We’ve all been there, right? Overcome by feelings of self-doubt, a lack of confidence in ourselves and what we’re really capable of. The difference is whether we choose to stay with these feelings or let them go.
I know, that sounds so easy doesn’t it? Just “let it go” and move on. If only life were that simple—or is it?
You see, everything we do in life is about “choice.” The choice to feel fulfilled, to live our lives on purpose. We get to set our own targets, so why is it that we constantly fight with the comparison gremlin?
Just the other day I was wrestling with myself over whether I have achieved enough for my age (e.g. “Do I earn enough?” “Is my house as big as others?” “Am I as successful?” “What else should I be doing?”). I heard that whiney gremlin that sits on my right shoulder saying, “You could have done more. You’re not as successful as you could be.”
Should I be doing the same things as my peers and following their lead? For a moment, I felt wracked with guilt that I was letting myself down and wasn’t pushing myself enough.
Now on reflection—as I sit here looking at it from a different perspective—I realize that I am enough. I don’t need to wrestle anyone or anything; I just need to be me. I need to trust myself.
You see, the key here is the word “truth.” What is the truth about what my gremlins are saying?
I recognize that sometimes comparison lures us into feeling compelled to do things so that we feel accepted in society, in our work and amongst our peers.
“The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.” ~ Brené Brown
When I see those questions I typed in front of me, I realize how materialistic it all sounds. Where’s the heart? Where’s the connection? The purpose? It’s like I have completely removed any alignment with my values and what really makes me feel fulfilled.
There’s no authenticity—just facts.
Taking a step back, what I really want to ask myself is, “What do I really want when there is no one else around to influence me or provide an opinion? What really lights up my world? What makes me feel energised, excited in the days ahead?” That’s what I need to be focusing on.
I would I rather do something to stretch myself for me, not to follow in the footsteps of others. I want to move forward with my purpose. I don’t want to just focus on something that will make me feel better in the short term as I plug the guilt of self-doubt.
Right now, I want to move forward with a certain area of my life that feels completely aligned with my values. I’m stepping up and sharing with the universe my intentions to keep me accountable. With every breath I take I’m inhaling confidence and exhaling self-doubt. And I’m doing it all for me, no one else. Because it’s my opinion that counts—no one else’s.
What would it be like if we all regularly took a few moments out to connect with heart, purpose and authentic soul? Consider something you have been mulling over recently—what’s the truth here? Let’s all take time out to connect and seek it.
Who’s championing us?
Self-doubt is just a perspective, right? In some cases it can be the feeling we associate with stepping outside our comfort zone. Fear is just the resistance of trying something new. But hey, who’s wants to stay in their comfort zone all their life wondering what might have been?
In fact, if our dreams don’t scare us and we feel totally comfortable with what we’re doing, can we really be happy? There are two sides to this. One, we are always moving the target of what success looks like to us. Does this make us happy, though? When do we give ourselves permission to “just be” and celebrate where we are?
Second, if we want to stretch ourselves, why do we sometimes hold back? Perhaps we procrastinate because the comfort zone pulls us back. Well, in that case, it’s time to redirect that energy to fuel our dreams and make them happen. Having a support mechanism is fundamental to this, and we all need to ask ourselves, “Who’s going to keep us accountable to step up, be bold and own our space?” Use this prompt to assign one—go on!
Writing this article has provided time and focus to really shake off my comparison gremlin, realise that I am totally good enough and that it’s my time to shine. I encourage everyone to take a moment and ask themselves, “How much do we trust ourselves”? Trust that what will be will be. It’s true that when we’re aligned with the universe we will start to notice the possibilities that present themselves to us and can be seen all around.
I know that this time last year, I doubted what I could achieve. As I started to believe in myself more, I noticed a shift, my shoulders dropped, I stood taller in my own spotlight and started to believe in myself and trust in my decisions. I know that my mini moment of self-doubt today is just that: a mini moment that will pass. I recognize that so much more easily now.
One step forward, and then another one too!
I’m off to walk my path of authenticity. Will you join me?
Author: Nicola Arnold
Apprentice Editor: Alex McGinness // Editor: Toby Israel