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PODCAST EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Glenn-Douglas: Welcome to Inner Life Skills, where we come together to coach, guide, and lead with wisdom. I’m Glenn-Douglas Hague, a master coach and the global lead trainer of Inner Life Skills coaches.

Colleen-Joy: And I’m Colleen Joy, a master coach and the founder of Inner Life Skills.

Glenn-Douglas: We are here to support all of you who are leaders, coaches, counselors, teachers, mentors, or anyone who feels called to guide others. In fact, this week’s episode is a conversation between the two of us, and it turned out to be about overcoming self-doubt.

Colleen-Joy: I am incredibly excited to be here with my amazing partner, Glenn-Douglas. Woohoo! We have two master coaches in the house (laughs). It sounds funny when we say “master coach,” as if someone is referring to one of our teachers or something. But yes, we have been teachers for each other in many ways, haven’t we?

Glenn-Douglas: Absolutely.

Colleen-Joy: I’m thrilled about our new podcast and the way our community has responded to it so positively. Even though it’s still in its early stages, we are committed to providing valuable, helpful, and inspiring information to our community. Part of that commitment involves showing up together and having engaging conversations. Today, I thought it would be a great idea for us to explore the dreaded inner obstacles that we have faced and that many natural guides and coaches out there face every day. We can offer reassurance that they are not alone and share some of our strategies for overcoming those obstacles. I know you’re enthusiastic about this topic, and I believe it’s highly relevant given the current circumstances. I’m excited to see what emerges as we connect, as we have been doing for over 20 years now, right, Glenn?

Glenn-Douglas: That’s right. It’s been over 20 years that we’ve been on this journey together. Almost every week, I’m reminded of how grateful I am that we have discovered these truths together along the way. People often ask me how I know all this stuff or say that I’m lucky because I seem to know what to do. But the truth is, I face just as many obstacles as everyone else does.

Colleen-Joy: We’ve certainly had our battles, Glenn.

Glenn-Douglas: Oh, definitely. It’s like we have a battle scars pamphlet. (laughs)

Colleen-Joy: (laughs) I sometimes grumble about it. I almost say to life, “Do I really have to live everything that I teach?”

Glenn-Douglas: (laughs)

Colleen-Joy: Do we really have to? But I suppose the gift in that is it becomes part of our DNA, something truly authentic that we care about. But sometimes we do feel battle weary from having lived through everything in 3D technicality before we can teach it.

Glenn-Douglas: (laughs) Yeah, but at the same time, that battle weary, scarred healer, teacher, guide, parent has a lot of authenticity.

Colleen-Joy: Absolutely. What comes to mind, Glenn, is that the symbol for Inner Life Skills, the well, is a powerful representation of the work our community enjoys. You dig a well with your fingers. The depth of the well is earned through sweat, tears, and dirt under the fingernails. Pain, struggle, and suffering either break us or determine the depth of the well. I’m sure many in our community will agree that there is a price for wisdom.

Glenn-Douglas: There is a price for wisdom. We may rail against it, but it’s the rules of the game. It’s how things work while we’re here. So we play by the rules, we dig deeper, we experience things, and we discover that wisdom. On that note, I love your definition of wisdom, Colleen. It’s a clearer way of seeing the world. It’s not about accumulating knowledge or experiences, because sometimes we can have uncomfortable experiences and still not gain wisdom from them. It depends on our intention and what we choose to do with those experiences. Wisdom is using what life throws at us to see things clearer.

Colleen-Joy: Yes, absolutely. That’s a topic I’m endlessly in love with. I’ve spent my whole life exploring and rediscovering wisdom, always open to new ways of articulating and expressing it. The shock was realizing that wisdom is not knowledge, not an accumulation of sticky notes, thoughts, labels, or data. It’s the opportunity to switch into a deeper identity that sees things differently. That has a radical impact on our sense of being, our ability to connect, to be in the moment, to find joy and happiness, and to face the mountains, struggles, suffering, and stress. It’s a huge thing.

Glenn-Douglas: It is indeed. And when we delve into strategies, the “how-to” content, we’ll tap into that wisdom. It’s important to address the inner obstacles we face, which directly relates to who we are while experiencing those obstacles, rather than just focusing on what we’re doing about them.

Colleen-Joy: And perhaps our contribution is that there is already an abundance of knowledge out there. We live in an information age where everything is at our fingertips. The challenge is filtering through that information. So while we will provide good, clear information, our unique approach lies in helping people tap into their own wisdom, drawing it from their inner well. This transformative power can turn the desert of the surface mind and heart into an oasis. It may sound abstract, but as people engage with our content and join us on this journey, it will become more tangible and real. It’s a profound experience we’ve witnessed with our clients and live in our personal lives. It’s what gets us through tough days and what we celebrate and love. Expect valuable, distilled information infused with our lived experiences and the experiences of working coaches who have earned their stripes in the real world of guiding others. We’ll tackle relevant topics from our wisdom approach, switching lenses within minutes to move from a contracted state of uncertainty to clarity.

