Moving Beyond Doubt

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"These are the obstacles causing disturbance to the mind: disease, lack of effort, doubt, loss of interest, in-application, attraction to things physical, false perceptions, lack of concentration, inability to maintain any achievements gained."

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1:30 translations by Kofi Busia

Oh the familiarity of doubt! As described by Patanjali, doubt or samsaya is one of the nine obstacles that cause disruption to the mind within our personal practice and inner journey. This particular disturbance has been consuming my thoughts as of late.

For me the disturbance of doubt is often in the form of self-doubt or questioning whether I am good enough. I have spent far too much of my life allowing this obstacle to hinder my path, whether it be on or off my mat.

In high school, I questioned whether I was smart enough to be taking Chemistry and Physics courses and as I applied for colleges, a small part of me felt doubtful that I would be accepted. This feeling of self-doubt continued as I transitioned into early adulthood and struggled to find my place in the world.  While in my 200-hour yoga teacher training, I frequently questioned my ability to teach yoga and now as I complete a 300-hour advanced teacher training, there are times in which my confidence in my yoga teaching wavers.

As I have been putting energy into making yoga a bigger part of my life and making my teachings more public, I have returned to that age-old question of, “Am I good enough?” I often compare myself to other teachers that I admire and feel that familiar pang of self-doubt, questioning whether or not I measure up. 

But the fact of the matter is, within all these times in which doubt has crept into my thoughts, I have persevered. There have been many times in which I wanted to give into my own self-doubt and give up, but I didn’t. It wasn’t easy and at times it was even painful (I’m looking at you Physics courses!). Through my own practice on the mat, I have had the ability to recognize this obstacle and how it has hindered my ability to believe in myself off the mat.

And so I go forth, putting myself out there to create a life filled with heart, passion, and dreams.

What is it that is holding you back from creating the life you want?