There are times when we’ve started a project and we inevitably come to a place where we stop.
Our attention wanes. We lose interest. Or we get bored.
Whether it’s a scrapbook, refurbishing a table, or growing a herb garden, at some point we lose our initial enthusiasm.
We tell ourselves we don’t have enough time to continue that thing we were once totally into doing.
But we don’t REALLY stop because we got too busy. If we love doing something, we always find a way to make it a priority.
It’s something else that causes us to quit. And that something is called self-doubt.
Somewhere (obvious or not) our subconscious starts delivering self-defeating messages. They may be faint. They may be loud.
THE TRICK TO OVERCOME THEM?
Become aware of the specific negative message that your mind is telling you. After you see it, return back to the project at hand and it’ll go away.
For example, here are some common negative messages you may have heard:
- I’m no good at this.
- Feelings have come up and I can’t deal with them.
- I’m not sure what I’m doing (and that’s scary).
- It’s harder than I thought it would be.
- Other people are better at this than I am.
- It doesn’t matter in the bigger scheme of things.
- No one understands why this is important.
- I’m wasting my time on this.
HERE’S A LITTLE STORY:
While the Buddha was meditating, he became aware of this voice caviling at him. He named this voice Mara, and he took on a personification.
Mara would come to tell him all sorts of things (like the above messages). Whenever he appeared, the Buddha would look him in the eye and say, I see you Mara.
As soon as Mara was seen, he would vanish.
Even on the Buddha’s deathbed, Mara came to tell him how great he was, how much he did for the world, how enlightened he had become, and how much help he had offered.
The Buddha looked at Mara, said, I see you and returned to the focus of his meditation.
What happens all too often is that we hear these self-doubting thoughts and we believe them. We take them too seriously. We treat them as fact.
And sometimes, we don’t even realize how these thoughts took a hold of us in the first place. We aren’t aware WHY we stopped the project. We just started doing something else.
NOTE: There’s a difference between stopping and quitting.
If we stop, we can choose not to give our mind boogies attention, and return instead to what we’re doing.
If we quit, it’s because we haven’t yet identified which thought caused us to stop. We miss the opportunity to bring awareness to the voices.
Whether you stop or quit, know this: Something inside of you wants you to step up to a whole new level.
So this week…
Can you return to what you started that for whatever reason you’ve laid to one side? Can you become aware of what Mara might be saying and then simply say back, I see you and continue?
Wishing you a week of inner-expansion!