From a very young age society has conditioned us to believe that we are not enough the way we are, and therefore that we need to be different in order to feel complete as well as loved and accepted by those around us.
Whenever we dared to think for ourselves, we were told by authority that our way of thinking is wrong and bound to get us into trouble. Whenever we spontaneously expressed ourselves, whether by voicing our mind or doing what we felt like doing, we were told to stop doing so without asking for permission first. We were told that we should follow rules, that we should be disciplined, that we should suppress ourselves in all sorts of ways and stop paying attention to our thoughts, feelings and emotions, no matter how much suffering we had to endure.
Naturally, as children most of us learned to blindly believe in authority and follow orders, afraid that otherwise we would be abandoned. Instead of rebelling against the suppression that was forced upon us, we chose to pretend that we are who society expected us to be. We chose to wear a persona, a mask that hides our true selves. We started doing our best to conform in any way possible, believing that this is the right way to live, and the more we did, the more we didn’t listen to our inner voice. And at some point in our lives, after many years of continuous repression and brainwashing, we forgot that we even have an inner voice, and stopped paying attention to it altogether. We became soulless automatons, following a predetermined path that was handed down to us from others.
Now, whenever a problem or new challenge appears in our journey of life, we find it immensely difficult to deal with it, because we can’t spontaneously respond to the situations or circumstances we found ourselves in. As we are, we feel unimportant, inadequate, insecure, lacking the confidence needed to deal with any issue that we happen to face. Unable to trust ourselves, we feel convinced that all our efforts are going to end up in failure, and we fear failure like nothing else, because we have been conditioned to think that to fail means that we are a failure ourselves.
Dealing with Self-Doubt
Our self-doubt is tremendously limiting our freedom and is filling our psyche with fear and anxiety, and unless we learn how to deal it and trust ourselves, we will not be able to live happy and free. But how can one achieve to do so? Here are a few simple yet powerful tips that might do wonders to help you overcome self-doubt, start listening to your inner voice and eventually trust yourself.
Reconnect with your self. The first and most important step to overcoming self-doubt is to let go of the beliefs you’ve been brainwashed into about who you are, and start you own quest for truth and self-understanding. To achieve this, you need to spend more time alone, reflect, meditate, come in touch with your inner voice and make friends with your self.
Accept your imperfections. To accept and trust yourself doesn’t mean that you first need to be perfect. In fact, nobody is perfect, and that’s totally fine. No person can be good at everything or always make the right choices in life. As we’re growing, we’re constantly learning new things, but we should never fool ourselves that we can achieve perfection.
Embrace failure. A lot of self-doubt comes from the fear of failure. We’ve been made to believe that failure is bad, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Failure is actually good when we learn from our mistakes and stop committing them again — in a sense, failure is the way to success. So don’t be afraid of making mistakes, because your mistakes can be your best teacher.
Take responsibility for your life. Lastly, in order to learn to trust yourself, you need to accept responsibility for your life. Usually we like to throw the responsibility on the shoulders of others and blame them for anything that goes wrong with our lives. Hence we don’t see ourselves as the creators of our destiny, but as victims who are powerless, waiting for a savior to relieve us of our suffering. Only when you become mature enough to take responsibility in your hands, will you be able to develop confidence, courage, and self-trust.
“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.” ~ Jane Austen