I'm writing this in further response to your email, in which you posed the question: 'How do you get to the point of believing in yourself enough to keep moving forward toward a goal that's maybe a little scary (in a good way) without becoming blind to red flags might be signaling a problem with the direction you're taking?'
You further added that you don't always feel confident, believing that once you were on the 'right' path, everything should be easy.
Certainty is a wonderful thing. An illusion at times, maybe, but such comfort is found when we know that where our feet are planted is the right place to be.
But perhaps certainty is overrated, in that it can be valued over ... well, uncertainty ... which feels angsty, uncomfortable, 'wrong', and is a space that many of us try to avoid or move away from as soon as possible.
We want to know we're doing the right thing, and the path we are investing so heavily in will actually lead us to our destination, even though it winds invisibly through the woods, and long stretches may disappear beneath the overgrowth.
One of my responses to you was to celebrate your uncertainty, because "..questioning, believe it or not, is a great place to be in ... it will keep you awake and aware and paying attention to what's really happening."
As cosmic timliness would have it, last night I read a lovely paragraph in Susan Piver's book, "The Wisdom of a Broken Heart"* that speaks of uncertainty, and faith ... and confidence:
"Faith is a kind of supreme openness..... I mean, think about it. It's an act of faith to go into the events of your life without knowing what they all mean. It's an act of faith to allow things to unfold and unfold and unfold, and to be willing to include in your life not just what makes you happy, but also your agitation, confusion, doubt, and personal displays of ridiculousness without drawing harsh conclusions. Actually faith begins to look a lot like fearlessness. It looks a lot like genuine confidence. I once thought that confidence meant feeling certain I would never appear ridiculous again. Au contraire. It means that even when you feel ridiculous - or devastated or sleepy or impassioned - you can relax about it. Even when you're completely anxious, you can relax about that too."
What I get from this is that confidence is the willingness to screw up. And stay open anyway.
Do I believe we have a 'right' path? Mostly. But even more than that, what I've learned is that it's pretty presumptuous of me to think I know what that path should look like or where it should lead.
Rarely does it go where I would have thought, and never has it taken me on a route I could have chosen, or been without greater rewards than I could have imagined.
So, back to the question. In regards to choosing a path in the healing arts, how do you to get to the spiritual/mental place to keep going forward, even when you're not sure you're going in the right direction?
Trust in your Jewel.
In Mark Silver's book, "Unveiling the Heart of Your Business"*, (which, as always, I HIGHLY recommend, probably to answer all of your questions! :) he talks about our Jewel, which is the internal aspect of defining your business or practice in terms of service.
Maybe that feels premature, given that you are not yet practicing, but it may help to start identifying this, as it becomes the place you come home to when the path before you seems unclear. And, because it is your heart's expression, it will shine through all aspects of your life. It's your "why you are here" and how you serve the world.
As Mark writes:
"Your Jewel is your uniqueness, it's how your heart interacts with others. It has to do with your core essence and your deepest passion. It's also your biggest need and the key to your spiritual development. It's what you give to others, and it's what you need most from the Divine."
Trust in your GPS.
I'm not sure what spiritual page you're on, but like with the Jewel, having some sort of guidance system you can connect with when you feel lost is immensely helpful. Once again, I would refer you to Mark Silver, who uses a wonderful practice called Remembrance as a means of checking in with your heart at every turn. You can even explore that here* at no cost... (This takes you his blog, and then look under "Free Resources" for the Remembrance Challenge.)
Trust that all paths lead to the same place.
I think many of us place a lot of investment in a 'right' path, which, in light of our extremely limited human perspective, is kinda misleading. I have this picture of being airlifted out of the forest, in order to be given a broader perspective, in which I find with some degree of humor, a million paths all leading to the same place. Or better yet, a big open pathless field.
Yes, it is of utmost importance that we walk a path, but it's what we carry inside us that really matters.
Trust in the experience more than the outcome.
Like in the above statement, when we are connected to our Jewel, and our Source, whatever that may be for us, there is no wrong path. To go forth with an intention that everything you encounter will hold something of value for you, even major screw ups... this is faith. And it is an honoring of your self and the gift of your life here when you refuse to write off any experiences as wasted time.
You're going to make mistakes, maybe huge ones. You may encounter your red flags, ignore them, and want to kick yourself later. (Been there, done that, will most likely do it again...)
Welcome to being human! :)
There is a use for all of it, a way to turn everything into compost and therefore a beautiful garden.
To choose stories about your experiences that make every moment count, even if you can't yet see the benefit, is what it truly means to create your own reality. Make it a worthwhile one.
Trust in your willingness to serve and to keep your heart open.
Your willingness - and I know this from VERY personal experience - will never go unanswered.
I don't know if I answered your questions, and granted, these are only my own observations and experiences. My own path, if you will. I guess, what I could have said with a lot less words is that we all have uncertainty when embarking upon such an important path. And anyone who says they don't are either full of it, or not paying attention.
My last suggestion? Seek out the support of people who are also uncertain and open-hearted.
Hope I helped in some small way. May you enjoy a bumpy, rewarding road...
*These are affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase after following them, a little money will come my way. Not required, but definitely appreciated.*
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