Doubt is where the real inner work resides. We can take a breather, examine what’s worked, what lies underneath the surface, and uncover old fears and wounds. This is where Doubt lives. It makes us feel small and inconsequential. It belittles our triumphs as not a big deal or just a coincidence, chance or dumb luck. Not true.
What do we do when Doubt creeps in? Do we run and hide and choose not face what’s blocking our path?
Playing safe = playing small.
It’s our duty to share our gifts with the world: Our talents, our skillset, our voice, our words, our stories are desperately needed.
How can we overcome Doubt?
We can journal the uncomfortable feelings. Process our thoughts into words on the page. Or stop and simply get outside and take a walk in nature or do some other movement.
How do we get still and ready to confront Doubt?
My favorite is to sit still and do a visualization with Doubt. Ask Doubt what is she trying to protect us from? Imagine Doubt is an unexpected guest that needs tending and attention. Make a cup of tea. Help Doubt take off her wet raincoat and dry by the fire. Hand Doubt the warm mug. Start gently, where you are. Try not to get caught up in a shouting and pushing match. Accept Doubt. Listen calmly and openly to all the concerns and potential threats. See them as outside yourself. They are not your truth or your story or what will happen. There are no guarantees.
Assure Doubt that you are okay. You are strong. You are capable. You are ready to take the next bold step. That with uncertainty can come greatness, joy, and a life beyond imagination. Sit in silence together, sipping the warm tea that never seems to cool until the last drop is gone. Thank Doubt for her words and say goodbye.
What’s the payoff for playing small? It provides a safety net in a world that seems wrought with violence and fear. Doubt is natural and almost like reflexive, protective posturing. However, please remember that your dream, your talents, skills, story, words, and energy are not threatening.
When I sit with Doubt I uncover some more: FEAR. Fear of being vulnerable, being open to criticism or possible judgment. Or possibly overcoming Doubt will spark a movement, create momentum for inner growth and shared experience, and provide an accepting environment and community where we can all thrive and not only merely survive.