What If Doubt Was Welcomed?
I’ve been wondering what it would be like to do more writing; to get better at it; to develop a body of written work made up of thoughts and ideas that I could share ‘out there’.
This wondering is very much connected to finding my own voice, claiming it, and giving it space, reverence, and expression instead of continuing to shy away from being seen and heard. It’s connected to accepting and honouring my self-doubt. This is what’s at the core for me. Creating a practice to hear myself and bring it out, let it see the light of day and build the inner relationship that moves ahead rather than stays stuck.
I want to be released from my own self-preoccupation, and just Do-The-Work, as Seth Godin stresses. I admit that I get scared of what will come of it – because maybe it will be nothing in the end. What if it’s nothing? What if it’s horrible? What if it’s laughable? I often get trapped there, in that undesirable yet all-too-welcoming world of self-doubt. The world where all the problems become plausible, where the dangers appear, where staying small and hiding are encouraged and praised. Self-doubt has been source of irritation and frustration in me and yet there is no denying the power with which it has influenced many parts of my life.
And so, what now?
What if …. I invited self-doubt to sit beside me. Leaving self-doubt out of the adventure all together hasn’t necessarily proven to be a better approach. What if I were to befriend self-doubt? What if, I asked self-doubt for help. So often, I’ve wanted to admonish it, wish it away and yet the more I look to push against it, the more forcefully it pushes back.
With self-doubt here by my side, I ask how to give shape to what swirls in my mind, what’s tucked away in my heart. Together, we look at the ideas that want to be born and what purpose I’m here to serve. Noticing the rise of fear, inner-criticisms and even guilt, shows me that self-doubt is looking for my attention and wanting reassurance that I’m not about to die. The threats that I think are out there, like mockery, disapproval and judgment may indeed exist, and I know I can or will handle them. I reach into the truths of who I am, the inner and outer resources that I can access and the experiences I’ve lived to ground myself in the knowing that all is well.
When I expand into that sense of self-trust, I can move ahead with compassion for this part of me that just wants me to be safe. They are two sides of the same coin, self-doubt and self-trust. When self-doubt is allowed to raise its hand, is heard and shown love, it transforms like a butterfly into self-trust.
Unearthing for Self Care
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