Doubt is such a familiar voice, that you may have trouble separating truth from the incessant whisper of doubt in your ear. You have an idea, begin to take the first steps toward it, and instantly doubt is there, whispering: “I’m too old. That will never sell. I don’t have enough time and money to follow through. I’m not really good enough.”
Remember that doubt is a poor advisor indeed. Doubt may protect you from making a fool of yourself, but what kind of protection is that? Learning requires experimentation and mistakes. And some of these mistakes turn out to be glorious mistakes, a burgeoning of originality where a new idea is born, the seeds of a new approach what will turn out to be highly successful. And some of those mistakes are simply painful learning steps, ways to learn what works and what doesn’t, both for you and for those you wish to serve with what you offer.
Often the learning entails differentiating what you like best from what others truly want from you. These are not necessarily one and the same, and it is up to you to find the right balance, the right blend, so that you are true to yourself, yet serving the needs of others. And through it all, of course, you are growing, taking risks, learning new things and making new so-called mistakes along the way on your journey of becoming.
But it is this process that is important. And to do it, to continue on the journey of learning, you must be very brave. You must fill yourself with the courage required to try something new and original, to put yourself out there and see what happens. Do not expect doubt to go away. Doubt will ever be in your ear, no matter how successful you become. Look upon doubt as simply a human condition, and learn how to go forward in spite of its presence.
If you have an original, creative idea, by definition, it will seem strange, since it is new and untried. Expect that others will be hesitant and doubtful. This is natural and normal and nothing to deter you from continuing. And your own mind is like everyone who loves you: it wants the safe and guaranteed for you, so that you do not slip and fall. What was safe and guaranteed yesterday is not necessarily the safety of tomorrow, but doubt does not know this, for doubt knows only the past.
If you simply push through and go ahead in spite of doubt’s dire warnings in your ear, if you simply do it anyway, several things will happen. First, if it turns out that your new creative venture is not well received, you will not only learn more about what you do, but you will learn bravery and to feel proud of simply having gone forward and sung your song, danced your dance.
And if you are even moderately successful, the doubters will instantly turn around and become your strongest supporters. Remember that doubters are timid, not brave. They are easily swayed by the opinion of others. That is why, if you appear on a national television show to great acclaim, suddenly the doubters who told you not to do this, including your own mind, are clinging to this one success, urging you not to go further and leave it behind for new creative ventures.
And so, doubt is always in conflict with your path as a creative, blossoming and growing person. Doubt is always dragging its heels and trying to hold you back. But you have a choice, the choice to go forward and forge your own path.
And then, as you go forward in life, remember to achieve a certain balance, like a singer who mixes in some of the old hits with the new original material during each performance. Recognize the nature of people, to always be drawn to the familiar, but then challenge them to move out and onward, giving them time to do so, giving them support for simply being human and having this doubtful and hesitant nature. Acknowledge what is, but do not allow it to become a roadblock to forging new pathways.
Here is a little prayer for today
I am creative. I open myself to the flow of genius that is mine to own. I open myself to ideas and feelings and my own unique point of view. I let it all flow into me and then I take a deep breath and allow myself to be the original, creative person that I truly am.
I love the flow of newness. I love the opening, blossoming of my being. I embrace change and new flowing growth. I welcome the excitement of simply being alive.
I am creative and powerful. I am courage and love itself. I am.