Defeating Self-Doubt: Awakening the Warrior Within

This post isn’t for everyone. But if you battle low self-esteem, confidence or worth as a consequence of your ADHD – then this post is absolutely FOR YOU!


In her book Courage: Overcoming Fear & Igniting Self-Confidence, the author Debbie Ford instructs readers depleted in self-esteem to become warriors against the self-defeating forces within. At a glance her instruction may seem exaggerated or over-zealous, but as someone who has battled low self-esteem and helped countless others do the same, her advice is measured in just the right dose.

You will never win a battle against low self-esteem without going to war. And trust me when I say this, it is a war. Your opponent has been growing in strength in the hidden realms of your psyche since you were a small child. It has found ways to twist events in your life and suck them in as energy to feed itself. It continually finds ways to exploit your human flaws, and negate your strengths and achievements, rendering you an insignificant adversary. It is a cunning, formidable foe who deceives you into believing that its agenda is the only option available to you.

Most of all, it is sly. It lays dormant most of the time, whispering in your ear but not speaking so loudly as to bring attention to itself. It is noticeable when you look for it, like the beating of your heart, but does not make itself obvious. By this, it ensures its existence, like a parasite that drains energy from its host while inconspicuously ensuring the host does not notice its interference. But, but, but …. If you do notice it and decide to take action, this beast launches a surprise attack on you, assailing you with all its reserves. With every effort you make to strengthen your armour or to step up your tactics, it responds by upping the ante. At this point you feel helpless, defeated, resigned to the fact that it will always win. And so you give up the fight and remain a prisoner of war to self-loathing.

Like the parasite, self-reproach needs you to survive. You feed it unwittingly, and it grows in strength and control over you. But if you starve it, it dies.

And the worst part is, it’s all a delusion.

You’ve had the power all along. Like running away from a monster in a bad dream, all you need to do is wake up. Wake up to the beauties and talents and strengths you possess, the ones the monster told you were inconsequential or meaningless. Wake up to the power of who you are, and always were, when that monster was spinning fiction to serve its own gain. Wake up to your potential and who you can be, now that the monster is dead. It was the one who told you to feel bad about yourself. That feeling made you make certain choices in your life, then it turned those choices against you, using them as more evidence as to why you should feel bad about yourself.

Who are you now, without that delusion?

After all, the only thing that is stopping you from being as brilliant as you really are is that monster.

When you fight this devious self-esteem, you must imagine yourself as a warrior, like William Wallace in Braveheart. You will not give up your freedom. You will not give up the fight.

And every time you win, you grow stronger in force, and depth, and magnitude. Each time you let your light shine, you hug yourself from the inside, or your consciousness whispers encouragement to its subconscious, you grow into being your true self, the one who accepts who he or she is. Each time you accept yourself and live with the belief that you are perfectly whole, you fulfill your purpose in life to bring gifts to this world, sharing the energy and essence of who you are.

The battle starts now with one choice.

You must do whatever it takes to starve the monster and awaken the warrior within. The only other option is to be eaten alive by self-doubt.

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6 comments on “Defeating Self-Doubt: Awakening the Warrior Within

  1. Loved the blog and both of your responses touched me, deeply. Your analogy of the warrior going in to battle was especially good. I firmly believe the most protective armour we need going into the battle of life is love. Love from those closest to you but most importantly self love. The latter can take much longer to recognize. Sounds like both of your children have a lot of love and that’s where they’ll dig deep to give them the strength to be the warriors they need to be.
    Great job Andrea, keep it up!

    1. Thanks jumping, I didn’t really touch upon the whole love issue,but you are absolutely right – that’s what it is all about. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Poetic and well written, a piece that will resonate with everyone, even of their lives haven’t been touched by ADHD. As the mother of a female teenage ADHD’er it generates feelings of guilt and hope. It’s begs me to question myself in the manifestation of low self esteem in my girl. The countless reminders and prompts that are heard simply as nagging. The difficulty in finding a balance between giving direction and smothering. The hope that when my daughter matures that she will see that my communications may not always have been received as intended, but that my will has always been good. The hope that her self esteem will allow her to see all of the things that we praise in her, not just the reminders and the prompts. This article sits heavily with me and poses much thought for present interactions as well as future ones. Well done, and Thank You for sharing.

    1. Hi Carrie, thanks for sharing. As a mother and an ADDer I hope that I can respond to both the guilt and the hope. As a mother, I know I feel continually guilty about a lot of things, esp. my ADD challenges as I worry how it impacts my kids. But it keeps me in check, and I know that because I analyze what I am doing my kids are getting a mother who is very aware of these things. Sounds like your daughter has the same benefits from her mom. It is a fine line to walk – knowing when to prompt and guide and knowing when to let them figure it out on their own. As an adult with ADD, my confidence issues (mostly a thing of the past) came not so much from my family but from looking around at my peers and not understanding why I wasn’t like them. Hope that helps!

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