I hate doubt. It ruins a perfectly planned post, party or project. And you never know when doubt will unleash a good attack of fear. How many great ideas vanish in the face of doubt!

So why, when doubt appears to bring nothing constructive to life, does it have the power and punch to stop you in your tracks?

Doubt May Bring Something to Consider

You know those people … the ones who say it will never work and proceed to tell you why from their personal experience. The ones who know how ridiculous your idea is. The people who have a lot to say in judgement.

Here’s a secret: It’s a protection game.

You might fail. And for some people, that is just like death, to be avoided at all costs. They don’t want you to fail. Or get hurt. Or look foolish. In their eyes. Believe me when I say those people are trying to watch out for you. Keep you safe.

The protection campaign can start early in life . Parents who didn’t encourage you to try new foods, engage in different sports, or create your own style.

Somehow, the world is perceived as a dangerous place. And your role and activity in that world should be kept to safe bets. Places where you don’t shine but you also don’t fail.  You don’t stand out and be recognized and neither do you present your ability.

It’s living small … and safe. It’s a marginalized life at best. Remember, if you don’t attempt anything, you don’t fail.

How to Handle Doubt Creatively

You will probably experience doubt at some point this week. In a good way. It’s a double-check to show that you have done your homework. The look before you leap. It makes sense to examine that doubt in a creative way to support your attempt and not hinder it. It is a way to make something even better than originally intended.

This doubt enhances the experience because you have noticed it (the doubt) and have given it an opportunity to tell you something. Not stop you. The doubt is there to impart a little self-protection but also to challenge to a higher level. Used creatively, doubt can amp up your passion to perform flawlessly. The self challenge of “Can I do this” brings performance to a new level.

Doubt can drive you to perfection.

Why Failure Is Essential

So, while you are living life, there are bound to be moments of failure or disappointment. You don’t hit every ball out of the park. But you show up at the plate.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes:

“During my 18 years I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1,700 times and walked maybe 1,800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball.”
Mickey Mantle