Doubt, The Dream Killer

Doubt is an ugly human habit. We doubt ourselves, we doubt others, and we doubt anything we can. This is our own way of trying to protect ourselves from pain and failure. We build these walls around ourselves from the doubts we have, piling them as high as we can as a safety net. However, listening to this doubt might cause more harm than good, in the end.

Most of us have dreams to be something better than average, to rise above, creating the best possible life for our families. Yet many of us let the doubt in the back of our heads prevent us from taking the necessary steps to reach this level of greatness. While we may strive for more, we don’t take the steps needed to actually move towards our goals. We settle for an average life because this is safer.

Settling for average is easy, but it kills dreams. You live your entire life inside of a box where you fit comfortable. Your comfort box is what prevents you from flourishing, letting doubt tuck us in. This is when you start living the same day over and over. Not experiencing any real growth. Every dream you have ever had is just outside this box. It is within reach, you just have to be willing to step out.

What is the point of life if you just accept what is handed to you? Do you not want to live for a greater purpose? Hundreds of years from now your name will fade from this existence, if you don’t make it mean something more while you still have the chance. Leave your mark on humanity and let them remember you long after you are gone. Let them know that you never settle for average, but rather you reached for something greater and because of that you lived the life you always dreamed of.

How do you achieve this greatness? There doesn’t seem to be just one equation for accomplishing this, but rather many. It all starts with a single step, as all great voyages do. Most people who have reached a high level of success don’t find it overnight. They kept working for it through all their failure and disappointment. They had faith that, if they put in the work, there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. Greatness is a journey that is built one step at a time.

On this journey you will absolutely be pelted with thoughts of doubt and might even want to quit some days. The key is to push through these. Sure, doubt can help you avoid failure, but failure is still one step closer to greatness. Failure and success are not endpoints, but rather new beginnings. They are the start of a new journey, teaching you how to adapt to situations by pushing through and making it work any way you can. In failure you can achieve success and in success you can find failure. So never settle, never quit.

The Enemy Within

A product of evolution, the human species is left to experience moments of extreme happiness and extreme lows. We seek to fill our desires in a way that creates a sense of happiness. This happiness, however, always seems so fleeting. We poison our bodies with liquor and seek carnal pleasures. Constantly searching for a way to avoid being alone with our own thoughts. These types of methods are never permanent, as we see the happiness eventually start to slip away. Evolution has taught us to constantly crave these things for a brief reprieve from our suffering. Suffer is human nature, after all. But what if there is another way? Wouldn’t anyone choose exist in a happy state?

The unconscious mind can be our biggest enemy. We wage internal wars, beyond our control. It’s where our doubts start creating problems that are not necessarily there. This type of thinking tends to creep in when our minds are idle, when our thoughts are allowed to run free. Seemingly coming from nowhere, to torture you with thoughts that you wouldn’t normally fret over. It can wreak havoc on you while you are lying in bed trying to sleep. Creating unreasonable doubt and issues, where you never saw any prior.

Leaving your mind idle, without distraction can be a dangerous thing for many of us. Without distractions we are overwhelmed with our own consciousness. It plays tricks on us and can be responsible for our unhappiness. Problems are created in the moments we spend alone that can leave us miserable. It’s almost as if our own mind is against us as it aids in creating this unhappiness inside of us.

Allowing your mind to poison you with these types of thoughts isn’t the only way to live. Finding a way to control your thoughts, erasing the negative ones with more positive thoughts can have a drastic change on your life. While it isn’t an easy path, it is one that can teach you that happiness is not always something you pursue, but rather a state of being.

One of the ways to do this is with mindfulness. Utilizing meditation, you learn how to stop these thoughts from surfacing. You experience life in the moment. Focusing on your breathing, you learn how to push away these thoughts that seem to just pop up. While this isn’t always easy at the beginning, with time you find yourself able to control your thoughts. You don’t allow these doubts to find a home inside you and rather replace them with a sense of peace.

Sometimes, the greatest enemy you will ever face is the one that resides in your own mind. However, when you start to recognize this, you learn there is a way to alter this. There are a number of ways to master your mind, and in turn master your ability to be happy at a moments notice.

The Concept of Now

Time is a construct of our own design to help regulate the world we have created. No longer do we live by our natural circadian rhythms, but rather by these custom made times that dictate when we are required to function. Even then, while we are walking around with our watches and our phones, able to check the time at a moment’s notice, we don’t focus on the present moment. We are constantly focusing on the past and the future, holding on to things we did wrong while working towards building a better life. However, many of us get so caught up in these thoughts we end up repeating the same day over and over. We hope to make tomorrow better, forgetting that in this moment we hold all the power. Rather, we allow it to continuously slip through our hands because our focus is elsewhere.

Being in the moment isn’t always ideal. The future holds hope for a better tomorrow. Maybe you aren’t where you wish you were at this exact moment and you spend your time dreaming of a day you will be. You are waiting for that perfect job or maybe the perfect person to fit beside you. With these thoughts the present moment doesn’t really hold much value to you. When you devalue the now you risk forgetting the work you need to put in to reach these future goals. While you shouldn’t give up dreaming about your future, it is best to learn how to remember that what you do today is going to add up to what your future holds. Sit around waiting for the future to grant you all the things you dream of and you’ll find yourself constantly craving an imaginary tomorrow and missing out on the now.

Hold on to the past can also prevent you from living in the present. It can cripple you with regrets you may have. Maybe there was something you wish you had done differently or had gone differently. That shouldn’t hold you back from the now, though. Use the past to help you learn and grow. Don’t be afraid of taking those chances and making changes. The past is set in stone; do not live in a place where you have no control. The present allows you all the control you need to shape your life.

The past can never be changed, but the future can when you value the present. Use this moment to grow into the person you envision in the future. Work towards these dreams and you might find them come to fruition. In the past you find wisdom; in the future you find hope.