If we are committed to our own growth, we are open to trying new things from time to time. And when we try new things, we often experience discomfort and may even experience self-doubt. Self-doubt is a form of resistance that we can interpret as a sign that growth is possible if we keep moving forward.
According to Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art, Resistance is a force of nature that will try to derail any creative efforts of any person. It is a force that tempts us to give up on bettering ourselves. He also states that this force is fed solely by our own fear and that any time there is a dream, there will automatically be Resistance.
Self-doubt does not mean that we need to stop. Our minds will use fearful, self-doubting thoughts in an effort to hook us with emotion and dissuade us from proceeding. However, as a form of resistance, we can interpret self-doubt as a sign that if we proceed, we could experience things we have never experienced before or become someone we have never been. Self-doubt tells us that growth could be just around the corner.
Because our mind-body system is set up for efficiency, the mind will also pile on with the resistance. As we decide to try something new or attempt to create new patterns or habits, self-doubt pops up as a warning sign that what we are about to do will take extra energy and effort. Our mind is telling us that we could conserve energy by simply staying right where we are or by sticking with the old habits. And in the process, our mind will also try its best to convince us that not doing the new thing is really the more rational thing to do.
Our ego finds the idea of growth as threatening because old ways of being will have to die for the next version of ourselves to be born. And the ego works to keep us right in our comfort zone where we know what to expect. So, the ego enlists the self-critic and doubtful self-talk ensues when we begin down the path toward growth.
We then begin to focus on all of the possible negative outcomes and all of the obstacles in the way. Our perspective shifts from what we can or could do to, all of the ways it may be harder and how uncomfortable the challenge of growth will be.
What we forget is that we are not our thoughts and we cannot believe everything we think. We have the power to change our thoughts and our doubts are just that- thoughts. Simply because we are thinking them does not mean that we have to believe them. We do not have to totally ignore them either. If we can acknowledge the thoughts, we can then make a choice to continue forward even while experiencing doubtful thoughts.
Our dreams, goals, and the steps we take toward personal evolution will bring up our doubts. We then have the choice to believe the doubts and stay who and where we have been or we have the choice to work to overcome the doubts, to try anyway, and to evolve in the process.
This week, I invite you to notice when self-doubt comes up for you. And to notice if you default to believing the doubt and giving in or if you choose to thank the critic for the warning that growth is on the other side of the doubt and push forward anyway.
I will be practicing right along with you.
Chat again soon,