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Next Level Devil

I want to talk to you about the Next Level Devil.


Perhaps you’ve never heard me make this reference before – or maybe you have! But I can almost guarantee you’ve confronted this monster at some point or another in your life.


The Next Level Devil emerges right at the moment you feel yourself leveling up, literally. Be it a promotion at work, a new milestone in life (wedding, fitness goal achieved, home purchase) etc. It’s a voice inside that says, “you don’t deserve this,” and it’s a feeling in your body that screams, “you don’t belong.”


And it is one of the single greatest setbacks one can encounter.


Scarier still? It doesn’t matter WHO you are … like, for example, a renowned mindset coach! You can, and will, find yourself battling this Next Level Devil.


Recently, my husband and I, along with four of our friends, took a trip to a tropical island PARADISE. Leading up to our stay, I was beyond excited. The Villa we rented was the ultimate in luxury, EVERYTHING. I’m talking a Pinterest board of beauty with plush leather chairs, Hermes décor, a private chef, in a private gated locale .


Our first night was a dream. I was in awe of what we had walked into, and we spent the night laughing and chatting over the most delicious food and drinks.


If I could go back, right now, and tap myself on the shoulder in THAT moment … whisper in my ear what was about to happen … I don’t think I would believe myself.


The next morning, I woke to the sound of my friends and husband enjoying the spectacular view just outside my bedroom window, and I felt it … an overwhelming sense of not belonging. Not for any of them, not my friends, not my husband. In my mind, their presence here made perfect sense. But me? I simply wasn’t worthy. I hadn’t worked hard enough to earn it. I didn’t deserve to be somewhere this beautiful, enjoying something this incredible.


The feeling was tangible; it stretched up from my chest and into my throat—a physical tightness.


Thankfully, because of the work I do every single day, I immediately recognized this Next Level Devil’s presence, and I was able to pause and take the time to figure out where this feeling was coming from. Before this? The feeling would have ruined my entire week. But this time, I knew I could dig in, do the work, and move beyond.


I need you to understand, the Next Level Devil will always try to take you back to the place you were last comfortable. There was a time in my life when being on any vacation, anywhere, would have sprung forth this monster. This time, the voice in my head kept telling me to “go back to the RIU Resort.” Do you know how much of an achievement going to the RIU Resort had been for me as a single mom of two?? My subconscious wanted to take me back to a level I was familiar with and comfortable in. It did not want me to exist in this new level reality.


From a young age, the message that “working hard” leads to the best rewards had been so finely ground into me. I’d heard people in my life talk about how you need to “work hard for what you want” and that messaging was so not aligned with where I know my life to be today.


My work isn’t hard; it’s my passion. I’ve been so intentional in creating a life I love that is full of flow and space for creativity and play. My subconscious and my nervous system were reacting to this. If you’re not working hard, you don’t deserve the reward. Wrong. I knew that. But somewhere inside, I was still equating struggle, difficulty, long hours, and burnout with earning this success.


I knew I had released this thinking long ago, but that’s the sneaky thing with this Next Level Devil. We have to keep doing the work. This experience, this Villa – the entire vacation – was a level up, bigger than what I’d experienced before, and I needed to re-confront these limiting beliefs.


In subsequent blogs, I want to go into more detail about the actual work that I did because I think it’s so important that if I introduce you to the reality of the Next Level Devil, I begin to prep you to face it.


But let me share a quick overview of the things I did, in real-time, to get myself back on track and enjoying my vacation:


1. Journaling: I journaled about why I believe it must be hard or a struggle before you can achieve success. I had to write intentionally about releasing the subconscious programming I had received that nothing comes easy in life.


2. Alignment: In order to truly move past the Next Level Devil, your thinking and your nervous system MUST be aligned. It’s not just about fixing the thought. For our actions to consistently follow what we desire, our body cannot be saying “no.” This required…


3. Intentional Body Movement and EFT Tapping: I had to take stock of how my nervous system was responding and how fight or flight mode made my body feel. In a fight or flight state, I would practice slow, meditative breathing each time limiting beliefs crept in, recognizing where the feeling existed in my body and giving myself permission to release it—taking my nervous system from a dysregulated state back into alignment with the belief that my life gets to flow and be easy and fun. That I AM deserving.


4. Being Present in the Moment: Finally, I had to allow myself to soak up every moment, to be present, to EMBODY the experience. Releasing those fears like “what if I’m never here again? What if I never have another experience like this?” and consistently communicating to myself firmly and confidently that I can, and will, each time I desire to.


At the end of the week, I left that Villa feeling like I owned the place; in fact, I left knowing that if I desire to own a place just like that, I will. I had completely released the feeling that I didn’t belong. I fully accepted my worthiness.


I returned from my vacation and immediately booked the Blue Jays Suite for two of the most high-profile games of the season because I wanted to – no hesitation. Something I know I wouldn’t have done if I HADN’T faced and overcome the Next Level Devil on that trip.


It’s important to realize that our nervous system and mindset are constantly reacting to the conditions around us. If we ignore them and try to shove down the Next Level Devil, it WILL hold us back and create barriers.


By choosing not to ignore those thoughts and feelings in the Villa, I could meet my Next Level Self. And she knows what she likes and what she desires.


I am here to activate women. I have no hesitancy in sharing the celebration, and I’m not dimming my shine for the feelings of others. Because I want you to look and me and say, “if she can do it, I will too.”


And you can.


Until next time, believing in you,

Cheryl




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