Why we get Paralyzed by Self Doubt When Trying to Figure Out Our Purpose & the Secret to Moving Through It


Do you find yourself searching, striving and trying to figure out how to step into your purpose more often than you’d like?

It’s like one day you have clarity on what you feel called to do and the next day you wake up with amnesia & sit in a cloud of fog having no clue what to put our attention on. 

I’ve found myself in that all too familiar place again a few weeks ago; wound up in a ball of self -doubt & uncertainty & paralyzed by indecision.


I can feel it when it starts holding me back. It’s not like someone is standing behind me with their hands on my shoulders physically keeping me stuck, or that my hands are tied behind my back.

I actually shift into more action, desperately trying to figure things out, journaling more, working on business systems, going over and over my past journals trying to get clarity on what it is I really want.

I spend all this time  working on my new website copy and trying to create a 5 step system for the umpteenth time only to come away with nothing accomplished. This is my pattern. I write, and create, and attempt to produce something only to realize at the end of it, I’ve gone through those motions before..

Then comes the familiar feeling of defeat, discouragement, & disappointment.

My posture shifts to align myself with my heart.

My head drops, my chest hollows, my body collapses in on itself.

I try to go about my day, but there is an underlying well of emotions circulating in my chest and rising up through my neck, standing ready to be released through my eyes.

There’s a part of me that knows the secret to not letting it render me disabled is to remember it is an old strategy that has a positive intention of protecting me from experiencing disappointment.

It knows that  in the past I’ve gotten my hopes up ; feeling completely sure about something I feel called to do, something that feels so ‘sure’ and ‘right’ and then it doesn’t ever happen. Sometimes it’s that others don’t validate it & other times it’s just my own head starting to second guess.

Are you sure, Kate? “

I start finding all the bad reasons why it might not go well if I go in that direction.

I make a list of what feels at RISK. 

  • I might not be able to accomplish it.
  • I might not know enough about that.
  • I might not be equipped.
  • People might not need or want that.
  • I won’t be able to articulate it.
  • What about all the other ideas? All the other needs?
  • You might get boxed in…..

yet here I sit… boxed in by my own thoughts.

As a coach, I know exactly what is going on.

My protective brain that has experienced this before is trying to protect me from experiencing it again.

God designed our brains to help us survive and keep us from harm. The problem is it can’t tell the difference between real harm and perceived harm. Our past experiences are stored with strong memories in our subconscious brain & as soon as they feel, see, or perceive a similar experience, the breaks go on, the alarms go off, and all efforts are directed toward keeping us safe.


If something feels at risk, no matter how hard we try to move forward toward our goals, there is a strong band of resistance holding us securely in our present state, no matter how miserable it might be.

I may stay safe from potential future disappointment, but I am also blocked from the things I really long for. I survive, but that’s it.

One of the paradigms I learned in coaching is ..

” The strategies we learn to survive become the conditions upon which our continued survival depends.”

Go ahead and read that again.

Maybe one more time.

Let it sink in.

What we learn to do becomes the thing we continue to do.

It feels familiar.

Kind of like how I was feeling that week.

Can I offer you some hope today?

You are not alone in your frustration.

This experience is part of being human.

God in his mercy and compassion does not leave us STUCK in our present state.  He beckons us to step out of our heads and drop into our hearts where he can lead us from a place of inspiration.  

When we let go of the striving, the straining, & the contemplating.. the tension eases and the band that was holding us drops to the ground.

It’s in the letting go that we find what we were desperate for.

Clarity, Peace & the Freedom to MOVE from a place of ease  are found on the other side of release.

From that place, we can hear his voice gently beckoning us to step over the band & take one small step forward. 

I’m learning that every time I take a step, I’m proving to the little girl in me who is afraid of disappointment that it’s possible that things can go really well.  She doesn’t need to trust God more or people more.  She needs to learn to trust her own heart more.  She needs to learn that those nudges she was feeling were arrows pointing her in the direction of her purpose.  

I love how Lisa Kai, author of Perfectly You articulated it…

” God wants you to live an extraordinary life, but that means you need to respond whenever you are MOVED by the Spirit.”

