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March 11

Turning Self Doubt into Self Discovery

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Photo by Isaac Davis on Unsplash

Turning Self Doubt into Self Discovery

I haven’t written anything since my book ‘Plant Powered’ was published at the end of the year; I felt the need to go inside and refill my reservoir back up. Publishing a book can leave you feeling a bit depleted. It is a peak experience and the sign of the end of a very enriching and challenging process both professionally and personally, as it crosses multiple divides in your life.

The publishing of my book, much like the winning of my award back in 2013 for ‘Gym Based Personal Trainer of the Year’ marked the end of a 7-year cycle in my life and a series of challenges through debt, illness, becoming a personal trainer and training for fitness bodybuilding shows. Winning the award was a profoundly proud moment in my career but one that catapulted me back into the need to find new meaning and purpose in the world, new challenges and the hunger to travel to a new and deeper layer of my soul.

I won that award at the end of 2013 whilst living in Devon for a fantastic organisation called Winners 2000. I could have quite easily stayed in Devon, working for a great organisation with an inspiring mentor and colleagues and reaped what I had sowed in the two years that I’d been there. Still, I needed to go back to London, to throw it all back in the ring again and start again, I’ve often wondered why I have made my life so challenging at times, but through experience and age, I have realised that the soul will never turn down an opportunity to grow.

2014 turned out to be an extremely challenging year as I went back to London and once again became a small fish in a big pond. I struggled to find business as a private personal trainer whilst not belonging to a gym or studio. My lone wolf mentality forced me into some discomfort and, ultimately, the place where new growth took place.

In April 2014, I started my spiritual journey after a fortuitous dinner party where the conversation centred around consciousness and the unknown universe. At the time, I had no idea that this beautiful moment would be the catalyst for a year leading to the exploration into spirituality, veganism, and psychedelics, which in turn would be the first and defining year in a 7-year journey that would culminate in the self-publishing of my book.

Without going into the details of the past seven years, it has been a roller coaster of a ride. It culminated in me realising a dream to work online and live abroad as I moved to Ibiza mid pandemic and from where I completed the self-publishing of my book.

“Once you get to point b, you need a new point b.”

Jordan Petersen

Since the start of the year, I have revisited some old, cold and dark places in my inner world that I haven’t visited for quite some time, where the hungry ghosts of self-doubt and self-worth have been hiding out. These ghosts may seem on the outside to be life-sucking and pain-inducing, but they are an essential part of the process of evolution and creation.

When you outgrow pigeonholes and labels that you have constructed around yourself, it is time to let them go, and in doing so can leave you flailing in the wind. As you struggle to understand who you are in the world. In a world that defines much of our value through our professions and material objects, this can be challenging.

So, for a short period, you sit in the darkness, or in my case on the toilet brushing my teeth one morning in floods of tears, asking out loud in frustration ‘who am I?’ and getting the answerback, ‘whoever you want to be!’.

I’ve been here many times before, and I understand it; I get it. I know what’s happening, but that doesn’t make the experience any less challenging to navigate. It is also hard for loved ones around you when your usually positive mindset starts showing mild signs of depression and sadness.

So, you sit there, put your tools down, meditate, walk, listen to podcasts and audiobooks for inspiration. You reconnect with your soul once again to find answers, journaling and even yelling out loud to God one day on a walk to tell me ‘what the fuck am I supposed to be doing here!!’ and then it happens.

You finally get out of your way, you ask for help, you ask God. This universal energy conspires for us not against us, the spiritual golf caddy who walks beside us at all times who carries our clubs, ready to give us advice when we ask for it but not a moment sooner and who hands us a club with a nod and a wink and says with love ‘try this one.’

The Buddhist saying about the growth of a beautiful lotus flower must always begin from the mud, the mess, the chaos before it can grow to become a beautiful flower. We must do the same.

That mess and chaos is creativity. In this place, the magic is happening. Magic doesn’t look sexy, neat or complete. It is where the powerful forces inside you come together to give birth to your latest version. It’s where an old layer is being stripped away and sanded down into the beautiful new mahogany carving that you are.

I have finally made it through the tunnel of messiness and chaos on the road leading me upwards towards my new purpose on the top of a hill. I’m not there yet. There’s work to be done. But I am in a beautiful, light and spacious place where I am now taking my time and allowing further inspiration to come in and shape who I am to become.

And so, my self-doubt is being transmuted. The inner alchemical fires are at work, melting it down and reshaping it into self-discovery, creating a deeper understanding of my purpose and the continued journey to the centre of my soul.

About the author 

Adam Stansbury

Personal Trainer for over 10 years and a Vegan for over 5 years. I'm passionate about helping people to realise that they can transform their bodies and our planet at the same time.

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