"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Monday, December 19, 2011

Freedom From the Paralysis of Inner Doubt

Can we ever live without some measure of inner doubt? Perhaps in some areas of our lives that is possible, but not in others, where we feel less secure. To live without doubt in at least some areas seems impossible in a world - and in a life - that is in continual motion and growth. But my contention here is not so much to eradicate inner doubt, as to deal with the part of it that paralyzes us. As you begin to doubt yourself - in whatever area of your life - you begin to over analyze, you begin to second guess, you begin to procrastinate making decisions, and you begin to hesitate. Motion is lost, movement is slowed down, and it is even possible that stagnation - at least in that area of your life - begins.

As you listen to the inner voices of doubt, you need to have a plan:
  1. Go to your original premise - whatever you were thinking about:
    1. A decision? Where to continue your studies; whether to leave your current employment in order to seek a more challenging (or better paid) position; whether you want to get married to your current partner; which gift to buy for a friend's birthday; whether to get the blue or the gray curtains; where to take your next vacation; whether to have shrimp or steak at the restaurant ... as you see doubts can assail us in major, life-changing decisions, but also in smaller, relatively unimportant ones
    2. An ideological, religious, or political stance on some point? Perhaps you had been convinced of one point of view until recently when new events, new knowledge that came to you, or a new uinderstanding has shaken your previous belief, and now you stand before the possibility of changing that belief for another
    3. A way of looking at yourself? It may include much doubt and hesitation about your own abilities, talents, intellect, looks, worthiness, likeability, etc.
  2. Gather information: get the pros and cons, separate myth from reality, if necessary pull in a few trusted people in order to get a few (very few) other opinions or thoughts 
  3. Look at your material and always keep your gut instinct and your heart in mind (see also my Introducing Our Second and Third Brain) as you read through the material with your rational brain at the same time as you pay attention to your other brains: your gut and your heart. At the beginning of doing things in this fashion, you may find that you pay more attention to the rational brain and less to the other two, but as you become more attuned to the language and signs of the other two, and as you begin to trust their information, you will feel more comfortable in always taking them into account, in order to create an inner balance between your three brains (three brains that have been neuro-scientifically acknowledged, as you will see if you read the article mentioned above)
  4. So now you've looked at your 'dilemma', you've gathered information, you've looked at it from the position of your three brains.
  5. Now let it sit for a day or two ... sometimes just the overnight process is enough ... sometimes is requires a bit more, but be strict with yourself to not allow the mulling process to take overly long. Here you are no longer actively thinking about whatever the dilemma is, rather, you are letting it marinate inside of you, after having taken the above steps.
  6. Remember: doubts may still arise, but you are focused on listening to your three brains, and on getting a synergistic reaction from your self about the situation.
  7. When you take action, even if you feel that there is still considerable doubt, take action in the knowledge that you have done what you could to bring your process to the best possible outcome for you or the situation you are considering at this time. Does that mean that there could be other decisions? Of course. But as I wrote a few days ago in Your Possible Selves, every decision you take, over the course of your entire life, could have been different. Therefore, by uising the process described herein, you can take some of the pain of paralysis away from that process and move forward.
Remember, inner doubt is anathema to your well-being, but it can also be highly useful. If it allows you to take steps of the kind mentioned in this post, it is helpful and will keep you from taking rash decisions. If, on the other hand, it drags you into a quagmire of hesitancy and ultimately stagnation, your life will only grow and evolve with great difficulty. Finding freedom from the paralysis of inner doubt is another step on the road to inner freedom about which I am continually posting on this blog.

For more information about being aware, about doubt and moving forward and the way your thoughts and feelings about those subjects influence you and what to do about it, about inner well-being, inner growth and joy, see my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available at Amazon as paperback or e-book for Kindle. Click here to download the first chapter.

From the Description on Amazon:

Ask anyone, whatever their circumstances, if their life is vibrant, fulfilling, harmonious and happy. An honest reply is likely to be 'no', because to answer a truthful 'yes' is no mean feat. Only to grow psychologically and emotionally is not enough. And only to grow spiritually is not enough either. All three dimensions need to be developed in order to realize your full potential. If you are willing to assume total responsibility for the self and to start what is an on-going journey, you will quickly begin to glimpse the first fruits of the ultimate goal: inner well-being, freedom, peace, harmony and joy. This book sets out the pathway to self-mastery and self-discovery and walking that pathway will be the most exciting adventure of your life.

Rewiring the Soul' provides a user-friendly roadmap for personal transformation. Using conversational style, it guides the reader to an understanding of life's problems and how they can be resolved, deliberately including the reader's connection to his own soul and spiritual growth. Based on common sense and the author's work as an integral psychotherapist as well as lessons gleaned from teaching and personal experiences, all interwoven with current findings from neuroscience, positive psychology, quantum physics and Buddhism, 'Rewiring the Soul' signposts the path to resolving everyday life and its problems while converging with the inner quest for connection with the soul. This process allows life to take on a revolutionary new meaning: resolving personal and interpersonal issues while keeping the inner connection to the soul in mind leads to unprecedented growth that is simply not possible if psycho-emotional matters and spiritual concerns are not combined.

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