Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
Belief in yourself is revealed in the smallest and most personal of details. In the privacy of your own being, when you say that you’ll be good to yourself, are you? When you resolve to be kind to others, or set more effective boundaries, do you? Do you trust yourself to act with grace, no matter what the circumstances? Those small moments with yourself are the source of your ability to believe in anything—and in everything.
Recently, I started believing in myself, truly—and not only in myself, but also in the order of the universe. This belief in myself—along with a belief that everything in life, no matter how challenging, is there to point us toward healing and growth—coincided with the moment that I began seeing my life as an opportunity for service.
To serve is to approach any situation or interaction as a chance to give rather than expecting to receive. When you infuse your intention with the spirit of service, you learn to believe in yourself. When you show up with focus and integrity, especially in life’s everyday moments, you uncover the essential trustworthiness within yourself.
Serving is a refined practice. When you listen well to your kids, your parents, your partner, and your heart, you’re serving. When you graciously accept feedback about your work or your ways of relating, you’re serving. When you patiently approach playing, loving, working, cleaning, and cooking, you’re serving. When you approach your life and surroundings with less haste and more respect, with fewer little white lies and more presence, you’re serving.
The world begins to feel more trustworthy, manageable, and orderly because those are qualities you are bringing to life in yourself. And when your belief in yourself is unwavering, that makes it possible to trust in the harmony of the world around you.
Even after you’ve had a taste of this deep faith, it’s easy to fall back into doubtful thinking, simply because it’s familiar. Doubt can powerfully destabilize your belief in yourself. To counter this, practice writing down all those doubtful thoughts. One of my teachers gave me an assignment to make an art project out of my doubts so I could see them in front of me rather than holding them in. Surround yourself with people who support you. In your close circles, you can even make up a code word to use when one of you stops believing. We really can and do hold each other up.
When you believe in yourself, you can count on yourself to follow through on the smallest of details. You know you’ll behave graciously, even when your first instinct is to sound the sirens or run away. When you meet adversity, you know you’ll communicate with clarity and composure. When you believe in yourself, life flows in abundant directions, your ability to love grows stronger, and your capacity to receive is re-vitalized. You’re able to fearlessly generate more peace in the world through each of your interactions. This is your invitation to believe.
Full Circle: A Meditation
Create a connection with your highest, most trustworthy self.
Sit comfortably in a chair, on a cushion, or on a mat. Rest your hands on your knees, palms facing up. Touch the nails of your index fingers to the pads of your thumbs. Straighten your arms and feel the lines of energy radiating from your heart to your hands.
Chin Mudra creates a powerful circuit of consciousness in your being. In this mudra, the index finger, which represents the individual, bows to connect with the thumb, which represents Supreme Consciousness. Notice the subtle feeling of unity and sense the quality of trust within. This is your practice, this connection to yourself, which is also a connection to a higher consciousness.
Take a few deep Ujjayi breaths here, into the farthest reaches of your body, nourishing and feeding your entire being. Sit quietly for at least 30 seconds.
This mudra is said to help you focus, reduce feelings of agitation, and expand your intuition. It improves memory and enhances the possibilities for healing. Above all, it brings you back to believing in yourself and to believing that all the circumstances of your life are there to help you grow and heal, every single day.
Listen: Click here for an audio recording of this guided meditation.