Time to destroy Mr Self Doubt
A declaration today on the 5th July 2016
He’s always been there, he won’t go away. He ruins all my good ideas by doubting there validity. He screws up my plans with his negativity. I build up a creation of solid wood upon solid wood and when it reaches its potential he tells me to set it a light and burn it to the ground. I tell him I want people to look at it and see for themselves if it’s got any vitality. His echo of laughter fills my head and I reach for the matches. He installs fear of failure and I burn all my plans, all my hopes on something new for fear of failure.
There are times I don’t listen to him and laugh back at his negativity. And at that point I win. He packs his bags and off he sulks and shuffles away with threats of revenge. I laugh in his face and ask him to come back if he thinks he’s rough enough, hard enough and tough enough to beat me in this mood. He disappears into the distance.
Then time passes by and I feel I’m getting somewhere, looking for oak for my solid plans and brighter waking days. Then seemingly from nowhere the blue returns. A shifty sly whisper of doubt and then he’s in my head again and mocking the solid plans that didn’t stand up. Like a circling vulture he waits and preys on my inner musings. That’s Mr Self Doubt.
I know where he came from and how he grew into the monster he is. And yet I can’t seem to destroy him. But this week it’s time to make a stand against this purveyor of misery and expose him for the liar he is.
This impure, despicable creature entered my life when I was ten or eleven. I was the school goalkeeper who had performed heroics in a match. I don’t remember the score or my performance but the following day the teacher who managed the school football team made me stand up in front of the class and he waxed lyrical about my performance. I was centre stage. He presented me with a pair of Peter Shilton goalkeeping gloves. I didn’t have a pair of goalkeeping gloves because genuinely my parents couldn’t afford it. It was the first time in this young life I felt proud and the class gave me a round of applause.
Then the teacher who held the class took the gloves off me and said in disgust, “Peter Shilton!” Then she angrily threw the gloves onto the floor. I suddenly felt ashamed. She was a big Liverpool fan and extolled the virtues of the Liverpool goalkeeper Ray Clemence whom the Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Peter Shilton was keeping out of the England team. I momentarily paused before retrieving them off the floor.
I can’t remember if the class broke into laughter or they were shocked at the teacher’s reaction. I seem to remember the look of disappointment on the face of the manager of the football team, an expression, a feeling of being let down by the teacher’s actions. I can’t fully recall what happened but I do know that was the start of Mr Self Doubt. It was as simple as that.
From that moment every time I felt a pinch of shame or things didn’t work out as I’d planned them I got and still get those same feelings of standing there alone, shamed and mocked. And the thing is I was supposed to be getting praised. I believe this is why I’m scared of failure – Mr Self Doubt. And the thing is he’s been in me ever since, growing stronger when the opportunity arises. When he’s slapped down, flat out on the canvass he looks defeated but he always beats the count before struggling back to his corner with a bloody nose, for a breather and then ready to go again. He never gives up.
It amazes me that I know this was the seed, the start of it all and yet something stops me from taking control of it and realising it for what it is and shaking it until there’s no more life in it and discarding it like the teacher discarded those goalkeeping gloves. But I’m going to try harder than I ever have to defeat him now. This is the year I start to give up listening to his voice. From today enough is enough. Every time I’m aware of his presence I’m going to laugh out loud to acknowledge his bitterness. When people look at me as if I’ve lost my marbles I’ll say, “Sorry, I’ve just thought of something funny.”
Every time I laugh I’ll be belittling him and diminishing him of the power he has over me. Goodbye Mr Bollocks! You have no place in my life. This is the start of the real WAKE UP and to realise my life is for living and not sitting back scared of failure. COME ON, BRING IT ON, you have no place in my life!
Already I’m laughing at you.
And I ask anybody reading this that has any self-doubt to join me in defeating him. When his ugly head appears laugh at him, and laugh loud!