Dreamer: I am so excited!
Doubter: Not me. I don’t like this at all. It’s far away and could be dangerous.
Dreamer: Nonsense! This is my dream handed to me on a silver platter.
Doubter/Realist (they’re close cousins): Who is going to run your business while you’re away?
Dreamer: My fabulous team whom I completely trust.
Doubter: Well, how’s it going to look to your clients that you are out of the country for three months?
Dreamer: I think it’s going to look pretty good.
Doubter (scoffing): You’re the dreamer. I would naturally look good to you, you silly idiot!
When you are stuck between choices, procrastinating or worrying, chances are your Doubter has taken over. If it is ignored, it can hijack your dreams and turn them into dust. It needs to be dealt with and rendered ineffective. No, there is no blood shed required. It is a process; the process is simple enough.
Imagine that your child comes rushing to you with her something she must have this instant, all breathless with excitement. You are busy with your own deadlines and are rushed too. You don’t pay attention to your child. The child tugs at your arm and repeats her request. You distractedly brush her aside. She tugs harder and raises her voice a couple of notches. Still you don’t give her all you attention but nod distractedly, impatiently.
At this point you are not even aware how big or small her demand is. Perhaps all she wants is a hug; perhaps all she wants is for you to turn your full attention to a drawing she just made of you and her. Maybe she has a thorn in her finger. But you don’t know any of that because you don’t listen to her. That’s when she throws a tantrum. She shouts and raves and stamps her foot. Then, you are compelled to break your bubble of preoccupation and finally give her the attention she was asking for all along.
All you need to do- needed to do- was to pay attention to what your child was saying. Maybe she was just trying to warn you about a big wasp flying your way. Being a child, she couldn’t have known that the wasp wasn’t too dangerous. Her love for you probably blew the danger out of proportion. If you had listened to her right away and laid her fears to rest with quiet, soothing words, she wouldn’t have gone all panicky.
Your Doubter is that child. It doesn’t know how real the danger is. To its active imagination, everything seems life- threatening. It’s concern for your well- being turns the tiniest stomach ache into the most painful trauma you’ve gone through. Turn your full attention towards your Doubter. It’s job is to assist you; it isn’t your enemy.
Once you turn down the volume on the Doubter, it turns into a Realist. The Realist is the part that wants to know where the time and money will come from for your venture. It wants to know what Plan B is. It wants you to be careful so you don’t end up with egg on your face. Listen to it; handle its fears; reassure it and show it that you are well prepared. When it sees it need not worry, it will be quiet.
Your Doubter/ Realist will give you valuable information about the obstacles that you might face. Freedom comes as you appreciate its wisdom and insight rather than judging it as the enemy.
If you never deal with your doubt and you meet another Doubter on the road, their doubt will magnify yours. However, if you have worked with your own doubt, next time a Doubter challenges you, it will merely turn into an opportunity to deepen your commitment and conviction to your dream.
Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise.
~ William Shakespeare