“There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt.
Doubt separates people.
It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations.
It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.” ― Siddhārtha Gautama

He comes in through the main entrance to your mind, the one marked “Doorway of Love”. The first question the Demon of Doubt asks is “Are you really loved?”. Reminiscent of the serpent question in the garden of Eden. Asking a question that is core, that strikes at the heart.

The modus operandi of the Demon is to suggest that you don’t have the resources to answer the question. That you need help to make this decision. The inference is that someone else should decide for you, because after all, who would trust you?

But we already have the spirit within us to answer the question. Also we cannot be confident of a decision that is primarily someone else’s point of view. That is living someone else’s life choices. So the external “other” becomes a demon, questioning our basic belief that we are of value, that we are loved.

Who are the demons in your life, the ones who thrust their alternative views on your value into the decision pool of your life? Are they truly thinking of your welfare?

Let’s take a classic case of parents. As a parent I can declare that I try to think of each child’s best interests, but I had to make conscious decisions to allow my children the right to their own lives. When they made choices different to what I would have chosen, it was difficult to respect their individuality. But in doing so, I allow for an intimacy and respect that “telling them what to do” can never bring. In other words, by offering life experience, but not telling what to do, we encourage self confidence, and fight the Demon of doubt.

Now have a think about others in your life. Friends, workmates, siblings, etc, do they encourage you to be like them, or to be yourself? It is a critical touchstone to decide if they are acting as a servant of the Demon of Doubt.

A harder thing still is to consider in truth do you want others to be clones of you, or can you allow them to be themselves? Are you comfortable with a range of different world or ethical viewpoints, or do you think you have all the right answers? What if you could sit comfortably with doubt, and know that faith in GodIsLove is sufficient? That may help you to stop empowering or representing the Demon of Doubt, because we can only be comfortable with something once we have stopped fearing it.

So next time you doubt yourself, ask yourself if this is because of what you truly think is an ethical issue (does it conflict with the principles of your higher self) or is it because someone else has pushed on you their point of view, and you are influenced by their power, or guilt, or shame, accusing you that you are not worthy of (their) love.

If so, it is likely that they are just acting as servants of the Demon of Doubt.

“Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Withall, the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”

― William Ernest Henley, Invictus (The poem that was a strong influence on Nelson Mandela)