Colleen-Joy: That limited, painful experience of feeling overwhelmed, unsure, and lacking clarity—wisdom has the power to either dissolve or resolve it. It can make the problem disappear, as you see with new eyes and realize the problem you had moments ago isn’t real anymore. Or wisdom brings you clarity and actionable insights to resolve the problem. We can bring that transformative power, and I’m excited about it, Glen.

Glenn-Douglas: And that state of being has always kept me on track with Inner Life Skills and the processes we use. It’s about how it makes me feel. Even when preparing for a podcast, doubts and anxiety can arise, but I remember who I am. It may sound way out there, but I remember that I’m not the voice of fear, despair, or any committee member that pops up. I often talk about these committee members with my clients, the grumpy one who says they don’t want to get out of bed, or the enthusiastic one excited about the sunny day. It’s all inside of us, and getting to know these committee members helps. We’re not the characters on the stage; we’re the stage itself. We can choose whether to entertain them or not. It’s helpful to know that who we are being, that five-minute shift, is where the key lies. Through these podcasts, we hope to give people tastes and experiences of who they truly are.

Colleen-Joy: I love that. It’s about reminding ourselves of who we really are, beyond the voices and characters in our minds. And perhaps this helps us narrow down an important question: What are our biggest inner obstacles? Is it the committee member, self-doubt, procrastination, or overwhelm? What holds us back from embracing our calling? And when I say “calling,” I mean it as a fundamental function, what we are built for, our natural expression as guides and teachers. So what are those obstacles that we’ve faced? This could be a segue into sharing our stories and what qualifies us to speak about this, giving us gravitas.

Glenn-Douglas: Absolutely. One of my first obstacles in making this my profession, my life supported by this calling, was the question of what qualifies me to do this. It’s not just about the piece of paper or knowledge. It’s the deeper question of who am I. That self-doubt creeps in, questioning whether I am truly qualified to guide others. The audacity to take on the role, to call myself a coach or a mentor—it’s the “who am I” question. Even with certifications, the doubt may still linger. Some chase after more papers to alleviate the doubt, but it can persist. It’s an ongoing journey for many, even when working with clients or before starting the journey. So let’s unpack that, dig deep. When do you think it first showed up for you, Colleen?

Colleen-Joy: That limited, painful experience of feeling overwhelmed, unsure, and lacking clarity—wisdom has the power to either dissolve or resolve it. It can make the problem disappear, as you see with new eyes and realize the problem you had moments ago isn’t real anymore. Or wisdom brings you clarity and actionable insights to resolve the problem. We can bring that transformative power, and I’m excited about it, Glenn.

Glenn-Douglas: And that state of being has always kept me on track with Inner Life Skills and the processes we use. It’s about how it makes me feel. Even when preparing for a podcast, doubts and anxiety can arise, but I remember who I am. It may sound way out there, but I remember that I’m not the voice of fear, despair, or any committee member that pops up. I often talk about these committee members with my clients, the grumpy one who says they don’t want to get out of bed, or the enthusiastic one excited about the sunny day. It’s all inside of us, and getting to know these committee members helps. We’re not the characters on the stage; we’re the stage itself. We can choose whether to entertain them or not. It’s helpful to know that who we are being, that five-minute shift, is where the key lies. Through these podcasts, we hope to give people tastes and experiences of who they truly are.

Colleen-Joy: I love that. It’s about reminding ourselves of who we really are, beyond the voices and characters in our minds. And perhaps this helps us narrow down an important question: What are our biggest inner obstacles? Is it the committee member, self-doubt, procrastination, or overwhelm? What holds us back from embracing our calling? And when I say “calling,” I mean it as a fundamental function, what we are built for, our natural expression as guides and teachers. So what are those obstacles that we’ve faced? This could be a segue into sharing our stories and what qualifies us to speak about this, giving us gravitas.

Glenn-Douglas: Absolutely. One of my first obstacles in making this my profession, my life supported by this calling, was the question of what qualifies me to do this. It’s not just about the piece of paper or knowledge. It’s the deeper question of who am I. That self-doubt creeps in, questioning whether I am truly qualified to guide others. The audacity to take on the role, to call myself a coach or a mentor—it’s the “who am I” question. Even with certifications, the doubt may still linger. Some chase after more papers to alleviate the doubt, but it can persist. It’s an ongoing journey for many, even when working with clients or before starting the journey. So let’s unpack that, dig deep. When do you think it first showed up for you, Colleen?

Glenn-Douglas: Sure, so to give you some context, I’m not very good with time, but I believe this inner obstacle came into play most prominently after I received my coaching certification. Initially, during my studies, it was fine because someone was teaching me how to do something, and I had the mindset that it would be okay. But once I obtained the formal certification and had to step out into the world as a coach, I felt a crippling paralysis. Being a Type 5 on the Enneagram, overthinking things is quite common, and I struggled to confidently tell someone that I was a coach and invite them to be coached by me.

