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Move: Stepping Out of Self-Doubt & The Fear of Failure

“Have patience with all things but first of all with yourself.” – Saint Francis de Sales

Trusting my own judgement has been incredibly hard over my life, especially battling severe OCD…What if _____ goes wrong? My counselor and I have spoken for years about the power within a “what if” – that mysterious ghost that likes to haunt every decision that matters in my life.  If you struggle with anxiety or OCD, you know what I’m talking about.

Yet, you don’t have to battle OCD to second guess the decisions you’re making in life.

What if we don’t have to fearfully ask “what if” to every question and every decision? Don’t get me wrong, evaluating the potential outcome of our decisions is wise. Yet, getting stuck in a perpetual state of self-doubt is simply counter productive.

Do I got that this college or that college?

Should I keep dating that guy/girl, or is this not a healthy relationship?

What if people see me as weak for seeking help?

Could I completely ruin my future if I choose the wrong career path?

Which cereal should I buy? This question plagues many people more than most…

These are all questions that run through the human mind, begging us, “PLEASE DON’T MESS UP!” Unfortunately, in the midst of proof-testing all of our doubts and fears, we often miss the opportunities in front of us.

One of my not-so-happy memories of being an actor in LA was a day I had a scheduled audition in Beverly Hills. What I didn’t realize was that my anxiety disorder would make a cameo appearance. I never made the audition. Technically, I drove past the building multiple times, but never made it inside. My anxiety disorder had asked too many questions and I responded by asking more…A missed opportunity that will always haunt me…

I second-guessed myself…That cost me an opportunity I can’t get back.

“There are always two risks. There’s the risk of trying something new, and there’s the risk of not trying it.” – Rob Bell

There’s a term in psychology called “brainlock”, which is basically the repetition of the same fear/question over and over, desperately trying to find an answer. If we’re honest, we all suffer from some degree of brainlock, repeating questions about the future, questions of our reputation, and the constant fears of failing.

So…How do we start to trust ourselves without spinning in circles?

Ask this simple question: what is the wise decision?

Maybe you’re in a dating relationship that holds an uncertain future. Ask yourself, “Is dating this person wise? Do they call out the best in me? Do they search for truth and God, or are they only interested in momentary pleasure? What is the wise decision?”

Many decisions are so uncertain because we fear failing. What we should fear the most is making a decision that is unwise. Succeeding at something that is unwise is failure, not success.

It’s time to start asking the right questions and then to trust the our decisions. We won’t get everything right, but that’s part of the journey of exploration.

Stop doubting yourself and move!