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Podcast Episode #4: Letting Go of Thinking You’re Not Good Enough with Vicky Otter (Innate Connection)

Guest: Vicky Otter, Wellbeing Coach at Innate Connection

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Intro by Rose Burch – Quiet Community Member
Hi, friend, welcome to the Quiet Connections podcast. Do you feel anxious and not good enough in social situations? feel like you’re weird, broken or don’t fit in. You are not alone. Join Hayley and Stacie on a journey to quiet confidence. Picking up key insights to help you feel more calm and confident, so you can finally Speak up, join in and feel like you belong too.

 

Hayley Stanton
Welcome to the Quiet Connections podcast. My name is Hayley. And today I’ll be joined by a very good friend of mine, Vicky Otter. Vicky is a wellbeing coach. She’s actually one of Quiet Connections’ coaches, and she also has her own wellbeing practice based at a farm in Mount Hawk in Cornwall, UK. Her business is called innate connection, you can look her up at www.innateconnection.org.uk. I’m really excited to be sharing this conversation with you today because there’s so many beautiful nuggets of wisdom in here that could be transformational in helping you go from feeling not good enough to a place where you feel like, you know what, maybe I am. So this episode is for you. If you feel like you’re not good enough, like you’re weird, like you’re broken or defective, or feel like you need fixing.

As coaches, myself, Stacie and Vicki we all believe that nobody needs fixing. One of the foundations of our NLP Practitioner training is that people work perfectly. Sometimes we just run ineffective strategies. And this is exactly what we have found in ourselves and in other people, when we feel like we are not good enough when we feel like we are too shy, like we’re socially anxious, and we’re avoiding and we’re just not showing up as we want to be. If you’ve listened to Episode Two, then you already know that the strategies that we develop are simply about keeping ourselves safe as a child. And if you haven’t yet listened to it is well worth listen. But today, Vicky and I will be taking a much deeper dive into the way that our minds work, how our thoughts can create this sense of feeling like we’re not good enough, and how we can begin to see past that and look for what else might be true.

Hi, Vicki.

Vicky Otter
Hi, Hayley

Hayley Stanton
Would you like to tell us a bit more about what you do and who you are?

Vicky Otter
Yeah, so I work as a wellbeing coach, and I work for QC [Quiet Connections]. And I’ve got my own practice as well working with young people and adults. And my journey in wellbeing began when I was a primary school teacher. So I came out of teaching four years ago. And during that time, there were kind of two things going on. For me there was my personal well being journey. But also I’m really what really wanting to be with children and to help children in that way.

And when I talk about wellbeing, for me, it was kind of what they thought of themselves. And what I then thought of myself. So the journey for me personally began, and actually it began as kind of as a physical journey in terms of my skin and wanting my skin to be better than it was. I’d had kind of spots all my life and really felt like I wanted that to be different. And when I sought out a therapist to help with that, she very gently said, we can put all these lovely products on your skin, and we can totally move to like organic natural skin care. But it won’t really change until you look at your emotions as well because you’re a whole system. And it was kind of like, I really hadn’t linked at all my skin and my emotions until that point. So then that got me looking in the direction of my emotions. I was like, Okay, well, let’s look at what’s there. And what I uncovered was this sense that I’d had all my life for as far as I could remember of not feeling good enough. So just Yeah, like, like underlying.

So outwardly I don’t know that people knew that about me. In fact, I know they didn’t because they people were really surprised when I said that that was going on inside. And, and it was not for any particular reason. I can’t say there was a trauma that happened or a childhood thing that happened that led to it. It just seemed to be there within me. And I’ve now come to see I think it’s a human thing. There seems to be this sense that people have and it’s quite common when you to talk to people about it.

