Doubt it a totally normal experience. It’s comes with the territory when you’re a human born with a brain. It functions to try and keep us safe…to assess potential danger and protect us. However, it keeps us from experiencing true inner – and outer – freedom.
In Buddhism there is he concept of the Five Hindrances, which are mental states that impede progress in our meditation practice and our daily lives. They can also lead to unhelpful – or even harmful – actions. These hindrances are:
- Desire for sense pleasure
- Aversion/hatred/anger/ill will
- Apathy & laziness
Today’s we’ll jam about doubt and its antidotes – the medicine that can help address it when it arises. If doubt is part of the deal with being human, we might as well get good at it, right?
One of the antidotes to doubt is seeking out examples of those that have gone before us. Yes, you can do it without examples. Yes, you might have to be the first example yourself. (Of course, there’s always the first, so later in the episode I’ll talk about what to do when you might likely be the first…)
But if you’re not the first, it is hella awesome to hear about those that have already done it, right?!
It doesn’t mean you suck at managing your mind. It doesn’t mean you are messed up because you want social proof (I mean, that’s why we all put testimonials on our website of previous clients because…we know people like to see examples!). It’s totally normal to want to see if people have done it and to use that as inspiration.
Especially when it’s hard to manage your mind on a given day.
Examples aren’t required to succeed, but they can help. And yeah, if there aren’t any testimonials available – no social proof – you can at least know what you’re getting into 😉
Wanting proof doesn’t mean you suck at managing your mind or that you’re messed up. It’s totally normal to want to see if people have done it and to use that as your inspiration. Using inspiration as an antidote to doubt has been around for thousands of years. It works.
Doubt can be one of the most difficult things to deal with because when we believe it and get hooked by it, it can stop us from taking effective action – from continuing our meditation practice, from promoting our biz, or from getting up off the couch and being active. We become paralyzed.
When the doubting mind hooks us, we get stuck, and we often want to make it go away quickly and resist it. But that doesn’t work in the long-run. That’s why a second antidote to doubt is mindfulness and becoming present with it. Fully processing it.
The full episode walks you through a great practice you can do to become more mindful of doubt, but a few things we can pay attention to when it surfaces are: Can we identify a trigger to the doubt (comparing ourselves to others on social media, looking at fashion magazines, hanging out with toxic people)? Is it arising in a “loud” way or with less intensity? What happens in our body? How long does it last? What mental state follows doubt?
When we observe doubt in a more detached way, we can observe it with more loving awareness, and our whole mind becomes freer.
Note this particular antidote is not about resisting doubt, but about letting the resistance that is there be, soften, and fade away. It’s about being with doubt and reminding ourselves we don’t have to believe it.
This is where thought work comes into play. After processing the emotion fully by being present with it and releasing resistance to it, we can get curious about it.
And when we take early steps to become mindful of doubt as a thought process, something awesome happens: the doubt itself becomes the source of understanding ourselves. (Check out more on how to coach yourself through this thought work with doubt in Episode 18).
What about if you’re the first person to attempt something, so there are no examples to inspire us? Remember: there will likely be times you will be the first – especially if you’re going to be diving into a new market, creating a new process, or coming from a historically oppressed group breaking through the system, for example. In this case, we can use thoughts about how others have been the first to do things and that they still did it, even when they doubted themselves and had no examples to go before them.
We really can let doubt become a window into a psychological adventure for us; to show us parts of our brain we weren’t even aware of. Adventure – being open to the unknown – is how we evolve, learn, and grow.
When doubt arises, we can say, Thank you for trying to protect me, but I’ve got my own back. I’m OK with an element of adventure.
I’d rather take the risk than have regrets.
Learning to work with doubt is essential to freeing our minds and hearts and for deepening our meditation and other practice, and to keeping us open to the adventure of life.
In this Episode you will learn:
// The 5 Hindrances – mental states that impede our practice and daily lives
// How not learning to manage doubt leads to confusion and wasting time/money/energy
// Why doubt is so difficult to overcome – and the key way to uproot it
// 3 helpful antidotes to doubt
// One mindfulness practice to help you be present with doubt (instead of resisting it)
// How to make doubt an adventure (for realz!)
// Episode 18 – How to coach yourself
// Episode 67 – Why adventure is essential to our evolution
// If you’re new to the squad, grab the starter kit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll get access to the private Facebook group where you can ask me questions! Once you join, there’s also a weekly FB live called Wake the F*ck Up Wednesday, where you can get coached on things that come up as you do this work – in all parts of your life.
// If you’re ready to *truly* know yourself – all of you – and to start actively transforming old broken habits into new healthy mindsets, check out the upcoming Adventure Mastermind. It’s a no-BS group of 6 womxn ready to slay the next year – YOUR way. Six months of transformation and adventures (inner and outer!) that will have you blowing your own mind, and you can learn more at www.AdventureMastermind.com Check it out – application is open, with an amazing bonus of 1:1 coaching with me (expires soon!), and you won’t want to miss the chance to hang out with me and a small group of rebel womxn in adventurous places to get unstuck and create the next chapter of your amazing life!
// Want to dive into this work on a deeper level? To study it and practice it together? Check out Freedom School – the community for ALL things related to freedom, inside and out.
It’s also where you can get individual help applying the concepts to your own life. It’s where you can learn new coaching tools not shared on the podcast that will blow your mind even more, and it’s where you can connect over all things freedom with other freedom junkies just like you and me. It’s my favorite place on earth and it will change your life, I guarantee it. Come join us at JoinFreedomSchool.com I can’t wait to see you there.