Overcoming Doubt in Your Inner Compass

articles by larissa doubt newsletter power sensing shadow power Jun 26, 2023
Larissa Conte talks about Overcming Doubt in Your Inner Compass

Last week, I took a day off work to hold a solo ceremony for myself in nature because a sudden, strong bout of doubt came over me.

Doubt makes my body constrict, it blocks my voice, it exhausts me, it makes me question my sensing, and it conjures a storm of swirl that disconnects me from my clarity and wise knowing. The first sprouts of doubt make me feel off and when I allow it to proliferate by focusing on the voice of my doubts, I feel horrible, disoriented, disconnected, and I forget to love myself. 

In this way, doubt is a dangerous form of Shadow Power. It is a spell I can cast on myself that causes me harm, colludes with my inner critic, and can quickly transition from doubt and disorientation to dismay, disgust, or despair. (Perhaps you’ve had this experience at some point too :)

All this to say, I’m not into it! Yet, it has been a great teacher to me and it is one of the things I track most diligently in my being because it is harmful to myself and it is a liability as a leader. 

 

Doubt has played a prominent role in my personal and larger contemplations this year, and I’ve been learning a great deal about how doubt interferes with our wayfinding skills and our Power that Serves the Whole. 

Deep trust in my inner compass brings me into present awareness and trust that I will see/sense the necessary connections to find my generative way in each moment. I long to trust my inner compass evermore and consistently make empowering decisions aligned with my wise self and the greater good both because I want the results of those decisions and because of the delicious moment-to-moment feelings of aliveness, flow, connection, and benefit when moving from that place. 

This practice is part of my spiritual path, a path of contributing to just systems, and a path of living a beauty-filled life. It’s also a path of effectiveness when I can consistently make more powerful decisions in life and work with less efforting, less conflict, more joy, and more ease. 

In truth, every heart-centered leader who comes to Wayfinding wants this. We all do. 

 

To overcome doubt in our inner compass we need to learn to distinguish healthy skepticism of our shadows and trauma-based impulses from doubt in our wisdom.

This Spring when I was working on the Power Assessment for Leaders, I had new insights about how our habitual expressions of power inform the trustworthiness of our decision-making. Here are some examples from the Power Assessment summary:

Clear Power that Serves the Whole

When we frequently express our Power that Serves the Whole and infrequently express Shadow Power for a given type of power (e.g. Team Power) we are reliably serving ourselves and others in great ways with very little shadow woven in. Aka we embody trustworthiness with how we conduct our power in these arenas in service of the whole, and it serves to trust our impulses more.

Shadow Dominance

When we frequently express our Shadow Power and infrequently express Power that Serves the Whole for a given type of power (e.g. Mental Power) these are areas where we can be seen by ourselves or others as untrustworthy and understandably so, since they are places where we are likely to cause harm inwardly and outwardly. These are priority places to track our Shadow Power tendencies, take responsibility for healing them, and explore what it means to embody Power that Serves the Whole more deeply.

Competing Forces

When we frequently express both Power that Serves the Whole and Shadow Power for a given type of power (e.g. Caretaking Power) we can have difficulty navigating well and making wise decisions. We can be prone to doubt ourselves, feel conflicted, or have more caution with these types of power as we learn how to unwind our shadow tendencies in realms where we also powerfully embody our ability to uplift others. Our expression of these power types can be seen as cause for doubt by our teammates as well as we learn to energize our Power that Serves the Whole and take responsibility for our Shadow Power patterns.

 

Simple Actions

 If you’ve been feeling doubt in yourself or your decision-making, try putting down the decision and do something that viscerally connects you to your love for yourself while intentionally cultivating loving thoughts. Go swim, run, dance, walk in nature — do whatever brings you joy and helps you get into your body, out of thinking mind, back to your center, and connected to your aliveness and clarity before returning to the decision at hand. If you need help even identifying what will reconnect you to yourself, try this guided sensing exercise.

— If you’re curious about how you specifically express these dynamics I described above and want to hone your inner compass to make more empowering choices, step into our self-guided Power Assessment for Leaders program 

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