“To overcome intimidation, it means that you stand to your feet regardless of what anyone thinks and GET OUT of the box that you have created for yourself.”

” God wants you to wake up and experience a SHIFT inside your spirit.” 

A few years ago,  after a season of pulling back due to pain and sickness, insecurity, intimidation, fear of rejection and assumptions, this verse  in Ephesians 5:14 was a wake up call for me. 

” Arise! Arise! Wake up sleeper!” 

Today, I’m learning to get untangled and throw off the things that hinder me from MOVING as He leads me.

I’m taking empowered action!

I still feel that familiar uncertainty questioning,  but I’m moving anyway..

There are too many amazing gifted women ‘entangled’  by self- doubt & paralyzed in a perpetuating  state of questioning. 

Why does that matter?

There is a world out there in need of hope but as long as we are bound by our insecurities we can not step into our callings. 

It’s time to stand to our feet and get out of the box we’ve created for ourselves.

Here are some questions you can ask to start loosening the hold of analysis paralysis &  start embodying your God given desires. 

Grab a journal and answer the following questions.

  1. What is the secret desire/longing of my heart that I am not taking action on?
  2. What is the positive intention of staying stuck in self doubt and uncertainty?  What might  this learned pattern be protecting me from? 
  3. What feels at risk if I make a decision and step into it? 
  4. What’s one action step I can take today to  start MOVING in the midst of the unknowns & help the little girl in me learn to start trusting her heart?
  5. What might I need to let go of?


I’d love to hold space for you to get untangled from uncertainty & start stepping into your God given dreams & desires.   

Just click the button below to schedule your complimentary 60 minute

Breaking FREE Empowerment Strategy Session

Looking forward to connecting & hearing about the changes you’d like to create in your life!

Identifying, Relating, and Resonating: The Writer’s Struggle..


I could feel it happening.. my confidence shrinking, the vision of my dreams slowly fading, the clarity I had just moments before being replaced by a storm cloud that came out of no where ..

I just wanted to end the call…

What was I doing?

Who did I think I was and why in the world did I think I could do anything like this?

I couldn’t even receive her attempts to encourage me , and her offers to continue coaching me were like banana peels I just wanted to throw away… useless.

I pushed the ‘leave the meeting’ button just in time to protect the last ounce of pride I had, and let the tears well up as I slapped my lap top shut like it had betrayed me..


I had just spent HOURS of my day on something that I could not even articulate … What a waste..

If someone asks me one more time what my WHY is I am going to scream!

” I DON’t KNOW!!”


“WHY CAN”T I JUST LIVE, MOVE AND BE without having to explain it? “

I am sooo tired of trying to figure it out….

My assignment was to keep working on gaining clarity for what my readers needed so that I could use their language and write with that in mind.. So I could RELATE and RESONATE.

Why did that feel like I was betraying my voice?

I was reminded that I can’t just write for myself. That I have to speak my reader’s language…

Doesn’t she know writing is breathing to me?
That if I deny the voice in my heart that is dying to get out then I might as well not write?

How can I BE MYSELF while trying to analyze someone else’s voice and then use marketing strategies to try and reel them in like a fish , making them think I must be speaking directly to them?

That feels like deceit.

Honesty is one of my core values.

I say what I mean and I can not just say what the listener wants to hear.

But then again… what’s the point in putting anything out there for others to read unless it will benefit them?

If I just want to write for me and my benefit then why am I even doing this?

I keep telling myself that is not my motivation, but then why did I get so offended? so hurt?

Why was she telling me to deny my voice?

it was sooo confusing..

First it was ,”You have to find your authentic voice,”… and in the next breathe… “You can’t say it like that because no one will RELATE. You have to change your language so it RESONATES with them… “

Ugh…. that is too hard and that feels like giving up my identity…

Thus the tears and the trigger…
” I am being rejected… “
“What I have to say; what I feel, is not what people need… “
“I am not needed.. “
“I cannot help anyone… “
“I am not enough…. “

..but what about that question I was challenged with in small group the other night when we were studying effective communication..

“Is the purpose of your communication to help the other person flourish or to just make your point?”

