Fall in the Ozarks

Trapped by Doubt? Ditch It!

Cynthia Herron Motivation 6 Comments

Many years ago I sat in a meeting with “Jackie.”

I’ll never forget the awkwardness of that day. (You can read more here.)

Jackie rarely spoke well of others and often voiced her discontent with everything from A to Z. In short—she was no fun.

I believe her attitude reflected deeper issues, specifically her own self-doubt. She was trapped in a web of insecurity and loneliness.

After a time she stopped attending our writer’s group, but I always wondered what became of her.

I have to be honest—in some ways, it was a relief when Jackie left.

Folks seemed happier and Jackie’s departure encouraged a new cohesiveness among the group.

Still…a part of me was sad.

I don’t care for controversy or pot-stirring. (I like everything happy, happy, happy!) I’m Miss Fix-It and I’d hoped to help Jackie in some way.  I saw potential in her writing and I thought maybe she could use a friend. An encourager.

Perhaps, you’ve known a Jackie.

Jackies are easy to spot. Their blunt assessment of reality is harsh and one-sided. Their mindset is fixed on the negative. It’s a sticky place to be and a difficult way to live.

Why?

Well, because those attitudes set off a chain reaction. Doubt begets doubt and stops forward thinking in its tracks. It paralyzes its victims and drains the storehouse dry. It kills the possibility of joy.

The thing is writers get other writers’ doubt.

We understand it.

We get the fear. The sense of isolation. The endless hours of creating, processing, and perfecting a craft that’s so subjective, yet so easily judged.

While it’s true we must develop thick skins in this business, doubt can dog the best of us.

Self-doubt. Doubt about the industry, our ministry, and the writing life in general.

Since I’m a Pollyanna thinker, I try very hard to ditch doubt. Some days it takes more effort than usual to play the glad game (watch the movie and you’ll understand), but positivity keeps me grounded.

Ditching doubt isn’t “I’m better than you” mentality. It’s the faith-based seed of hope.

Sometimes, it takes work—it’s an ongoing, conscious choice.

In my post Ditch Doubt, Define Your Destiny I explained why this will change your perspective. If you need a boost of encouragement today, I really hope you’ll read it.

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Have you ever been trapped in a web of doubt?

How do you ditch that mindset?

Today’s the day to do BIG things!

Blessings Always,

Comments 6

  1. Melissa Tagg

    I hate doubt. And thankfully, I tend to be surrounded by amazing people who can sense when I’m doubting and are pretty great about turning that ship around as soon as it tries to stir the waters. 🙂

    I worked with a “Jackie” once. Here’s the cool thing…my Jackie seemed to, at some point, realize what she was doing. People continued to engage her and talk to her despite her tendency to pull everyone down. And over time, I (and I think, all of us) realized she was slowly changing…like, making an effort to be positive. She’d still say negative things for a time, but then she’d quickly follow it up with something positive…and then eventually, the negative comments became less and less frequent…kind of cool to see!

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    Cynthia Herron

    Melissa, I love seeing those kinds of transformations!

    Although I was a little relieved when Jackie exited our group, I always wondered about her. I’d hoped our group could be the light she so desperately needed. I pray she found happiness…

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  4. Shelli Littleton

    When I start feeling a little doubtful, it seems to help to just shift gears a bit. Take a week or two to spend time with kids … no internet, computer, etc. The kids are always so encouraging. Then … back to the grind.

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