The Power of Doubt

A couple of weeks ago, I met a friend for happy hour – the type of friend who already has your preferred drink ordered and waiting for you when you arrive.

Walking in from the cold, I exhaled simply at the sight of her – and the glass of wine placed at the vacant seat to her right. We exchanged pleasantries. Hugged. And she asked me about my day. Subconsciously, I sighed, and as I de-robed all my winter garb, I mumbled something about it being one of those that makes you think about throwing in the towel.

I don’t know at what point I realized she was staring at me, mouth slightly agape, as I had continued rambling about the nuances of my day. But when I realized she wasn’t really listening, I stopped. 

What’s the matter?” I asked, registering she hadn’t heard a single word.

You think about giving up?” she asked, incredulously, putting pointed emphasis on the word you as if I had just sprung it on her that I was fluent in 7 different languages. 

I had to stifle the stream of cabernet that threatened to come out my nose. Upon collecting myself, I laughed and replied, “most days of the damn week.

And it’s true. More often than not, I contemplate giving up on my pursuits, but not for the reasons people might assume. It’s not because they seem too daunting or require endless amounts of sacrifice, which they do. No, I falter about moving forward because the temptation of the ease of life without these goals is so goddamn strong

It’s why I often find myself daydreaming of chapters of my existence, hundreds of pages ago, when I spent my lunch hour people watching in Madison Square Park. When I used my long commute to get lost in books. When every other Friday, a healthy paycheck landed in my bank account like “poof!

Life was pretty good then. Carefree. Easy. There was next to no uncertainty and in hindsight, I can tell you I didn’t worry about too much. Now, however, as I live outside of my comfort zone on the daily, I’m surrounded by doubt. 

“Is this really worth it?”

“Am I making the right choice here?”

“What if this doesn’t work out?”

Perhaps you face similar questions. And if you do, I’d like to offer you a big ol’ virtual high five. Because these are really good questions to be asking yourself, and if you don’t have a need to ask them, it means you have not yet found the boundaries of your comfort zone. Because without doubt, you don’t have the opportunity to reinforce your belief, your faith in your choices. Your choice to take risks, push the envelope, and live a badass and beautiful life.

So let’s all, collectively, work to reframe the power of double-guessing. To understand that it’s not indicative of a lack of confidence but rather a sign of couragethat comes from being curious about what else is waiting for us on the other side.

Like me. Every time I think about what it would feel like if I threw in the towel. 

A bigger voice inside my head claps back and says “but what will happen if you don’t?