimes it feel easier to give in to the “you’re not good enough, loveable, likeable, or wanted” voices than fight them off. But slowly, over time, I am rewriting my story to one where I was a young girl reacting to what was thrown at me and surviving the best I could, and now I don’t have to be that little girl anymore.


Lori Lathan November 5, 2015 at 7:27 pm

I am a hand analyst that reads life purpose/lesson on a regular basis and I will say that sometimes that “rejection sensitivity” comes from your life lesson (fear of rejection is an actual lesson). Knowing that, you have to “lean in” to the things that bring this up in you in order to live out your life purpose. Amy, I love that you have dedicated your life to that work! Blessings 🙂


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