By Jenny Leigh Hodgins
YOU ARE YOUR WORST ENEMY
Have you ever realized that despite wanting to blame your personal failures or inability to accomplish your goals on external things like circumstances or people in your environment, the real reason you are unable to reach your goals is that you are your biggest obstacle? It is your own doubt of your ability that keeps you from crossing that victorious finish line.
We all have our obstacles; we’re mystically either born poor, or rich, beautiful or plain, athletic or clumsy, creatively-inclined or blocked, healthy or unwell, connected or isolated, and so on.
But the truth is that even those with the most challenging circumstances often succeed well beyond what others, with seemingly much more positive odds stacked in their favor, only dream about. In the game of life, having more fortunate circumstances does not fundamentally determine success or happiness.
BELIEVE IN YOUR POWER
If we would move forward through our respective difficulties with the inner determination that comes from solid self-confidence, we would feel the empowerment that core belief brings. This self-empowerment fuels the discovery of our own resources to persevere toward one accomplishment after another. Believing in human potential, in our inherent capabilities is itself the powerful drive that enables successful people to win over incredible odds.
There are myriad examples of these kinds of success stories throughout history. Helen Keller, Franklin Roosevelt, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Edison are great examples of people who overcame health issues, poverty and multiple failures to emerge as strong, powerful, balanced, happy and successful role models whom others aspire to emulate.
Attaining this kind of inner faith is not about self-centeredness. It is about believing in the positive potential within life itself. But it is nearly impossible to see the highest potential in others if you cannot find it in yourself. And vice versa. The possibilities are astounding if you consider the impact of believing in the positive capacity within yourself and of those in your daily environment.
Imagine how that would transform your view of daily life. How would finding the infinite potential within yourself and others change our world? Imagine how your day, your week, your life would play out if you started thinking:
“I am doing enough. I am on the right track to my happiness. I’m making the right causes toward success because I’m sincerely focused on developing compassion, wisdom, taking responsibility, being the best I can be, and contributing to others. I trust in my own potential. I know that I will reach my goals, so time is inconsequent.”
Imagine how your work-life, family, and community would be different if you thought, “I trust this person will do the right thing, get the job done, step up, has the best of intentions.” Fighting against your negative tendencies to see the better side of people goes a long way toward building both inner happiness and a more harmonious world.
Let’s face it, we’re all working against problems within ourselves, our histories, our daily situations. But we all basically want to be at peace and happy. Let’s focus on that commonality, building trust that we each have what it takes to make the world a better place.
Feel free to SHARE this with others who may benefit from this info! Thank you!
You can also find me on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook!
Get more inspiring content when you signup for the mailing list at YourCreativeChord!
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
People think I have a large life. My energy commands a room, but it’s not intentional. In fact, sometimes I think I have two personalities. And, no, I'm not schizophrenic.
I developed my exterior confidence through my job as a music educator, and my role as a Buddhist facilitator. Directing, leading and teaching large groups of people performing music, and facilitating faith-based activities with diverse groups provided abundant training.
When I’ve had the opportunity to lead, there was no room for ego or attention to myself. There was a task to do. I’ve honed a skill to focus on the task at hand without regard to my personal feelings. I appreciate this skill. It enabled me to achieve more as a teacher, chorus conductor, faith leader and performing musician. It allowed me to see beyond myself and do more than I would have otherwise envisioned had I stopped to ponder my capability.
ATTACK OF DOUBT
On the flip side, my alter-ego is debilitatingly shy and constantly fighting doubt. Through sheer life experience and in particular debt to my SGI-USA Buddhist philosophy, I’ve managed to function well—beyond my insecurity.
But it relentlessly attacked me when least expected with insomnia. Even when I thought I’d confronted my inner demons, fear and doubt insidiously assaulted my thoughts until the wee hours of morning.
I’d combat it with my intellect, of course. I spoke to myself with a voice of calmness about reality and fool-proof strategies to turn away my inner demons. I distracted myself with reading, deep breathing and imagery of relaxed, happy visions. I chanted my Buddhist mantra while attempting to empty the barrage of negativity swirling in my brain. I got out of bed and stretched. I wrote my thoughts in my journal. I fought the battle until 3am, despite exhaustion. Finally, I’d drift off for about three hours of rest.
In the morning it would all seem perfectly stupid. In the light of day, my evening struggle seemed like a mirage. Except that I was depleted for two days afterwards.
This darkness has beat at my inner doors my entire life. I’ve dramatically lessened the effects of it. It used to cause such stomach-upset agony I couldn’t function beyond bed-rest. It caused me to develop respiratory issues. I had no stamina against this demon. I continued consistently battling it from the inside out with my determined prayer. I forged directly through it until I incrementally gained strength over it.
I no longer have those anxiety attacks that shook my whole body with nausea or stomach pain. I no longer get respiratory illness or stage fright. I have no qualms about public speaking, performing, or facilitating. I don’t worry about what people think of me anymore.
All those battles forged my strength and grew my confidence. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'
When I’m striving to reach a personal goal, or break through to a new level of success in any aspect of my life, my doubts rear their ugliness to challenge me. But that’s how I know I’m on the right track.
VICTORY OVER A STRONG OPPONENT
My Buddhist practice confirms this is a sign of my inner growth; I’m pushing myself beyond comfort and growing my capacity larger than before. There should be some fear or doubt because I’m human. I’m tackling new and bold territory.
I’m on to these twin evils (fear and doubt). They appear so I may open the path to my future with my true essence—my inner power fueled by belief in the human heart. My heart.
There’s resistance so I may develop spiritual muscle. These most powerful opponents enable me to forge my full potential. Anything easy would not warrant a victory celebration.
I wage on—with a resolute vow to never give up until I win absolute victory over every new challenge. I know it is a always a test of my faith. A chance for me to see how my determined prayer—starting from the inner realm—manifests in tangible, conspicuous external proof, based on the interconnectedness of life.
I just have to do the inner work first. Take that, doubt and fear. Take THAT.
Share your thoughts in the comments below. Pass this on to someone who may benefit from the information.
Get more inspiring content!
In my Spiritual Wellness blogs, you’ll find ways to overcome obstacles, reach goals, and experience more joy in the moment with spiritual awareness and inner transformation.