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“I’m through accepting limits ‘Cause someone says they’re so.”
~ Wicked (The Musical)
Self-Doubt! We all experience it in this fragile life.
It lurks about, waiting in the wings of our life for the moment when we are unsure or perhaps unprepared. It pounces upon us when we let the opinion of others define the opinion we have of ourselves.  When we suspect (without knowing) that we won’t be received or that our plan might fail. For so long voices have needled, in today’s urban vernacular, “stay in your lane”.  On repeat, we hear you are not the leader, the minister, the older sibling, the college graduate, the articulate one, the charismatic one, the popular one, the preferred one, the pretty one, you’re not the one.  These proclamations become aquifers saturated with self-doubt, but we are not aware.
What does this saboteur of self-doubt do? It amplifies our weaknesses, instead of our strengths; it blinds us to our potential, it snuffs out our creativity, it is wounding, but we are not aware.  Many writers agree this saboteur of self-doubt is a learned emotion, framed by experience. I agree.
I’m tired of it. Everyday I fight against it. In my home, my church, my classroom, my office, but mostly in my mind, in the brain-grooves of my existence. I’m tried of it in others too, especially those whom I value and know their struggle.  It took me nearly half my life to clasp hold to my sense of self, to realize that self-doubt only chips away at my wholeness and robs me of my joy, my belonging, my ability, my reality.
So to myself and to you, a reminder … the other voices, opinions, perceptions don’t matter. You are the only dictionary that defines you. Your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters.  What others think of you, whether good or bad, it is not about you, it is about them. I know it is a fight everyday, but we must fight. Every day, stand in the ring with self-doubt and give it the KO.
SPEAK … Eliza Kazan said, “I spoke without fear of contradiction. I simply did not suffer self-doubt.”
KNOW … “The (wo)man who has confidence in himself gain the confidence of others.” — Hasidic Saying
DO … “If you hear a voice within you say, “you cannot paint”, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” — Vincent van Gogh
BE … “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” — Anais Nin
I challenge you to do something for yourself to break the grip of self-doubt, something ignited by your passion and purpose, that gives you your own achievement and success.  Do things you enjoy to feed the value system you have of yourself. Make it a priority, make yourself a priority. Don’t go to the dance if you don’t want to; don’t play the game you don’t believe in. Strengthen those emotions that give way to the faces and the voices. Stand in the essence of you with a self-assurance that cannot be denied. 
self worth -flower poster