Navigating Your Way Through Self Doubt


WHAT EXACTLY IS ‘SELF-BELIEF’ AND HOW DOES IT AFFECTS OUR LIVES?


Self-belief is a person’s perception of their persona and their capabilities. Positive self-belief manifests as a surge of certain-ness that rises up from inside. It’s a feeling that carries the message or knowledge of being capable of achieving your desires. It’s an empowering emotion and a sense of confidence that tells you - “You got this” or “You can do this”.


Negative self-belief, of course, is the opposite side of the story. If you hold negative thoughts and beliefs about yourself, then you see the world in the opposite way. You see or experience life as having an almost unbeaable weight of uncertainty, doubt, and fear. Most likely you are afraid to step out of your comfort zone and as a result, you probably miss out on a lot of life’s opportunities.


If you want more from life, you have to examine your thoughts because here’s the simple truth – we get whatever we believe we deserve – nothing more, nothing less. You will always get the job, the paycheque, the partner, the life you believe (most times subconsciously) that you deserve. Dr. Wayne Dyer coined the phrase: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. If you want to change your life, then you must first start looking at yourself differently.


Life changes dramatically when you start believing in yourself. Self-belief gives you the freedom to make mistakes. So called ‘mistakes’ become our best teachers. I have firmly believed for a long time now that there are never any mistakes, just lessons. When you begin living this philosophy, you see setbacks as gifts of knowledge and signs to move in a different direction, or as signals to adjust your strategy.


Self-belief also lets you recognise opportunities. When you believe you are destined for something, your mind automatically seeks opportunities to make that belief or desire manifest for you. The mind is a machine. Once you create clear goals and objectives, you will start to notice that people, tools, messages (maybe even this blog post or whatever you need) - appear almost out of the woodwork. “They” (the elements, the circumstances, the people) find you. That is because the mind is the most powerful manifesting machine there is. It will give you what you believe and expect 100% of the time.


Self-belief motivates you to take action towards your dreams and desires, and it also helps you to find creative solutions. This is because having a certainty about what you are doing helps you to relax and think more clearly. Self-belief also helps you to sustain persistent action over long periods of time. Setbacks or obstacles are seen as part of the process. This means you keep moving in the direction of your desires - which does in effect help to reinforce your self-belief.


HOW TO AQUIRE POSITIVE SELF-BELIEF


Building positive self-belief is an ongoing process like most things in life. It takes time and diligence as well as conscious awareness of the false beliefs that have been directing the course of your life up to now. A good recipe or prescription for acquiring stronger conviction in your abilities is to challenge yourself on a daily basis to look more closely at your choices and behaviours, especially the underlying emotions that motivate them. By doing so, you being to understand why you haven’t arrived at your desired destination yet. You begin to see which nasty false or negative beliefs have really been charting the course of your life.


One thing to keep in mind is that transitioning from a state of self-doubt to self-belief is a learnable process. You were born with a blank slate – no doubt; no belief. Circumstances and conditions have shaped you and as such have determined which end of the pendulum you have swung to more predominantly. The first step in the process is to stop beating yourself up for not ‘being there’ already. Many of us are not. Secondly, you need to forgive yourself for all the false, cruel, and degrading thoughts you’ve harboured against yourself for so many years. You are learning and growing each and every day. If you strive for greater awareness and believe you can achieve it, then you will. Be patient with yourself. The road to recovery, the pathway to acceptance, and the journey towards self-love is a long and slow one for most of us. Be gentle with your soul. Love and nurture it as you would a child, and give it the space and time it needs to grow.


Set realistic goals. Rome was not built in a day, as they say. Change one thought at a time. Become consciously aware of how a false belief will try to sneak its way into your daily routines. Examine it, see how it tries to sabotage your efforts, and then move on. It doesn’t help to engage with it or to try to ‘argue’ it out of your system. See it, and let it float away. Then reaffirm your own worthiness by doing something nice for yourself.


It's important to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements and accomplishments along the way. When you dispel a false belief, mentally clap yourself on the back for that. Reward your positive thinking. Treat yourself to something special like a latte or an evening stroll by the water - whatever works for you. At the very least, close your eyes and feel immense gratitude for the new awareness you’ve earned and gained. Building self-belief involves reflection. You must internally recognize the transition from A to B. Once you ‘see’ something, you can’t un-see it. It really is as simple as it sounds.


Become a life-long learner of YOU. See your progress throughout the weeks, months, years and even decades. A great way to do this is to journal. I’ve been journaling since I was a teenager. One of the things it provides for me is a way to get my thoughts and emotions outside of my body. Somehow doing still helps me to see things differently and to move accordingly. These days you can record your thoughts as voice messages to yourself if you don’t like writing. I sometimes do that, but most often return to pen and paper, or the keyboard because for me, there is something about the time it takes to physically write or type that helps me get in touch with a thought or an emotion. Try both and see what works for you. By keeping a record you can go back to someday, you will see just how far you’ve come and how much you have grown in awareness. It is these milestones you must recognize and celebrate – doing so helps reinforce and build more belief and confidence in your abilities.


Keeping a record of your thoughts is a private matter regardless of what method(s) you use. The person’s opinion that matters most to you should be your own and no one else’s. Comparing ourselves to others is a dead-end road that only leads to despair. There will always be someone more accomplished, more successful, more prosperous; etc. than you…. and that’s okay. Their journey is theirs, and yours is yours. It's fine to have a mentor or someone in your life that inspires and challenges you to become more of who you are meant to be, but don’t measure your journey, process or progress by theirs. Learn from others, accept their advice, and measure your own growth, but don’t compare. We are all unique and as such grow as we are meant to grow.


Focusing on your own uniqueness is more empowering than comparison. Examine your own ‘superpowers’ – there is something that only you can do in your own special way. It may be some sort of ability or a certain knack you have for sharing with people or reaching them; it could be a particular competence or skill you demonstrate in your own unique way; or it could be something you’ve bravely challenged and overcame with courage and fortitude that could help someone else if they knew about it. Credit yourself with your own unique offering for the world, then go do it little by little. Prime your mind with this ability every day.


Self-belief comes from developing an unwavering vision of what you want to become or to be in the world. Sit quietly as often as you can for a few minutes with closed eyes and visualize the confident person you desire to be. See your weaknesses, but approach them in a relaxed manner with focused determination to turn them into strengths. Trying to rid ourselves of weaknesses instead of accepting them as part of our entire being never works. There is a yin and yang to life, a dark and light. Both are relevant. Both are needed. We cannot see one without the other. They are meant to work in unison to teach, guide and direct us.

Photo: St. Shotts Breakwater - Sept. 2019

My last tip is to align your thoughts, words and actions as much as possible. When you live life without incongruences and in flow with your desires, you operate and manifest from a place of authentic integrity. What I mean by this is that your spirit flows naturally because little by little you come to accept more and more of who you really are – AND you begin to value that person. In doing so, you shift internal self-perceptions from negative to positive; from doubt to belief. Once you reach this point and live it more and more every day, you will no longer have reasons to ever disbelieve or doubt yourself again.


The most important relationship you will ever develop is the one with yourself. Cultivate, nourish and nurture it at every possible opportunity so you can grow into the joyful, prosperous, and abundance life you were meant to live.


Let me know what works for you - how do you rid yourself of doubt. Post a comment under this post or send me an email. The AMMO Community would love to hear your words of wisdom (anonymously or not). We learn best from each other, so please share what you've learned in life so that it may benefit others.

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