How my mother helped remove my self-doubt

When a person is young the smallest of hurdles may seem like an unscalable mountain to them. This is probably because as a child, without much experience in living, you assume things are supposed to just happen but as you live and learn, you realise that nothing ever just happens – you make it happen through your determination and hard work.

When I was an adolescent, I was not very happy with the way I sang. I would complain to my mother time and again and tell her that this isn’t a path for me. Concerned by my growing anxiety, she decided to take me to a very special place. A temple where the goddess is called the Goddess of Sound.

The story behind the temple goes something like this –

A young poet and his father were once passing through a village. The little boy was sitting on his father’s shoulders and singing his heart out. Mesmerised by his singing someone from the village gifted him a pair of gold cymbals. But as you can imagine, gold cymbals wouldn’t play as gold is not a sonorous metal. He, however, kept striking the cymbals together and creating poems and songs even though no sound came out of the cymbals. Impressed with his dedication and tenacity Goddess Parvati told Lord Shiva that she would go down to earth as the Goddess of Sound and make the gold cymbals produce sound so that the young poet could continue spreading the divine message. And she did. A temple was then built in the honour of the Goddess and it was called “Osai Nayaki”. In Tamil, “Osai” means sound and “Nayaki” means Goddess. That young poet was Thirugnana Sambandar, who went on to become one of the most prominent Tamil Saiva bhakti saints.

After narrating this story to me, the priest broke into a beautiful song in offering to the Goddess. As I stared wide-eyed, blissful in the beauty of his signing I experienced an epiphany.

Without any formal training or technical knowledge in music, if he could sing so well only with the power of his faith, I realised, so could I.

Since that day, I have never questioned my ability to sing.

So dear friends, if you are experiencing self-doubt right now – if you are wondering whether you are good enough or talented enough or worthy enough, shake it off and believe that you are.

If you keep telling yourself you are not good at something, you convince your subconscious mind that you indeed are not which in turn stops you from even trying the hardest you can. Once you decide to have faith and give it all you have, the result will surprise you. Wake up each morning with this affirmation and soon you’ll see the doubts melt away.

12 thoughts to “How my mother helped remove my self-doubt”

  1. Thank you , Arunaji!
    I was indeed in doubt about my skills. I happened to come across your story that very moment! Thank you again!

  2. Thank you so much Mam for the wonderful message. It is indeed eye opening one. I always dreamt of becoming a good singer. Somehow after a long time with the lost practice, I feel that my voice is not supporting me and I kept telling myself that I may not sing like I used to earlier.
    After reading your message, I started thinking positive again. I know it will help me achieve my goal.
    -Thanks a lot Mam
    Sripriya Ananth

  3. If ever an inspirational anecdote is to be read, this is it, this is it, this is it. Thank you so much, respected Ma’am, for sharing it.

  4. Surprisingly I always doubt about my singing because my guru always compares me with the other student. I thought that I’m not capable to learn sangeetham. As I was feeling sad, I came across this article. It’s like a message given to me by God. I’ll wake up from my negative thoughts and start my journey in music again and prove my ability. TQ so much

  5. Aruna Amma.

    I really love this article.Not only this,many of your interviews,you speak realistic & speak very practical.

    I love my mom very much.She used to beautiful,brilliant & extraordinarily talented in running the family.Unfortunately,she had stroke & by gods grace i got her recovered.But,she lost her momentum.

    So,when people like my mom & you & many more women in the society who have confronted hurdles in life & been successful,would share experiences to young generations like us.It gives immense sense of satisfaction & vigour & drive to achieve something in life.

    Keep posting your experiences in life.Remember every experience you are sharing is bringing change in someone’s life, a ray of hope.

    Thanks again Aruna Amma!!

  6. What an inspirational story ! It’s true as a mother of 2 teenage kids I constantly struggle to motivate them but feel they don’t quite believe me when I say they can do it. I am sharing this post with them and sure it’ll make an impact! Thank you Aruna ji!

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