We all have insecurities of one kind or another. It’s hard to imagine a human being who never experiences a moment of nagging doubt, no matter how successful they have been or how confident they appear to be on the surface. Just read the autobiographies or published diaries of any artist / singer / actor you’ve admired, those very famous individuals who always seem to know exactly what they’re doing and where they’re going. You’ll usually find that they were full of insecurity and self-doubt, every step of the way.
As for those determined individuals – I’m thinking of the likes of Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Llama – who by their example change the course of history, most of these people are forced by circumstances to hold to their core beliefs, sometimes at the cost of great personal hardship for themselves and their families. But I can’t speak for them. All I know is that I have, from time to time, experienced moments of intense self-doubt. Luckily I have a cure for when this happens, which I’ll share with you.
What kind of things have I been insecure about in the past? It varies from the big-picture stuff, such as my lack of formal education or my ingrained limiting belief that I’m lazy (thanks Mum) to the less troublesome everyday doubts about, for example, the way I look or my presenting style, or the usual financial worries that most of us occasionally fall prey to.
I don’t want to overstate the case. These kinds of things have never made me lose sleep. In fact serious concerns in my world are quite rare, especially since I discovered the Principles about four years ago. Since then I’ve known, without a shred of doubt, that my experience is generated from inside me, that I create it, every moment of every day, from my thinking. Still at times those uncomfortable feelings that arise from my negative thoughts are so strong that I become almost convinced that they are a direct result, not of thought, but of outside circumstances.
So what is the ‘cure’ that I mentioned? The man who first pointed out to us that glaringly obvious yet somehow overlooked wisdom – that it’s all just thought and nothing else – was Sydney Banks. And it’s his voice, and his teachings, that I turn to when I feel that I’m out of my grounding, losing my balance, losing my way. I keep some CDs of his in my car and I listen to them as I drive to and from engagements.
That’s it. That’s all I do, and it seems to work for me.
Because you’re reading this blog, and because you’ve read this far, then you are on the same journey as me. In fact you are on that journey regardless, and so is everyone else on the planet. The journey is simply about finding yourself, ‘coming home’ to your true nature as a spiritual being having a human experience. And what will help you on the way is the knowledge that you are made of the same stuff as your favourite artist / singer / actor, that you are made of the same stuff as Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Llama. They struggled, and still struggle, with the same doubts that you do.
But at this point you may well be thinking that those people I’ve mentioned are special, that they are unique. Well, if they do have something extra, some magical quality that you and I may perhaps lack, it’s simply their refusal to accept that they can’t achieve what they set out to achieve, their absolute knowledge that outside circumstances will never shake their conviction.
That very human quality is resilience.
I would like more of it for myself, which is why I listen to Syd. I do it to remind myself, every single day, that my thoughts are transient, that they are creating my experience moment by moment, and that I am not at the mercy of external events, no matter which direction my life appears to take.
Would you like to be more resilient?