We're in your NeighbourWorld

Combating Self-Doubt

You've done it. You've identified your aptitudes and interests and decided to take the plunge and change your life. You're completely committed and have effectively convinced others with compelling argument about your new adventure. You even sound a bit indignant at the slightest resistance now. You've said things like, "Come on guys, are you that short sighted not to see the obvious benefits of this?" Giving a frustrated response for every question and some eye-rolling to underscore the numbness of explaining things to such small minded thinkers. Smug, self-assured, confident little brats we can be, huh?

But it works. Somehow this tactic is incredibly successful at convincing others. People do, after all, tend to follow the loudest most assertive voice. And we know it.

How quickly the tide turns after you've moved the masses. The initial struggle over, and now with everyone on your side- excited for your new adventure- convinced this is the greatest thing, ready to celebrate!...But you're freaking out. The ball is rolling alright - downhill and gaining speed and you are no longer in control. You imagine it growing bigger and bigger as it goes toward a crashing dizzying destination of calamity that you guaranteed a good thing.

So, with polite smiles and fake happy discourse your stomach sickens and your knees weaken and you are alone in a conversation of fear that you have only with yourself.

And hecklers by the hordes they are, these voices in your head. Unceasing with the nastiest of unleashed insult:

"You must be a moron!"
"You're going to come crawling back begging!"
"Do you think your special or something?"
"You're just too stupid to know what's stupid!"
"You'll never have again what you've thrown away!"
"You're too old for this, no one wants to hire an old lady!"

Quelling the mind's rants is the toughest mountain. My only answer to those voices when they start?

"I may regret it, but if I don't try, I surely will!"

I've met too many people with stories of lost opportunities. At least I won't be that. I'll at the minimum be able to say, "Hey, I tried, even if I failed- I know the answer."

Remember that you don't need permission to do what you are born to do. And just because you are born to do it, doesn't make it easy to do. There will be doubts, and challenges, and fear. Educators sometimes refer to what they call the "Knowing/Doing Gap". Basically it is the distance between what your head understands and what your body can perform. (A bit like me and scuba diving - I can understand how to use the equipment and what I should do in the water, but I struggle to actually do it) In my case the unpredictable nature of sharks is a considerable factor. But this concept can be applied to many things (public speaking, a perfect golf swing, etc.) This can make you feel pretty inadequate and uncomfortable. So much so, that many stop pursuing life passions just because it was a difficult start. What was it Thomas Edison said?

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

What if he had given up? What if Einstein did? Now, I know what you're thinking, "I'm not Einstein or Edison thank you." But then again, they weren't household names for most of their lives either.

Just live your dream, whatever it is- and when your own worst enemy is yourself- find a better friend to spend some time with until those nasty voices quiet down. Hopefully you find a friend who listened to your earlier sales pitch and your own words can come back to you. This is good - this is your better thinking. The thinking that comes from hope and promise, not fear and worry! So, listen to yourself (er...your best self), and keep moving good soldier.