Of all the obstacles you’re going to face as you pursue your dreams, your biggest challenge will be self doubt. After all, when you’re drowning in self doubt, it’s easy to become discouraged and give up on your business, partner, or dream. Don’t let that be you. Below, I’ll explain how an unlikely muse, the Burning Man desert gathering, helped me understand how to beat self doubt for good.
Enjoy the Process and Free Yourself from Self Doubt
How many people do you know want to write a book?
Seems like that’s a fairly common dream for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. Now consider: how many of those same people actually finish what they start?
This is a very common thing. Whether we’re talking about writing a book or any of the things you’ve said that you’re going to get involved in, there’s a lot of passion in the beginning. However, as time goes by, that passion tends to fizzle out.
We can talk about procrastination or commitment. We can even talk about taking bite-sized, manageable steps towards a goal. Still, though we may talk endlessly about these things, they’re not the big problem. The big problem is self doubt.
Act in Spite of Self Doubt
Almost everyone feels this way. After all, how many times have you talked yourself into a frenzy?
I’m starting a new business. I wonder if it’s going to work? What if nobody wants it? I’ve spent so much time and money. I really hope this works out. These thoughts can haunt you.
So what do you do?
First, you feel the fear and do it anyway. Act in spite of self doubt and anxiety. You get on out there, and you start to write, or develop your idea, or sign up for courses, if you need information to grow and improve. You say, “I’m not going to let this take me out. I’m going to do the best I can. I’m going to enjoy it the best I can.”
However, second and most importantly, you detach from your intended outcome.
Detach From your Intended Outcome
This might come as a shock. In fact, you might be saying, “What the hell are you talking about, Harv? How do we meet our goals and stay on track without being attached to what actually happens?”
Let me try to explain this through a story about an event called Burning Man. Burning Man is a yearly event that takes place out in the desert near Reno. During this gathering, about 65,000 to 70,000 people from all walks of life come together in their own kind of alternative community.
The most interesting thing about Burning Man is that they do a lot of spectacular artwork. In fact, they do huge pieces; things that are 30 or 40 feet high. People have worked on these pieces for a full year. I’m talking pieces that could probably be sold for $5 million, easily.
Do you know what they do with it all at the end of the event? They burn it!
Why? Because it’s not about the result. It’s about the process of loving what you do. You enjoy the process of creating the art and then enjoy it for the time it’s meant to be enjoyed.
The artists burn their art to ensure that they’re not attached to any outcomes or any results from it in the future. It was only the process they were interested in. It was the beauty and creativity of painting, building, or doing.
If we were not attached to our outcomes, there would be no fear. You’re only experiencing self doubt because you’re fearful about your desired outcome. However, what if there was no desired outcome? What would you be afraid of? Nothing.
Commit, Don’t Attach
You can have an intention to create $1 million this year, but you don’t have to be attached to it. “But don’t you have to commit to it?” Yes, of course, but there’s a difference between attachment and commitment. Attachment is an emotional element. Commitment is a process.
I want you to create an intention and have a vision for your life, but I don’t want you to be attached to anything because attachment creates suffering. Buddha said it best: “The number one cause of my suffering is believing that I have to get what I want in order to be happy.”
Read that again: “The number one cause of my suffering is believing that I have to get what I want in order to be happy.”
True or true?
Here’s the problem. If you have to get what you want in order to be happy, there’s going to be a lot of times you don’t get exactly what you want. You’ll always be suffering.
Many people don’t finish what they start simply because they’re too attached to the outcome. By all means do what you have to do to reach your goals — but enjoy the process. Don’t let your worries about success cloud your journey. Let go of that attachment and let go of that self doubt.
You don’t have to be attached to your intentions, results, or commitments. You don’t have to be attached to anything. Watch how much happier and successful you become when you release yourself from these attachments that breed self doubt.
Tell us what you think. Sound easier in theory than in actual practice? How do you relate this concept when it comes to your life?
Share your stories and insights…we want to hear from you!
For Your Freedom,