Removing all self-doubt

Home→Forums→Emotional Mastery→Removing all self-doubt

New Reply
Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #38942

    One of the pervasive underlying threads of my day to day life seems to be that of self-doubt; “Did I do / say the right thing..”, “Am I doing / saying the right thing…”, “What else could I be doing / saying…”

    In the moment of action or speech, the confidence is there and I’m rarely at loss for words and what I want to do at any given moment, but as time passes, left in solitude and the reflection, memory, and review seem to arouse feelings and thoughts of questioning and self-doubt.

    Why is that? Where does that come from? Is it possible to be rid of completely?



    Those are great questions. There is a simple answer and a complex one. The simple answer is those remain until you’re a Buddha. No problem, right?! 🙂

    The more complex one is that because we are still full of self-grasping, in the moments that we are responding we are getting some dirty fuel with the clean. We are not perfect mirrors, so self-driven desires (even skillful ones like “I want to help” or “I feel compassionate pain when others are in pain”) still remain. In addition, when we see our worth tied into the exchanges, there is more pressure to the doubt that arises.

    This has happened to me countless times. I say something that I feel is amazing and insightful, and my feeling of worth is interwoven with a prideful seed in my mind. Then, when I hear an even more clear depiction, that pride ripens as shame (self-doubt) as I feel my worth decreasing. Zen teachers help us like that all the time…. helping us remember that the wisdom we offer has nothing to do with us, we are standing on the shoulders of countless teachers and we are like buckets pouring water, but not of the water. Said differently, the best wisdom is not “our wisdom” but just “wisdom”. It was the clearest water we had at the moment. In accepting this, we remove our conditional confidence and trade it for authentic confidence.

    Authentic confidence arises when we sit and let our own mind clear. We can tell what we are doing is effective, because the thoughts have less gravity… they pull us in less and less and for less time. In doing so, we are opening up channels to the dharma. Said differently, our confidence doesn’t arise from the results of our actions, rather from trusting that our actions will become more nourishing to others as we continue to develop. The moments where we are trying to give back to the world (on tinybuddha, in business, to our romantic partner) we know that we are doing our best to pour. That is all we can do, try to say what we see, think and feel to the best of our ability. This gives us authentic humility, because then when we see something even more resonant or clear than what we had to offer, it is immediately absorbed into our methods and attempts. There is no arising of “holy cow, I wish I could do that” or “well, I know nothing” or what have you. There is only the path of giving and receiving, clearing and pouring.

    With warmth,


    Thanks Matt! I knew I could count on you to respond with grace and elegance. 🙂

    “…rather from trusting that our actions will become more nourishing to others as we continue to develop.”

    I recognize now that my question stems from an impatience with myself. Like a small child sitting in the back seat, I can hear myself asking, “Are we there yet?”

    There’s still so much to learn.


    Well… I could be wrong, but that’s the best my heart had! 🙂 It would have been boring to say “those are just more thoughts, so do what you do with thoughts”. 🙂 Namaste.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.