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How to Keep Doubt From Destroying Your Dreams

Jun 13, 2008
"I can't make any money doing this."
"This is too good to be true."
"Maybe I just don't have what it takes to do this."
"I'm never going to figure this out."
"I guess I'm not going to find something I'm passionate about."
"I'm not sure any more that I really want to do this."

I've heard these doubts and many others from my clients as they follow their dreams, desires, and passions. Doubt seems to be a normal part of the busy human mind, one of Monkey Mind's favorite flavors.

Do you have thoughts that lead you to mistrust yourself, your vision, or your path?

Doubt can squeeze its tendrils around your mind, feed on itself, and, just like a wild vine, take over.

Doubt makes you uncertain, unsure, and confused. The doubting mind can't even be certain of its doubts. Thoughts whirl around in your head, often the same ones over and over. It's easy to become shaky and fearful, to begin to question and distrust everything, to get stalled, and to delay taking action.

Doubting, doubting, doubting also saps your energy. Eventually you may stop moving forward or give up completely. There goes your dream!

It doesn't have to be this way. You don't have to let doubt run - or ruin!- your life. Try doubting your doubt.

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?

One of my clients had been searching for her passion for a long, long time without success. She came to me to see if I could help her discover her passion. In our first few hours together, we identified a number of things that lit her up and that she was passionate about. Good news!

Within two weeks of that initial clarity, she came across an opportunity that would allow her to work from home, travel a little, and do something that she thought was so much fun she couldn't possibly get paid for doing it.

All of this lit her up so much she was on fire when she told me about it. In the midst of her excitement, though, she kept saying, "This is just too good to be true." That thought (which she had been having repetitively) was getting in the way of fully savoring and pursuing this opportunity.

Was it too good to be true? Maybe, maybe not. She didn't have enough information to know. Asking "Is this too good to be true?" over and over kept her busy whirling around in circles and it wasn't producing any useful answers.

So how could she get some useful answers? First, she needed to identify some intelligent questions.

I asked her what "due diligence" would help her discern if this was a viable opportunity. She quickly came up with "ask the organization for names of people who have made money doing this" and "check the Better Business Bureau." Just identifying these questions halted her whirling mind and gave her more clarity and focus. She got off the phone energized to get these and other intelligent questions answered.

As she does this, her increased knowledge will decrease her qualms and ease her fears of the unknown. She can then choose to move forward with this opportunity or to find another path.

IN YOUR LIFE

When your mind is filled with doubts, going back and forth in your head is more likely to increase your uncertainty and confusion than to help you. To reduce your doubt and fear of the unknown, here's a way to begin doubting your doubt.

* What are you doubting? What are you saying to yourself that is creating your uncertainty? Write this down.

* Identify five to ten intelligent questions related to whatever it is that you have qualms about. Write them down.

* Get answers to those questions.

* Allow the information you gather to decrease your misgivings and fear and to guide your next choices and actions.

By the way, if you can't come up with intelligent questions that is a big clue it's just your Monkey Mind talking. In which case, thank it for sharing and turn your attention to your dream, your desire, your vision, your next step.

Doubt your doubts, not your dreams. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, "The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today."
About the Author
Bonnie McFarland works with women at midlife who are bored, stuck, or restless and wondering what to do with the rest of their lives. Visit www.labellavia.com for her free e-book and ezine to create more pleasure, passion, and purpose in your life.
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