Tag Archives: courage

How to Silence the Voice of Doubt

Just write

Just fifteen minutes. That is all it will take. Fifteen minutes a day. A few thoughts on paper—just words.

Maybe this is what I should have been telling myself every morning. Maybe then I would have actually gotten past the nausea and the scrambled thoughts to just do this simple thing: write.

Instead I allow my mornings to evaporate, my afternoons become full of domestic chores or errands or other people, other things.

But in the back of my mind comes the voice I have learned to dread but also believe: “You have nothing to say. No one is interested in your words. You are irrelevant, middle aged, mediocre and plain dull. Why waste your time and energy on this project that no one—not even you—really cares about?” The voice of doubt.

This is not the first time I have heard this voice. The words may be different but the voice is undoubtedly the same.

There seems to always come a time for me when the boldness and bravado that comes with the beginning of a new venture wears thin. The flimsy skeletal structure emerges and the vast pockets of self-doubt, discouragement and fear show through.

My nature is to jump into things. Throw caution to the wind. My energy and passion blinds me (and others) to my own inexperience and ignorance. This is what I refer to as my “smoke and mirrors” phase. It takes a little while before I realize just how little I know and how over my head I am.

Ah. This is the critical juncture. What to do next?

Enter The Voice.

“You are a fraud. You have no business doing this. You will be found out and everyone will discover that you don’t know what you are doing.”

A few times I have somehow managed to push through and in doing so, I have silenced the voice.

But all too often I have given in, busied myself with other, safer things and allowed the voice of doubt win the battle.

It takes courage to learn a new thing, to try your hand at something you suspect you might fail at, to answer a call you feel completely ill-equipped to handle.

The battle is won when you simply take a step forward and say, “Here I am, Lord.”