Last week’s Piece Talks message was about self-doubt. I chose that topic as a focus because last Sunday I had a little bit of a rough time with some self-doubt that came up while I was brainstorming and planning my next steps to promote my book. I’m trained in how to deal with uncomfortable feelings when they come up, so I was able to both have the experience and observe the experience at the same time, and ultimately move through it. Here’s how it went…
I’m sitting in my comfy red chair, thinking about how I can get the word out to people about my Piece Talks book. I have a big vision for my book- to help people all over the world develop a greater sense of peace, love, and connection with their bodies, so they can live, happier, healthier, and more fulfilled lives.
So, I’m in brainstorm mode, looking to come up with some creative ideas, and as I’m contemplating what steps to take next, I begin noticing this growing feeling of sadness. I know right away that this sadness is coming from a place inside of me that has fears, doubts, and concerns. And very quickly, the sadness turns into a feeling of depression. There’s a heavy feeling in my chest. I’m feeling depressed. It’s like an emotional “takeover.” I notice what’s happening, and I silently ask myself, “What’s going on?” And, the critical thoughts come flooding in…
“This won’t work.”
“I’m not sure what to do next.”
“I can’t do it.”
“What if no one cares?”
And on and on…
For several long minutes, I observe with fascination my thoughts and feelings. I’m fascinated because, where did all this suddenly come from? I’m not sure. I was just sitting here thinking about my next steps on how to get my book out into the world, when the self-doubting floodgates opened. For me in this moment, more important than trying to figure out where these doubts are coming from, is what I’m going to do next.
Here’s what I did:
First, I stopped what I was doing (you can’t be very productive with brainstorming and planning if you’re feeling bad about yourself).
Second, I sat with how I was feeling, and just observed myself. I noticed that my chest felt heavy. My breathing was stressed. And, I just felt low. Experiences like having “self-doubt” can show up in our bodies in very significant ways. My experience of self-doubt was very physical in that it created strong feelings and sensations in my body that were unpleasant, to say the least.
I’d like to note here that simply allowing ourselves to “be with” our thoughts and feelings from a place of neutral observation is a great gift we can give ourselves. Though we may not feel loving or compassionate, this act alone is loving and compassionate toward ourselves.
Third, I began telling myself the truth. My truth. Silently, I said to myself:
“I’m having these thoughts right now, but these thoughts are not the truth about me. I know that I am in the perfect place at the perfect time, and I know I’m being guided to my highest joy in the fulfillment of my expression. The right and perfect next steps are being presented to me now. I know exactly what to do, and I am saying YES.”
Between allowing myself to have my feelings until they were fully felt, and telling myself the truth about myself, I was able to let go of my self-doubt. And I know that I was able to let it go because, not only was I now feeling much better, I found myself having some inspired ideas on next action steps. These felt really good to me. They were the natural “next steps,” and I began to take action right away.
I don’t think it’s realistic to aspire toward never having a critical thought or negative feeling ever again. Yet, by utilizing our awareness to move through experiences like I’ve just described with conscious attention, we can move through difficult experiences more quickly.
Like I said in my Piece Talks message last week, by not giving in to your innermost fear, you have the power to make your self-doubt disappear!
With much love,