If you are a human being, more specifically a mother, who has ever felt not good enough, smart enough, fun enough, together enough, beautiful enough or just not plain enough to be a “good mom”, this post and this podcast episode is for YOU! My guest is Katherine Wintsch, author of Slay Like A Mother and expert in tackling and overcoming self-doubt in this space. She’s sharing her vulnerable story, what she did to stop doubting herself and start living into her truth and how you can do the same.
Katherine gives us permission to be rookies in each stage of motherhood because we are – at every age and stage with every kid we’ve never done it before – so give yourself grace, take a deep breath, and press play to be encouraged and to laugh alongside Katherine and I!
SO WHAT IS SELF-DOUBT?
Dragon of self-doubt. Relentless belief that she was just not enough: Katherine would be thinking, judging and berrating herself for not feeling like enough. She had a narrative in her mind that “I’m not _______ enough” – insert: good, smart, pretty, calm, caring, or simply “I’m not enough.”
After years of work, therapy, unpacking and a journey of self-love she went on to ditch that self-doubt and to slay those negative thoughts. Katherine went from self-hate to self-love and in doing so, she stabilized her life because she took the power back in her own life.
She now shares these tips and tricks with other women through her book Slay Like A Mother: How to Destroy What’s Holding You Back So You Can Live the Life You Want!
THE RESEARCH PROVES IT
Katherine used to live and work in the marketing space. In this role she studied Moms all around the world, from Seattle to Singapore, to discover the one emotion that was persistent around the world. That research revealed the number one emotion and concern for those thousands of moms was self-doubt.
Knowing that moms from all over America and all around the world showed Katherine that this struggle and these concerns, doubts and guilt wasn’t a unique struggle to her. She was so reassured that other women and mothers were plagued by the same challenges with their mindset and emotions.
THE FIRST STEP
The most effective way to tame your dragon of self-doubt is to get your negative self talk under control.
Step 1 – Hear and identify that negative voice inside your mind
Write down the things that you are saying in your mind. Seeing these things you are saying in your own mind have a different feeling when you write them down.
Say these things out loud. The naming and claiming of these phrases brings them out of the dark and into the light, give them less power, and help you realize how speaking to yourself in such a cruel and cutthroat way isn’t serving us.
Step 2 – Teach it some manners and make it behave
Step 3 – Develop positive narratives and kindness in your self-talk
STOP THE SILENCE
Speaking into our truth, living into our true character, and no longer suffering in silence is the way out of this struggle with self-doubt. Katherine shares “your silence will not save you” and when you are walking through the struggle that is the human condition in silence, internalizing these things and keeping them inside turns struggle into suffering.
DITCH PERFECTION AS THE BENCHMARK
Stop striving for perfection! You are a rookie! Your kids are growing and changing. You are doing the very best you can each and every day.
Try to stop comparing yourself to friends down the street or strangers on the internet.
You get to choose if you are a good mother! You get to try your best, leave it all on the field, and stop valuing others opinions so highly.
REDEFINE “GOOD MOM”
Katherine shares that in her journey with self-doubt and this work to attain self-love and to create acceptance of ourself she has completely redefined what it means to be a “good mom”. Now she sees that showing up the best she can during this season is that she is a good mom.
Also – let’s go ahead and admit that every phase of motherhood is new and different – that means we are a rookie at every phase! The one constant about parenting is that things are always changing. Each age and each stage has specific challenges and things ebb and flow throughout life – some seasons are easier and some are harder!
Here’s an exercise to help highlight how you are a rookie during this season: Write down 3 things that are new to your life during this season. Give yourself grace! Acknowledge that you are dealing with big things, significant shifts and that you should give yourself permission to stumble, fall, and struggle.
The reality of motherhood is that it will always be new and therefore it will be inherently different and that makes it difficult. Be reassured that all the moms around you are also experiencing these growing pains in parenthood, just like you!
REWRITE THE NARRATIVE
Motherhood is hard. There. I said it (and I really meant it).
You’ve never done this before!
You don’t automatically become equipped with the skills you need to raise humans just because you are doing that very thing!
Being a Mom is super freaking hard.
Give yourself some grace!
You are not alone!
You are not the only one!
STRUGGLING VS. SUFFERING
Struggles are brought on by external circumstances in your life. Having to cook dinner every night from now into eternity.
Suffering is brought on by internal circumstances. Which sounds like berrating yourself, yelling at yourself and beating yourself up over the struggles.
THE GOAL IS TO STRUGGLE. You will never get out of the struggle. So, if you are struggling, you WIN! Here’s the thing about motherhood (and for that matter the human condition) is that there will always be struggles.
How do you make sure that the struggle doesn’t dip down into suffering?
- Accepting the struggles
- Admit the struggles
- Welcome the struggles
- Expecting the struggles
You are not a loser. Struggling, my friend, makes you a WINNER! That’s the goal.
Let’s normalize #thestruggleisreal as part of the glory and the mystery of being a human being!
BEAT THE EXHAUSTION
We think we are tired from the physicality of motherhood (the running, the cooking, the cleaning, the shuttling of humans) but that exhaustion actually comes from berating yourself. Getting that negative self-talk under control can help you to overcome that bone-tired fatigue and have energy to do all of those physical tasks and the logistics of being a human and a mother!
When you hate on yourself all day it makes your soul tired. Stop the self-hate, grow self-love and watch your life flourish and prosper. Show up with more energy and serve yourself, your kids, and the world better!
We are not at war with other mothers – we are actually at war with ourselves. When we win that battle within ourselves, when we learn to love ourselves, when we learn to respect ourselves and feel better about ourselves – that’s when we can end that war.
Katherine is living proof that if you conquer that internal battle, you care a heck of a lot less about what other moms do. She believes that slaying that dragon of self-doubt is the answer to the Mom Wars!
When you take back your self-esteem, and that confidence and belief in yourself is so powerful. It stabilizes your life and makes you not so vulnerable to the thoughts, concerns and judgements of others.