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“Trust yourself, you got this.”
These were the words of a friend and mentor who was helping me move through some doubt and fear a few short years ago.
She said this to me right before I lead a group of 30 people in a yoga studio one weekend in a sleepy little beach town. My voice was trying to close up and I felt like I was an inch tall. The minute I was up in front of people all the questions came to mind:
What the hell do I have to offer these people?
Who do I think I am to be here in this circle, leading these women?
Self-doubt. We all suffer from it. I’d like to believe that doubt is really just a human trait.
Children are naturally confident and vulnerable, so doubt must be something we learn.
The textbook definition of doubt calls it: a lack of faith in oneself: a feeling of doubt or uncertainty about one’s abilities, actions.
Doubt is one of those lingering feelings that keeps us stuck, small, or hidden. The problem with that is we all have amazing gifts that are being tucked away from the rest of the world underneath a hesitation or knee-jerk reflex that keeps us soldering along doing the automatic tasks that feel safe.
“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.” ~ Brené Brown
Doubt keeps us from honing our right livelihood and being in alignment with what we love, how we serve the planet, and experiencing the joy of being rewarded for our service.
Here are a few ways doubt may be holding us back:
>> We are staying in a career, situation, or relationship that we have outgrown. We lie awake at night wondering what life could be. We feel bored, stifled, or uninspired.
>> We hold back our voice when we know we have something to say but are afraid of what others may think of us. We can hear it screaming from our inner knowing, but we stay quiet so as not to rock the boat.
>> We have a negative inner voice that keeps us from shining our light outward into the world. We may question our ability or feel as if we are an imposter.
Doubt is something that has we have been conditioned to believe.
Doubt is not who we are and is an invisible obstacle. Once we identify it for what it is, it no longer serves us and we can rise above it knowing who we are truly meant to be.
What is the antithesis to doubt?
How do we create movement in our lives from a stuck place into a place of freedom, expression, joyfulness, and fluidity?
There is no wrong way to slay doubt, but it must be done with intention:
Start anywhere. There are various healing journeys and not one looks the same. Therapy is not the only way to find peace from a traumatic past. Look into holistic practitioners and find one that resonates. Try working with the body and then moving into the mind. Try changing your diet into a more peaceful way of consumption, like vegetarianism, and see if that changes your thoughts and mood. Experiment and lose the drive to get anywhere fast. Take note of what you try and how it makes you feel. Write about it and send it to Elephant Journal to inspire others.
Feel the pain. Yes, growing hurts.
Think about the chrysalis. We are always loving the idea of turning into a butterfly, but we barely ever really think about that process of “turning.” I think that caterpillar is probably going through hell in there screaming, “I am going to die in here!” The caterpillar may have been feeling as if it could not stand another second in that tight, enclosed space.
3. Find worthy mentors
Who do you admire? Move toward those people.
Make sure mentors are not “celebrity” type icons, but real people who are genuinely happy, motivated, and possess integrity. Never work with someone who puts themselves higher than you and thinks they know everything. Humility and humbleness are far more valuable than any person who has status and an inflated ego. True mentors treat us as equals.
4. Step into the cold waters of the unknown
Take some risks. Share with others what you have learned along the way. Go out into the world and share in person. It feels more risky than online, but it’s extremely satisfying and good practice. Share your stories and your failures. Own your wins and make them known. Stand in your unique power.
5. Trust yourself
Take a deep breath and let doubt go. It does not serve and is only there to hold us back. As we work with the mind, we can clearly identify what tries to get in the way of our success and see it for what it is.
Even when working with self-doubt is will still creep into our lives.
We are ever-changing dynamic creatures. We are all working with doubt, so even being aware that others experience it too is a way to sit with it and let it go.
And remember, “Trust yourself, you got this.”