It is said that the devil’s weapon of choice is self-doubt. There’s nothing that takes us to hell faster than our sense of unworthiness, our evaluation of not being enough and our fear of being undervalued. Our sense of self is tainted with an endless process of comparison and estimation to everyone and everything around us. Many of us equate who we are with the things we have, the places we’ve seen and our ability to show those off.
I’ve written before about the deep association the mind makes to putting a price tag to our achievements and our own sense of usefulness. If our profession or the actions we take are deemed valuable in the eyes of our surrounding, the society we live in, we give tribute to these actions and label them as – success. We offer a greater sense of value and thus we feel worthy and deserving. If our peers, our parents, our friends and our own process of judgment don’t evaluate us with the price tag we had in mind we call that – failure.
What we fail to see in this vicious cycle of self-evaluation is that what we are actually doing is offering a constant sense of resistance and wear down our sense of pride and uniqueness. We heed the calling of the devil and invite a constant sense of doubt, which quickly stains our thoughts, our feelings and our sense of being alive. Feeling unworthy makes you tired. It dampens your creativity, your unbridled joy. It might not come as a big surprise, but feeding your sense of unworthiness is a very costly habit.
The truth is that in sporting a sense of self-doubt you are actually being selfish. You feed that hungry beast that holds human evolution back. There are so many sharks and vultures around you who feed off of your unworthiness and celebrate your choice to keep silent, keep small and hold back.
Ok… you get the picture. Feeling unworthy isn’t helping anyone and especially not yourself. So how do we shift from these terrifying and forceful emotions that seem to be out of our control. How do we start taking empowering choices and leave those old, stagnant thought patterns behind us.
3 Second Rule
When in doubt, when you question your actions out of unworthiness, always defer to the 3-second rule. The understanding that you have to – just do it – in less than 3 seconds. If you wait longer than that, your self-doubt kicks in and your decision to take action will be overpowered, leading you to not follow through. For example, you want to sing in a circle of friends, the thought of singing finds its way to the surface of your mind. Count 1 – 2 – 3 and start singing. Don’t wait. Don’t hold back. Start exercising your inner power – doubt your self-doubt and trust in your ability to change.
You have trained yourself to doubt your actions and motives for so long that what is required is a period of retraining. You might make mistakes, you might get rejected. There’s no other way than picking up the boxing gloves and jumping right back into the ring. Be your whole, radiant, amazing, awkward, scared, quirky self. Allow and accept. Some days will be filled with Yeses and others with Nos. Risk rejection and face your glory. Always remember that by you retraining yourself to doubt your self-doubt you are opening the door for others and inviting yourself to soar into an exciting new territory.
Allow for a consistent yet gradual grace period where you consciously and daily, take actions to re-enforce your sense of inner peace and empowerment. Take baby steps. Choose small actions you can take daily, whether those are writing love poems to yourself, secretly dancing in the elevator or even devoting 3 minutes each morning to smiling at your reflection at the mirror. Remember, you have invested years of your life to train your mind to doubt your actions and feelings. Retraining will take time. Be patient and kind with yourself as you are making new life choices.
Nothing defeats self-doubt more than empowering others to shine. Have compliments and words of encouragement as permanent residents in your daily vocabulary. Take the time to offer a compliment to a non-expecting friend. Keep your eyes open and look for any opportunity to encourage others to shine. Invite them to join you in walking this journey and offering their gifts to the world. As you empower others your sense of inner growth will take root and be the guiding force furthering you from your previous tendency to doubt and play small.
With self-doubt at the palm of his hand, the devil makes his way offering others to follow in his wake. Hold on to gratitude and witness the beauty of life as you make these new steps towards freedom. You, my friend, are not a useful instrument; you are not a tool to be valued. You are a divine piece of art; you have no other purpose than giving meaning and beauty to the magical world you are privileged to stroll upon. You are a miracle and as such deserve to celebrate your miraculous existence. Soar the infinite skies of your soul and embrace the esoteric symbol of the divine wings which envelopes you when you choose to witness your own beauty.