Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Doubt - And What Beats It


“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”

Barack Obama


“What were you thinking?”
“Are you crazy?”
“Do you know what the odds are of you being successful?”
“Don’t you remember all the other times you’ve failed or given up?
“Why can’t you just be happy with the way things are?”
“What makes you so special?”
“Why don’t you do just enough to get by?”
“Why do you have to work so hard?”
“Why don’t you wait until things are easier?”
“Why don’t you wait until you have more time?”
“Why don’t you wait until you have more education or training?”
“Why don’t you give up?”
That last question is the real one, isn’t it?   The voice of Doubt is whispering in our ears to give up.  I’ll admit, these questions sound reasonable.  Sometimes doubt shouts in my ear and sometimes it just stands there watching me, leaning against the wall, arms folded, with a smirk on its face, waiting for the next mistake, the next problem, so it can say, “See, I told you.  This thing you want to do…well, it’s just not going to happen.”
Maybe you feel it, too.  The odds seem overwhelming.  You worry about the economy, your abilities, the competition, or your lack of self-discipline.  You feel afraid, scared, and a little hopeless.  There’s one good piece of news:
Your feelings don’t matter.
Not the feelings that come up when doubt takes over.  They don’t matter.  Doubt, fear, anger, stress…none of these matter.  Here are the emotions that truly matter.
Love – you do what you are doing for love.  Love for others, love for God, and/or love for yourself.  You are doing this for the love of a better life, the life you are meant to live.  You are doing this because you love the work.  You are doing this because you love yourself.
Determination – the emotion with no emotion.  There’s no anger here.  You are not making a steely resolution that you are going to change or get better or do great things one day.  Most of all you’re not waiting for inspiration or for “when you feel like it,” or for when the time is right.  The time is right now.  You’re doing your work now, no matter how you feel.   You are simply sitting down and doing your work and you aren’t going to stop.  Ignore your feelings or embrace them or run right over them; it doesn’t matter.  All that matters is not giving up. 
It’s greater than not giving up.   “Giving up” doesn’t even enter into it.  This is not a battle against the negative; it’s an affirmation of the positive. You’re just doing your work.  You’re moving forward.
You’ll notice other emotions.  Besides love and determination, you’ll notice joy for having finished your work.  You’ll notice peace.  You’ll feel self-confidence.  Those are the feelings that really matter.
So let Doubt come.  It will come like rain, but sooner of later it will evaporate.  Then it will come again.  But it doesn’t matter.  All that matters is that you do your work.  You Get Started.  You Keep Going.  As you do, you’ll gradually or suddenly notice that Doubt is gone.  Doubt cannot stand against action.