A successful day lies behind. Sleep is within reach. I am still. Suddenly…
It hits me like a wave. This feeling. Out of nowhere and uninvited. It always arrives this way. An unwelcome visitor.
I speak of it this way because it never seems to come from me. It shows up on occasion from some unknown place, seeking to plant worry in my mind. This whisper from outside my own consciousness.
It has the audacity to question me as I lay in the comfort of my own bed. It knows my guard is down.
I picture it as a thick fog that travels from house to house in the night, looking for a victim on the cusp of sleep. We’re weaker to Doubt when we straddle the line of our conscious and subconscious mind. Our fears and insecurities are more visible to it in these times.
While Doubt gains insight, we lose clarity. What was definite in the daylight is now shrouded by a gray haze as it looms over us.
Doubt hopes you won’t realize that it comes from outside. A solicitor knocking at the front door of your mind. It hopes that you believe these thoughts come from inside the walls.
But Doubt is not you.
It just shows up once in awhile to blur your vision in the hopes that you’ll drift off course, end up low on fuel, and spend your day sifting through road maps. Constantly asking yourself if you should continue on your way or take the detour.
The answer is simple: Fill up the tank and continue on your way.
This, of course, will be hard to realize as Doubt clouds your vision and whispers in your ear. It will tell you things like, “You’re not good enough. You don’t deserve that. That’s for other people, not for you. Play it safe. Are you sure? The path you chose is rocky. The detour isn’t scenic, but it’s a whole lot smoother. Trust me.”
An endless loop of nonsense.
Know that Doubt prefers a one-way conversation. It would prefer that you didn’t talk back.
But, you should.
You should respond with, “Why can’t I? I only truly fail if I never try. I deserve it just as much as anyone else. Of course I’m good enough. I prefer the scenic route, thanks.”
Let’s not forget that it doesn’t just come to us in the night.
Sometimes, it travels as a passenger. There are people out there that carry Doubt around with them all day, weighed down by its presence. Occasionally, this load will become too much for them and they’ll try to pass their doubt onto you. Be aware of these people and politely refuse to take on any of their burden.
Let them watch you make your way down the road, light as a feather.
So, how do we defeat Doubt?
We choose to trust the strongest version of ourselves
when we are at our weakest.
Our strongest selves are made up of our intuition, our confidence, and our drive. They take bold action based on the pursuit of joy and the desire for progress. This version of us directs its focus ever forward and is resolutely hopeful…even in the bleakest of times.
Be aware of the moments where you have felt clear and defined. Moments that have made you feel alive. Moments where everything seemed to make sense and you felt like you were on the right path.
Hold on to the feelings you experienced in these moments because they are what will help you bring out your strength when you need it most.
When you can call upon that power at will, you’re able to see through Doubt. It goes from an opaque fog to a translucent mist, until it evaporates completely in the morning light.
Whether late night visitor or unwelcome offering from others around you, make sure your strongest self is the one there to meet Doubt when it crosses your path.
And it will cross your path.
Good thing you’re ready to face it.