This is my 40th consecutive week of posting articles on HuffPost. The process has been a great gift and a blessing to me. Writing each post has given me food for thought, a chance to look more deeply at how we can create greater health, wealth and happiness.
The HuffPo Living Page is a warm, friendly place to associate with a wide range of wise fellow bloggers, gain fresh inspiration and enjoy readers who visit with comments and views.
While I continue to offer blogs here, I decided to make my work more widely available. To start with, I am working on a new website.
On the one hand, I feel confident about what I have to offer, both as a speaker and as a writer. On the other, frankly, I feel scared. The "what if's" have been raining in.
What if I can't do what I say I can? What if people do not like what I do? What if they don't like me? What if I get rejected? What if I am a dismal failure? The spectre of self-doubt is showing up. Hello! Can you relate with any of this? Perhaps I would rather stay safe, and be quiet. Then, what if taking what I do to a new level is a whole lot of fun?
Giving consultations to people wanting to improve their lives, I have found it common for self-doubt to appear as you come out of a comfort zone. Self-doubt can be felt as confusion, not knowing, self-judgments, a sense of separation, fear - an emotional roller-coaster.
Actually, self doubt is a blessing. It does not feel that way. Do you ever experience self-doubt? Or do you have all the trust and confidence you would like? As confident as I am most of the time, I know there is more understanding, more freedom and joy for me to explore. Hiding away will not do it for me.
My passion for writing began when I was 11. My father's work took him, my mother, brother and sister to Jamaica. They left me behind at boarding school in England, where the secondary education was considered better than in the West Indies. I joined them for summer holidays. My Dad's sister in London was my guardian and I spent some of the other holidays with her.
I grew homesick. Writing, and receiving letters from home, was a lifeline. I missed my Mum. My aunt was quite authoritarian. She spoke with an "upper class" accent - posh - and told me to do the same. At school, kids teased me for talking "posh" and so I learnt to speak there with a rural accent. When my aunt telephoned me at school, I had a dilemma. I found it hard to speak to her on the phone. The fear of speaking on the phone stayed with me for some years afterwards.
To make up for my loss of family, I focussed on being successful in my school work and did well. Emotionally, it was painful. I resolved never to get close to anyone in case they would leave me. I wrote letters to forge the connection I was missing from my family. Seeds of self-doubt were sewn during this time - together with my love for the Caribbean, upbeat music, dancing and a sunny climate.
Here are some keys that may assist you to overcome self-doubt at a time of change:
1. BREATHE DEEPLY
When difficult emotions show up, breathe love into them and relax. Call upon your spiritual, higher or divine self to be present with you. The human spirit that you are never leaves you and is your greatest source of loving support at all times.
2. APPRECIATE YOUR VALUE
Who you are deep down is much greater than any issues or challenges you have, or will ever meet. Be aware of the goodness of your intent, and the good that you do - to love and take care of your family; to do your best at work; to give of yourself into your community; to meet and master your challenges.
3. BUILD SELF-TRUST
Handle the agreements you have made with yourself and others. If you find you are over-committed, renegotiate those agreements so they do not drain your energy. Make fewer commitments you know you will keep.
Get busy and clear out cupboards and drawers, the garage maybe. Let go of things around you that no longer "have energy" for you. Create the space for becoming more fully your true self.
4. PREPARE FOR WHAT YOU WANT
How would you like to experience your life in the future? Would you like more adventure, deeper peace, greater happiness, a loving relationship, a rewarding career, more time, a healthier body? Sketch a vision for yourself, in words or images, of the life you would like to create. See, feel and hear yourself fulfilling your intention.
5. BE BOLD
Take one brave action to move you in the direction of your new life. If you are anything like me, your mind goes blank at this point. Ask a friend to help you if you feel stuck. Listen to your intuition. The still small voice within you will guide you. Do what is true for you.
As the saying goes: Fortune favours the brave.
6. CELEBRATE THE BEAUTY OF YOUR BEING !
High five your achievements as you go Celebrate each little success, each brave step on the way.
Self-doubt in my experience has been a blessing because it has caused me to touch more deeply into the spirit that I am. This in turn has enabled me to appreciate that spirit that lives in others, no matter the circumstances of their lives.
It seems to me that we each have a predisposition for certain life experiences, and to learn from them. We gain if we choose to see things that way. Attitude is the magic word.
Have you run into self-doubt with the current challenges? Are you finding ways to encourage yourself when you have felt doubtful? What brave actions have you taken to pursue your dreams?