There are many times when we doubt ourselves, question and re-question ourselves and create unnecessary thoughts about what is, why it is the way it is and what could have been. Self-doubt is like an illness, which slowly and painfully eats away at the one afflicted.
Some are complacent and settle down with the thought that “this is what I am” or “this is my habit” or even “my life is destined to be like this”.
So the big question is: Why the self-doubt? Does a lack of self-esteem lead to a lack of self-respect? The final impact is not being able to stand up for oneself, being unnecessarily submissive, being a doormat in overbearing relationships. The mostdamaging aspect is undervaluing oneself as an independent person.
Life’s experiences, upbringing, cultural background and a lazy attitude are just some of the many reasons for which peoplemight accept things as they are,even though theymight be crushing them from within.
In spiritual terms it could be said that the soul is slowly being killed,that the inner self has no identity of its own. The natural state of the soul is to be pure, strong and beautiful. And, despite all the tragedies in life, the soul can be polished back to its original state, like aprecious gem.
Bring back the shine
So how do you bring back the self-worth, how do you bring back the bold and beautiful you, which may have been lying dormant under the debris of life’s challenging experiences?
- Safeguard yourself and move forward
Don’t look back.
While it is difficult not to reminisce about the past, it is worthwhile to think of the past as life’s lessons to help you move forward. Once you put a stop to looking at the past in an absolutely bad light, you will find the beacon that leads you to the future. Safeguard yourself from the bad memories of the past by treating them like exam papers, which you have passed with flying colours.
- Strengthen yourself
Now you are ready! You know you want a change. Your inner strength is awakening slowly. Watch the company your keep; choose to keep away from those who might pull you back into the past. Remember you cannot be of use to anyone or to yourself, if you do not realise and utilise your self-worth. A sinking ship cannot become a rescue vessel. Once you are ready and strong, you can go out and be a pillar for your friends and relatives who need you.
- Shun a false sense of security
Remember that no one will go with you into the grave. So identify and eliminate any false sense of security. While it is soothing to hear words of praise, always remember that they are not permanent. What is permanent is your own inner voice, your inner conviction. Once that is strong and pure, it is easier to identify the pitfalls and build on the self-esteem, which will cultivate your sense of security as an individual.
Deep within the soul is our conscience. It is our inner wisdom, the part of us that really knows that love is a more natural state of being than hate, that peace is more natural than stress. This inner wisdom also knows that,when we violate the truth,because of a weakness or a false or temporary sense of security, created by love and attachment, our conscience bites and we become slaves of our own degrading thoughts.
Meditation and awakening the true inner self is the way forward. This is the way to permanent realisation. This method will help bring back and build on our self-esteem and guide us away from false sources of security. Regular meditation helps usnaturally become less engaged with past thoughts, which pullus down. As we stop listening to the inner critic, gradually that voice will be silenced.
Raja Yoga is an easy form of open-eyed meditation, which helps you to be engaged in day-to-day living, while also being a detached observer. It is not necessary toseparate oneself from family and friends. As you strengthen your inner self, you will remain a strong, uninfluenced and beautiful individual.
With longer and deeper practice your relationships will improve,as you start seeing all individuals as they are and not as an extension of your expectations. You will also stop trying to fit in as a complacent people-pleaser, once you have accepted yourselfwith healthy self-esteem as a unique individual.
Brahma Kumaris in Australia
The Brahma Kumaris have had a presence in Australia since 1975. There are centres and class locations in the major cities, as well as three Centres for Spiritual Learning, where courses, classes and retreats are held. Brahma Kumaris Australia is a registered charity in the area of education (spiritual). All programs are offered free of charge as a service to the community. The ongoing operations are funded through donations from students and the public in the spirit of maintaining its educational services for the benefit of all in the community.