I have been experiencing a lot of self-doubt and worries lately. Mostly about my future. How I want it to be, and if this dream of mine will come true. I see how elusive this future is, and this frightens me. It’s one of those things I will never be able to control. That lack of control is what gets to me the most.
As I have moved into the next section or chapter of my life I have also encounter new problems. I have made the move two months ago to focus and hone in on my craft as a storyteller. To put my vision for the world out there. I have started to write, and tell stories about life on all different platforms. With just one goal, that is to help others experience the beauty of being alive. Day in day out. To make the most of every minute. That is a big vision for the future. A scary one. One that is larger than me and that I will never be able to carry on my own. This is even more frightening because now not only my vision for the future is out of control, also the road towards that future is out of my control. Leaving me stuck in the present.
Making that choice to step out into unknown territory is at most terrifying and at least frightening. There is no moment in my day that I don’t experience a sense of fear for this future. That fear is something I have to experience, it’s not something to try and get rid of, or to make it change. That is what I have done all my life, and that is how doubts and worries can take away your life’s experience.
It’s the reason why I wanted to share with you the way I live with the worries in my head, and the doubts about myself, and the future.
Part 1: Why We Should Face Our Doubts and Fears
I never have been a believer that just positive affirmations can do the work. In fact, that would deny an entire section of our lives, which is experiencing fear. Getting rid of your doubts and worries with affirmations actually makes you resist how life is meant to be for you at this very moment. It’s toxic to believe that your life should be happy all the time and that affirmations bluntly repeated to yourself can do so. They can, I know their power, but if you start with affirmations from a point of discomfort and out of fear, all you’ll end up with is hypnotizing yourself, never truly dealing with the underlying experience. That’s why I believe that we don’t just get rid of worries and doubts. We instead face them and appreciate them.
That does mean we have to deal with fear and continue living even when it is there. You can of course go to a retreat and solve everything bothering you in one go. I would highly recommend this, it’s something I have been wanting to do for a long time myself. Yet we don’t always have this opportunity or privilege. I don’t even think it is necessary to do it. Why?
Because we can live with fear and doubts without feeling like our life is passing us by, or without not feeling truly alive. I think that after a retreat those fears and doubts will still be there, your perspective towards them will just have changed. That made me think about how I should deal with these doubts and fears.
Part 2: How We Deal With Doubts and Worries
In my family, we have never hidden anything from each other. No feelings or thoughts, most of them were bluntly thrown around at the dinner table, which made us deal with our problems in a more open and relaxed way. We never pushed away emotions and allowed each other to feel and experience them. This is a healthy way to deal with them. If I, for some reason, get angry I don’t have to push it away purely because there are other members in my household. I can simply be angry, someone would notice that I am angry and just ignore me. Not feeding my anger, nor feeling the need to save me from it. That anger is my responsibility and the only way to deal with it is to feel it.
This is how I learned to deal with my doubts and fears. It’s uncomfortable. It’s tough sometimes, and at times I wished to just feel happy all the time. That’s just not the way to deal with it. I learned to deal with my emotions as they are, not trying to change or restrict them. It’s exactly how I now deal with my doubts and fears for the future. It’s a scary thing to make the jump and go for your dreams. Nobody within my circle of close friends and family have done it. They all have 9 to 5 jobs and they are perfectly happy with that.
That is not my path, and this leads me to deal with it alone. Not completely alone of course, they are here for me to talk to, but every problem and setback I face myself. Just like I was taught to face my own emotions at home. My family was there for me to help me, but they weren’t gonna be my savior. I had to do it myself for it to be sustainable and truly transformative. That’s why now as I fear not providing enough value, or not working hard enough, I do nothing but continue. There is no other way to deal with doubts and fears.
I meditate and therefore move on internally and spiritually, and I continue writing therefore moving on professionally. In both cases, I sit still. I sit still behind my desk writing in silence and face whatever I am feeling. Right now I feel that fear and doubt again. That every word I write on this blank page is not enough. I simply feel it, it’s uncomfortable and painful at times, yet I will not let it determine the outcome. Neither do I want to push it away, that would only make it worse. So the only thing for me to do is do my work, even when feeling shit. This too is a spiritual practice or just a practice of living life in general. It’s a practice of being present not feeling the need to change the way we feel.
We feel like we should always feel good like we shouldn’t worry or have fears. Yet this is human nature until you enlighten which is a long journey. So the only way to deal with this is to face it and experience it. Not letting it determine the outcome of your story.
Part 3: What Doubts and Worries are Trying to Teach Us
Now fears and worries aren’t just bad. They have something to teach us. This is how we move beyond them. Truly feeling alive even when they arise. In the second part, I moved past the block that doubts and worries create. We can do that by deciding to not let these feelings determine our outcome. If we have done this, and don’t feel the need to move on we can see the lesson they are trying to teach us.
Doubts and worries teach us that we are on the right path because we fear failure so much that we start to create our own demise before the outer world can do so.
I doubt if this is my journey. If writing is truly my purest expression and I doubt whether anyone will derive value from this. That is exactly why this is my true expression. I doubt if it is good enough because I want it to succeed so badly. That’s what doubts and worries teach us. It is not that they try to make us see that we aren’t meant to be doing this. Whether that be work-related or personal. We always doubt ourselves, not because we truly feel like we can’t do it, but because we are so invested in a successful outcome that we just freeze up. It’s like that moment in the club where you either see a hot boy or girl and want to move up to them, asking them for a dance. But the moment this thought arises you start to doubt yourself. The thought of being rejected crosses your mind and thus you turn the other way. Dancing on your own.
There is nothing wrong with dancing on your own, the point is that you backed off from something you wanted so badly to succeed. You, therefore, reject yourself before someone else can do it. Numbing the pain. That’s what we can learn from doubts and worries. They allow us to destroy our potential before the world can do so. Making us both feel bad and good at the same time. We feel bad that we didn’t do it, but we feel good because we didn’t have to deal with the rejection or failure we feared and worried about so much.
Doubts and Worries Feed Our Life
It is now that I realize that my doubts and worries feed my life. I see that this is the right path, purely because I fear failure so much. I want you to understand this too. That your fear of something means you want it so badly that failure would deeply hurt you. But do it anyway. Move towards it. I know it is uncomfortable and it might feel like you are straining yourself and putting more pressure on yourself than you can handle.
It’s just your doubts and worries creating different forms of thoughts.
living and pursuing our dreams is never what makes us depressed or burned out, it’s our constant need to experience something else than we do right now that creates this feeling.
The moment you feel your stress and anxiety it will no longer result in burnout or strain. Your doubts and worries will feed you with new energy. You’ll see that they are just there to protect you, but you need no protection. You move straight ahead. You can deal with way more than you think. You can deal with rejection, and failure, purely because you will always move on. If you give in to your doubts and worries that is what true failure feels like. It is then that you will find yourself never being able to be alive, for you will run from your feelings of discomfort the moment they arise.
Life isn’t meant to just be happy, life is meant as it is. Embrace that. Love that. Don’t let doubts and worries defeat you. Let them be your allies in finding what you truly care for. Because if you doubt if you are made for something that means you are made for it. Because you want it to succeed so badly that you start to doubt if you ever could. Let doubt, worries, and fear be your guides towards the things you love. Move on. Experience life as it is. So at the end of your day you can say Today I Lived, I made the most of it!