The Insidiousness Of Self-Doubt
The main reason we need self-compassion for self-doubt is that it comes on so insidiously. If we could see it coming early, it probably would not be so painful. There we are marching along our path, processing obstacles as they emerge, and while not always pleased with ourselves, we have a sense of optimism about ourselves, and the future. Then, one day out of the blue, we hear something about our chosen profession or passion. It will not pay us what we need to build a life. The area that we were so passionate about is no longer part of the job description or has been marginalized by something more mundane or aggravating. A recent development has made this choice a controversial one. We feel that cold sweat run down our backs, and the world starts to move in slow motion. We do not feel so ok, and that critical voice that visits once in a while seems to have plans to be around on a more permanent basis, and boy is he angry.
When self-doubt arises, we tend to panic about life, avoid it, and then begrudge it. For many people, self-belief and hope are what tie them down, and give them hope in a world of ever-changing dimensions and demands. Self-doubt comes in, and cuts those cords. And, they find themselves floating uncomfortably through life. Hiding seems like a natural response to this. Who wants to run into someone that might judge them, while feeling hopeless about their past, present, and future? You cannot answer the normal questions sincerely without drawing too much attention. How is it going? Badly! How is work? Oh, it is bad. What are your plans for the future? I think a better question might be, “where have they gone?” You leave this conversation feeling sad, and your acquaintance puts up a Facebook status of “Bumped into Kevin. 2017 is beating the crap out of him. If you see him, tell him there’s hope.”
So, we hide. Life is tough enough, when we are unsure of ourselves. We do not want to welcome the judgment of others, especially people, who are articulate and have a very fast wifi connection. Sadly, hiding just makes it worse. The longer we isolate ourselves, the more we are convinced that our self-doubt is well-founded, and that both the present and the future will be bleak. In troubling times such as these, we need self-compassion.
Easy Self-Compassion Steps For Managing Self-Doubt
The toughest part of self-doubt is the negative voice in your head, so let’s make friends with this guy. Hey, if you cannot beat him, join him. Right? Ok, do not join him, but acknowledge that you have good reason for concern, and when you are really worried, your critical voice comes out to motivate you to action. Acknowledge how much it stinks to worry, and be criticized. Notice where these feelings manifest in your body, and soften around these areas. Let these feelings pass, and ask yourself, how you can be kind to yourself in this very moment. This process will probably repeat itself pretty often at first, so just be patient. The payoff is in the process. Just trust the process, and soon you will begin to feel better.
Self-Doubt Is An Obnoxious, Yet Necessary Part Of Living a Good Life
Every person who has ever made a difference in this world needed someone to close a door or an entire pathway to force them to live or create something that never existed before. The suffering and self-doubt were part of their story, not something that they or you need more of, just part of it. When these terrible moments come up, just acknowledge that they are terrible, and go to your process. Every day, we acknowledge the death of what we have already lived today. We will never get a second chance to live today. Good days are hard to let go of, and the idea of consecutive bad days is equally difficult to relinquish, but to truly live, we must do so anyway.
Since perfect life prediction (which does not exist) is not necessary for a good life, we make space to let go of our wish for it, and trust that self-doubt, happiness, sadness, loss, acquisition, epiphanies, and disappointments are all part of our journey. They are what makes us who we are, and as we wish for the people we love unconditionally, may we do our best to accept our path, and our position on it today, tomorrow, and the next day.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 214. In The Books.