The opening words to “The Sounds of Silence” by Paul Simon have always resonated deeply within me ever since I first heard them in 1965. At the time, I was young and confused, living in a very confusing time, struggling to develop a sense of myself and seeming to be good at one thing—failure.
As I look back upon that time in my journey, I see how doubt, most especially self-doubt, was my constant companion, my personal nemesis. Whatever choice I made, it always was accompanied by self-doubt. This made for a “perfect storm” of teenage awkwardness, frustration, and lack of self-confidence. I was always searching for something that I could be good at and never seemed able to find it. When others around me began to discover things that they were good at, it only intensified my own doubt and dissatisfaction with myself.
Over the years that followed, I pushed myself very hard to try to find something where I would once and for all feel confident in myself. I was outstanding academically, I developed into a reasonably good athlete, I excelled in martial arts training.....but always there was that voice of self-doubt that would whisper in my ear and always I would find myself listening and believing. This doubt fueled my self-medicating behavior, first with food, then later expanding into alcohol and drugs. That self-medicating continued for 25 years, until finally I was able to achieve my sobriety and enter into honest recovery. But still, the doubt remained.
My self-doubt was my own personal seismograph, the needle always indicating tremor activity punctuated by the frequent major quake. My career was progressing in positive ways, but my personal life, my marriage, was floundering. I was fearful of parenting and even after finding to my great surprise that I seemed to be pretty good at it, I always doubted my decisions. To this day, I look at the amazing young woman that my daughter has become and wonder if there was any way I contributed to that.
I experienced divorce, remarrying, and then being widowed. Constantly, the self-doubt remained my dark companion. And then, I encountered the “game changer”......Radical Forgiveness.
Are you willing to accept the possibility that everything that has happened is in some way perfect? This is the basic premise of Radical Forgiveness. Through the application of this question and the other approaches that I learned via Radical Forgiveness, I found myself able to finally counter that persistent inner voice of self-doubt. Is that voice still there? Absolutely. Does it hold control over me? Not as it once did. Radical Forgiveness has equipped me with the tools needed to address the self-doubt when it occurs and to redirect myself to more positive outcomes. Like every human, I could be more consistent....but when I consistently apply the principles of Radical Forgiveness, I consistently achieve better results.
Adding Radical Forgiveness principles to my counseling approach has resulted in my clients progressing more efficiently and effectively in the pursuit of their goals. My colleague, Alison Brooks, and I have been personally trained and certified by Colin Tipping, the founder of Radical Forgiveness and the director of the Radical Forgiveness Institute. Colin recently completed his journey in this life and now those that he trained will carry on the teachings of Radical Forgiveness. Alison and I present the Radical Forgiveness Ceremony each month, which is an excellent introduction to Radical Forgiveness and in itself a powerful opportunity to experience healing. We also offer a 10 week (30 hour) intensive Radical Forgiveness Class that provides a thorough training in the principles and their application. Alison and I provide Radical Forgiveness Coaching sessions live and remotely.
If you are ready to address your self-doubt and achieve the happiness and sense of satisfaction that you deserve, we invite you to allow us the honor of being in service to you.
Jim Harger, M.Ed., LPC