Photographer: Anna Shvets

Free Spirit and Self-Doubt Have a Heart to Heart.

What if your unconscious strength had a conversation with your unconscious limit? 

For example, my most outspoken strength is my free spirit and my most prevalent limiting belief is my self-doubt. 

Free Spirita person with a highly individual or unique attitude, lifestyle, or imagination; nonconformist.1

Self-Doubt – lack of confidence in the reliability of one’s own motives, personality, thought, etc.2

What are your strengths and limits and what would they say to each other?

Recently, while working with my coach, I experienced a really wonderful conversation between my free-spirit and my self-doubt. 

The exercise allowed these two parts of me to have their say and be observed by a ‘neutral bystander’ – I chose ‘the Universe’ to observe and reflect. 

To start the exercise, I wrote the names of the three parties on sticky notes, placing “Free Spirit” on one end of my desk (near the window) and “Self Doubt” on the opposite end of my desk (in the corner of my office). “The Universe” was placed in between them on my desk chair.

I was ready to begin.

I stepped into my ‘Self Doubt’ – I’ll call her SD. She felt safe and cozy in her corner of the office. 

SD immediately turned to face FS (Free Spirit). 

As she faced FS, she could look out the window, to the green yard and blue sky. She could feel the freedom that FS was experiencing. It was colorful, inviting and warm.

photo: Ricardo Esquivel from Pexels

SD also read the vision board on FS’s side of the office. It was filled with dreams, goals and quotes. 

“Believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable.”

“Stay positive, work hard, make it happen.”

“You are a badass!”

She also saw pictures of worldly destinations – future adventures that FS planned on experiencing. 

SD wanted desperately to experience the excitement, to breathe that in and feel the sensation that FS was giving off. 

But she was scared.

photo: Wesley Carvalho from Pexels

“FS, I’m scared. I’m nervous about putting myself out there, in front of others; making a business work, writing blogs, discussing my internal struggles. I’ll be safe if I stay where I am.”

As she looked out the window, beyond FS, the adventure was calling her. 

At this point, my coach invited me to step into my free-spirit. I left SD and stepped to the other end of my desk, near the window, with a view of the trees. FS immediately around from the window to face SD and realized why SD felt as she did.

SD was stuck in the corner.

photo: Michael Soledad, Unsplash

FS completely understood why SD stayed there. She felt safe and protected, by the walls that were at her back. But she also saw that it was a static spot – no movement, no excitement, no joy. 


FS said – “SD, I can help you. It’s really not that scary over here. Look outside, there is room to move, to grow. I’ll keep you safe. I think you’ll really like it.” 


“I’m here for you, I’ll support you when you need it. We’ll move forward together.” 


FS outstretched her hands to SD.


At this point, I stepped into ‘the Universe’ – the neutral bystander, who’d been placed in the middle of my office – able to see out the window and into the corner at the same time. 


It was at this point that I consciously noticed that I had been wringing my hands together during the entire exercise. 


The Universe could see that FS and SD could not live without one another.

photo: Anastasiya Lobanovskaya from Pexels

As the Universe, I solidly clasped my hands together and told them to join hands and enjoy life together. As a neutral party, I could see that they both needed each other. 

FS could coax SD out of her shell and SD could keep FS grounded and protected.

My coach encouraged me to then step back into SD’s position.

SD didn’t feel so safe anymore – she actually felt confined. 

I could feel the tension in my body. The longing to be free of  the self-imposed confines. 

She was ready to safely step out of the corner; she knew she had the support of FS.

My hands outstretched to FS. 

My whole body just wanted to get out of the corner and step over to FS and once I did I felt a rush of freedom come over my body. 

My whole self felt freer.

photo: Garon Piceli from Pexels

This exercise played a major part in freeing my self-doubt. Self-doubt will always be a part of me, a part of all of us – it acts as a protector.

But having experienced this release, I’ve been able to move forward and be completely aware of when SD is protecting me and also when my free spirit is feeling strong.

Once you are able to step back and see what your self-doubt needs and how you can help her, observe her as a neutral party and bring her feelings into your awareness, then you are able to have compassion for her and help her begin to feel better.

I took these unconscious parts of me and brought them forward to my consciousness; brought them into my awareness.

These parts of me Free-Spirit and Self-Doubt took the time to see, listen and feel each other. They physically felt what the other was feeling. They looked at each other with admiration and compassion.

SD is not going to go away – she does speak out to keep me safe – but she is happy not to work so hard now and enjoy the freedom that FS has shown her. 

Christine Terranova

Christine Terranova

Certified Whole Person Coach

She coaches midlife women and moms to value who they are with her program Embracing You, in which women learn to love and accept their whole selves through a personalized holistic self-care routine – combining mental and physical self-care. They find themselves feeling valued, worthy and re-energized.