Whenever I'm working on a creative project there's always a moment when I begin to doubt everything I'm doing.
I start looking at what I've written and feel it's stupid. I feel my idea's are stupid. I feel everyone is going to think everything I do is stupid, and they'll wonder why I ever thought I was worthy of their time or energy.
As I was putting together a journal for this website, those doubts began to sneak up on me. They kept whispering from behind me, No one is going to like this. Just look at it. Admit it, it sucks. Normally, I listen to this voice without question. I feel myself sink into my chair, agreeing, Yes, this is stupid. And so am I. But the other day, as this voice came up, I just couldn't bear it any longer. And so I said to myself, I'm not going to play this game any longer.
And that's what it is. A game where I pretend I have nothing good to offer the world. A game where I pretend I'm nothing, I'm a nobody, and I will always be that way.
It's a game I play with my brain. One part of my brain gets scared. It fears all these uncertainties. And so it does everything it can to try and get me to stop. While another part of my brain, that knows nothing of this fear and is only excited, suddenly forgets everything else and agrees with this small part of me that has no vision.
It's amazing that this very tiny part of my brain can feel so BIG and POWERFUL and like it KNOWS SO MUCH.
This tiny voice likes to see if it can gain control of the show. It likes to see if I'll let it be in charge. It has no business being in charge, and it knows this. It knows there is a whole ocean of passion and power within me, and this little voice likes to try and convince me that IT is the ocean, rather than the drop.
This game has become so tedious for me. It's exhausting. And repetitive. And quite frankly, boring. Nothing interesting ever comes from playing this game with myself. The outcome is always the same. I feel lower and lower until I give up on myself. And then I wonder why things don't work out the way I want to. And then eventually I remember who I really am, and I start again, on something different. And then eventually, that little squeaky voice comes back, knowing where my fears are, planting seeds of doubt.
But I can't anymore. I can't play this game with myself. I refuse. I'm no longer going to pretend I have nothing of worth to offer this world. I'm no longer going to play mental chess with the part of me that acts out of fear and does everything in its power, including insulting me, to hold me back.
Instead, I'm going to give that small voice a hug and have a long, overdue talk with it.
I'm going to ask it when it first learned to tear me down in order to feel safe. I'm going to ask it why it feels safer criticizing me than encouraging me. And I'm going to ask it what it needs in order to give me love and support, to trust in the flow of my life, and to have fun with who I am and what I'm doing.
When the small, critical voice within me is ready to answer, I will listen with patience. I will listen with love. I will give it the love it never got, and I will remind it that self-attack is not the only way to feel safe. Self-love is another, and better, option. I will love myself so fully that what happens outside of me will be just that - things happening outside of me.
Although it's tempting to get angry with this voice, to blame it for my anxiety and my fear, I know it's just doing what I asked it to do. At some point in my life, I learned that the only way to be safe is to cut myself down before other people do. I internalized the belief that I'm not good enough, and it's only a matter of time before other people reflect this back to me, so why wait for them to say it? The other part of me, the bigger part that only wants to love me, tried to out maneuver this tricky little voice, but it was always quicker, always one step ahead, and thus, the game began.
Now that I've dropped my game pieces and walked away, that critical voice inside of me will have space to see things different. Rather than being consumed with planning its next move, it will be free to contemplate what I've known all along - I am worthy and I am loved eternally by Divine forces.
That part of me that is small and yet so LOUD will finally see that the only way I could have won that game was to lose. It was a game I was playing against myself and there was no way to come out ahead. The only way to win was to wave my white flag, surrender, and enter into peace talks with my own self.
If you need a little help getting your own thoughts off of self-defeat and onto empowerment, try this free 5 minute meditation. It's a sample from my Empowering Visualizations package, which you can learn more about here.