There’s a sense of lack. So when I uncovered this kind of, Oh, I don’t think I’m good enough, it was really interesting to look at how that showed up in my life. One of the ways it showed up in my, in my, in some ways, it was quite helpful, because in my school life, it showed up is working really hard. I worked very, very hard, I tried to be a really good student really wanting to do the best I could, because if I could just get a grade, then I’d be good enough. And it was always as a kind of trying to get to be, have that sense of feeling complete and whole and good enough. And in my friendships, it was like, just be kind; be as kind as you can be, people like kind people. So just doing anything that I could do to get the approval again, thinking, if I get enough approval, I will be good enough. Like it was always this striving to be good enough. So that was where my well being journey started. And it’s just been a process to me of uncovering what kind of what that is coming to see it for what it is, and realising that is fundamentally untrue, that I there is no possibility at all, no matter how true it looks, that I cannot be good enough. It’s just not a possibility. And, and yeah, I’ve come to see that everyone is inherently good enough, just as they are.

Hayley Stanton
Wow, that feels like an amazing transformation to go from feeling like ‘I’m just not good enough’ to like, you know what, I really am. I like that you picked up on firstly, the fact that our mind and our bodies are connected, I think we live in a society where we can separate these things really easily. And even when you go to the doctor, it’s very rare that they go well actually, this could be related to your mental health, and it could be impacting each other. We just don’t really get trained to see that.

And yeah, that going from feeling like you’re not good enough. And having that show up as maybe perfectionism and people pleasing and how that can really be draining and can take over, take over your life and, and have an impact on your friendships too. Huh?

Vicky Otter
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And it can work so subtly as well, you don’t even realise. Like I didn’t, I didn’t realise that the reason I was doing those things was because I was trying to fill a hole, it was coming from a sense of lack. I just hadn’t seen that. And so you’re just going about your life living quite automatically, or thinking that’s just who I am. That’s just how I am. That’s just what I do. without realising that. The such a like, I don’t know, to say you’re making it up seems maybe a little bit too insensitive, but I mean it in like the gentlest way. Like, I think of myself and like looking at myself, listening to myself saying that I’m not good enough and just wanting to like hold myself and say, you’re making that up. That’s not true. Like it’s just not true. And no matter how much it looks like it’s true. And it just isn’t.

But also the there’s a sense in me as well of although I say you’re making it up, it’s not like a personal responsibility that you’re making it up, because that would just feed into that I’m not good enough. Like it did with me. I’d get myself in a real spiral, like, Oh, it’s okay, I’m making it up. Oh, I’m making it up. Why am I making it up? I’m so bad. I’m so useless. I’m so rubbish, I should be doing better. I the fact that I wasn’t good enough, kind of was like a self fulfilling weird thing. So yeah. So when I say that, I want to kind of reassure myself and anyone else who feels like this, that they’re making it up. It’s not on you. It’s not like you’ve personally made it up. It’s just that it’s being brought to life in your mind. And it looks true, because the mind is meant to make things look true. But equally, if we’re making it up, there’s so much potential for it for it to fall away, and for us to live in a different reality.

Hayley Stanton
Okay, so you’ve got this real sense that you were making this up, and I can very much relate to that. And I’ve looked into a lot of the research that shares about how these beliefs are passed from generation to generation to generation, it’s not on you. It’s not on your parents. It’s just something that is there that at some point we want to stop and we want to look at and go, whose belief is this? Is this really true?

There I think a lot of a lot of them, especially young women are taught that they should be kind and they should, you know, this is where the people pleasing comes in and it that can really easily feed into that sense that we’re not good enough. So what was it that you saw that moved you from being not good enough to I am good enough?

Vicky Otter
Great question. Okay. What did I see? I think there are two elements to that. So one of them I’ve already kind of talked about in terms of seeing more about thought. And that just because a thought shows up in your mind, it doesn’t make it true.

And so, I think seeing more about that more about the nature of thought. So what do I mean by nature of thought, I mean, the fact that it comes and it goes, that it’s transient, that it is infinite, that it can make up anything, it’s like, um, it’s like, if you have a piece of Play Doh, and you, you make one thing with it, and then you go, Okay, I’m gonna make something else. Now you put it back to its like, original, and then you make something else. And the power of thought that we have in this is just like that. So what we have made up with a little play doh, maybe I’m not good enough, the potential is always that you can put that back down again, and make up make something else from it. So seeing the potential of thought to kind of be new and fresh, has been really helpful.

