I See You, Doubt


How often do you allow doubt to stop you from trying something new or putting yourself out there? Doubt has been showing up in many areas of my life lately as I explore side hustles to launch, Yoga Teacher Training, and my project for a transformational leadership course I'm participating in right now. 

As I launched into my first all day lecture for Yoga TT, my emotional state went from excited to fearful. I could easily hear the voice in my head growing louder telling me, "You can't do this." You're never going to learn this." "You haven't been in school for over a decade." And for a good part of the day, I believed what the voice was telling me. What am I thinking trying something new? 

I also thought of times when I allowed doubt to consume and stop me from doing something that otherwise may have been great. And I'm not talking about caution - it's good to be cautious and listen to your senses. I think of doubt as more of a barrier of uncertainty or fear blocking you from your fullest self-expression. 

I thankfully came back to the present and gently reminded myself that doubt will ALWAYS show up when beginning a new venture. And when it does, you can either allow it to push you back into your comfort zone where little possibility or action happens, or acknowledge it and tell it to take the backseat.

I love this analogy about fear from Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Big Magic and believe it applies to doubt as well. 

You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice. But you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps, or suggest detours. You’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.
— Elizabeth Gilbert

Doubt will show up when you're trying something new - we are human after all. And rather than dismissing it completely, ask yourself why doubt is there and listen for the answer. If the answer appears to be more fear-based and inauthentic, then thank it for showing up and ask it to step away. You've got this. 

I also find it helpful when dealing with doubt to remind yourself of all that you've accomplished in a certain area of life. I think about my year of ACTION and how stagnant I'd be right now had I not told doubt to take a backseat. 

I am still anxious and uncertain in many ways about this new venture that I'm on and that's okay. I'm learning something new! I'm not expected to know everything right away. And I may not get it as fast as others and that is okay too. This is my journey. My story. And I'm still writing the script. 

Where have you let doubt stop you in life? Are you ready to tell it to take a backseat and move forward?