“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will” (Suzy Kassem). Can you relate? I can. Most of my life has been clouded by self-doubt leading to anxiety and inaction. The talent and potential of countless people, including me, are often stymied by self-doubt. We fear failure but failure doesn’t kill our dreams, doubt does.
I have taken my feelings of doubt incredibly seriously and personally throughout my life to the point of paralysis. I formed a story about myself long ago that kept me in a small, protective box of perceived safety. I can’t do that, I’m too shy. I can’t try that, I’m not smart enough. I can’t accomplish that, I’m no leader. I can’t stand up for that, I’m too afraid.
We tend to think that heroes are extraordinary individuals who possess unique powers of strength, persuasion, leadership, charisma, and intelligence. It finally occurred to me that heroes are simply ordinary human beings who take a stand for what matters to them. They do it while trembling. They do it despite their doubt. Some heroes are forced into the position and then rise to the occasion. It isn’t that heroes have no doubt, it’s that they don’t take the doubt too seriously or, if they do, they take a stand anyway.
I realize that you and I already have what it takes to be a hero. We just don’t realize it. You see, it doesn’t matter if you are exceptionally smart, strong, ingenious, beautiful, rich, educated, intelligent, or charming or not. What matters is that you recognize yourself for who you truly are. You are divinity, star stuff, love! Not recognizing it makes it no less true. You can take a stand for what is important to you despite the fear and doubt. Do it with knocking knees and trembling hands. Do it despite feelings of resistance. Do it on behalf of your dream.
It seems to me that the moment we stand, all that we need comes to us, moment by moment. Once we take that first step, the next step becomes clear. We find that we have what we need right now, not for the future. Constantly searching for future resources can obscure present moment resources and lead to anxiety. “We are built for the reality of the present moment” (Jamie Smart).
If doubt rears its head, which it will do, you can recognize it for what it is, an incredibly compelling story that you buy into or not. Even when you do buy into it, you can take the step or stand despite the doubt. Yes, this is possible.
What do you dream, from the small to the vast? For yourself? For the world around you? Does doubt stop you from moving toward your dream? I want to assure you that doubt doesn’t have the power to stop you. It only looks like it does. Yes, it feels terribly compelling, so compelling that I bought it for decades. As compelling as it seems, it does not have the power to stop you from moving toward your dream.
How to overcome self-doubt and live your dream
Actually, there’s nothing to overcome so much as there is something to understand. To that end, you could:
Recognize doubt for the story that it is and it will begin to release.
Open your eyes to who you truly are: Divinity, Star Stuff, Love!
Take a stand despite your doubt, if a stand is needed.
Notice the resources available for this present moment rather than seeking resources for an unknown future.
Relax a bit knowing that life is living you.
Email me or comment below and tell me what comes up for you as you read this post. Has doubt been a big factor in your life? Does being a hero seem impossible to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts and insights.