In my own life, I had never really addressed the unwelcome dance between “self doubt” & I. In my interactions with those around me (friends, colleagues, family members) I consistently saw the same sentiments of self doubt, of wanting to accomplish something – be it a goal, dream, desire, etc. There always seemed to be reasons for why not to do something, instead of a reverse mechanism of listing off all the ways that they could turn their wishes into reality.
There are plenty of reasons why people hit these “blocks” or obstacles. Sometimes it is internal or external criticism. Sometimes its other factors like finances, or perspective. We try to encourage others but when we find ourselves in that similar situation – fearful to accomplish something no matter how greatly we may desire it- we aren’t always very kind to ourselves.The intention is there but the spark needs igniting.
I personally dont believe in perfection (anymore). I like the idea of balance but balance takes self mastery, self discovery, and sometimes hard work. This year I want to address how I feel and attain what I desire. I realized roadmaps can be helpful and I complied a list of ways that could help silence self-doubt in order to sprout. What if we spent more time inspiring one another? What if we spent more time encouraging ourselves? This is the light-chases manifesto. This is chasing your own light and making it burn brighter.
1) Develop one (or more) mantra that applies to you or what you want to achieve. this could be something like “I am/will be successful” or “I am deserving of what I wish to achhieve.” When you discover your own message, practice mantra meditation by repeating this to yourself. Then say it out loud. Yes out loud. I do this before I go to sleep with the lights off and my mind clear. I dont even think about the mantra I simply repeat it. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you feel conflicted of self-doubt – repeat to yourself and remember meditation isn’t about perfectionism, its meant to move you forward. Its meant to empower you.
2) Kick self-doubt in the face. Whenever self doubt starts to appear or those feelings creep up simply reply with a “No.” Counter those thoughts little by little. Even if it feels impossible or if something is telling you its not possible, discover that you don’t have to give in to someone else’s perception.
3) Throwing yourself to the wind. Explore stream of consciousness options like journaling, coloring books, etc. The goal is so create something without expectations. Shake off the dust and get moving
4) Surround yourself with positive people or like-minded ones. I cannot stress how valuable this is. Seek people who will encourage your growth and goals, find a group (in your community or even online). Reach out to someone you admire and let them know. Never underestimate the power and potential of genuine camaraderie.
5) Forget expectations. Its easy to look at others or different situations and needlessly compare ourselves and feel negative; as if we aren’t “achieving enough” – this thinking can set us back and make us lose that confidence. Instead release the concept of expectations and focus on what you want and how to attain it. The truth is that everything takes time and effort. Behind every picture of success is a story of how someone got there. Focus on the journey not the endpoint. “Decide to rise” a wonderful mantra from Danielle LaPorte with a great motivation piece on overcoming doubt (P.S. I am currently reading her book The Fire Starter Sessions and truly recommend it)
6) Plan. I used to avoid any kind of planning medium because I didn’t think it was necessary. However as the years passed and the busier I got I realized how easy it is to forget ideas, thoughts, and plans. By writing these down you create visual (and hopefully organized) outlines of keeping things on track while priming you to do something that day/week/month.
7) Step back and ask yourself what you want. Why are you not feeling motivated? Why is this doubt kicking in? Sometimes our paths & desires change – & this is truly okay. To better ourselves we have to be honest with ourselves and address what we want (or don’t want) in order to move forward.
8) Accept yourself. Once you accept who you are, what you want, and wish to do – you then gain a power and confidence with realizing your potential. The only happiness that matters is your own, when you act against what you really want, you can’t grow. “You’re freer than you think you are.”