There are days when I feel like I’m all that. The best thing since sliced bread, the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees.
Then there are days like today. Where I don’t feel like I can accomplish anything. At all. Ever again.
Days where I find myself in that place where everything hurts and doubt has crept in.
Doubt. My worst enemy.
I know I’m not the only one who experiences down days. Not by a long shot. But I never see it on anyone’s face, hear it in their voice or read it in their eyes. I hear, see and read it in my own. It makes me wonder if others can detect it in me.
Of all the negative emotions, I detest doubt the most of all. Because doubt is a killer of all things vital. It kills confidence faster than you can say “do it”, it kills dreams faster than you can finish dreaming them, and it kills creativity before it gets out of the gate. And that’s just doubt warming up.
The thing about doubt is that I’m not sure it ever really leaves us. Any of us.
Rather, it hovers in the background, in the dark corners of our soul. Ever present, it waits for a chink in the armor of our self-esteem.
And when it sees it … it pours forth.
Years of self-employment have taught me that when this happens, it is the time to rally. To be kind, patient and forgiving to myself. But most importantly, to be my own best friend, my personal cheerleader. All difficult things to do when you find yourself in a moment of overwhelming doubt.
But I do it. Because I have no choice.
I’ve learned that when you doubt yourself, you simply cannot win. Anything. Doubt robs you of the ability to be what you were put here on this earth to be. It’s really that simple.
I received a letter yesterday from a continuing client and friend. In it, she praised my confidence, ability, strength and fearlessness. She shared that I intimidated her with my ability to get things done and earn a living as a writer. It was a disturbingly lovely letter.
The truth is, I get that assessment a LOT. I’m not sure why people want to give credit and accolades to someone who simply puts one foot in front of the other and heads forward.
I want to say this out loud: I often find myself fearful, overwhelmed, and sometimes paralyzed in my action plan. No lie. Doubt has that effect on me.
Being overwhelmed by life and one’s own expectations is something I’ve come to believe is “normal”. Once I adopted that mindset, things were easier to get through. It’s not just me. It’s not just you. It’s all of us.
My advice to her (and you) is this: just keep moving forward. The pace doesn’t matter a wit. We disappoint ourselves because we set goals set in time. It would be lovely if life didn’t get in the way. But it does.
So, as long as I’m crawling, inching, galloping or just plotting towards my goals, I know that I’ll get there … eventually.
And “eventually” is a hell of a lot better than never!