The thought of this topic came up as a discussion with my friends Liz and Daiga. We were introspecting and analyzing our lives. We had self-awareness. Interestingly we also had self-doubt and maybe a little bit of insecurity.
Self-awareness, I believe is honest and keeps us humble. It helps keep an eye on the ego. It is a consciousness and if channeled correctly it leads to connectedness.
Self-doubt on the other hand is the one that always questions. Is this the right decision? It is the master of “what If” scenarios. It thrives on fear. Sometimes, it may protect us but most times, I feel, it brings us down and weakens are intent. Self-doubt feeds insecurity and insecurity feeds self-doubt.
If we watch it, we find self-doubt at all places. Recently we were watching ‘Dancing with the Stars’. The participant was practicing a tough dance. He was self-aware. It was a tough dance and he will need to practice more. Plus, he will be judged and watched by a whole bunch of people! These were just facts. Then, for a moment, he felt insecure and had self doubt on his abilities to perform and he said, “I have to ensure I don’t come in my own way”. He captured the essence of self-doubt wonderfully.
I do believe all of us have self-doubt at different scales and I also feel we use different tricks to combat it whether its using our courage, or taking a few different opinions to gain confidence or in my case, hearing war music to get the courage! Self doubt may come in with either a history of failure or more so a fear of failure. I start fearing self doubt when it moves to self-pity or indifference. In case of self-pity, I feel depressed and in case of indifference, I feel I don't care. In either case, self doubt stays put.
Self awareness is a skill we all need to develop. It’s the first step towards mindfulness. It helps me understand what I am feeling, why I am feeling that way and whether that reason leading to the feeling is true. For example, I feel sad as I think she is not listening to me. However is it really so? Is she not listening or am I not hearing her? Self awareness helps me get in touch with my core being.
As we friends shared both these thoughts, I felt lucky and blessed to be surrounded by people I can be vulnerable with and who would love me anyway. A few questions on these thoughts from my friends helped me take a leap from self-doubt to self-awareness to “Self”-awareness.
I am aware
That I am good
And I doubt
I haven’t been great
I am aware
Of the Presence
I am conscious
Of the connection
I am self-aware
I am Self-aware
I just am