“Believe in yourself, your gifts, and your talents, they are meant to be shared. No amount of letters behind your name will ever make a difference in the gift you have to offer. Your gift is unique and special to you.” — 11D OS (11th Dimension Over Soul)
We all have moments of niggling self-doubt, and recently I encountered one that really threw me off track. During one of the quieter moments in the ebb and flow of my life, I found my mind wandering into a dark area, a sudden and unexpected lack of self-confidence (or maybe the lack had already been there in my mind, waiting for the right moment to ambush me). Where did my self-confidence go in that moment? Did it actually go anywhere? What could I do to get it back? Did I need it back?
As I was pondering all this, I was suddenly inspired to listen to a podcast of a presentation I gave in England in 2011. I was astounded at my confidence levels, and at the smoothness and easiness of all of it—the talk, the integrated “session” with the audience volunteer, the bursts of laughter and murmurs of agreement from the listeners, and the success of the subsequent lively Q & A.
Who was that self-assured women I was listening to? And the even bigger question was: where had she gone in that moment of self-doubt?
Then many other questions began to arise: Who do I think I am? What is it I think I can do? AM I the best I can be? Who do I think the world wants to see? Who do I think the world actually sees as me?
Here are some places I decided to explore in my quest for retrieving the self-confidence I thought was lacking”
- Fear: This may arise due to imaginary judgments from the collective consciousness and comparison with others. Was I ever going to be a Marianne Williams, or a Bruce Lipton, or… (fill in the blank with anyone I think has a special something I imagine I might not have)?
Antidote: realizing that my path is my path. Your path is your path. All souls are the same size. We bring different experiences to the table, but that doesn’t mean you or I have any less to offer then anyone else. As my offering/gift will find those who can benefit from it, yours will attract the same to you.
- Trusting in others more than oneself, thinking that “They have/know something I don’t have/know.”
How many of us on the seeking path have occasionally forgotten or belittled our own gifts, thinking, often erroneously, that others possess some special knowledge that we don’t?
I had an experience like this when I went to a particular learning environment, alive with a clear sense of curiosity and an eagerness to discover a new technique. This was potentially a good thing; however, in my case, giving up my power to another in order to follow this technique caused me great suffering; it ultimately showed me that I have the capability to reach the same levels, and perhaps even to penetrate more deeply than, the “authorities” I sought out for guidance.
Antidote: Recognizing when a particular energy is valuable to our awareness and growth progress (and when it is not) involves being judicious and understanding our own value, rather than automatically assuming that others (including those in teaching or leadership positions) have superior knowledge and must be “right.” Remembering this helps me to make better decisions about who can authentically offer me useful assistance on my path.
- Incongruence: knowing the deep Divine within while feeling the opposite in the face of outside influences, and being unable to resolve the perceived conflict.
Sometimes there is a part of us that is in deep resistance to what is. This can manifest for many reasons, but it’s mostly generated by a need for self-preservation. This deep resistance is often in conflict with what our mind instinctively perceives about the Divine, and about how we are guided, supported and influenced by its unseen force. Our essential knowing of the Divine, when faced with its seeming opposite, often creates a strong dissonance that can bring up doubt, lack of self-confidence, and indecisiveness.
Antidote: The key here is to identify the conflict, and subsequently to allow yourself the time and space to work on the integration of its opposites. This may involve the help of a trusted therapist or teacher who may have a better perspective on these issues, and can help you in finding your own perspective. In any such situation, remember to honor your “gut feelings,” and respect your own honesty. Taking the time to do this is a valuable process for continuing on your spiritual path.
- Ego: Ask yourself what the intention behind your seeking is. Fame? Fortune? Service to others? If it’s one of the first two, you may be in trouble, as pursuing them only strengthens the ego and hinders spiritual practice.
Antidote: You may want to gain practical experience of service. Try volunteering in an area that interests you (service doesn’t have to be difficult and unpleasant), donating time or money to charity, and experiencing first-hand the emotional and spiritual rewards of altruism. You can also practice Metta—sending out lovin-kindness to individuals (even those who are difficult), to family and friends, and to all beings.
Here are some additional useful antidotes for occasions of self-doubt:
Learn something new – Doing this stretches and flexes the mental muscles; the decision to learn helps us define what we think we know and are comfortable with,; this gives us solid ground for the courageous act of venturing into unknown territory. It also may prompt questions such as “How could I do this better?” or “How can I reach a deeper and more effective level of knowledge?”
Just be yourself — There is a great relief in deciding not to pretend any more. Since so much self-doubt arises from the fear of being exposed as inadequate, adopt a “What you see is what you get” attitude of not attempting to be more impressive, important or knowledgeable than you truly know yourself to be. In the words of beloved teacher Thich Nhat Hanh: “Honesty brings peace.”
Be patient: Spiritual enlightenment, or even progress, rarely happens overnight. Trust yourself and your own process; even apparent setbacks are part of that process.
And finally, a bit of advice based on my own moments of self-doubt, heard in the voices of the spirits as I tried to channel them:
“Okay, look. Today we’re with you; tomorrow we’ll be with you; the next day we’ll be with you; we’re always with you; there’s no rushing. Be content.”
No doubt there.
Blessings ~ Melinda
We are here to help if you need a little nudge, push, or tap on the shoulder. If you’d like to learn more about self-healing, please schedule an Intuitive Reading if you’d like a learning plan tailored specifically to your needs and experience.