Positive Possibilities Living: Starting Something New: Managing Fear and Doubt, by Parvati Devi
“If you don’t follow your dream, who will?” – Emeril Lagasse
It’s a New Year full of new beginnings and new opportunities. When we want to start anything new, we often come across some form of fear and doubt. The fear may be so great that we never make it to the starting line. Imprisoned by our fear, we shackle ourselves to what we believe to be true and look out at life, wondering how we will live the life we want.
Fear and doubt are not inherently “bad”. When fear and doubt become overwhelming, they hinder our ability to live fulfilled lives. Some fear, when starting a new project or embracing life change, is natural and can be an ally. It keeps us alert and on our toes. Fear heightens our awareness and can keep us safe from danger.
And so it is with doubt. A small amount of doubt can help us make decisions that are rooted in discernment rather than foolish impulse. Doubt can help us find the courage to ask probing questions and get answers to things that may be less immediately apparent. But too much doubt will keep us from even getting to the starting line.
When fear and doubt become so loud that we talk ourselves out of living our joy, we must stop, regroup and change the way we deal with these emotions.
How we manage fear and doubt often makes the difference between those who are happily pursuing a life they love and those who are waiting on the sidelines. When we start something new, we may come face to face with limiting beliefs like, “I can’t. I am too young. I am too old. I am not good looking enough. I am not healthy enough. I am not wealthy enough. I am not talented enough…” The list goes on! We can give power to these voices or we can learn to let them go.
To let them go, we must see through them and into what they truly are: distractions, old stories that have no real power other than what we give them. We learn to work with fear and doubt in the moment, rather than push them away. When we run from or sink into fear and doubt, they grow. What we resist persists. When we stop fighting them or giving them power, the energy that feeds them subsides. Soon we find ourselves not so afraid, not in such doubt but energized to start what brings us joy. As we begin new things, we learn to welcome fear as it walks alongside us, rather than panicking about feeling afraid. As we develop the skill to manage our shadow, we find the room in our lives to choose the light.
Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine. In addition to being an internationally acclaimed Canadian singer, songwriter, producer and performer, she is a yoga teacher and holistic educator, having studied yoga and meditation since 1987, and developed her own yoga teaching style called YEM™: Yoga as Energy Medicine. Her current show, “Yoga in the Nightclub”, brings forward a conscious energy into the pop mainstream.