How to Handle Self-Doubt About Your Dream

Shadows of Doubt

How do we handle self-doubt about our dream, our heart’s desire? This is, interestingly, something that has come up for me in relation to my own dream of becoming a speaker. It seems like I am going through the process of the book with you in relation to following our heart’s desire to fulfill our souls. 

Just like the image to the left, the right side of the image is like our mind when we go into self-doubt. It is filled with “stuff,” chaos, everything going which-way. On the other hand, when we are out of self-doubt, when we are confident in our endeavor, our mind is light and airy, like on the left side of the image.

How do we get to that point? We start by identifying our feelings of doubt. We need to allow them to be, without ignoring or numbing them. As we feel that feeling in the pit of our stomachs, what is going on?

For me, that was sheer terror when I felt that feeling. In looking at it further, I whittled it down again and again until I determined that what I was terrified about was having to speak without my notes, that I would forget what I was talking about, and that I was terrified I would look stupid to the audience, like I had no clue what I was talking about.

Ah, the old ego comes into play. So, I had to ask myself why I am so terrified of looking stupid and I trace it back to repeatedly being told that I WAS stupid, pretty much my entire life. When one hears such words reinforced so much, one begins to believe them.

Now I can look at myself and all the times I was told I was stupid with great compassion. I can hold that child, that adult, in my heart and wrap her with love and compassion. I can tell her that it was a lie, that it was said by troubled people who felt that about themselves, perhaps. But none-the-less, a troubled person.

And then, I can look at the other with compassion. Holding us all in a space of compassion allows me to get into my heart instead of my mind. It is at that point that I am able to remember why I am doing this dream in the first place. I remind myself I am becoming a speaker to share my message with people who are struggling, to relay how I got through rough times, and that they can also.

My people are waiting for me, just like your people are waiting for you with whatever gift you have to offer. It becomes about the other person and when it does, your thoughts are off of yourself and your terror, if it is fear which you are feeling. It becomes instead how you can be of service to another. Suddenly, confidence replaces the self-doubt, and you can move forward with your actions in the direction of your dream.




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