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  • Marya Kazmi

Am I really OK?

How does self doubt impact our lives?

Today I was sitting in a meeting with my boss and he ignited this thought in my mind with his question to build community and activate our thinking.

What do you want to leave behind in 2022?

I didn’t have to think too long, because I knew it right away. It’s the thing that had been gnawing at me for the past two weeks and as hard as I tried I could not pinpoint what it had been until a few hours before I stepped into this meeting.

I want to leave self-doubt.

The past few weeks have had me in a tough place. I have been saying things to my trusted colleagues and close friends like.

“I can feel I’m not firing on all cylinders today.”

“I don’t fully feel like myself.”

I’m not sure I can do this?”

My words embodied a mindset of lacking something.

My actions were even worse. Last night after a full day of trying to “show up” for myself and others, I was laying flat on my stomach with my head buried in my yoga mat while Adrienne, my YouTube yoga instructor, played in the background reminding me to exhale as I moved into downward facing dog. Yet all my body was capable of doing was staying in that position listless and heavy in thought and regret.

My son walked in and in knee jerk defense of what he saw I blurted out, “ I made it to the mat. That is my accomplishment for today.” And although I was on day 5 of this (so far) faithful journey of 30 day yoga, I was unfaithful to my own commitment in that moment and giving myself a little grace to just be.

Earlier that week I was presenting in front of a large and somewhat intimidating group of leaders and as I was preparing myself to take the mic and lead this portion, my colleagues must have sensed what I was clearly sending off through my energy. One guy came up to me and said, “I want you to channel all that BGI energy and do your thing up there.” In the midst of me speaking, another shared a quick reminder, "You got this BGI!”

Truthfully it wasn’t that I was going so far out of my comfort zone, or that I hadn’t spoken on these topics before, it was the thing that has been holding me back for the past two weeks. This debilitating self doubt that had taken over my thoughts and emotions and was now impacting the way I moved through every moment of my world personally and professionally.

I have just come off this empowering 15 day journey leading up to my 45th birthday that captured my lessons and growth in 2022 and within a span of two weeks, it all dissipated. Now I was left with self deprecation, unsure of myself and lost in a sea of responsibilities I couldn’t figure out how to begin to tackle.

It might have been after the yoga mat moment where I finally started to ask myself the questions we must lean into when challenges happen in our lives. I have learned that these guide me towards the root cause of what is truly being triggered inside me.

What emotions am I feeling right now? Is it fear, doubt, worry, anxiety?

What or who is bringing out these emotions?

Why am I responding to this moment or person this way?

And as I kept digging and digging in this painful and recurring evolution of healing, I realized what was happening to create a domino effect of my unraveling. I want to mention that although I knew all this was happening internally, it is very likely that no one else saw it without me calling attention to it. That is because I, like many of us, am my own harshest critic. I was failing in my attempts to accomplish it all without faltering or pausing. That is the challenge with self doubt. The moment it creeps in, it triggers a cacophony of other issues that may have laid at bay beneath the surface. I didn’t trust myself and that was the core of my problems.

Trusting ourselves is more than trusting in our abilities. It means I trust my thoughts are valid, my feelings make sense and that the decisions I make are the best ones for me because no one knows me like I do. Things that transpired personally and professionally in the past few weeks made me question it all and I showed up doubtful. This is probably why multiple times my colleagues had to remind me to speak louder in team meetings. My doubt had control over my ability to even verbally show up with confidence.

I am a spiritual person, and everything I have been doing and learning about myself has been couched in my understanding of the universe and my soul’s journey through it. Although I am still a student in this understanding, one thing I have heightened awareness of is my 7 chakras. It is not lost on me, that as my root chakra has been feeling ungrounded, none of my other chakras are strong enough to guide me. One of which is my throat chakra and the ability to express myself. So self doubt took over my mind at work, my spirit in my chakra alignment and my emotions when it came to interactions with others.

Now I will say this has all been a stark upgrade in the way my body, mind and soul reacted the last time I was triggered by major moments of life changing. But still, this progress was incremental if the events that hurt my heart, impact other parts of my life. Again, I am my harshest critic.

I say all this because I don’t have a solution or answer to solving this moment of self doubt. I am pulling out all the strategies of self talk, self care, isolation and community, but it still sits on the top of my mind and leaves me in a restless state.

What I hope is that by unpacking this process and experience for myself, I am doing that heavy lifting for someone who is reading this and knows the pain and triumphs that come from this journey. I am also writing to prove that this is temporary and will pass. I have faith I will only sit in it for a bit longer before the sun starts to shine again, my heart feels full and open and I can see the clarity I need to remember who I am and take my power back.

Just as I told my teammates in our meeting, I will trust myself again and find my blessings and abundance in 2023 as I leave self doubt behind in 2022. And along the way to that place, I am giving myself grace to be human and voice to the weaknesses we all might be carrying silently.


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