With the fact that we end up in old kind of repetitive thoughts that look really true and real. And we think the fact that we’ve had them for a long time might mean that they’re true. Oh, that one again, God, this really must be telling me something about myself. Like it kind of makes them seem more solid somehow. But they’re just like the mind is a habitual machine, or the brain should I say is a habitual machine, right? And thank goodness, our brains healthy, our hearts, breathe our lungs, like, I really want it to know how to do a habit. But when it’s a habit of, I’m not good enough, see how you’re not good enough. See how you’re not good enough. Oh, that wasn’t very good. But you could have done that better. When it’s habitual, like that. Not that good an idea to buy into it. So just kind of seeing what seeing that it can be on repeat and not mean anything about you. So I think that’s one element of it. That really kind of, I guess, the psychology side, just seeing that. This is what psychology is like. And it’s not, we just don’t have to believe it.

And then the other side of that, I would say was this spiritual realisation. Which is what really shifts, I would say, this is the part that really shifted it for me was seeing more about who I truly am. So when I thought I was the girl who wasn’t good enough, I lived from that. I lived that. So that, like I said, that showed up working really hard, trying to hold friendships in place, people pleasing. And then I came to see that I was greater than that, that who I really was, was this, like, amazing creation of the universe. Like, we can kind of get into the idea that, like you said, like we separate the body and the mind. We separate ourselves from nature from the natural world. As if like there’s nature we can go out in nature, we forget we are nature. Right? We are that intelligence, we hold that same intelligence that turns like, spring into summer, summer into autumn, the same intelligence that spins the planets, the same intelligence that turns a tiny acorn into a giant oak tree, same intelligence running us. We are that intelligence. And so when I came to see that, I remember that there was like this phrase, and it just stayed with me. I came to see that I was the universe expressing itself in human form.

Hayley Stanton
Oh, that’s beautiful.

Vicky Otter
Yeah, well, just and Whoa, if that’s really what I am, the belief that I’m not good enough, just could not sit with that. It just, that’s impossible. If what I truly am is the universe expressing itself in human form. That’s it. There’s no not good enough about it. And so that was where the really big shift came. I saw the impossibility of not good enough when I saw who I really was. And, and so what I guess what some important to add is that it wasn’t like that realisation. It was so deep I felt it. So like, it was like a such a deeply experienced realisation, so kind of physically, mentally, emotionally.

Um, but it didn’t, it didn’t get rid of the thought I’m not good enough coming up. But what I saw was that it was a thought. It’s not truth, it’s not who I really am. And so it wasn’t like, oh, realise that you’re the universe, and then you weren’t everything, you’re not good enough again. Like, I still find it. Like, I’ll find myself in a situation that’s not feeling good. And I’m like, What’s going on here? And I realise, oh, I bought into the belief that I’m not good enough again. Oh, yeah. And that’s not true.

Okay. So it’s not that it stops it from happening. It’s not we’re trying to, it’s for me, it wasn’t about trying to eradicate it was for a little while it was about eradicating the thought, I’m not good enough, and changing the belief and doing something with it. But now there’s such a gentleness to it. It’s like, well, that thought can come up because it’s a thought. And I know about thought now. And they come and they go, and they’re not truth. And I can fall back into the truth for realisation of who I really am with this connection to this bigger, beautiful intelligence of life.

Hayley Stanton
Yeah, yeah, that’s amazing. And I totally, totally agree. So I think for me, one of the biggest things that I learned was that your thoughts aren’t real as well. And it is actually realising how your brain works, and how you start to filter out things. And because you have to stay sane, because we take in so many pieces of information every single second, we can’t possibly process them all. So it’s, you know, look, realising that our brains are generalising information, making them fit with what we already believe deleting information that it doesn’t think is useful. And we’re looking out for what we think we already know, basically. If we already believe that we’re not good enough, we’re gonna collect all the evidence we possibly can that says that we’re not good enough. And that might not even be true.

