The seed of our stress

Self – doubt is getting a lot of bad press lately. It’s one of the top enemies of productivity, which itself seems to be simultaneously, a highly sought after skill, commodity and value nowadays. Productivity is the new currency. A new marketing word for monetizing the rapidly evolving virtual platforms used not only by businesses but by individuals to ‘scale ourselves up’, to be the best possible version of ourselves we can be. Self – doubt appears in the shadows and creeps upon us to darken our mental ‘I need to chase my dream’ optimum. The world is fragmented into freely accessible and free-flowing information, that is tempting us like never before to attain the unattainable in a version of ourselves that is somehow better than who we already are. With artificial intelligence on the side, we are left competing with our own self. Let’s be honest for a moment, herein lies the seed of our stress.

Uncover the deeper layers of your mind and what truly drives you

If we reduce self-doubt only to lack of confidence in our own abilities, then we are really losing the game before we’ve even taken off. Self-doubt is a quality of reasoning that is highly powerful if used in a more beneficial way. It is an instrument of inquiry into the nature of our own self and to what truly drives us. The more we uncover what lies beneath the layers of our mind, the more empowered, centred and whole we feel. Don’t buy into the idea that ‘living your best life’ or ‘becoming the best you’ is believing in your self. You will be robbed of knowing who you really are. Scale yourself down with courage.

The map of your self-inquiry

Sit or lie down in a quiet space. Relax your body and mind with whatever gets you into that state. Answer these 6 questions in sequence with utter sincerity.

1. Why do you compete with yourself?

Keep asking yourself further from this starting point, penetrate deeper with any subquestion that arises in your mind’s eye. Listen with an open heart.

2. Who do you listen to for guidance?

Your parents, your friends or loved ones? Your boss? TV? Newspapers? Influencers? Celebrities? Trends? Intuition? Logic?

3. How do you use the information you learned?

By this, I am referring to the application of information that gave you the resolution to adopt it, from whatever source you chose it to follow. Do you blindly copy it or do you try to understand the bigger picture?

4. Where do you stop and pause?

Do you stop and check in with yourself at all after your mind has adopted certain information, idea or a concept? Often, when we have no idea how we got to a certain stage of our life’s situation, we exhaust our vitality on many levels. Being on a high or on a low without a conscious and observing mind may bring us into a state of physical or mental illness.

5. When do you take decisive action?

Before a thought or an idea manifests itself into action, there are stages of evolution at play. Every thought is basically a seed. We must plant the seed in order for it to grow first. The seed sprouts, the sprout grows into a tree, a tree can be made into a table. At what stage of this analogy you decide to act will determine your true creative potential.

6. What do you do, when no one listens to you?

Here, no one listening also implies to no one noticing you, no one applauding you, no one caring for what you have accomplished after you have learned something new, that changed the way you perceive yourself or the world around you and inspired you to act. Do you succumb or do you persevere in pursuing your goal? If the first, ask your self why? If the latter, do you ask yourself why? Do you ponder on the consequences of your actions?

Put in the effort to really know yourself

Even if this may only be a hypothetical and an elaborate mental workout at this moment for you, that took you hopefully into a fascinating journey of self-discovery by questioning yourself and doubting your own motives, self – inquiry is a necessary technique in yoga, applied to gain wisdom. Time is the only real currency in the trade and often we may feel that stopping in our tracks by really examining ourselves through introspection like this is too hard and wasted labour. ‘Ain’t got time for that!’ Furthermore, not considering the consequences of our actions has proved itself lethal for our planet. I am inviting you to understand the true power of self-inquiry. Put in the effort to really know yourself. We will all benefit from it.

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