• Eric Dahl

Wrestling with Doubt

I toyed with several titles for this week’s Blog like “Defeating Doubt” or “Banishing Self-Doubt,” but I felt the name I went with fits how I personally feel. Doubt creeps into my brain like dampness seeps into your bones when it gets cold outside. You don’t notice it at first because it is subtle and hides itself behind anxiety and worry, but rest assured it is doubt that is lurking in our minds. When we are trying to achieve grand ideas or bigger projects than we have ever tackled other people around us sometimes lead the doubt conga line. It can be family, friends or co-workers, but frequently it is people we know that have given up on their own dreams and aspirations. Therefore, they assume since they can’t accomplish the vision then you and I certainly can’t either. I find it easier to fend off the non-believers when I approach a mountain. There are people that aren’t capable of seeing what we can in our minds and then make them a reality. So, their lack of enthusiasm or support for a future project doesn’t sway my path. I look more to my immediate core around me to see what thoughts they may have on the undertaking. My core family and friends are always behind me, but they also bring a different perspective that can be helpful on the approach when something looks too large to accomplish. In the past few weeks I have had a few more exciting opportunities laid before me, that eventually (if nurtured) could help me expand my brand down the road. One is another weekly radio program and the second is an international video opportunity. Accomplishing both projects seems exciting and achieving them is very doable. Where doubt steps in is the amount of time it will require to complete these, while still juggling everything else that needs to be done. There is only so much time allotted to each day and week and I believe family must come first and supporting the family is why we do these other things. Discussing it with my wife this weekend we’ve determined I will need to keep a planner with me at all times to maintain the new schedule. At some point in time, projects that aren’t moving forward or growing will need to be evaluated on their merit to the whole and whether they are kept on the list. One of my co-workers was kidding me last week about my church involvement and how I seldom say no when asked to help. We all get overloaded and overwhelmed and eventually we must say no to some requests. Not that we don’t want to help or pitch in but there is only so much of us to go around. It reminds of the old Peter Sellers movie “Being There” that I first saw while I was attending SEMO in Cape Girardeau, MO. The story line goes that Sellers character is a simple gardener, but after his prestigious boss passes away people start assuming he is cut from the same cloth. When he makes simple statements about watering the plants and they will grow, people around him believe he is making deep philosophical statements about the world and economy. It is not always a simple task to live up to our own expectations or others and I find I usually set my personal bar too high. To help combat my recent bout with doubt I’m going to review my time management and see where I’m wasting, or not maximizing, my time efforts. A traveling planner with room for notes will be of benefit and a working folder/notebook for each endeavor. I find that doubt makes me feel weak, not good enough and insecure when it enters the ring. The only way we can defeat it is to outsmart it, plan better and use the time we have wisely and effectively. It is a human emotion we must all grapple with, but it is also one of my least favorite. We can’t allow doubt to win and keep us from working to achieve something more.

Doubt is a Big Opponent, but it can't stop us!