Vicky Otter
Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And I love the phrase you used then that it might not be true. Because for me, starting from a kind of a what if and a might, and a maybe, is kind of an easier thing to go to first. It’s like, let’s test this out. What would it be like if that wasn’t true? Or maybe that’s not true? And so I’m seeing that maybe is where you see like the potential and the possibility?

Hayley Stanton
Yeah, definitely. My favourite question is what else could be true?

Vicky Otter
Yeah, such a good question. Let’s explore, let’s just have a look.

Hayley Stanton
And I think it’s really useful to take on board other people’s feedback as well, when we can get to a stage where it’s almost like our own self-assessment just isn’t working for us. It’s just, it’s way off. So it’s really helpful to remember that, that might be just down to our own thinking. And actually, we can take on board other people’s feedback. And when other people are saying good things, they’re not saying it just because they’re being nice, people don’t really do that. And we can actually take on board what they are saying as true. And it’s more helpful to do that than to believe the old crap about we’re not good enough and everything.

Vicky Otter
Yeah, yeah, they do that in some in some courses, don’t they? I think actually, they ask for 360 degree feedback, I think they call it. So like, you go and you actually do seek other people’s opinion and kind of bring that in. And I’ve never done it myself. But I’ve been asked to complete it for quite a few, quite a few friends and colleagues to kind of give that feedback to get to realise that there are other perspectives about you that maybe you’re not seeing in that, in that way.

Hayley Stanton
I have done that. I’ve been on a few courses that have required that I go out and get that feedback for myself, including quite recently. And it’ll be surprising that I get that, like you’ve given me feedback. And it’s amazing what will come back from just asking that question. And can be really vulnerable. And you can feel quite resistant to getting people’s feedback. But on the whole, it’s, it’s really surprising, really, really positive. And I’ve got a few of my clients to go out and collect feedback from other people as well, to help them just see the good in them because sometimes we just lose sight of that it gets covered up. Yeah, we need to be reminded, right? So what advice would you be giving to someone who is feeling like they’re not good enough right now?

Vicky Otter
Um, oh, just the main thing, I suppose is to just be gentle with yourself. So, so often, we are caught in self judgement and self criticism and, or even outward judgement and outward criticism, like we’re kind of just in that space of judgement and criticism, where shame and guilt live as well. And, and it can be really tough and we can get really harsh with ourselves from that place. And so I think just to go easy on yourselves to just be kind and as loving as you can be towards yourself, and taking care of yourself in whatever way, you know, whatever way makes sense to you, um, and recognising as as well that you can completely be with your experience as it is now. So we don’t need to get rid of or push away the I’m not good enough. It’s like if that’s what’s visiting at that moment, and I really use the word visiting really intentionally, because it’s transient, it comes and it goes and if you look for it yourself, you’ll see that it comes and goes. Even if your brain is on, like you said, Hayley, like a complete, like, I’m only looking for evidence of not good enough, you’ll see moments where that’s not happening. And so, so it’s to whilst it’s there to just be with it to just hold it in love, to feel it, to let it move through you, to know that it is, to know that it won’t break you, that you have an inbuilt resilience that enables you to be with whatever feeling is, is there.

And then I suppose I’d quite like to share a little prop now. This is from doing a training course. So this has come from an organisation called IHeart. So I love how this points to who we truly are. So inside this snowglobe you can see that there is wisdom, peace of mind, compassion, gratitude, wellbeing, love, and resilience. So um, it that’s because it’s inside the snow globe, the snow globe represents us, those qualities are already within you. Even if you’re not aware of them, even if you’ve lost sight of them, they are absolutely within us already. We do not have to seek them outside ourselves. They exist 100% already. And Hayley what you were saying before about, like having other people remind you… Absolutely. Well, they’re reminding you by giving you that lovely feedback and that kind of their perspective, they’re reminding you what’s already true about you. Yeah, they’re not putting it in there for you, right, they’re just reminding you. So this snowglobe represents, firstly, the fact that those things are already within you. And at times our snowglobe -we, us- gets shaken up. And with the thoughts and the beliefs and the feelings that we’re experiencing, can momentarily kind of disguise or cover up those qualities that are within us, but they cannot take them away. And that for me is why I can say I can say well just sit with the feeling of not feeling good enough. It’s okay. Because just like that snow in the snowglobe has now settled, those thoughts will pass and settle. And those qualities within you will see you through anything, and you’ve already got them.

