Doubt is a powerful enemy, the first cousin to our Inner Critic. His goal is to kill every aspiration, hold back our dreams. If we let him, he’ll stop us dead in our tracks.
In my writing cycle, fall is the time of year where I find myself hunkered down on a writing project, trying to bring it full circle. That was true again between October and December 2018. Deep in the middle of a rewrite, I pressed on towards the finish line. The end was in sight. I could see it, danced with it as I lived out those days with the characters and drama on the page. I was excited, pumped, because the writing was assured (my perspective, not necessarily my editor’s), and the story had come full circle. Every day, showing up to do the work, brought joy and trepidation, as I edged closer to finishing something.
Then it happened. Doubt struck, and I was paralyzed. I didn’t know how to move forward.
The Power of Doubt
You know the feeling…
Your project — a novel, series of paintings, the planning for your start-up — is going well. Great, actually. You check your KDP[note]Kindle Direct Publishing[/note] reports and wonder why sales of your last book have stalled. At the exhibition, people praised your work, expressed interest, but now your paintings are back in the studio collecting dust. A well-intentioned friend sends you an article about why so many start-ups fail. Now you’re asking yourself doubt’s favourite question: what’s the point?
You’re stuck. Nothing is happening. You’re not making any progress because doubt has made his grand entrance and doing what he does best: make you question your talent, ambition and, worst of all, your worth. Doubt and your Inner Critic are laughing at you, believing they’ve won the day. And maybe they have won because you’ve stopped doing the work.
Don’t let them win.
On every writing project I undertake, doubt makes a few appearances along the road. Sometimes he can send me spinning, but I try to let doubt be my muse instead.
Here’s the thing…
Doubt reminds us that we’re on the right path. When he shows up, stay focused on the work. Put in a little extra time at the easel, the piano, or planning your launch.
Don’t let doubt bring you down.
Instead, hunker down and do the work.
Is doubt trying to sabotage your dreams? How do you cope with doubt? Click Reply or leave a comment in the section below. I’d love to hear from you.
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