Earlier this week I found myself sitting at a table while a speaker discussed her journey through life – and how she overcomes the ‘enemy’ of self-doubt. She shared of how in everyone’s journey, self-doubt insistently creeps into our lives, planting ‘reasons’ not to chase our dreams or simply get out of our comfort zone.
Making decisions in life is difficult enough, she said. Having a constant companion of self-doubt dragging behind us like an anchor only gets in the way of us truly discovering who we are.
Her words resonated inside of me, as I know the enemy of self-doubt all too well.
Talking about her personal journey, she shared how she discovered the courage and tools to unwind from the faceless force between her and her dreams.
“Each day, whenever I’d find self-doubt creeping into my decision process, I’d write it down – making a list to review at end of the day,” she said. “In the end, they really weren’t all that scary.”
She shared some of the more common visits we all seem to get from self-doubt – almost a ‘who’s who’ list of greatest reasons not to act on opportunities in life. “I’m too old. I’m not qualified. I don’t have enough experience.”
Ego, she said, is among the most common and powerful tools in self-doubt’s arsenal.
And like most of us, I’ve experienced a lifetime of visits from these unhelpful visitors. And unfortunately, when I was younger, I all too often gave over the steering wheel to them – finding in the end all I had accumulated was a big fat bag of regrets. This only made me feel worse.
But then at some point, after years of accumulating a worthless bag of results force-fed by self-doubt, I decided to change my life one day at a time.
One day at a time, as most of us know, can be a long, lonely, and uncomfortable journey.
Eventually I discovered a simple solution that helped my slay my dragon of self-doubt: faith combined with a 360-degree view of the opportunity in front of me. In the process, I’d make sure I identified the good, bad, and ugly. And in the end, if the potential outcome would leave me with ‘ten fingers and toes’ (my unscientific risk measurement), I’d continue to move forward exploring the opportunity / experience in front of me.
And just like the speaker discovered her personal tool, I’d done the same. By asking myself what is the worst that can happen, my experiences helped create a reservoir of confidence that eventually overpowered self-doubt. And having faith – and knowing God was my co-pilot – only helped me be confident in making better decisions in life. And since then, honestly, what a ride it is…and I have no idea where it will lead.
It is my hope the speaker’s words changed someone’s life on that morning. I have to believe in my heart that she was there to speak to someone hidden in the audience – and to change a life that day.
And from that moment, another journey of ‘one day at a time’ can begin. I hope they enjoy the ride as much those of us who’ve learned to slay the dragon of self-doubt do.
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