Working With Doubt, Part I: Understanding Levels of Mind

Working With Doubt, Part I:

Understanding Levels of Mind

Dr Joe Dispenza | 09 April 2024

I’ve been moved by the response to my recent posts on aligning your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with your mission in life – particularly the idea that your practice can be your purpose. That quest for a higher purpose has led to a series of conversations among community members about something we all come up against in this work – doubt.

The first thing I want to say is: doubt isn’t a sign that you’re doing something wrong or failing in your practice. Remember: there’s no such thing as failure; it’s all information. Doubt comes up for all of us, including me. And so, for the next two or three posts, we’re going to talk about when and why we encounter doubt – and how to work with it.

Your State of Consciousness: Your Level of Mind

The first thing we need to recognize and understand is the level of consciousness – or unconsciousness – that leads to doubt.

What do we mean when we talk about consciousness? You can break it down like this: consciousness is awareness. Awareness is paying attention. And paying attention is noticing where you’re directing your energy.

Think of your state of consciousness as your level of mind. In other words, how aware are you? What are you paying attention to? How are you reacting to your environment and circumstances? Are you noticing where most of your energy goes? Are your thoughts and feelings making things better – or worse?

What does this have to do with doubt? Let’s say you’re in the middle of a challenging situation and struggling to find a solution – but you’re still in the same level of mind that led to the challenge. Then, you probably do what most of us have become programmed to do in that circumstance. You focus even more intensely on the challenge, giving it your attention – and, therefore, your energy. And giving something your energy only ever does one thing: amplifies it.

As a consequence, the challenge has become more solidified in your world as a problem. As you feel the emotions associated with the current circumstance, you give the problem more and more energy. You become more frustrated; more anxious; more resentful. You fuel the emotional state that led to the thoughts ... that created the particular level of mind ... that brought you to this situation in the first place.

It’s so important to remember, in these moments, that you can’t solve a problem from the same level of mind – or consciousness – that created it. And the only way to change your consciousness is to change your energy.

What do I mean by that? To change your consciousness is to become aware that there is a new possible reality or solution. So, if you don’t change your consciousness, you’ll limit your awareness of that possibility and continue to fuel doubt by focusing on your problem – creating ever more distance between you and a solution.

The Level of Mind That Leads to Doubt

To better understand how your level of mind can intensify doubt, think of a challenging situation from your past – one where you struggled to find a solution. Maybe it was a serious health condition that was getting worse. Or a difficult financial circumstance. And let’s say it was a situation you wrestled with for a long time – or kept coming up against in familiar ways. You did everything you thought you knew could change it.

Now, see if you can identify some thoughts and feelings that led to the level of consciousness you associate with that experience. Maybe you had an old story in your head about lack – and it activated feelings about abundance being out of reach for you. Maybe you spent hours online reading about a troubling diagnosis and became convinced there was no hope of healing.

Looking back, you might be able to see that you kept giving energy to the problem by paying more and more attention to it in the same exact ways. Maybe now, you can recognize that you got stuck in that situation because every day, you approached the same problem with the same level of mind – meaning you couldn’t see a solution.

When we can’t imagine a solution ... when we’re unaware of, or can’t envision a new possibility ... then it doesn’t exist for us. And when possibility doesn’t exist for us, we can’t believe our situation will ever change.

And what is disbelief? It’s doubt. This isn’t working. This issue will never change. I’ll never figure this out. I’m not doing it right. It works for other people, but not for me. I’ll never ...

So, if you’re facing a problem, but you’re at the same level of mind that created it, you’re going to see and react to it in the same ways that led to it in the first place. You’re going to keep doing what you know – more of the same – even if you’ve already seen and experienced that it doesn’t work.

In other words, your consciousness is now equal to the problem itself. And now, the problem is controlling the way you feel and think. You become a victim of your environment and circumstances – instead of the creator of change in your life.

And the harder you try to solve the problem from within that state of mind, the more elusive the solution seems. And the more doubt takes hold. Even if intellectually, you understand there might be a solution, you still doubt it can happen – because you can’t feel it.

New Level of Mind; New Possibilities

If we use “consciousness” interchangeably with “level of mind,” “awareness,” or “energy,” then we could say the level of mind that leads to doubt arises from a certain level of energy. That’s why it makes sense that we can’t solve a problem from the same level of mind (or energy) that created it.

A simpler way to say it is: to solve a problem, we must first change our energy – or our emotional state – around it. Because it’s only in changing our energy that we change our level of mind ... and only by changing our level of mind that we can become conscious of new possibilities.

When we default back to our old ways of thinking and feeling; old ways of believing and behaving; we return to the level of mind that leads to doubt and disbelief. We limit ourselves from new ways of seeing our circumstances – and new ways of approaching (and solving) the challenges in our lives.

The key, then, is to learn how to change our level of mind by changing our energy – and then sustain that elevated state, even in the midst of persistently challenging circumstances.

I hope you’re wondering how to do that – because that’s what we’ll explore in Part II.