Doubt and I are very well acquainted. We’ve known each other for years. I’ve seen Doubt hang out around my family and my friends. I have even seen Doubt when I look in the mirror. She looks worried and then half shrugs as I walk the other way pretending not to see her. Doubt acts like she cares about me. But no, I wouldn’t say that we are friends. In fact, I can’t stand that b*tch.
At times I hear doubt in my own head. She never yells. Doubt is soft spoken like a whisper. She speaks in the same tone as a grief counselor. I can feel her reach out to hold my hand as if to comfort me. Other times Doubt tries talking to me through people I care about disguising herself as concern. Don’t be fooled. She’s manipulative.
Doubt loves to pop up all uninvited when I’m feeling good about myself. I could have just hit a huge milestone at my job or with a relationship, and here comes doubt swooping in to downplay the accomplishment. It’s like she’s checking me so I won’t get big-headed. She wants me to know my place is in the shadows and not the light.
Doubt is BFFs with Anxiety. The two work together to throw you off your course. Doubt starts the game by whispering “are you sure you can handle this? I mean, it is a lot of pressure.” Then Anxiety chimes in “And if you take this on, then what about that other thing you’ve got. How are you going to handle both? Oh my God, and what about this?! And then there’s… this is is becoming way too much for us.” Before you know, the two have already convinced you to roll up into a little ball and spontaneously disappear from all existence.
Because I’d dealt with Doubt all my life, I didn’t think I could tune her out. I didn’t believe that I could actually fade her out and switch to another song that I actually like. But I have to admit, I finally grew tired of her ranting, her misdirection, and lack of guidance. Doubt had single-handedly kept me from opportunities, and most importantly, kept me from really knowing myself. Damn her for that!
The breaking point in my relationship with Doubt came a couple months ago, right before my birthday. I’d just hit a career high. I’d dug myself out of a deep, dark hole and I wanted to celebrate. I wanted to pat myself on the back for busting my ass and getting me back on top, but something was holding me back. Something kept telling me that I wasn’t in the clear and that maybe I’d never be completely out of the dark. My friends who knew the struggle I’d be in were congratulating me, yet I couldn’t even accept the praise. I was scared that I’d slip again. That my accolades would be short lived. Doubt was allowing me to knock down what I’d just built up. I knew I needed to exit this toxic relationship with Doubt, but how?
On a whim , I picked up Jen Sincero’s You are a Badass at the airport as I was flying off to celebrate my birthday. Come to think of it, it was serendipity. I was about to get on a plane to go to this beautiful vacation destination all by myself. Instead of feeling great about getting away with the person I love the most ME, I was feeling a bit low. And as soon as I physically touched the book and then purchased it, my energy began to shift. Doubt was about to get knocked the f*** out.
What You are a Badass does is reminds you who you really are without that frenemy of yours named Doubt. The book breaks down how I got to this sad state of self doubt… and it it wasn’t by myself. Remember those concerned family members and well-meaning friends I mentioned earlier? They introduced me to Doubt but I’m the one who nurtured that relationship with her.
Even before I picked up the Badass book, I’d begun putting Doubt on mute by saying affirmations daily and meditating. I also had to do something else that may have temporarily set some folks off: limit my time and interactions with the Negative Nancies that are certain loved ones. Sure they meant well, but their fears were not mine. I wasn’t the one who was scared of adventure, achieving my goals, or happiness. Through time I’d inherited their fear disguised as Doubt as my own. Not anymore.
With every affirmation, I get stronger. With every book I read about self love and self esteem, I get wiser. After months and years of hyping myself up, it’s actually sinking in. What I feed myself every day is now my truth. It’s up to me to officially block Doubt. I’m not accepting any more text messages, emails, or phone calls from her. She’s an ex-girlfriend I want nothing to do with. I’m not bitter about our former relationship. I know now that I do actually deserve better than that. Sorry (not sorry) Doubt. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m getting to know myself now without you, and I love that woman.