The Fatal Flaws: Stress and Self-doubt

Hi everyone! Silvia Lafair here, and I’ve been working diligently on my stress-busters program and a new book that will be coming out, which is for me, fun and exciting but something happened yesterday that made me decide to do this video today.

I got a call from someone and I didn’t recognize the voice. So, when I said, ‘Who is this?’ He said, ‘This is an old friend, who’s been through your leadership program,’ and I still couldn’t get the voice, and he said, ‘Don’t you remember me? My name is not good,’ and I thought it’s a pretty odd name, not good? He said, ‘Yeah, and my last name is enough,’ and I went, ‘Not good enough?’ and I went, ‘Oh my god! How are you doing Donald?’ and it was very funny because I hadn’t talked to him in a while, but he had won the award for the biggest self-doubter in our program.

Now, what I want to say is, looking at this, it’s very interesting in all the research, women tend to have a bit more self-doubt than men. Although, men hold it back more but in doing the research, we’re women, as women we’re playing catch-up all. So, men listening to this, please pay attention because it’s important, and I have some statistics here. It’s really a generational thing than not good enough. Do you know that women couldn’t even have a credit card under their own name until 1974? A man had to co-sign with her. That kind of makes you feel a little doubtful about your own abilities, and talk about this thing called pregnancy. It wasn’t until 1978, up till then women could be fired for being pregnant on the job. So, there was a lot of questioning and self-doubt and I don’t want to make this into a women’s camp, in a men’s camp.

I just want you to get that, self-doubt is the fatal flaw that keeps everything locked down, and we have to fight against it. It’s like being in a cage. Think of a beautiful bird in a beautiful bird cage, and they’re there looking around saying, ‘I want to get out of here,’ not realizing that the door to the bird cage is open. All they have to do is push it with their head. It’s the same with us, all we have to do with these cages we’ve created for ourselves is, kick them with her foot, push them with their arm, push them with our head. However, whatever works for you but it really is important to begin to look at this self-doubt now.

I have in the program that I’m working on, this stress buster’s program. I have a whole area that we’ll talk in more depth about it, but what I would like to give you today, just my little, little tidbits is, if you can think of these three questions to ask yourself at the end of every day. It’s very important to think about it, because this is where you have to move past self-doubt.

One is, ‘How honest have I been in talking with others? Am i telling the truth?’ If you’re saying, I’m not sure, and what does that mean? How do you present yourself? What are you saying? And the other thing. Somebody also, that this Donald who called me said, ‘Is vulnerability the same as as being a doubter? A self-doubter?’ It’s a part of it, but being vulnerable is, simply telling your truth. It’s being honest. Self-doubting is saying, ‘I’m not good enough,’ which was his name for a while.

All right, the other question. So, that’s one, ‘How much did I tell the truth and where did I do it today?’ The next question is, ‘Did I shrink away from anything that I was going to do today because it made me uncomfortable?’ And that’s really important, and just kind of look at it as, you ask this. It will untie those knots inside. What I call, ‘The I’m not, cannot, should not, not good enough, that turn into knots, K-N-O-T-S that keep us locked.

So, the ‘we don’t see that the door to the cage is really open,’ and the third question is, ‘Who did I judge today?

That’s really an important one because when we are judging others, we’re also judging ourselves. So, I want you to think about who do you judge, and what do you say when you’re judging them? What do you say when you’re finger-pointing? Because there is that boomerang effect, and it really is about you.

So, those are things — I just wanted to give you some things to stir the pot a little bit today, and if you have questions or comments, please put them under this, and if you like this, I’d appreciate a like.

I, not have been doing this that long, but I’m really getting that people on Facebook think. Likes are good, so whatever. If you do, I’d appreciate it.

Now, this fatal flaw of self-doubt started when we were very young, and it crept up and crept up and it gets deep into us. So, we’ve got to work with it. So, those three questions, I’ll say them again: one, ‘How honest have you been today?’ ‘What did you shrink away that you felt you couldn’t really do that you’ve pulled back from made you uncomfortable?’ And, ‘who did you judge?’

That’s it for now. Chew on that. Just remember that, door to that cage of the self-doubt. Door is unlocked. All you have to do, is kick it open.

Thank you. Have a beautiful rest of the day, and let’s make a new day about how we handle stress and all the fears that are around at this time. Thanks so much.

About Sylvia Lafair

As a curious kid, I was fascinated watching how often people would make the same mistakes and complain about the same upsets time after time. I observed it in family, neighbors, at school and even in books and films.

As I grew older I saw how specific experiences become behavior patterns that people lived by yet barely noticed. It was “same stuff, different day,” just like in “Groundhog Day.”

My fascination with the power of personal and cultural patterns deepened after my father died from a sudden heart attack when I was 14. The cause? Constant conflict at work.

My determination to understand what happened and why led me to an amazing discovery: unresolved family patterns follow us to work. That’s what was behind the stress my father carried throughout his career.

Work stress became the enemy.

My search for more answers became my passion, to find ways to transform outdated, ingrained patterns that destroy health and the joy of success.

Now, I do what I do to prepare, liberate and empower leaders and teams — and to ensure no one need lose a loved one over unresolved conflict and stress at work.

Ready to take your leadership to the next level?

Take the leadership quiz>>HERE<<

Find out why kind of leader you are and how you can break through the barriers holding you back!

— Sylvia Lafair PhD — founder of Creative Energy Options (CEOInc.) and the world’s leading authority in Pattern Aware Leadership Development, Top Global Leadership Guru and award winning author of Don’t Bring It To Work.

Read Sylvia’s columns in and The National Business Journals

Originally published at on May 15, 2020.



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