“Don’t let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game”
I remember hearing that quote in a Cinderella story and it hit me deep. I was a young teenager – I can’t even remember how old, but I do remember that it was the first time I confronted and accepted the fact that I had been letting fear hold me back in many areas of my life. Fear of failing, fear of embarrassing myself, fear of exposing to the world that I had no idea what I was doing, but knew this was what I wanted. I resolved to not let fear hold me back again, and it was around that time that I set myself out on the path of medicine. I knew it was what I wanted, but also that I had let the fear of not being successful, prevent me from going after it.
I went out into the world with a new resolve and at 15 was able to convince myself and my family that moving to London to study medicine was the right path for me. Unfortunately, my family couldn’t move with me, so I lived alone and was forced to confront a new evil. Self-doubt
Yes Self-doubt is actually evil. It has to be. Imagine knocking yourself out of a race before you even start because you are certain you will lose. Somehow the uncertainty of not knowing whether you succeed or not, makes you believe that you won’t. But what if you do? that part somehow gets left out and you are left with doubt, fear, and regret.
It was definitely a constant battle with myself and living alone and being so far away from my family didn’t help. They tried their best. With the calls, the prayers, positive and motivating messages and enduring support. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t. It took me a long time though to accept that it was only because subconsciously I may or may not have wanted it to work. Subconsciously, no matter how many times my mother and sister told me I was beautiful, amazing, spectacular, intelligent and just all round awesome, I occasionally didn’t believe it. Because self-doubt would rear it’s ugly head and tell me they had to say it because they were my family and the reality was I was none of those things.
The more self-doubt showed up, the more I started to believe it. Suddenly the certainty that I had in myself, my skills and abilities disappeared and I was left with lack of confidence, a lowered self-esteem and even imposter syndrome at its worst. And the worst part was I had become so familiar with it that I started to let it dictate my life and choices, and sell myself short. I was lucky my family always called it out when it happened in their presence and that every now and then I would be able to recognise it for what it was. The more I battled it and won, the more I not only familiarised myself with the many ways it can show up but created ways to counteract each one. Today I am grateful for the struggle because it made me incredibly resilient
I guess the main reason I am writing this, as we go into the 7th or 8th week of lockdown and spending a lot of time on our own, that we be aware that we can have positive and negative thoughts which can show up whether or not we want it or like it. We can let them stay, fester and build up to the point that we start to accept them as part of us and the new normal, or we can say no, not to today and “tell the devil that he can go back to where he came” as Brandon Flowers says.
So even if it is self-doubt, fear, worry, anxiety, sadness, whether founded or unfounded, remember that you are in control and you can choose whether you want it to stay and ruin your day or days or want to control it, and make your day as great as it can be. And if that doesn’t work, you could always meditate. Because life is too short to let False Evidence Appearing Real hold you back.
I do hope you enjoyed the post. As always let me know your thoughts and like and follow if you enjoyed it.
See you on the next one,