Recently I have come to see just how insidious self-doubt is and how it plays out. I once viewed self-doubt as something that was just there, that I accepted as a normal part of being a human being and that it was something that I couldn’t change.
I know there have been times in my life when I would feel the Truth of a matter ever so strongly. I knew exactly what had happened, what had played out and why – but I would not hold it. Instead I would hang on to something that was said about me, and it was this aspect that would have my full attention. From here I would be pulled into the black hole of confusion and doubt, swept to a place far away. I would so easily let go of the Truth that I had felt and would make things complicated, defer to another’s opinion or the majority view, become confused or upset, or even want others to feel it as I did, although they did not.
At times I found myself standing alone, where the Truth that I felt wasn’t confirmed by those around me and it was this aspect for a long time that I found most difficult.
In the past few months I have been provided with many opportunities to feel the game of self-doubt in its true colours. These opportunities have been quite amazing in fact, but it was a situation between a group of people that provided me with the opportunity to observe and to understand in greater depth just how destructive self-doubt is in our lives. That was the light bulb moment that inspired me to give up the self-doubt game.
I was reading through a Facebook thread and noticed that initially some of the comments were very sure and certain – concrete in fact. Another person came in and planted ‘the seed of doubt’ – a person who is very much respected. As I read through the thread, I began to see how those who had commented initially became more and more wobbly and then other people commented in doubt as well. I was surprised at how easy it was for people to lose their confidence, their authority, their assurance in what they had initially felt. How easy it is for Truth to be buried when it comes to the surface, although it is never hidden for long.
Although for a lot of my life I have been a bit wishy-washy, never sure about myself, and searching for right and wrong instead of what is true, what I have come to know is that when I do feel Truth, I feel it in my body with an assurance and an unshakable knowing.
Although there is often an opposing energy that comes into play at these times – to tip us over, to make things complicated and to bring in doubt – we must learn to back ourselves all the way and be mindful of our own false beliefs that are always at play.
One of the things that really stood in my way at such times is that I did not want to be irresponsible. I knew that I held hurts, and that at times those hurts tainted my view of things and so I quickly let go of my Truth. I did not want to be arrogant and hold on to what I felt was a Truth, just in case I was completely off track and was fooling myself. For instance, a situation that presented numerous times was where someone would verbally berate me, using particular words in their accusations. If they said I was controlling, for example, then I would bury what I felt was really happening in that moment and go into self-doubt.
It played on my knowing that in the past (or in my life) there were times when I was controlling in my behaviour and this was the very thing that would unravel me, as I began to unreasonably question and interrogate myself about whether I was being controlling again and not open enough to see it. My focus left the initial feeling or reading of the Truth and became all about me. It’s a tricky and underhanded technique, but on me it worked every time.
What I came to learn though is that Truth is a very solid aspect felt within ourselves – a place where there is no emotion, not an ounce. We must hold it firmly and if there is more to feel, life will simply present that to us and all we will need to do is be open for the ‘more’. This allowed me to honour my Truth, but allow expansion and greater understanding of any part of the situation that needed to be learned, should it be offered. In other words, if we don’t learn something in full the first time, there is always another loving opportunity offered, to have another go. This is the blessing!
If we don’t know who we are, if we don’t know that we are Love, then we are easily played with. If we feel we are not worthy, not gorgeous, not enough, not beautiful, not intelligent, not knowing, not graceful, not sexy – or if we simply do not appreciate all that we know ourselves to be – then we provide an opening for the game of self-doubt to play with us, enhancing the doubt in ourselves that already exists.
Honouring the Truth that we feel is not to be arrogant nor fight another with vengeance. It is about being open to hear what another has to say, to be honest about our own reactions, to consider and feel for its Truth in our body, and to be open to learn and understand what the situation offers us in our evolution. We must register the energy that is felt behind all that comes through us and to us. Whilst people can be very influential, charming in fact, and argue a good case, it is the energy in our body that is the marker of Truth.
Self-doubt flows out to affect not only ourselves, but others around us, people who have the tendency to play with self-doubt too. From this, I can see the level of responsibility that is offered. Self-doubt is not a silly little thing that we do and cannot stop – it’s a choice.
From here it is clear that staying steady in the tension, connected to ourselves, and backing what we feel all the way, has never been more important. Self-doubt is not a harmless little thing that we do – it has consequences; it opens the door to thoughts that are dripped in ever so quietly, only to spread through us and out to others too.
Self-doubt is not a little problem: it’s a big problem, and has big ramifications. Self-doubt is rife when we live a life from right and wrong, instead of what is true. It holds us back from expressing who we are, from voicing what we feel and from acting as is needed. A tiny seed of doubt can easily become a forest so thick that we cannot find our way, and that was once the nature of self-doubt for me.
By Maree Savins, Education Outreach Coordinator – Tertiary Education, Australia