I never truly believed in myself
That simple statement will come as a huge shock to anyone that has known me for a while.
I have always grabbed life with such intensity that it would be easy to perceive complete and utter faith in myself looking from the outside in.
Unfortunately for me, this was never the case. It didn’t matter to me that by the time I was 14 years old, I had fought my way into the Australasian titles for Taekwan-Do. (The youngest on the squad). Or that by the age of 15 I was lead climbing grade 24 rock walls. Despite the fact that I was one of the strongest cross country runners in school, I never attributed myself to my ability. The many things I achieved in a very short span of time simply didn’t translate to self belief.
The simple truth of it is, I always used anger and hatred as my fuel rather than self belief. Betrayed at a very young age by the one person that should never betray a child. I spoke out about something that wasn’t right within our family and in doing so I was blamed for wrecking it. I had taken a stand in my self belief that things would work out for the best. Instead, I was destroyed for what I believed.
I was screaming my anger into the wind
So many times across my life I threw myself against the hard line. It was never self belief that brought me back though, yet utter contempt at the world and everyone in it. I was so angry on the deepest of levels, and would push myself beyond the point where people generally break. I started climbing without ropes. Pushed myself further and harder each time I went out. Smashing myself up against the rocks of life again and again; I couldn’t trust myself because I was stuck back in that one fateful day, and never progressed beyond it.
The issue we have when we refuse to let go of traumatic events from our life stories is that we stop aging emotionally. For me, it was the age of 13 that I gave up on myself and filled my heart with anger. Therefore, regardless of how many years passed between myself and that initial event, every time I ‘lost my footing’ I would act from the emotional intelligence of a 13 year old with no self belief.
To this very day I still find myself reverting back to self doubt. When I become stressed, I begin to question my own worth. I don’t fully trust that I have the strength I need for the obstacles standing in front of me. For a 37 year old man that has served in the Australian Infantry Corps, run 700 miles across a desert in 21 days, sailed a 44 foot yacht across 3000 nautical miles of South Pacific Ocean, overcome depression naturally, lived as a sponsored ultra endurance athlete and now on the verge on publishing my first book; the idea that I somehow am not good enough is downright preposterous.
The only way out is in
Honestly, I’m sure that some of these old demons may never fully leave me. The big difference is that these days, I FEEL them. I let them have their moment, and continue to love myself all the same. As long as I tried to fight them, I was fighting myself and I could never win. Learning along the way that there had to be a peace within myself, I started owning my darkness as just another aspect of who I was. In many ways, I discovered that the darker the background within me, the brighter I could shine.
Do I fully believe in myself now? No. But I’m a damn sight closer to that place than I have ever been, and that is only because I accepted both my light and dark.
Whatever we allow ourselves the space to believe in becomes the truth of our reality. Let belief grow in your own self, and YOU become your own truth. When this begins to happen you will know a beauty beyond words – The magnificence of your own self!
Author – Chris Jones (Life Warrior)
Image – Flickr: Iqbal Osman