Hayley Stanton
This feels really really true for me, I think we can get so caught up in wanting to avoid those difficult feelings, those uncomfortable feelings. And the pain is really in the resistance. And that can keep us there for so much longer. But when we sit with it, we allow it all to settle and then we can see what’s really true.

Vicky Otter
Mm hmm. I love that phrase you use, allow it to settle. That’s so important for me because allowing is the opposite of resistance, isn’t it? So firstly, like I love that phrase for two reasons. One in the allowing, it’s like just be with what is and there’s such a deep breath of relief that can come from that being with what is, allowing and allow it to settle. Right? It settles on its own. That’s part of the design. That’s part of the system, right? It’s gonna settle. All we need to do is to allow it and it settles. I love that for us. A beautiful phrase, Hayley, allow it to settle. Yeah.

Hayley Stanton
That’s that’s pretty powerful. And, yeah, I think that’s something that we tend to avoid and we tend to turn to all kinds of things to try to numb those difficult feelings to avoid that. So there might be, in my case, when I was younger, I was drinking a lot to numb the discomfort and to try and fit in. Or it could be like, working all hours, or whatever it is for you. But it’s really useful to just experience what’s going on for you, dig a little bit deeper and find out what those beliefs are that’s driving those behaviours. And then, and then we can really look at them and go, well, Is this true? What else can be true?

Vicky Otter
Yeah, absolutely. And like you said, like, once it’s once it settles that wisdom, is there, like wisdom is already within already within the system. Right? So it’s just going to show up, it’s going to show you the way and and yeah, it’s there already.

Hayley Stanton
Yeah, we can get a little bit disconnected from that inner wisdom and get a bit stuck in our heads quite often. And it’s like, sometimes we just need permission to listen to that wisdom and to know that it’s valid, and it, it can guide you and it’s true. I think we’re kind of taught that we must be able to back something up, it must be very logical. And it is, it can feel kind of tricky to like, allow ourselves to sink into our body and go, Okay, well, I’m feeling this, it’s different to what I’m thinking. Is it valid? And the truth is that it’s just as valid as anything that we might think.

Vicky Otter
Yeah, we feel like we have to back things up. But there’s a deeper wisdom within us that just knows. And I think that we can be taught that, if we can’t analyse it, fix it, change it, control it, like that’s what we’re taught to try and do. And we do the same innocently with our feelings. And it’s like, well, the system knows what it’s doing there, feel the feeling. And then there’s wisdom. And so it’s just, um, yes, they’re already in it. So it’s almost like our minds are like, that’s too simple. It can’t be that straightforward that I just feel the feeling and then follow the wisdom. But really, yeah, really, it is. It’s all there available for us already. No fixing, no analysing and working stuff out needed?

Hayley Stanton
Yes. Do you have any more advice about allowing the mind to quieten so that we can get back to that inner wisdom?

Vicky Otter
Well… my, I’ll share with you my hesitation. My hesitation is because I’m feeling like Could I give you now a list of tools and techniques that we could do to quiet the mind. And sure, I could, like I could give you like, you can probably find those on a Google search. So right, all these different things that we could do. I think there’s something for me to be seen. And this might have to just be a half answer. Um, because this is kind of like a question for me still. And in terms of quiet mind, it’s the backdrop, right, the quiet mind already exists, like the sky already exists. And within the sky, we get weather, right, we get clouds, we get rain, we get sunshine, we get hail, we get strong winds within the sky, all of that occurs, and the sky is already there. Within the peaceful quiet mind, feelings, anger, anxiety, jealousy, happiness, excitement, all of that occurs within a quiet mind. So for me, it’s, um, it’s, there’s something in the realisation that the quiet mind already exists. It’s already there. So it’s nowhere to get back to. There’s nowhere to go. It’s already there. And so because it’s all because it’s our natural state. We can’t but return there when the weather passes. And so I suppose it’s like, trust that you’ll go back there, your your mind, your psychological system, your being, whichever word you want to put to it, is kind of its default is this quiet mind. And if you can trust that, you’ll go back, go back there, you’ll go back because you’re already there. There’s nowhere to get to.

