I have often felt as though I am floundering through life, unsure of what to think, unsure of how to behave, looking to others to guide me, looking outwards to society to tell me what to think, assuming that other minds are wider and stronger than my own. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t been a particularly confident, content individual. I haven’t lived as fully as I could have, because I’ve been too tentative and self-doubting.
I think doubt is valuable. It makes you grow, as you question situations and make changes as appropriate. Tension is necessary for growth, because otherwise things would stagnate. Doubt to a degree is good, but it doesn’t need to be focused solely on you. Doubt as a mode of thought is useful: when applied to the world and situations, it prompts analysis and stops blind, harmful, sheepish behaviour. It makes you question things, think through things, and – provided you don’t get consumed by doubt spilling into worry – ensures that you do the right thing. It is somewhat of a helpful fairy on your shoulder really, checking in and stabilising you.
However, doubt can be so detrimental when it’s directed with such emotional force against yourself because it stops you from moving. It makes you afraid and scornful of yourself. It’s like the fairy has died and been replaced by a sadistic tyrant (otherwise known as the inner critic) who abuses you and saps your willpower. When your faith in yourself is shrivelled and flagging, of course you’re not going to have the willpower to move forward. Willpower isn’t a battle against yourself, a negative tug and something to blankly desire more of. Willpower is love for yourself. Fuelling yourself up with deep love and trust is what creates strength. I think that when we love and believe in ourselves enough, willpower arises quite naturally. It’s not something to mechanically drill into you or desire as an external quality; it comes from within, and it’s born out of self-trust.
Everyone’s vision of and journey over this world is different, and you’ve just got to tap into yourself. Because that is where you’ll find whatever your calling may be, and this works on both a wide ‘life’ scale and a smaller, knowing what to do from moment to moment, scale. Trusting yourself in little daily details, as well as in the wider path of life. It’s not narcissism, it’s natural grace and ease in your being. How can you carry out whatever your contribution to life is when you can’t actually participate in it because you don’t believe in yourself? Everything stems from self-belief. It’s not something you have to agonise over and logically process: it’s a feeling. And once you’ve unlocked this feeling of capability and trust, everything else will fall into place 🙂