My last post was about doubt and a little on how to over come it. This time, I want to dig a little deeper in how one might try and overcome it. To see if I can't flesh out a process a little more, and maybe help anyone out there that might be having some issues with self-esteem or doubt. I myself (as of the time of the writing) recently went through an episode of depression, doubt, anxiety and fear. It all sort of culminated into an ugly moment in my life, and I struggled to find my way out of the darkness.
For most of my life, I have struggled with self-esteem issues. Always looking at myself as if I was unworthy or inadequate. Never quite measuring up to the standard of things, a born failure if you will. I would have my good days, sure, but they usually proceeded a bad day, which would quickly put a lid on any optimism I might have acquired during those good times. A victim of circumstances, always allowing the bad in my life to carry more weight then the good.
A couple of months ago, I figured something out about my life. Something that in-fact would change my whole world. It was like a light-bulb had finally turned on, and I could see everything more clearly, which allowed me to put my energies in the right places to help fix my life. It was great! Everything was clicking. Like I was the guy from the movie Limitless. I literally became faster, smarter, stronger, happier, less stressed and fatigued, and I for some reason, didn't need as much food or sleep to get me through the day, with no ill-effects. I felt 120% better! Like a whole new person was born.
Of course this was short lived. A week or two into my new found happiness, when then something happened (which I wont go into) and suddenly, the walls around my new life buckled and the ceiling collapsed hard on me. Hitting rock bottom after climbing so high was very difficult to deal with. I went from living in a dream world, to living in a nightmare. I was tormented by fears and doubt, which lead to depression, and depression further fed the fears. My mind swirled with images and thoughts derived from these fears. It swallowed my mind, turning it against me. I couldn't control these thoughts, or push them out of my head. They even began to wake me in the middle of the night, or prevent me from sleeping in the first place. It was pretty bad.
All I wanted to do was return to being happy, feeling confident and full of energy. I figured the best way to do this was to retrace my steps on how it managed it the first time. But there was a problem. I suddenly couldn't remember how I did it. Only bits and pieces of it remained, but most of the path I took to achieve it vanished from my mind. It was unbelievable to me. During that great period, only weeks prior, I had spent most of my waking days just thinking about how good I felt, and even how I managed it. I even meditated on it, everyday! Yet now, when I needed it the most, I couldn't remember...
All I remembered about it was, that I focused on myself above everything else, it involved the subconscious mind, as well as the Soul, and energy. But now, when I thought about those things, they felt so distant from me. Like petty wishful thinking. Even though I remembered not only believing in these things, but also being aware of them, and feeling them. It was like I was in touch with some deep part of me. But now, I felt like it was all an illusion. A trick of the mind I played on myself. Even though deep down, I knew it wasn't.
So I was trying to juggle retracing my steps and dealing with my depression at the same time. Trying to remember how I came to a point in which I was able to reach some deep place inside me, and begin to turn my negative beliefs around into positive ones. I spent weeks on it. Everyday dedicating it to just finding my way again. And everyday, coming up with only the same bits and pieces that I already knew, and they felt empty. I kept trying to believe in myself, and looking to the future with hope, but it did feel hopeless. After a while, it began to stress my body, and stress developed in the back of my head and neck, which made matters worse. Finally after a couple of weeks, I began recalling a few more memories. Like, everything tormenting my mind was just crap. Crap that needed to be cleared out because it was fear based, and nothing more. Others included the importance of energy in your physical, emotional and psychological health.
Finally I began to remember more, and here is how I did it.
We as a people are conditioned from an early age to be subjected to the outside world. We get our happiness, love and confidence from the experiences around us, and it doesn't need to be that way. I'll give an example. Lets say today is an average day for you, and you are feeling pretty neutral, not too good, but not too bad though either. Suddenly, someone comes up to you and pays you a compliment, one that hits you just right, and suddenly you are feeling better and happier!
So, why are you feeling better now as opposed to a few moments before the compliment? It's not that the person gave you happiness. It's not even that the person is responsible for your happiness. It was all you. You see, when the person in the example above, complimented you, YOU responded internally. It's partially psychological, because we aren't really taught to be that independent. We are taught to mostly respond to outside stimulus, and not as much inside stimulus. Even though that feeling of happiness was always within you. I mean, it came from you, right? It had to be in there to be felt and experienced in the first place, right?
So if that feeling, or any feeling you want for that matter, is already inside of you, why can't we call them up on demand when we want them? Because we are conditioned to be responsive to the outside world, not the inside world. However, if you focus a bit more on responding to yourself, and less on the outside world, you could feel as you wish, all the time. It's a matter of reevaluating where you should put the most authority in your life. Why can't YOU make YOU feel happier? What could possibly be standing in the way?
Maybe belief in yourself? Perhaps you respond to others more then yourself because you believe in them more then you? Ever ask yourself why that might be the case? Maybe because everyone else looks to them (figuratively speaking) or others as an authority, so perhaps you should too? Then again, it was probably 'them' that convinced you to trust 'them' over yourself in the first place.
So it just becomes a matter of learning to respond to yourself a bit more. Learn to feel happier because you want to. Not needing something outside yourself to accomplish it, because it's already within you in the first place, or else you couldn't experience it. Once you begin to respond to yourself, you will begin to believe in yourself, and you will feel like your thoughts and feelings matter the most to you, and you will have authority over your own life. You will feel centered and grounded in yourself.
Once you pop the lid, things really begin to pour. You may even start to challenge other negative beliefs. Start asking yourself why you can't feel smarter, or calmer, or have more energy to do things, or anything you want really. You could start changing everything you don't like about yourself. You are effectively a walking psycho-energetic being, and everything is energy. So imagine what you could do if you could change your mind around, and spend all that energy on positively reinforcing yourself. Why not, right? After all, it is your life.
Meditation helps wonders with this too. Although, the prospect of sitting still while contemplating yourself may not sound all the thrilling, it does allow you to focus your mind on just the task at hand with no other distractions, so you can dig deeply into yourself and turn things around. You aim is to simply get yourself to respond to yourself, on as deep of a level as you can. Don't stress over it, stay as relaxed as possible, and you begin to notice as you do this that you are almost talking to yourself on a deep level. I kind of looked at it as giving myself therapy. And after a while, meditation became quite pleasant, because I was responding to myself more and I could then make meditation feel however I wanted it to feel. Even being able to tell aches and pains to go away, because I held a connection with some deeper part of me.
I hope this was at least mildly helpful.
Hope you enjoyed!