Self-doubt is the most sinister form of resistance I encounter on my journey. It has been known to stop me dead in my tracks and consume an entire day (and even entire weeks!). Just yesterday, I had a breaking point and began to job hunt. I felt antsy, rushed and agitated. I was desperate to find a job that fit me and would launch a career in the arts in some way. I couldn’t find it. And I probably won’t. I already know that the job that fits me is the one that’s my own creation.

This angst and frustration immediately produced negative thoughts and a sedentary/self-pitying disposition that I’m not proud of. Gratefully, I have a small group of friends who are always there to tell me to snap out of it. And then, I remind myself to do the work and do it with my whole heart. That’s when I noticed, just before bed last night, that I wasn’t living through my heart anymore. I had lost my way a bit. In a desperate need to be able to support myself 100% with doing what I love and to be ahead of where I am right now, I had gotten lost in a sea of how to make my skills an immediate moneymaker. It got to the point that I wasn’t actually doing the things that I want to eventually be my career.

Doubt by Misha Gordin

Doubt by Misha Gordin

This lack of productivity reinforced my self-doubt that I was incapable of succeeding at being a working artist and entrepreneur. 

In order to get myself back on track, I had to release all of this negative, self-placed energy that had been following me around all day. One amazing resource that I use is meditation. I force myself to have quiet time. When I’m sitting, I am able to note all the thoughts that are chatter. That’s the wonderful thing about meditation: the thoughts that arise during that time are often clutter–things blocking my creativity from getting out to the world. Knowing what to get rid of is an invaluable tool to conquering my day.

After meditating, I sat down and pinpointed my feelings. I acknowledged the angst and the frustrations. I watched them. I welcomed them. I released them. And then I reflected on why these feeling came about in the first place and how I can guard myself against an entire day of struggle like yesterday. If I had been mindful when these feeling arose that morning (and not at bedtime that night), I could have had a more productive and enjoyable day. Regardless, I forgive myself and am ready to take my daily steps forward again, mindfully and from the heart.

When you’re having a bad day, here are some steps to help you get passed those negative emotions:

  1. Recognize the feelings that are getting you down. Acknowledge them. Be mindful of them.
  2. Welcome these feelings. Call them by their name. “Hello, Anger!” “Hi, Fear!” “Bonjour, Self-Doubt!”
  3. Focus on your breath and smile. Smiles are contagious and your mind is gullible. By smiling, you can bring yourself into a better place. By breathing and focusing on your breaths, you will calm your body and mind.
  4. Let it go. Whatever it is that was getting you down, release it. It’s powerless now.
  5. Now, reflect. Take a moment to understand where these emotions came from. What caused you to feel the way you did? Reflecting strengthens your spiritual muscles and helps you better guard yourself against emotional instability in the future.

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