Simplify your life, cultivate your best qualities of compassion, altruism, and generosity.
Doubts, insecurities, fear, shame, low self-esteem, low self-worth—all of these might return and try to convince you against the direction you’re going and set you back. So much internal struggle will come up as you start to overcome your fear of being amazing. But we can start to recognize some of the patterns of the mind, stopping them in their tracks before they pull us out of the present moment and spiral us back into old ways of feeling.
Nagarjuna, an Indian Buddhist philosopher in the second century CE, identified eight specific mind patterns that we must watch out for as we start to overcome the fear of being amazing. These are referred to as the eight worldly concerns. According to these eight worldly concerns, we are trapped in this vicious cycle seeking to fulfill four of them—happiness, praise, fame, and gain—and doing everything in our power to run away from the other four—suffering, insignificance, blame, and loss.
Unless we develop a secure enough connection with our awakened heart, and the tools to know better, we will continue to stay trapped battling with ourselves, our lives, and the people in it—holding close everything we like and running away from anything we don't. Getting swept up in any of these extremes can unknowingly water seeds of confusion in the karmic garden of our mind.
Learning to identify how these eight patterns and tendencies can show up in your life reminds you to pay attention to when you might be caught up unknowingly nurturing harmful seeds and blocking amazingness. Notice them, acknowledge them, and then reaffirm and return to your heart.
1 and 2: Happiness vs. Suffering
As you start to make progress and recognize your innate amazingness, the next step to uncovering more of your true essence is to let go of unintentionally running around like a thirsty animal that is never satisfied. Catch yourself when you start to believe your happiness is dependent on your senses constantly being fed with only pleasant experiences. “I need to hear nice things!” “I need to taste nice things!”
“I need to touch nice things!” “I need to smell nice things!” “I need to see nice things!” “I need to feel nice!” If you are constantly craving and chasing the quick pleasure that comes from the senses you will never be satisfied. This is a classic form of suffering. When we constantly chase good feeling after good feeling, we never build a muscle for coping with the unpleasantness of life. But unpleasantness is a natural part of life—grief, pain, despair, sadness—that requires us to meet it with awareness, not by running away. You will experience unpleasant sensations, and that is OK, in fact, it is necessary.
As a spiritually sassy warrior, you become empowered by your hardships. Your genuine happiness and your amazingness shine from your awakened heart and are not dependent on external factors. When you catch yourself chasing sense gratification, remind yourself that genuine happiness does not come from the outside. A quick way to exercise your amazingness is by wishing that all people be free of insatiable cravings.
3 and 4: Fame vs. Insignificance
In the age of social media especially, we live in a fame-obsessed culture. We all want to be special, and what lies beneath that desire is the fear of being insignificant. You have to matter to you. Turn to one of your mantras and remind yourself daily that you matter, you’re worthy, you’re deserving of the earth. You are doing this for your own personal freedom, not for fame.
5 and 6: Praise vs. Blame
How much of what you’re doing is for the praise and approval of others? How much of what you do in life is for you? Do you chase validation? Are you addicted to praise? And honey, check yourself when you start to blame the world for not receiving the praise you think you deserve. No more yo-yo! When you find yourself depending on praise and unable to lift yourself up, or in a blame spiral, remember that your actions are not for validation, but for your awakening. Turn to a mantra to remind yourself that you believe in you. Take a few deep breaths and connect to the part of you that never stops believing in you. Approve of yourself!
7 and 8: Gain vs. Loss
We have cultural norms that have been put in place by people who are deeply suffering and far removed from their sassy hearts. Too often we’ve been told that more is better, that having a bigger house is better, that the more you accumulate the happier you will be. Getting things when you want has become synonymous with a “happy life”, and when you don't get what you want, or lose what you have, you feel miserable. You believe that your worth is dependent on external factors and materialism.
Donate what you don’t need. The more unnecessary possessions you have, the further you are from a genuine connection with others and with your heart.
This is just a sampling of some of the Spiritually Sassy knowledge I’ve dropped in my new book. Honey, you are a brilliant, bright light and it’s time to let your authenticity and amazingness sparkle!
So much of the time, we are the biggest obstacle to ourselves, whether it’s due to fear of success or fear of failure. Remember, the worst thing you can do is hide your true self from the world. You’re not just depriving yourself of joy, but you’re depriving the world of your gifts. It’s time to get out of your own way, and celebrate what makes you uniquely you!
To learn more and find practices that support overcoming the fear of being amazing, order my book, “Spiritually Sassy: 8 Radical Steps to Activate Your Innate Superpowers,” and read on!