A moment ago, I got off the phone with my self-doubt. This was a very nasty phone call, and I pray I never hear from him again. But I know he’ll call once more. And I know I’ll pick up the phone once more to hear him speak.

It was like one of those phone conversations that you have with a close friend. An hour became a minute. And, like a conversation with a close friend, when it was over I could still hear what my self-doubt was saying to me. I’m not doing enough. I’ll never make a living with a blog, podcast, and a newsletter. My writing is sloppy and careless. My worries are first-world problems that shows how spoiled-rotten I am. This went on for an hour. Finally, someone hung up. I don’t remember if it was me, or my self-doubt. But someone did hang up, and now, I’m alone.

I resist the words of my self-doubt by hearing them. I hear what my self-doubt is saying to me, and I fight back, saying, “no, you’re wrong about that. That’s not true. That’s not true and you’re wrong about that.” But this doesn’t help. Like the white belt, who hasn’t learned how to conserve energy, I resist the calls of my self-doubt by wasting energy. I thrash and kick and stomp. All to no avail.

Earlier I mentioned that I hear what my self-doubt tells me. Hearing is what our ears do. It’s impossible to hear someone and listen to them at the same time. Listening is what our hearts do, and we can’t listen to someone until we close our ears and open our hearts. When we open our hearts to someone, we become what Lao Tzu called the, “fighter who leaves no room for the tiger’s claws.” Those who have nothing to defend have no reason to be defensive.

I’m at peace with my self-doubt when I listen to what it tells me. I listen to my self-doubt as if it knows something that I didn’t know I needed to know. I didn’t know my writing is sloppy and careless. Thanks for letting me know, is there anything you suggest I do to improve it? I didn’t know I can’t make a living as a content creator. Now that I’m aware of that possibility, what do you suggest I do to make the other outcome a reality?

Our self-doubt is only telling us what we need to know.

And because of this, I’d rather not live to see the end of it.

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