I am writing you this letter for whenever you are hit – or bulldozed – by self-doubt. Because there are a few things that I want you to know.
First, you, my friend, are not alone. It’s not proof that you’re a fraud or totally incompetent or don’t-really-have-what-it-takes. It simply means you’re human – and you’re having a human moment.
It will pass. You’ll pick yourself up again. You’ll even feel unstoppable at some moment in the probably near future.
You just can’t see it now.
So in this moment, just breathe. Big, full, deep breaths. And then tell yourself this: I am perfectly capable of handling this.
Whatever this is.
Because you are.
But when you’re in the muck of self-doubt, you only see, well, muck. You see the things that are hard – and the very scary possibilities of what might be. You gather all of the evidence that you really do suck (even though you don’t) and are bound to repeat the same horrifying failures from your past. And because you’re feeling pretty crappy about yourself at the moment, all of the challenges that stand before you feel overwhelming, if not entirely insurmountable.
I get it.
So if you need to take a few minutes and hang out – or wallow – here, that’s fine. Go ahead.
Because sometimes we simply need to be where we are – without judgment or the added pressure of feeling like we should be feeling or doing or being something else.
But when you’re done hanging out down there, I want you to do this: think of every single thing you’ve ever done that even for one, tiny, little moment worried or intimidated or terrified you. Yes, every little or whopping and everything in between thing.
Go as far back into your childhood as you can. Surely there have been hundreds. Scratch that, THOUSANDS.
Ok, so you probably can’t remember that many.
Because that’s just it: You have survived THOUSANDS of these moments. You’ve resiliently bounced back (ok, sometimes you were dragged, but, hey, you got there) from THOUSANDS of onslaughts of self-doubt in your lifetime.
(Or is it millions? Who even knows?!)
And some, of course, felt bigger and nastier and more real than the previous ones.
But you survived those, too.
And do you want to know why? Want to know the secret of your survival?
It’s because you’ve got what it takes to handle whatever it is.
(I know. You were probably hoping it was more profound than that. But the truth is often simple.)
Hold onto that. Let it be your lifeline.
Because these (passing) moments of self-doubt pack quite a punch. And it’s easy to lay yourself down and surrender to the messages – the lies – of fear. (Which, really, is at the root of all this doubt anyways.)
But you’ve got bigger business here in the world.
Like being your fiercest, most loving champion in life. Because if not you, then who?
And because I’m just sitting here watching another foot of snow being dumped on top of the already 5-feet-high snow banks, I just thought I’d remind you…
You’ll find your way through this one, too.