Doubt. What is doubt?
According to the Dictionary, doubt encompasses uncertainty, questioning or considering, hesitation to believe, distrust, and fear.
Doubt isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it’s not always a good thing either.
So, how are we to know when we should listen to doubt and when we should tell it to step aside?
Doubt usually falls into one of two categories: intuition-based or fear-based.
Intuitive doubt holds a really important place in our lives and is a very good thing to pay attention to.
Intuitive doubt often gives us pause and asks us to reexamine something. In this way, doubt is our friend. It keeps us from running headlong into a decision without thinking about it.
Intuitive doubt usually comes to us subtly but strongly. It asks us qualifying questions about our decisions and often suggests new options. Often, we don’t like it when our intuitive doubt rears its head with all its wisdom and caution.
It’s like having a parent catch you just before an act of disobedience – you don’t like that you got caught but you’re also relieved to not follow through because you know it’s not right.
It’s far too often that we ignore the wisdom and peace that intuitive doubt brings, and chose to listen to a much more menacing form of doubt: fear.
Fear-based doubt is something that has plagued me my whole life.
Even when I go to my favorite restaurant because they serve my favorite dish, I will browse the menu thinking maybe I should order something else, doubting what I want is really what I want.
In the end I usually settle on my favorite dish but not before going through some fearful doubts.
I fear I’m missing out on something if I keep ordering the same thing. On the other hand I fear if I don’t order my favorite thing I will make a mistake and order something I don’t like.
Imagine what happens to me in a new situation where I am unfamiliar with my surroundings and must make a decision based only on the clues I can gather. It’s not always pretty.
I’ve discovered my doubt stems from a long held inability to trust myself and listen to my intuition.
As a child the only thing that was predictable in my life was unpredictability. So constantly payed close attention to what was happening around me in the event that something changed at a moment’s notice.
I had few opportunities to make decisions for myself and follow through on them. When I did, I had an over-protective parent nearby making loud disapproving suggestions.
Throw in a heavy dose of fire and brimstone belief systems and I was paralyzed with fear and indecision.
Fast forward to adulthood: I find myself living in a stable home with a predictable routine. I know myself better and have learned to trust myself more.
I’m better at listening to the quiet voice of intuition, and as I’ve continued to inhabit myself more fully, I’ve learned to hold my decisions up against the things I value. Such as love, generosity, openness, peace, and joy.
Doing this usually helps me know what to do without running into too much doubt.
Then there are “The Scaries” – things that take me outside my comfort zone and call me to take a risk, or tap into something unfamiliar in myself.
“The Scaries” create doubt so strong it pushes me out of the way and demands to drive.
These are the times I become paralyzed.
My new creative endeavor comes to a screeching halt as my doubt tears apart everything I’m excited and energized about.
The difficult conversation I was going to have with a friend gets dissected until I’ve convinced myself the conversation isn’t necessary and I should carry on at a silent distance.
These are perilous moments.
As fearful doubt constrict my life and cuts off my air supply, it leaves me gasping and grasping for something solid. All the while whispering I’m a crazy, stupid fool.
Albert Einstein once said no problem can be solved from the same conscious that created it.
This holds true for both intuitive and fearful doubt.
I’m not entirely sure what consciousness my fearful doubt is created in… I suspect my ego or society or not knowing myself well enough, or some combination of those things.
However, I know I must tap into something much deeper and more substantial within myself if I am to ever survive my deadly sea of fearful doubts.
There is a place deep in all of us that cannot be touched by the things that would tear us apart.
In this place we find great joy, peace, excitement, and understanding.
This is where my inner child dwells along with my most creative self, spirit guides, intuition, and knowledge of the abundant love the universe has for me.
This is where my truest, wisest self resides.
This is where my creative endeavors are born along with the wisdom and courage required to take risks.
This is The Source, the wellspring of my life.
If I am to conquer fearful doubt, I must go to the birthplace of the very thing that fear is trying to tear apart.
I must tap into the joy and excitement I felt when the creative idea first entered my consciousness.
I must tap into the peace and wisdom I felt when I first knew I must talk with my good friend about something difficult.
By touching base with The Source I am effectively telling fearful doubt to move over and let me drive.
Fearful doubt might still sit shotgun and make annoying comments about my driving, but what’s important is that fear is not driving me headlong into an early grave.
There is room for fearful doubt as long as it doesn’t hold me back and shrink my life.
There is a source greater than doubt that lives in all of us, a consciousness that expands our life and ushers us into new worlds.
If we can live out of that, we are unstoppable.