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How to Overcome Self-Doubt

By Conscious Owl | Conscious Leadership

May 04
self doubt examples

Your life is not about you.
Your life is about everyone else whose life you touch.

Neale Donald Walsch

If you have ever doubted yourself, welcome to the club. To be human is to doubt yourself. It feels totally natural to keep comparing ourselves with others and adopt one set of standards or another in which you always fall short.

You don’t match other people’s standards. You don’t match your own standards. Whatever your age, whether 19 or 69, you imagined you would be a lot further along than you actually are.

Why are you so unforgiving to yourself? You would never be that way to your own family, or even your pet, so why keep beating up on yourself?

If Only I Hadn’t Totally Messed Up…

We lock into self-doubt through well-timed, clever excuses that conveniently explain why we aren’t up to par. While these excuses are often based on legitimate concerns, they have little or nothing to do with our future. We all have messed up in various ways, some more than others. None of us are where we thought we would be as a child.

Messing up can take the form of blowing a relationship, failing a class, losing a job or even reversing a career. Sometimes it might entail serious bodily injury or harm and damage to other people. It might even result in our being temporarily incarcerated.

Even more insidious, messing up can take the form of hard-to-kick habits, such as illegal drugs, alcohol, indiscrete sex and the like. Because you have such a hard time smoking, it certainly proves you are a loser. Or does it?

what causes self-doubt

If Only I Had the Time and the Money…

The most popular forms of victimization are a lack of time or money. Who doesn’t feel constraints on their income and investments, the amount of years left in their life, the percentage of time in their day that is truly discretionary?

While we all have 24 hours in a day, some of us are not only broke, we are deeply in debt. Our financial worth has cratered. Many of us with mortgages feel like slaves, working harder than drug pushers to break even. Many of us just live from paycheck to paycheck. God help us should there be any kind of disruption in the pipeline!

However, who you are is outside of time. The way you handle time and money says a lot about how skillful you are in the world, as well as lucky. Whether you have all the time in the world or no time to smell the roses has nothing to do with Who You Really Are.

If Only I Knew What I Wanted…

The most legitimate excuse you can ever come up with is that you don’t really know what you want. Even if you have finally figured it out, you didn’t know what you were doing in your formative years. Welcome to the club. Few of us are like Steven Spielberg who knew at 12 years old that all he ever wanted to do was be a famous film director. Few of us at 33 can join Alexander the Great in claiming that we’ve conquered the known world.

You don’t know what you want, because you are trying to live someone else’s life. You have bought into all the images, not only in Hollywood, but in the social networks and media. Almost everyone would like a glass house on a hill in a forest by the sea with a brand new Tesla, a private Lear Jet and a convenient helicopter… just for mischief.

doubt at work

You want a trophy husband or wife, not because they are so loving, but because they make you look good in your advancing years. Have you ever figured this out? You always want what you don’t have, or can’t have. If you really did get it, how long would it do it for you? You might like to live in a mansion, but do you really want to maintain it? Not just the time and the money, but the hassle?

Know Who You Are: Fully Human, Fully Divine

If only you knew who you really are, you would never again doubt yourself! Yes, you are human, fully human, but you are also divine, fully divine. This defies common sense! We might imagine that we could be half-human and half-divine, but certainly not fully both! Strangely enough, this is exactly what theologians concluded about Jesus Christ. The religion erected around Him is all about becoming sons and daughters of our Creator, isn’t it?

As a son or daughter of God, you are fully human and fully divine at one and the same time. As Dr. Deepak Chopra likes to point out in his classic, How to Know God, the divine nature is literally hardwired into your nervous system, associated with the seven chakras. Your Divine Self is literally built into you.

Being human places limits on almost everything. Being divine means no limits whatsoever. Being human, you can do a few things well. Being divine, you can accomplish whatever you truly want, because you are infinite. Everyone and everything is part of your Big Self, Who and What we call “God” and the “Universe.” You are Source individuated as a uniquely precious incarnation. You are spirit having a bodily experience for a time.

self doubt psychology

Know What You Really Want: To Make a Difference

When you grow sick of accumulating status symbols, when you are tired of proving yourself to people who don’t really care for you, anyway, you will realize what you truly want in life. Yes, you do want to have your basic needs met, so that you are no longer preoccupied with them. You want far more to go beyond them to contribute to the world and society in massive ways.

How many world tours would you take before you became weary of the whole act, especially if you only hit the five-star hotels and the tropical beaches? After a certain number of toys, you would want to start doing something truly worthwhile. Once you found your dream partner, you would want to do something with the relationship. Even an idyllic relationship is but a launching pad.

Why do you think so many billionaires have turned into philanthropists, such as Richard Branson and Bill Gates? Even if you think of Donald Trump, why did he give up a life of ease hopping from one gorgeous hotel to another to do something as crazy as try to save the American economy? Because having all the time and money in the world won’t fill your soul. You want to change the world, and you want to change it now (for better or worse).

Create a New Possibility and Live Out of It

How then can you make a difference? How can you shift over from preoccupation with your small self to your Big Self? When you start to throw your attention off yourself onto others to actually serve them, you will begin to discover a form of happiness that no one and nothing can ever take away. You will stumble on divine love. Just think of Albert Schweitzer, a great theologian and a concert organist who chose to leave Europe to become a missionary in Africa.

You create a new possibility from within you by declaration alone. You look out at the world and see how things can be different, whether it is in the U.S. normalizing relationships with both North Korea and Russia, saving the ice caps or establishing animal rights. You are no longer deterred by how impossible these goals may seem. You declare it as a possibility and begin to live it. You invite others to join you. Eventually, the Universe aligns with our vision.

crush doubt

If you think of all the great people who have blessed the earth, from Buddha to Jesus Christ to Mahatma Gandhi, to even Steve Jobs, they have all had moments of doubt, every one of them. But they refused to wallow in their doubts. They had a higher vision that they were utterly committed to see realized on this planet, regardless of the consequences.

And the rest is history.

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About the Author

One conscious owl to another... sharing what we learned over the years, and from many wise owls before us.