Isn’t communication about CONNECTION?

About learning to RELATE so that we are living, moving, and being in relationship together…

Is my life , my work and my gift  just for self expression or is there a greater purpose?

I have got to figure out what IDENTITY even means and why I need to cling to it so much.

Haven’t I struggled with doing it alone?
Haven’t I been longing to CONNECT; to RELATE?

So why am I clinging to ME?

No wonder I have struggled with CONNECTION; thinking people just don’t get me… Or want to …

Lord help me get out of my head and learn to see beyond me!

Remind me that my IDENTITY is IN YOU.

You created me and wired me uniquely, but for a purpose that is greater than myself.

Just as the tree was not made simply to be a tree.

Sure it could stand there all tall and mighty, but unless it drops its leaves,bears fruit, and allows it’s branches to be a place of habitation, it’s canopy to be a covering, and it’s roots to grow wide and deep then It may have hung onto it’s identity but it will shrivel up and die.

Without purpose that extends beyond itself IDENTITY is meaningless.


Webster’s says IDENTITY is the distinguishing character or personality of an individual; individuality; a close similarity or affinity.

It’s what distinguishes us…
but one of the synonyms is SAMENESS…

A closely related word is IDENTIFY, which means..

  • to establish or indicate who or what (someone or something) is;
  • to describe oneself as belonging to;
  • associate (someone) closely with;
  • regard (someone) as having strong links with.

..to link, RELATE, know, discern, pinpoint ,CONNECT..

I think I get it now…

I think the question I have to ask myself is ..

Do I want to fight for my IDENTITY or to IDENTIFY with others?

Do I want to find a tribe of people to do life with; to CONNECT, RELATE; really KNOW others and PINPOINT how we share similar struggles and then LINK up with them so that TOGETHER we can express the full IMAGE and splendor of the creator?

Do I want to talk to myself or have a DIALOGUE?

Can I truly flourish alone?

Alright. I got it.

Lies identified. Truth uncovered.

Here’s another great lesson I learned in my Propel Women’s Personal Leadership group. I think Lisa Harper said it..

” You gotta throw the enemy up against the car and frisk him.”
” Put him in a choke hold until you suffocate his voice and you can’t hear him anymore.” ( Bianca Olthoff)

The enemy always tries to convince us to fight for self , for our rights , for our identity … but he leaves out some vital information.


To fight for self and focus inwardly is to shrivel up and die.

It’s when we open up and learn to IDENTIFY with those God has placed around us that we truly LIVE and find a purpose for our voice.


I stopped myself before I sat down to write this morning and reminded myself to worship first.
..to get out of my head and invite His presence to MOVE in me…

My dog was a little confused by my change in habit as he had just settled by my feet under the picnic table. Because he values CONNECTION more than his comfort he followed me in and sat beside me as I asked Alexa to play us some Hillsong worship..

Here are the words that brought me back from yesterdays rejection to remind me..

“It’s OK not to be OK.”

We are all broken and scattered.

That’s what we have in common.

We all need to be made WHOLE.

But it doesn’t happen by closing our fists around ourselves.

WHOLENESS is the gift on the other side of release…

When we hand over our broken pieces and allow HIM to mend them , blend them, multiply them and distribute them…together  WE ARE MADE WHOLE.

Interesting how the words she used were the words my heart was feeling…

Does that mean the song is not the authentic voice from her heart? I don’t think so.. I think it means she allowed the One who unites us in Spirit to speak the language through her that I needed to hear …

in order that I might be mended and WHOLE ….

not just for my own sake, but so that, just maybe, you might be raised up today too.

All these pieces
Broken and scattered
In mercy gathered
Mended and whole

But not forsaken

I’ve been set free
I’ve been set free

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me, oh
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see
Oh, I can see it now
Oh, I can see the love in Your eyes
Laying yourself down
Raising up the broken to life
You take our failure
You take our weakness
You set Your treasure
In jars of clay

So take this heart, Lord
I’ll be Your vessel
The world to see
Your life in me,

Can you see it now? Do you get it?
Listen here and let the words wash over you.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is IN HIM.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17: 7-8