The beaches on Bribie Island Australia are peaceful and calm. Visiting ignites my senses and brings me alive, filling my heart with emotional experiences that my body urges me to savor for a lifetime.
Sinking into the sand and looking out to sea I feel grounded. I am safe, alive and content.
As my senses take in the surroundings self-doubt disappears. I am rich with the beauty of life. There is no logic, just an emotional interpretive experience that reminds me why doubting yourself is not logical.
The experience I just shared with you is historical and real, well at least for me. It forms part of the color of my emotional world.
All humans experience life this way. Felt feelings that each one of us interprets in ways only real to us. We can have similar experiences but no two people can have exactly the same experience.
Our world is colored through context. I view the the beach and ocean through the context of my own world. I see myself in a certain way because I am looking through my own life’s lens. No one else sees through my lens.
I liken this to a photographer.
When they look through a lens the beauty they see is colored by their own personal life experiences. Each photographer sees something different.
Similar landscapes viewed, interpreted, and captured differently.
Sunshine Coast photographer Nikki Olivier from Nikki Olivier Photography taught me that. She has the most amazing eye for photography and she gives her clients the most wonderful and very personal experience.
In this post, I’m going to discuss why doubting yourself is not logical and provide ways that you can transition through any phase in your life without being paralyzed by self-doubt, just by being a different observer.
The Rational Analytical (and Logical) World
We are regarded as intelligent beings, capable of rational and logical thinking, coming to conclusions based on logic and rational analysis.
This means that when we look at a situation and conclude an objective understanding of it, we come to believe that is how it is – the truth.
We use logic to come to scientific conclusions and mathematical solutions. Logical analysis plays an important and integral part in our world. In the last 200 years or so we’ve taken enormous strides. Take the medical world for example. It has advanced beyond what we once could have imagined.
However, we also live in a highly competitive world. A world where comparisons are rife and competition is fierce.
The Logical Comparative World
The pace at which we compare is beyond our capacity to cope unless we find a new way to observe the comparisons.
This is a mindset that has been born out of the rational logical world. It exposes us to all sorts of injustices, inequality and challenges, respect and self-respect.
As we observe ourselves through the lens of others we are relentlessly faced by our own inadequacies.
But beyond this mindset, we have an opportunity to expand our learning and therefore our interpretation of our world.
The pace at which we compare will be beyond our capacity to cope, unless we find new ways to observe these comparisons with self-acceptance and a deeper inner knowing that our uniqueness is meant to be
The Intuitive Interpretive World
Alan Sieler in his book Coaching to the Human Soul Ontological Coaching and Deep Change Volume II comments:
“The intuitive interpretive tradition places interpretation at the center of cognition. Human existence is seen to consist predominantly of interpretation, not objectively knowing the world”.
We make meaning through what we hear, see, feel, touch and we generate that meaning in language and this becomes our reality.
Words and thoughts become standards, expectations, judgments, and opinions. We might think we’re coming to logical analytical conclusions, facts, but so often these thoughts and conclusions cannot be grounded.
They remain as opinions that we’re treating as facts.
Therefore our experience of self-doubt is no more than an interpretation that somehow we don’t measure up to someone’s standards and expectations.
Perhaps the question to ask is; whose standards and expectations are they?
Emotional and Intuitive Learning
Because rational analysis is so subtly ingrained in us, it becomes a barrier to inner learning. When we treat our opinions as facts we miss the interplay of emotions and interpretation.
Rational analysis gets in the way of us reaching our intuition.
We make decisions based on the language of judgment and opinion rather than on what we intuitively feel.
Our experience of felt feelings become muddied with external expectations, standards, and judgments. Consequently, we are drawn into the belief that somehow we don’t measure up.
As we get sucked into this mode of being we go into battle with our intuition, and our drive and our will to explore and live out our passions and desires is interrupted.
We’re hooked into “truths” – opinions treated as facts – until soon enough they become our own reality. We talk ourselves into logically believing we’re not good enough.
This mode of being is killing us. We do ourselves a huge injustice when we believe the negative things we tell ourselves about ourselves.
We fundamentally become self-doubt. We fundamentally believe we are not confident. Our body experiences life through this lens. The sensations, feelings, thoughts, and actions all occur through this lens.
This is what I hear among women’s circles, over and over again:
I’m not confident
I lack confidence
I wouldn’t have the confidence to do that
I don’t believe in myself
I’m scared of failing
I’m scared of giving it a go
I live with self-doubt
I doubt myself
I don’t think I’m capable
I’m not capable
What if I fail?
I failed at that
I’m a failure
Every one of these statements are judgments and opinions – they are not the truth and they are not logical. They are emotional experiences that by the nature of being human, we’ve put language to.
When we observe the success and wins of others we treat ourselves as though we can’t do what they have done, or we can’t be what they are.
Be Aware Of External Standards
Standards are thought up by humans; communities, companies, families, corporations and so forth. Standards form our expectations – what we expect should happen according to the set standards. Society needs standards to reduce the risk of harm to self and others, however, some standards are ridiculously high, or unrealistic, and many are imposed upon us that are just not necessary.
Consider the parenting and health standards we listen to across media every single day. How much have those standards, shaped the way you think about yourself? Think about it. How much do you doubt your own judgements because of unrealistic or inflexible standards?
Doubting yourself is not logical, however it is expected in such a high risk world! We buy into these every single day.
Becoming aware of the standards that are set by others will help you decide what standards you want to live by, and what standards you want to adopt for yourself. Now it’s time to set your own.
I set my own standards, I live by my own expectations, and I make my own judgements.
When you’ve judged yourself for so long you can come to believe you are fundamentally flawed. Challenging these core thoughts is crucial to your capacity to live the calm and confident life, and to thrive.
You can can do this. But you’re going to have to get out of your own story and observe what thoughts, feelings and emotional states are holding you back.
What’s It Going to Take?
Observing your emotional experiences through your body and your soul. When your intuition speaks to you, listen.
You intuitively know you’re okay and that you do measure up. But when for so long you have ignored your own internal guide, you need to find ways to get back in touch with it.
Each time you self-judge, observe it as a judgment you’re making – an opinion, and not the truth. Stop treating your opinions as though they’re facts.
Click here for your personal fridge handout. Use this as a constant reminder to observe and start disputing these opinions.
My Beach Moment
I can bring that beach experience into the present. I can challenge the relentless daily opinions and this allows me to take the actions I want to take to live a calm, confident life and thrive. I can challenge the “logic” because it’s not logical and I can show you how to do the same.
You see, I was told I didn’t measure up, over and over again.
The message rang in my ears and through my body every single time I heard it until I believed it. But my beach moments allow me to put the logic to the test, to challenge the “truth” of not measuring up, which was really a lie.
Of course, I measure up! I set my own standards, I live by my own expectations and I make my own judgments. And I choose to judge that I’m okay. Just. The. Way. I. Am.
How will you challenge self-doubt when it appears in your life?
Get your very own fridge handout to remind you of the reasons why self-doubt is not logical ..
I wish the best of care for you this day and every day.
Do you have any questions? Comments? Insights? I’m here to listen! Let’s chat below.
P.S. I also have a Facebook page where I’d love to chat with you and answer your questions! Click here and like my page.