Do you experience doubt-induced paralysis?
While the world undergoes unprecedented, agonizing growth and doubt about its future, where do you stand? While our own country’s band-aid has been ripped off, triggering a battle for our political, social, and spiritual conscience, where do you stand?
For me there is only one answer I can choose. I stand in the center of my own being and do everything to keep doubt out and trust in the certainty of right thought, right action for myself. I hold tight to my belief this is the best way I can contribute to the healing of a world gone mad.
Doubt is the great instigator of inner destabilization which then bleeds into the destabilization of our environment. It is believed that we have on average 60,000 thoughts a day. That is 2500 thoughts per hour. How many of those thoughts running rampant through your head are doubts?
Here I am, writing about doubt and its crippling effects on taking action yet doubt itself is here, doubting my ability to depict it accurately.
For most of us, doubting ourselves is such a frequent and unconscious action allowing those thoughts to go unchecked most of the time. Any attempt to stop the vast number of them brings to mind a Pacman game. I’ll lose.
It is extraordinary how fast doubt can erase a fact. We can stare straight into the eyes of an absolute truth of how we feel, what we believe surely to be true and doubt can slide right in, and walk away with it.
I have given in to doubt more often than I’d like to admit. Too many times I remained mum in settings where I had something valuable to say but doubt stole from me the courage to speak up. Doubt is so insidious. It’s a mind-killer. It’s relentless. It keeps you in suspended animation.
Limbo is doubt’s paradise. In limbo, doubt enjoys an endless parade of attention.
In my heart I truly believe there are no wrong moves in life, only adventures into unknown territory where I trust I’ll figure it out as I go. James Joyce said that errors are “the portals of discovery.” In action, in the present moment where there is no crack doubt can slip through, we are free. Conscious action speaks louder than doubt.
And yet during those times when I most want my voice to be heard and my beliefs validated, doubt volunteers its voice of reason that maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Maybe my beliefs and values are “not well formed.” Without missing a beat I get caught up on the wave of uncertainty.
Doubt, parading as a well-intentioned friend, suggests:
- I may have misinterpreted
- The risk is too high,
- I’ll appear ridiculous
- I’ll hurt someone else
- They won’t think highly of me
- It’s probably been done before
- It won’t make any difference
- They just won’t understand
“I’m just trying to protect you”, doubt will say.
Don’t be fooled.
Doubt isn’t a friend.
In its raw form it’s energy. Energy in its purest form is creative matter. Creative matter wants to become something. It’s raw clay waiting to be shaped. Shape it to fit the truth of you so doubt has no home.
When doubt sneaks in:
- Acknowledge it’s existence but think for yourself.
- Question doubt’s authority. Interrogate your fears.
- Recall the times when your beliefs, values, and choices proved reliable and strengthen your resolve.
- Ask if you really are safer in limbo.
- Ask yourself what it is in your day that you actually do have some control over and choose that.
- Adopt the belief there are no mistakes and failure does not exist.
Action, any action, can be the antidote to doubt if that action initiates from an awareness of self. Seek to know the true you. Not the self that doubt has created. These times of global uncertainty beg us to take a stand in the innermost spiritual truth of who we are.
And you are pure love. Stand in this truth.