Complete this thought: “I wish an alarm would notify me whenever…”
…I start to doubt. We’ve all been there. Suddenly finding ourselves in a season of hindrance, questioning our every move. And it’s all because of five letter word that even has us questioning how to spell it: doubt.
Doubt will sneak up on you like a slithering snake. You’re walking tall, sure of your steps and where you’re going in life and then something happens. Someone makes a comment. You don’t get that job interview. You lose a contest. Or maybe the bills go up. You think you brush it off, but that’s just the snake’s first coil around your legs. Next thing you know, something else happens. Someone doesn’t text back or answers your call. Your submission fell through. Something at work goes askew. Maybe you realize you haven’t been talking to some people as much as you use to? And doubt wraps another coil by saying they’re avoiding you. Instead of correcting the doubt, you step away and avoid the people you think don’t like you.
That’s how doubt gets you. It trips you up by making you isolate yourself. And when you’re alone, it pulls you down by filling your thoughts with what it wants you to hear: “you’re not good enough. No one likes you. You shouldn’t try. You’ll just fail.” And when you give in, it tightens it’s coils. You’ll have no room for motivation. No room for passion or to keep trying for dreams. Doubt will hold your heart captive and won’t even let you scream.
I wish an alarm would go off when doubt gets too close. I’d face the snake and cut off it’s head before a single word could hiss from it’s lips. Being wrapped in doubt is no way to live. It’s lonely. It’s dark. It leaves you timid as if every step you take is on ice about to crack. So, what do you do when you’re wrought with doubt? When it’s coils even cover your mouth? You could wait for someone to pull you out, but in today’s world, not many would notice. So, when doubt holds your tongue: bite down and bite down hard.
Sometimes, you’ve got to fight battles by yourself and be your own knight in shining armor. If you recognize your wrapped by doubt, fear, or any other form of Darkness, then steel your buns and fight your way out or fight your way to an ally. Don’t get me wrong, it sounds easy, but it’s not. When doubt realizes your fighting for freedom, it’ll try harder to hold you in place. When you try to admit your struggles to a friend, doubt will try to silence your tongue by telling you: “you’re bothering them. They don’t have time for you. They can’t help you. You’re just being dramatic.” Or it will release that automatic “I’m fine” when someone asks how you are. If you try to pursue your dream, it’ll remind you of your most recent failure to make you put it off and put it off indefinitely. But, you can choose to fight back! Admit your struggles to your friend. Take back the automatic reply and when failures come to mind, remind yourself what happens when you have victory.
In my experience, there are many ways doubt will try to hold you down, but it’s favorite scheme is by using lies. It’ll tell you you’re not important when you’re truly one of a kind. It’ll tell you no one likes you when you couldn’t be more loved. It’ll tell you you’re not good enough when your passion makes you worthy. It’ll tell you you’ll never succeed when there’s a plan for every life.
In my opinion, the best way to fight doubt is with truth. Remember what’s true and doubt will have a hard time arguing with you. Pull from your experiences if you have to. When I struggle with doubt, I remember a quiet time in the library. I was shelving books and was almost swallowed whole by doubt and Darkness. A prayer was my only defense and when I looked up, I saw hope. That hope was a promise I hold onto that the best days are yet to come.
Truth is quiet while lies are loud. So, you really have to listen to know and remember what’s true. Once you have that truth that you’re capable, you’re important, and you’re loved, speak it into existence. Have you ever tried to talk and think at the same time? It’s rather difficult and your words will usually get mixed up. So, imagine how hard it would be to listen to the thoughts of doubt when you’re speaking words of truth? Scream them if you have to just to shut that snake up. Doubt won’t be able to do a thing.
Yet, there’s still no physical alarm for when doubt comes to town. You have to be vigilant for yourself and others. Recognize when doubt slithers in and cut off it’s head as soon as it parts it’s lips. If you’re caught in doubt now, I encourage you to fight for freedom. It’ll be hard and the battle may be long, but victory is worth it. You’re worth it.