Question: I know it's a mistake looking to someone else for a sense of myself, but how can I keep from giving myself away?
Answer: What good is any feeling we may have about ourselves, if it only lasts as long as others agree to it? Seeking and receiving approval from others is like sitting down hungry to an imaginary meal. You're invited to eat all you want, but no matter how much imaginary food is served, you can never get your fill. Your hunger remains. No fictional feast ever satisfies. But we still look to others for our sense of self even though the very moment it's received, it must be renewed. No one can give us that which can only be found with our Self. No one can give us the approval we seek, because it isn't his or hers to give. And the more we understand the truth of this higher fact, the less inclined we'll be to give ourselves away. We must do the needed inner work, which alone leads to owning our own lives.
Excerpted from Freedom From the Ties That Bind
Question: I have a lot of self-doubt and general lack of confidence. Can you shed some light on this?
Answer: In every moment there is a freshness to it that precedes the punishment that our false nature attaches to it as it seeks to define both our sense of self and the moment it calls into blame for this feeling. What this means is that if you'll work to be awake in those moments where self-doubt floods in, you'll discover that this painful condition is a self-addition. By self-addition I mean that what you have been or done in the past has absolutely no bearing on the quality of any new moment. The more you can see the truth of this and begin to step back from the suffering and familiar sense of self it provides, the freer you will become. This takes work and it will require you being inwardly "alone" for awhile. Persist.
(Chatroom Classroom Transcript 1999)