‘Often people just don’t see what I see. They have too much doubt. You can’t do your best when you’re doubting yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?’
– Michael Jackson, Moonwalk
Living a life free from self-doubt could be described as one of the holy grails of personal development. As much as people are drawn to the genre by promises of riches and success, many also seek solace in an attempt to cast away the metaphorical ball and chain of self-doubt. And understandably so. It’s crippling. Anyone who has experienced that perpetual voice in their head, telling them that they couldn’t possibly do what they want to do, will know the mental anguish that it can induce. It’s bad enough living in an ultra-competitive world where everybody is seeking to gain an edge, trying to do so while questonning your ability to succeed makes any form of achievement almost impossible.
So how do you escape the invisible prison? How do you defeat an opponent whose grip over you can feel so strong that you end up convinced your doubts are an intrinsic part of your nature? The answer lies in the question.
The system breeds self-doubt. We are raised to be timid and see ourselves as a very insignificant piece of a greater construct we call ‘the world’ or ‘reality’. This ‘reality’ is far far more powerful than us and we have little power to shape what happens in this realm. We’re taught to ‘hope’ that things might go our way or that ‘if we’re lucky’ we might achieve our desires. Success is never viewed as a certainty. And as our minds are always trying to rationalise our experience, we tend to believe that this is because we lack what it takes to make it happen. After all, there can’t be something wrong with ‘reality’, so there has to be something wrong with us.
This is what the system wants you to believe. However, you must be braver than this. You have to be bold enough to realise that self-doubt is NOT a part of your make up. We are not born doubters, we are turned into them. Once you realise this, you can begin to reverse the conditioning. Here’s how . . .
Generally, I’m not a big fan of mantras. The idea of staring at myself in the mirror repeating a sentence over and over has never really appealed. However, there is one I’ve created in my quest to screw the system and it’s worth sharing with you now;
EVERY decision I make, EVERY action I take and EVERY word I speak is leading me towards a greater life.
Sounds far-fetched? Impossible even? How can someone get it right every time?
When looking at this statement with my ‘system head’ on, I can see how it may seem arrogant or even delusional. We’re supposed to be ‘realistic’ in our outlook and claiming that everything we do is leading towards greatness simply ignores how the world works. However, for just one moment, I’m asking you to ignore that system voice and open your mind to the idea that you can’t make any mistakes.
For some, this may seem like a stretch, but contrary to what you might think, it does not require perfection. In fact, the only thing this statement demands is complete certainty when you repeat it. Instant failure may follow but it doesn’t matter. You are not seeking perfection in results; you’re seeking perfection in thought.
Understanding this distinction is crucial to freeing yourself from self-doubt. You do not have to get it right every time, you just have to believe you’ll get it right every time. As soon as I began repeating and believing in this statement I didn’t experience a meteoric rise and the immediate achievement of my desires. However, I was freed from the paralysis I used to experience when it came to making decisions, taking action and knowing what to say.
Then, I discovered something incredible, you learn along the way. The answers would come to me so long as I maintained my belief. I may not achieve what I wanted every time, but if I kept boldly affirming that what I was doing was right, then pieces of the puzzle would be revealed along the way. This is the crucial distinction between self-doubt and self-belief. You have to be walking the path in order for the answer to be revealed. If you stay stuck, paralysed by your doubts, then you’ll never receive the answers necessary for your advance. However, if you take action and keep your mind fixed on what you want to achieve, then everything will eventually fall into place.
So start today. Begin repeating (and believing in) the statement and get ready for one hell of a journey. Just don’t look back . . . .
(Image taken from Travis.s’s photostream flickr.com)