I used to believe that I wasn't worth following my dreams, or reaching for something that I really wanted in life. If you've followed me for very long, you probably already know that my teen years weren't the best. You probably already know that, when my Mom and I lived with my grandmother, there was a lot of tension. And you probably know that I was told - by my grandmother - on a near-regular basis how worthless I was, and how I'd never be anything.
A lot of people deal with things like that. It's a lot more common than most people realize. And supporting each other in working through that, and forming new beliefs by choice for ourselves, is how we get to a place of fulfillment, passion, and purpose.
Your beliefs about yourself and your life have more power over your existence than you can imagine. Personal ideas and values you've held for a long time can block the way toward a life you desire. Getting past those blocks requires identifying beliefs that no longer serve you, and replacing them with beliefs you choose for yourself.
Everyone faces some form of fear and self-doubt. One of the most common forms of self-doubt that I often hear is, "Everyone already knows that - there's no reason for me to write a book on it."
But the truth is: not everyone knows what you know. And even if millions of other people are writing about or teaching the same thing, who cares? No one is you - only you can write the way you write - your voice is your own. Likewise, if you'd rather speak or teach than write a book (or in addition to a book), no one can use the exact same languaging you use, and no one's energy and presence is going to touch the same audience as you can.
But there's always that little tingle of self-doubt in the back of the mind, right?
Some people feel more fear and self-doubt than others. Quite often, these fears and self-doubts are products of our childhood. Some people are better at overcoming these emotions than others, but that doesn't mean you're any less of a person if you suffer with these kinds of feelings.
Regardless of where you fall on the fear/self-doubt spectrum, there are many things you can do to help rise above these emotions.
When I was growing up, my family went to church (sometimes). We were Baptist, but we always acted more like Pentecostals, so when I got older, I started calling us "Bapticostals."
But when I left the religion of my youth for a host of reasons. One of the major reasons I left was that I felt disconnected in that religion. I felt like I was constantly being bashed, told I was a horrible person, and I was "going to hell," because I'm gay. I'm not the only person who has experienced that kind of religious abuse in my time.
But as a teenager, I found my way into chakras, crystals and gemstones, and nature spirituality in general. I also found my way into a group of people who called themselves Wiccan, and from there, I sprang off into Shamanism, Kundalini, and chanting mantra to Kwan Yin and Ganesha.
But those old beliefs - the ones you're ingrained with as you're raised - are hard to let go sometimes. There were "leftover" beliefs for several years, but persistent effort at deprogramming changed that for me.
You don’t have to be a slave to your old beliefs!
As a person who practices Shamanism, I’m never at a loss for company or friends. There is always a spirit or two hanging around.
Power Animals go with me everywhere. Ancestors are usually around to back me up, too. And there is always the presence of Spirit in my blood and bones.
It’s the same for everyone. Every human alive has Power Animals, Spirit Teachers, Ancestors, any number of Guides, and whatever Deity (or Deities) they choose to follow.
As we’re raised, we’re told that certain things aren’t real. We’re fed into a school system that espouses psychology over animism. We come out of those schools (more often than not) believing that the most important things in life are monetary success, and being a “productive member of society.”