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, troubled people.

And then, I can look at the others 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 some very rocky 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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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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Inspirational Quote About Life and Grace

As we move forward in my book, our next topic is grace. Today’s inspirational quote about life and grace from the book is “Gently, quietly, an unearned favor of great beauty and pleasure is bestowed upon me.”

Sweep of Grace

Sweep of Grace

There is nothing quite like living in grace. It is a spiritual experience, for me. It is swept upon me quietly, gently, as the quote says, and as the photograph shows.

The thing about grace is that it is unearned, it is a favor. The more you strive for it, the more elusive it is. It is a gift that settles upon you. It just feels like the world is in alignment, that all is right for you.

Webster defines grace as an attractive quality, feature, or manner. It is beauty or charm of form, composition, movement, or expression.

How do you live in grace? Since it is nothing you can originate, since it is bestowed upon you, living the principles of living that we have been discussing will lead to grace.

For example, living with honesty, and with an open and willing heart will lead to grace. So will it if you live with tolerance, compassion, and kindness toward others and yourself.

Live with these qualities today and see if you experience grace, that wonderful veil that descends upon you, gently. Let us know if you experience it and what it feels like for you.

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What is Compassion?

Our next stop as we work our way through my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing is compassion. And what is compassion? It is the ability to feel sympathy or sorrow for another’s sufferings and is usally associated with an urge to help.

what is compassion

Fields of Compassion

To interject, the interesting and very unique thing about my book is that I wrote three-quarters of the verses that appear in it before I even discovered the gates and photographed them.

Such is the case for the verse that accompanies Fields of Compassion. I wrote the bulk of the verse in Colorado in 2003, immediately following an uncomfortable experience with a homeless man, and I found the gate image in Napa Valley, California in 2005. I later re-wrote the last stanza, which I quote below. I rewrote it because the original was just a demonstration of self-pity for my shame.

What happened in 2003 was, I stopped at a light in Denver and there was a homeless man on the corner. I didn’t want to give him money, so after a brief encounter of our eyes meeting, I looked away with shame and avoided further eye contact.

I felt horrible that I couldn’t even acknowledge this man, another human being who was struggling. After I went through the light, I stopped and wrote the verse that goes with the image, in which I talk about how I could not even show my compassion to this man, and that I cried for the lack of compassion we show one another. 

The end of the verse reads, “All it would take is a look, a smile, to let this man know that I care about him, feel his plight, want to help. I can offer a fellow human being a smile, a hand, and fill a vacant field with compassion…”

Back to our definition for the question what is compassion? You can have sorrow for another’s plight, and you can take it one step further by acknowledging them. All it takes is a smile, a nod of the head. Sometimes you wish to reach into your pocket to help with money, but even if you do not do that, you can display your sympathy, your compassion. This goes for anyone who is suffering.

It even holds true for yourself when you are suffering. You can show yourself sympathy when you are healing and dealing, for example, with grief, sorrow, or remorse that arises.  You can fill your empty field with compassion.

Compassion is not to be confused with pity, feeling sorry for others, and especially feeling self-pity. Now, Webster includes pity in the definition of compassion, yet, in my experience, I have found that self-pity was very destructive for me. It perpetuated my blaming of others for my woes, kept me drinking over it, and it kept me from moving forward and taking action. It stopped me from being useful to others. And pitying others I found to be demeaning. 

I hope I have answered for you the question what is compassion. How do you show compassion to another or yourself?

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