"Doubt you're not welcome here anymore. Fear, I have no vacancy for you. Insecurity you're time in my life has expired." I literally have to tell myself these things from time to time. Why? Because doubt has controlled my life for a long time. Fear has had a permanent lease in my life and the rent is quite hefty. I struggle(d) with fear of feeling like I couldn't do anything good for a long time. It seemed like every effort I made was in vain. At one point when I finished graduate school, I had become so accustomed to rejection that I filled out applications with "Won't Get" as my first name and "This Either" as the last. I was frustrated. I was angry with the world and felt like I deserved better. I would RSVP to my pity party every single day because nothing positive was happening in my life. I was dressed to kill. Yes, kill my hopes and dreams. I was struggling. Had I seen the best parts of my life? Had I already peaked? I couldn't have. I was only 27.
I remember spending days sleeping and eating because I didn't want to face the world. I would hop on Instagram and scroll quickly through everyone's page in hopes of not staying too long and feeling jealous because they were "achieving" and I wasn't. Why me though? Why can't I catch a break? He doesn't deserve it. She didn't work half as hard as me. So I thought. The time I spent beating my self up could've been used constructively. That same hurtful energy I used to tear down my confidence could've been converted to bringing back my smile. So I did.
I revisited the areas of my life I could control. I spent hours finding creative ways to update my LinkedIn. I wrote the summary, stared at it, made changes, and stared again. I asked for old colleagues to endorse me and write recommendations. I googled my name to see what came up and what I didn't like. How could I change it? What could I do to enhance my online brand? I went to the gym every day. I funneled my remaining frustration into cardio and a lot of lifting. I checked up on old friends to see how they were doing. Hearing their stories actually motivated me. I genuinely loved that the people I cared about were thriving in life. I even connected with a few friends who were on the same stage I was on and we encouraged each other. I realized that my days were better, my smile was bigger, and my mind was a bit more clear.
Doubt is so divisive. It separates our innate ability to prosper from those things that our heart craves. How do you eliminate it? Unfortunately, you can't. It's a learned behavior that has lasting affects. But you can manage doubt. I remember I finally realized this one day after listening to "Falling Down Away" by Alex Isley. I was lost in every lyric and had been crying for the past four hours because I felt my life was in shambles. I remember speaking to God and asking Him to help me understand and to show me a sign. The next day I woke up feeling different. I said "today will be a great day. No matter what happens, I will see the great in today."
How can you manage your doubt? Find a way to remember joyous moments. I save snap chats from amazing times and I play them after a long day. I see myself vividly in those moments and it reminds me life is great and I'm surrounded by people who care about me. At work, I save emails with compliments. It helps me remember that I'm competent, strategic, creative, and at times quite selfless. These small ways just help me remember. Essentially, we have to remember that doubt is fake. When we even embrace down, we are essentially saying we are a psychic. We are saying we know what's going to happen before it happens. Do you really know what's going to happen every time? No, we don't. So why are we pretending we do?