You can’t do that?
You’re not good enough.
You’re not smart enough.
You don’t have all the skills necessary.
Nobody cares about what you’re doing.
No one believes in you.
No one supports you.
Nobody wants to help you.
What made you think you could do that anyway?
You’re not making any progress.
You’re wasting your time.
“Wow! How do you really feel about me?” I thought as I sat attempting to read a book to fight back the overwhelming emotions that drowned out the words on the pages like an overflowing riverbank. I slowly lifted my eyes from the book, closed the pages, and made my way to stare in the face the person who had the nerve to say such hurtful and demoralizing things. It wasn’t a long walk. In fact it only took a matter of 10 steps to leave my bed and travel to the bathroom where my assailant found refuge. I was speechless. I was livid. I was shocked.
When I finally arrived in the bathroom, I stood in front of the sink, leaned forward, rested the weight of my body on my hands with slumped shoulders, and dropped my chin to my chest. The weight of the world was on me and at that moment I barely had the strength to hold up my 170 pound frame. Using one hand to turn on the cold water, hoping that a splash would take away the sting of the hurtful words, I shifted my weight to my legs and cupped my fingers together to gather the water to soak my face. As the water touched my skin, I could feel the rejuvenating power restoring hope and bringing me confidence. Shocked at the sense of freedom a momentary submersion of my facial features released, I slowly raised my head and eyes to look at the individual who threw insults like pitches during a Major League Baseball game.
The Face of Doubt
It took me a moment to understand what I was looking at. It was not what I expected. It was not who I expected. Instead it was the last person I imagined would say such hurtful things about me. It was me.
As I stood, looking at my shocked and confused face in the mirror, I wondered why is the heart and mind so inherently negative. You see there wasn’t another person in the house. There I was seeking peace in a book and my mind starting attacking me with doubt. Instead of building myself up, I was tearing myself down.
I wanted things to be easy.
Since I had a vivid awakening about the stagnant state of my life just a few months back, I have been striving to live a life of contribution and growth. My growth in several aspects of my daily life seemed easy when I wrote them down on paper but have been overwhelmingly challenging to implement. However, in spite the odds that have arrived, I have been diligent in sticking to the plan with discipline and consistency. In fact, this wasn’t the first time I had thoughts like these. For a while they were happening on a daily basis.
Since I know for a fact that I am not the only person on the planet who deals occasionally with these emotions, I wanted to share with you a few tips that I have used to overcome them. They are life changing and very simple to read on paper. Doing them, however, is a lot more difficult than they may seem. I only share them because I have confidence that you have what it takes to overcome doubt.
To Overcome Doubt You Must Do These Four Things:
1. Plan: You have to learn to live beyond how you feel. With my personal physical goals, I NEVER feel like working out. For that reason, I created a weekly plan. I have a list of exercises that I do, a meal plan, and a person that holds me accountable to the plan I created for myself. There is no guessing when it comes to this goal. I made a plan and I follow it.
2. Be Disciplined: In a recent photo I shared on my Facebook page, discipline was defined as doing what needs to be done even though you don’t want to. It is said that, “Motivation gets you going while discipline keeps you growing.” John Maxwell
If you want to reach higher levels in any aspect of your life, discipline is a critical part of the process. A plan is an idea, discipline is the action.
3. Be Consistent: In order to be consistent, you have to be conscious of where you are and aware of where you want to go. This will allow you to take a poll on what you need to be doing to get you to your final destination. Once you know where you are, make a plan to get where you want to go, and become disciplined, the last step is developing habits that will consistently keep you doing the right and necessary things OVER and OVER again on a long term basis.
4. Silence The Inner Voice: When the negative nature of your flesh makes you start doubting yourself, focus on the good things and not the bad. Look at your progress and not the final destination. Focus on your wins instead of worrying about your losses. Think on positive things and not on negative things. Do something that energizes you instead of draining you.
As I looked at my face in the mirror, the severe look of concern was evanescent. My thoughts, held in captivity by deciding not to dwell on them, transformed from that of doubt to thoughts of hope. I know if I stick to my plan, it’s possible. If I am disciplined in my behaviors, it’s probable. If I am consistent over the long term, it is inevitable. Overcoming doubt is not an easy process but it is a necessary process to live a fulfilled and purposeful life.
“Doubt kills more dreams than fear ever will.” Unknown
Don’t let doubt kill your dreams. Instead kill doubt and live your dreams! I believe in you, you should too!