Doubt

It only needs a pinhole to get in.

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It feels like every couple of months my entire world enters a phase of uncertainty. (I blame Mercury.) Usually for a brief time (a day or so) this spell has been going on for a couple of weeks. It feels like no matter what I do, it’s wrong. It feels like no matter who I ask, they’re unfit to advise or unable to help. It feels like every amazing opportunity goes south and every interaction is just a little lack-luster. It feels like every day there is rain and I’m failing, although I know that’s not reality and I certainly am not.

In fact, life has never been better. (*Repeats that to himself six times.*) Business is on the up-and-up. (*Repeats that too.*) Clients are happy and the work I’m doing for them is more than fulfilling, it’s life changing (all the way around). (*Knocks on wood.*) I’m [slowly] losing the anxiety and fear that’s plagued my everyday life for years and sparking new connections. Friendships are blossoming and all of the right bridges are in a blaze of glory. I’m starting to see that life is good again for the first time in a long time. (*Remembers that.*)

So, you can understand my confusion when moments of doubt and negativity pop-up and in to my head. It’s confusing, exhausting, and sometimes debilitating…

Today was one of those such times. In 2010, I met Gayle King [briefly] at an event in New York City; she was preparing for a collaborative venture with Oprah Winfrey Network where they were going to televise her daily radio show, in talk-show format. (No idea how she got that gig.) She told me that she was unusually nervous. She had been doing the radio show for a while and didn’t understand what all of the nerves could be from. “It’s basically just a camera added on to the usual show,” she said, “I shouldn’t be this nervous.”

The crowd smiled and some offered a few tid-bits of encouragement, and then she whipped out what would be the most profound quote I’d ever hear. “It’ll be fine. I know. But, doubt only needs a pinhole of room to get through before it can totally consume your thoughts.”

In the years that past, there were moments when that moment would come into my mind. But, it wasn’t until recently — particularly this past week that I really grappled what that meant. I’m not sure if it’s because of the work I’ve been doing on myself (working to be a little more mindful) or just the wisdom that comes with age, although likely an accumulation of both. Now, more than ever I’m conscious of that concept and the role that doubt plays in my day-to-day life and the impact that it has on my attitude and ability to perform.

More than ever, I’m conscious of myself.

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