So if you could trust that you’re already there, apart from being caught up in the weather, then just do what makes sense. Like, do what’s nice. If your mind is going to take care of itself, and you don’t have to do anything to get there, because you’re already there. Then do what you enjoy. do some yoga, if you like yoga, go for a walk, if you like to go for a walk, take some deep breaths, if that grounds you into your body, do a meditation, if you’d like to read a book, watch a film, eat some pizza, eat some salad, eat chocolate, like I have a cup of tea, cuddle the dog, do some art. There’s no like one thing that’s gonna kind of as far as I can see, and I might be wrong about this, Hayley. But there’s no universal, right, do this and you’ll go back to quiet mind. Because that’s a misunderstanding that’s, that’s assuming the quiet mind is somewhere other than where you already are. And so just trust that the quiet mind, the sense of quiet mind, I suppose, that the peacefulness will return when this settles, so you can just be in life doing what you like doing. And it might be like cry, it might be like scribble on a piece of paper and throw it away. I don’t know what is going to make sense to you in the moment. But just trust that something will come to you in the moment that makes sense to do that. And do that. Do that whilst your mind remembers that it’s already quiet.

Hayley Stanton
There were two things that came up for me. And so the first thing is about, we can get very stuck in feeling like we have to totally empty our minds. And we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. And when we meditate, we can go well, it’s not working, because I’m still thinking and, and actually, that’s really normal, we’re not going to get rid of our thoughts. It’s fine. If we have thoughts, let them through. And if they’re negative thoughts, that’s fine. They’ll pass through the sky like clouds. We don’t have to get on the cloud and go with it. And then the second thing that came up for me then was about feeling all feelings, feel everything is all totally normal. It’s all part of being human. And these feelings are really useful. When we feel anger, when we feel sadness, whatever it is. It’s guiding us to look at something, to do something different to just experience the full human life. So that goes back to that sense of like, let’s not resist those feelings. Let’s just let them in and experience them and allow them to move through us.

Vicky Otter
Yeah, yeah. Realising. A phrase that I’ve heard on a course a couple of times is realising that life lives through you, not happens to you.

Hayley Stanton
That’s really lovely. Okay, so Vicky, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Vicky Otter
Oh, I think I’ve already given it you know, when in kind of in terms of when you asked me, What advice would you give to someone who is feeling now like they weren’t good enough? I think it’s just, it’s that same. A friend said this to me recently. And this, this would really sum it up for me and I remind myself of this still now. And he said to me, gently, gently, slowly, slowly. And there was just such love in that. And I think that that’s what I’d say to myself. I’d embrace myself with love. And I will say, okay, gently, gently, slowly, slowly. And just because there was so much trust in that. It’s like, You’re okay, you’ve got this. It’s all unfolding as it should be. This is okay. And the gentleness and the slowness just had such compassion and warmth in it. I think I’d give myself that.

Hayley Stanton
That’s beautiful. I really love that process and be gentle. Well, thank you so much for coming on and having a chat with us today.

Vicky Otter
You’re so welcome. Thank you for having me and asking me such interesting questions. And great, I loved how the conversation went back and forth with us both seeing something and what the other one had said. And that’s, it’s been a real privilege to be with you. Thank you, Hayley.

Hayley Stanton
Thank you very much, Vicky. We’ll see you again soon.

Vicky Otter
Take care. Bye.

 

Outro by Rose Burch – Community Member
Thanks for listening. You can find the show notes for this episode at quietconnections.co.uk. Before you go, please subscribe to this podcast to stay up to date with future episodes. With gratitude for the support of the National Lottery Community Fund.

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