On doubting yourself.

the steps to overcoming doubt

I almost didn't become a yoga teacher. 

I was too afraid to take the test for fear of failure, or that I wouldn't pass, or that if I DID pass, I would suck as a teacher.

It wasn't the only time my younger self experienced feelings of unworthiness.

The truth is, most of us have a deep seated belief that we're not good enough.

Self doubt is the ultimate dream killer. And once it creeps into your system, it can leave you paralyzed and feeling separate from your true self. 

It creates chaos in your mind, manifesting in many different ways. Sometimes the side effects are subtle, like a general sense of something "missing" or being on edge. Or they can be more obvious, whereas even the most mundane decisions (i.e. what toppings do you want on your sandwich?) can induce terrible amounts of anxiety.

It is described as one of the five hindrances in Buddhism. 

Doubt typically comes from uncertainty, disappointment, experiences of failure, or an old belief you hold about yourself. 

It is important to work on not identifying with doubt: it is not you and you are not doubt. It is simply a mental state that has arisen because the conditions were right for it. Similar to how a weed grows where the soil is rich. 

The antidote to self doubt is reprogramming your subconscious. This can be done through specific tools like spiritual teachings, practices, hypnosis and meditation. 

In meditation specifically, you can focus on detangling doubt from your identity, and see it as separate. Once it is separate, pressure alleviates. 

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It is important to simply recognize it, and observe what it feels like: physically, emotionally and energetically. 

This is called the RAIN method. (Recognize, Accept, Investigate, Non-identification). Simple exploration and observation is sometimes enough to release doubt. But let's take it a step further to make sure we leave no traces of doubt behind.

Letting go of the programmed limited thoughts you have is done on an energetic level, rather than a conscious level. While journaling and affirmations can be a helpful addition to your growth, until you release and reprogram the core belief that you are not good enough you will be running in circles. 

Michael Sealey's meditations are a great starting point. Keep in mind that it is important to be in a trance state for meditation to be effective. This is because in the normal, awakened state of the conscious mind can reject words or suggestions it is hearing, therefore not impacting the subconscious. In a trance state we bypass the gatekeeper of the awakened state and the subconscious mind will be able to absorb and accept suggestions. Don't get discouraged if you do not enter into a deep hypnotic state initially, it may take a few times of practice, but I assure you that all beings are able to access it. Take a few deep breaths in and out and give yourself permission to explore this state.

Let me know how your experience goes, and if you have any questions.

Happy meditating!

Jen Cannon