Colleen-Joy: Yes, many of us can relate to that feeling of self-doubt when claiming our identity as a coach or guide before having a track record. We are conditioned to associate our identity with what we do rather than who we are. It goes against societal programming, and that’s where the rub comes in. We have to say “I am” without proof of doing. It challenges our conditioning and social norms. It’s about recognizing that being comes before doing, which is a profound truth. Nature itself shows us that everything is doing what it is, and an apple tree’s doing flows from its being. Now, let me share a slice of my story that relates to this.

Colleen-Joy: Being a mother was a significant catalyst in my journey. When my second daughter was born with serious health problems, and we faced a financial crisis with my husband’s business falling apart, it was an extremely challenging time. I found myself crying myself to sleep for the first two years of my daughter’s life, dealing with debt, and relying on my parents’ support. In the midst of all this, I sat with a piece of paper asking, “What must I do?” This question reflects our tendency to focus on the doing when overwhelmed and stressed. We often think we need more certifications or to-do lists.

Colleen-Joy: However, instead of accepting the surface mind’s answer, I chose to go deeper and tap into wisdom. I set the intention to tune in and find a deeper truth, recognizing that the surface mind is just one source of information. I learned to give wisdom the microphone, which brings a subtle shift in the body and a sense of relief. From that peaceful state of being, I gain insights that translate into useful thoughts and wisdom. In that moment, I realized I had been asking the wrong question. Instead of “What must I do?” I needed to ask “Who am I?” This thought felt weighty and solid, different from the noisy surface mind. It might have seemed abstract at first, but it held profound meaning.

Colleen-Joy: I then had a metaphorical insight: If I were an apple tree and didn’t know I was an apple tree, how would I know what to do? This simple thought had intuitive strength. It made me realize that I didn’t truly know who I was at my core, like an apple tree unaware of its nature.

Colleen-Joy: I didn’t know what that was. I knew it wasn’t my ID book, thank goodness (laughs). I knew it wasn’t my title. And that’s the switch we’re talking about here. When you face the question of “Who am I to think I can be this, do this,” it’s like asking an apple tree, “Who are you to make apples?” It’s actually ridiculous. And the insight was that first, I had to spend some time excavating and freeing my apple tree. And then, over the following months, I began to realize that I am already this, and I just have to free it. So it’s about finding it and freeing it. And when that question arose—’Who am I?’—because it did come up—when I realized that my apple tree is a teacher, guide, coach, those words resonated with me. Even when I’ve been shy or terrified, I’m not afraid of who shows up.

Colleen-Joy: And that leads us to another good question: Who are we when we’re not afraid, when we’re not holding ourselves back? Who shows up naturally? If words flow through you, if you find yourself holding space and inspiring others and being inspired, that’s a clue. That’s your apple tree. So when I started realizing that what my school teachers told me was wrong—that I’m not an artist for the sake of being an artist or this or that—I began to understand that I have always loved wisdom, downloading it and imparting it. Whatever that makes me, that’s my apple tree. And then the question was, ‘Who am I?’ because we are often afraid of judgment from others, afraid of being seen as arrogant. But then, in the same metaphor, my deepest wisdom told me, “Your apple tree is this.”

Colleen-Joy: It’s not about trying to be better than or smaller than. Both are ego. It’s simply about accepting, “I am this because I am an apple tree.” Even if you haven’t yet produced apples, if it’s your nature to teach and guide, tuning into the strength of that is important. The piece of paper is valuable because it shows your dedication to the skill and craft of being an apple tree. Maybe you want to turn apple-making into something more serious, but nobody can qualify you to be an apple tree if you already are one. Nobody has that power. So doing is an expression of being. Therefore, the question isn’t ‘Who am I to be a guide?’ or ‘Who am I to be a teacher?’—rather, it’s ‘Who are you not to be?’ It’s actually more egotistical to hold yourself back from being that than it is to step up into it.

Colleen-Joy: And that brings us to the idea of being equal to. In our inner life skills teaching, equality is significant. It’s about checking whether we’re holding ourselves back due to fear of judgment (the minus side) or overcompensating and posturing (the plus side). Instead, we should aim for being equal to, just like an apple tree. An apple tree doesn’t say it’s better than or less than—it just says, “I am this.” If it’s true that your nature, your natural expression, is to hold space for people, to be interested in growth, to inspire and be inspired, then you’ll naturally find yourself facilitating when you’re not holding back. It’s about freeing your apple tree from the fear of plus and minus, and allowing it to show up authentically.

Colleen-Joy: Trusting your apple tree means trusting that there is a natural, authentic self, a design that has a function and something to contribute. It’s about noticing it, letting it show up. What happens when you sit with someone and, instead of listening to your torture chamber mind or playing the plus-minus game, you simply show up as ‘I am this’? You show up in service, just as everything in nature is growing to give and in service to life. You discover what that looks like and trust that, while mindfully sensing into the feeling and the words that naturally arise. Yes, skills and knowledge are important, but there’s also a natural flow state where your apple tree knows what to do and how to be. It’s about stepping away from the vehicle and letting your apple tree show up. (laughs)

Glenn-Douglas: Thank you for listening, and we hope you enjoyed this episode of Inner Life Skills. Remember to join us next week for more powerful insights on becoming the best guide you can be to yourself and others. Be blessed.