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Friday, September 27, 2013

Miserable? Embrace Your Angst

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." Helen Keller

Why Do I Suffer a Lack of Confidence? Is Something Wrong with me?

Every person who has ever done anything great has suffered times of low self-confidence and self-doubt. You're no different.

In The Crystal Caves, author Mary Stewart captured the internal struggle we all deal with at one time or another in the character of Merlin the Magician. In Stewart's view, Merlin the great sorcerer had self-doubts despite his incredible supernatural abilities. He was always questioning if his abilities were real.

This image of a powerful sorcerer, who from the outside appears so skilled and powerful--yet is so filled with angst on the inside as he questions the truth of his abilities--provides a great representation for us to see what naturally occurs within us mere mortals.

Inside and Outside Viewpoints

So what's going on? Why, despite accomplishing sometimes great things, do we like Merlin still doubt ourselves? When it comes to taking the next step, getting the next job or love, or recovering from a breakup or loss why do we fall into self-doubt and a lack of confidence?

It has to do with our perspective--from the inside we see who we aren't and what isn't finished--i.e. everything we still want to accomplish, while from the outside people see who we are, what is finished and what we have accomplished.

"Others see our work for what it IS; we see our work for what it ISN'T."

"Others see us for who we are; we see ourselves for who we aren't."

There isn't anything wrong with you when you move into these times of internal angst. You are experiencing what it means to be human. Don't run away from your angst; embrace it; sit in it; experience it. Then, when you're ready, step out of your private shell and take a public step.

  • Put on the painter's pants, pick up the paint brush and paint your next masterpiece.
  • Put on your superhero's cloak, put your best foot forward, and work to save the next animal, organization or environment.
  • Put on your best face, be your best self, and go meet the person who may be your next great love.

Your private angst isn't as bad as it's cracked up to be. Somber times lead to enlightened times.

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker."  Helen Keller

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For more than 30 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before. Contact Susan to schedule life change coaching, weekend retreats, or engaging Lightarted experiences to share with friends.


Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Well said! I should have read this before I went to visit a friend who is dealing with angst over decisions about the care of her elderly parents. She beats herself up for not doing enough while all the rest of us admire her for all that she does.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Jean that is such a common experience for people who have served as caregivers for their parents. Did I do enough? Did I make the right decisions?

This is exactly one of the places we need to help one another let go of beating ourselves up. It does help to talk to other people to gain the outside perspective.