Leadership & Self Doubt

Today I’m writing about something that affects many of us to varying degrees.


It may not affect you of course but speaking candidly, I was absolutely full of it for years…

Before understanding its implications and learning how to replace it.

In the context of leading our business and life, as with any mental constructs, self-doubt is hugely inmpactful.

As ever, I hope you find this article helpful.

All Doubt is Self Doubt

All of it.

Whether doubting an individual, an organisation, our own abilities, the economy or even an object, etc…

The doubt is ours.

Where else could our doubt reside?

If we’re agreeing with someone else’s doubts – whether it’s a friend or colleague or an economist, politician or newsreader – by definition, we’re agreeing and therefore we’re doubting too.

And our mind can and will always justify our doubts.

Because what the mind does is to justify and validate…

By projecting what we’re entertaining mentally and emotionally.

The mind faithfully projects and reflects our assumptions and beliefs.

So, we can always ‘find’ the evidence for why we’re right about whatever we’re entertaining.

Whether this is being doubtful or worried in general or about something more specific..

Like not having enough time or money or whatever else we may entertain….

Our mind will show us the evidence of what we’re entertaining.

Even if it’s the evidence for our own excuses and reasons appearing valid.

So, when it comes to leading – whether in business or life – it’s key to understand how the mind functions.

To understand it projects the evidence of what we’re giving OUR awareness to.

So, when we doubt, we experience the evidence of our doubts.

Such evidence may appear completely independent – and therefore valid and justified – and other people may align with our views and provide further validation, etc., etc.

But it’s simply a reflection of what we’re giving life to in our mind or what’s alive in our mind but unconscious.

If we then maintain or persist in our point of perception and remain unaware of what’s happening…

We may unwittingly end up using the ‘evidence’ of our own projected assumptions to validate our original assumptions…

And, in turn, we may then doubt some more, project more evidence and so on…

Creating and experiencing patterns or going in big circles… or spirals or yo-yo’ing…

Whilst believing it’s the outside world or other people and that it’s not coming from us.

When it is.

So, in summary, our doubt, when maintained, is always validated.

And of course we can absolutely reason for it.

Because the mind will always produce the evidence…. even if it’s in the form of a mental story we’re buying into as our evidence.

On the flip side however, our self confidence will always be validated too.

If we’d give it as much attention…

Our mind will just as readily produce the evidence for our self-assurance as it will for self-doubt.

Or whatever else we may desire.

And the good news is we always have a choice.

Although I fully acknowledge, it may not feel like we do at times; we really do.

Recognising that we have a choice and then accepting (versus resisting) our current circumstances is the best starting point.

This helps free us up to recognise that every moment is a completely blank canvas on which we get to paint our future.

Our job as the painter, however, is to ensure we don’t get lost in our own painting… which can be easy to do.

Maintaining the painter’s vantage point requires us to live from the truth about who we are versus from our mind and our thoughts, feelings and beliefs about who we are.

This way we can hold the brush and paint on the canvas from our heart and intuition and not from the beliefs, stories and programmes of the mind and body.

Because the mind and body want to revert to what they know and are familiar with.

Which is fine for some things, if we’re happy with them, but not so much for the things we may want to change.

Because, even when we’re completely fed up with certain circumstances or patterns, the body and mind crave the familiarity of them.

For the ego, what’s familiar is safe.

The mind absolutely loves recycling its projections!

Because the mind is for survival, not for creation.

It also loves it because it gets to be right which is one of the ego’s favourite missions…. even if it’s to be right about our limitations!

It’s one reason trying to change our thoughts and our mindset at the level of the mind is so hard.

Tackling an outcome and not the root cause of the outcome is always going to be hard!

Especially as the mind really doesn’t want to change because it’s otherwise invested in familiar, in being right and in recycling projections…. to keep us safe.

Even when we’re not in any danger and when safe feels like stuck.

Trying to ‘control’ or ‘take charge’ of our thoughts at the level of our thoughts and mind is like putting our thumb over the end of a mains water tap!

At some point it sprays.

It may be popular, mainstream advice but what about the outcomes? Such advice doesn’t work for very long, if at all….. but the ego loves it nonetheless! Of course.

The root cause is consciousness. Before the mind.

When we approach change from here, we become conscious of the mind and its games and stories and patterns…

As opposed to being caught up in and entangled and identified with them.

And when we’re aware, we can then choose what we give life to from our heart.

Versus running on auto-pilot from the mind.

When we lead with our heart, the mind has to fall into line…. and our thoughts and feelings then align with what we want to project and experience.

From here, we’re no longer reacting to and recycling our old projections. 

From here, we’re literally free to create as our heart desires and not as our mind is prone to want to.

From here, the self-doubt dissolves because our heart doesn’t ever doubt.

Our heart quietly knows. It’s our intuition.

Doubt is only for the mind but our mind fiercely resists this whole idea… of course.

Because, as we’ve explored, the mind really isn’t up for change.

It much prefers the safety of similar and familiar and not too much change… and has reasons and justification for this too.

The mind wants to lead and be right…..

Even when this hurts our heart and denies the expression of our heart’s desires.

The desires we’d love to experience and KNOW we’re capable of. ❤️

But the heart will never interfere.

Because unconditional love doesn’t interfere. It allows.

So our heart just waits.

Waits lovingly… for us to be ready to change how we want to lead.

To get out of our minds and intellects.

And sometimes this means our heart has to suffer for years or even a lifetime watching us have more faith in our fears and doubts and in our perceived limitations than we have in our dreams and goals.

If we listen to the mind, we’ll never be ready.

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