The Doubt Worms

Last week I met with a group that is doing some wonderful humanitarian work in Africa. I have been looking to do something meaningful since my volunteer mission to Nicaragua earlier this year. It would appear that this group would welcome my expertise, and that if I want to do this, the opportunity is right there. I just need to say yes.

Almost immediately, the “what if” doubt worms set in. What if fail? What if I can’t do this? What if I’m not as good as they think I am? What if they discover that I am a fraud? Of course, my “right brain” knows that this is ridiculous. I am a 24-year communications veteran, and there is not much I haven’t seen (although I imagine Africa will challenge this). Of course you can do this, my rational side tries to tell me. But the doubt worms remain. They are pesky and persistent little creatures, reminding me of that niggly, familiar feeling that I may not be good enough.

And my instictive reaction to the unknown is fear. But perhaps, as Pema Chodron puts it, “fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.”

I then met with my wife and son to get their thoughts. My wife had no doubt whatsoever in my ability to do this work. My son asked me what was the worst that could happen. Good advice and wisdom close to home. They made me wonder what life would be like if I were able to see myself as others see me. If I had as much confidence in myself as others have in me.

The truth is I don’t need to prove myself to anyone, not even myself. The truth is I am enough, just as I am.

I will try to stop thinking and analyzing. I will simply do my best. I will trust myself and accept what comes. And things will work out just fine. Hell, it might even be great!

This time I will not fight or run from the doubt worms. I will simply let them have their say, shine the light, and watch them wither away.

8 thoughts on “The Doubt Worms

  1. “The truth is I am enough, just as I am.” When the doubt worms or “bad renters” as I call them come to call my therapist is always telling me – your just being is enough! You can do it!

  2. Thanks for this — I myself have been reflecting recently on how, if I really accepted, at all times, that there is nothing that I have to do or earn in order to be adequate and beloved, “problems” really wouldn’t exist in my life as I know them today.

    • Thank you Chris. That is the big challenge…quietingnthenincessant negative chatter, and somehow trust that things will work out as we need them to (although maybe not always how we want them to). Jonathan

  3. Jonathan,

    I get it for sure. Self-doubt is such a corrosive force. And over-analyzing can paralyze us.

    Sharing your doubt, and your awareness of its power, and then showing us the wise path of simply letting the doubt worms come- and letting them go- your writing is a gift to all of us- and to yourself.

    Thank you.


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