Do you have doubts? If your answer is ‘no’ you’re not alive.
Time after time and time again, I see myself accomplishing so many things before life gives up on me. Deep within my heart I know I should be successful at something. I know there is something I can accomplish. But what are these things that I could do and do it so well? How do I start and where do I end it? Somewhere, it is written in my stars that I am an accomplisher. But here I am, being eaten away by my doubts and a lot of doubts.
When I was young, I’d wanted to be a writer. I would write about everything that comes to mind. I was a lover of letter writing (love letters, especially). Some friends I knew urged me on and encouraged me to write more because they loved reading my stuff. I started writing a lot of articles no one would even bother to read them. Then I started trying my hands on poems. I won a lady’s heart with one of those poems; she was crazily sentimental and my poem worked on her. That was when I knew I could make it as a writer.
I started writing articles for some local magazines and news papers. None of them got published. I guessed the editors didn’t see any substance in whatever I wrote to them. I didn’t give up. I kept writing. One morning in September, I thought I should write to the editor and ask why none of my articles and stories get to see a spotlight in their papers.
He replied. His answer was simple and straight to the point; “they are not good enough! Just give up writing, roll off a cliff and die”. (the last sentence in the quote is mine). My doubt as a writer begun. Anytime I picked up a pen to write, that phrase kept tingling in my brain; “you’re not good enough”. Today, as I sit and write, my parrot is sitting right in front of me, staring as I type. Guess what he’s saying; “Give up writing already, you suck”.
I had an idea. it looked perfect in my mind. I wrote it down. Each day, I will revisit this idea and fine-tuned it to make it look as excellent as it could be. I’m afraid of failure. If I have to do something, then I have to ensure that it wouldn’t fail. Any hint of failure, then I’lll give that idea up. My idea was that in future every small business will have to get a website if they want to be successful. People have to create these websites. That means business for people who know how to create websites.
I studied website development and design. After that I contacted two or three corner businesses and spoke to them on the need to have a running website. They didn’t buy my idea. I even offered to do it for free if only they could pay for hosting fees. They still declined. I’ve gone for several months and talking to people but none will buy my services. One morning, as I usually do, I started rethinking the whole idea. Then I asked myself; will it ever work? Is someone ever going to hire me? The answer was this simple; “I doubt”
You see, I didn’t have much of self worth when growing up. I felt ugly cos people constantly reminded me that I am. I grew up knowing no woman will ever want an ugly me so I kept to my corner. Then as fate will have it..someone fell in love with my poem and thought I am the poem itself since I created it.
Love grew like fire and consumed us both. We’ll usually meet in dark places where nobody will see us kiss. We’ll shower words of love on each other every now and then and think of life together in future. We didn’t get past the first obstacle. We failed! That was the first of so many failed relationships to come.
So I doubted if it’s worth it. Love, relationship and all. I doubted everything. everything looks so good today. Tomorrow it turned to ruins. When something in my life seems so good and moving so well, I begin to fear. It is as though I know how it will end. I die so many times cos doubts won’t give me a breathing space. All of my doubts moulded me into coward. I didn’t want to start cos I knew I would fail anyway.
It turned out “doubt” wasn’t my problem.
The problem with me was; I didn’t learn enough from my doubt so I failed so many times. I doubted everything just for the sake of it. I made my doubt elevated my fears and gave me the validation that it’s alright to give up.
It’s good to have doubt…it makes one humble. It makes one question everything so one can put things into better perspective. Doubt makes us better individuals cos we tend to question and question till we get all the answers.
Why didn’t I know this earlier?
Today, I still question everything. I still have doubts. The only difference is, this time my doubt is my strength. I know the only way to build more websites is to talk to more people; friends, relatives, strangers and even passers-by. Many of them are going to say ‘no’. That’s alright. Out of the many, one will pop up with a ‘yes’ then I’ll be in business for a while.
I write more these days. I put up this blog because out of the many, one suggested I should have a blog and they will come everyday to read. I write and I doubt if they are good enough. I read over and over till I become bored. Then I post it. Out of the many that come to read, one will give me a kind comment. That will be the encouragement to go on. I don’t care so much if I’m a better writer or not. Someday someone will fall in love with it…Then all of my doubts will be a waste of time.
We are men of logic. Doubts should come naturally to us as breaths in our chest. It’s good you question the things people tell you and what others demand of you. If you doubt your greatness, work harder at it till you are convinced. Question everything, even the obvious ones. It will amaze you the answers you get.
Doubt isn’t a problem. Those who doubt will always continue to ask questions, and strive to be better individuals. The day we we refuse to have doubt, that day we become stupid!