Hey Everyone! I’m participating in a writing contest called Writer’s Crushing Doubt Writing Contest hosted by http://positivewriter.com/ or Positive Writer. Here is the piece that I have to share with you. If your interested in participating or want to read more stories about writers crushing doubt click here http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-2016/
Conquering The Enemy
I feel the call and know what I need to do. Yet immediately doubt and fear barges in. You don’t have a story to tell, it says. Come on you’re just a teenager, let the professionals take over. What if you don’t win? Do you really want to feel the disappointment? This will crush you if you lose.
It’s back. The voice in the night that chills me to the bone and tries to force me back into my comfort zone. B-but I want this, I cry as it grins evilly.
B-but you don’t have the courage to face me do you? Another step into that comfort zone. I’ve almost succumbed. Then, as bright as the sun, my friends appear, clad in shiny armor of confidence.
Doubt sniggers at them. I knew you couldn’t face me alone, you needed your friends to bail you out.
Suddenly the courage I need is there. I take a step toward him. No… They’re there to make sure you don’t run away. I feel my spark growing within me as I take another step.
Doubt stumbles backwards as the light starts to glow from my chest. Its cries of What if you fail? What if no one likes it? sound feeble in my ears.
It doesn’t matter, because either way, by writing this, I’ve overcome you today. The light is unbearable as I stare down at my opponent, seeing him as he really is, resistance. I am in charge of my life. You can NOT control me. With a hiss he’s gone
You wouldn’t believe the fear I felt before writing this post. It was as strong as the voices in my head in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade, telling me who I was. Ugly, pathetic, hand-me-down, smelly, dirty, gullible, unworthy, useless and so many more. The instant I started writing, however, something clicked in my brain.
It wasn’t me talking, it was resistance.
What I know about the enemy
It is everywhere and has all the tools it needs to make you feel like nothing. It is all knowing but not all powerful. Why? Because as much as it wants us to believe we can’t beat it, we can. This post proves it.
It can destroy the best of us. Doubt is something we all have. If we aren’t careful, it can overpower us. It makes us too afraid to do what we love. What we are called to do.
It can be beaten. As overwhelming and terrifying it is, we can beat it. Doubt will be there constantly, but until we let it in, it has no power.
Doubt will always be there
I know it’s a hard thing to accept, but it’s true. I bet if you asked the most ‘successful’ writer in the world, they will tell you they still feel doubt every time their pen touches the paper, or even before they can get it to touch the paper.
Just because doubt will always be there doesn’t mean we have to let it win. I am a living testament of this.
How doubt tried to destroy me
As mentioned above, I was bullied. Those two or so years were the hardest thing for me, though I don’t have physical wounds to show for it.
As a writer, I understand the power of words. However, I didn’t learn this through writing. I had the message pierced through my heart with words of others. Words I’m still trying to fight today.
Now doubt has the words to cripple me; they are the same words from being bullied. But it didn’t count on one thing: it didn’t think I’d pick up writing.
How writing saved my life
In seventh and eighth grade, the cruelest act took place. Bullies tore me apart from the center, my identity. “Mi-d-um, Mi-d-um Mi-d-um,” played constantly through my head as I went to my classes. It attacked me when I was waiting for lunch to end. As I huddled against the wall in the fetal position, with my bullies all around me. I can still hear their voices in my mind…
Luckily, due to a conversation with a family member, I discovered writing. After my tormentors taunts had been thrown and my tears shed, I vanished into my fantasy world. A world where I didn’t have to be ugly or helpless. A world where I could be free.
Eventually their words faded into memories and my wounds turned to scars. Writing saved my life.
What can you do to battle doubt?
I tell you that story because of the lessons I learned from it. They go as follows:
- Yes, words hurt. Only you can choose whether or not you let those words define you.
- No one can make you feel like a nothing unless you let them. This includes yourself.
- No one’s perfect. You WILL make mistakes but you can learn from them.
The lesson and a challenge
You give doubt power, but you can also destroy its power. We all have the CHOICE whether or not we allow doubt to define us. I’d like to challenge you to choose right now to not let doubt define you. Decide to turn off your ears when it whispers its lies to you. Decide to be strong enough to say no to doubt.
How have you overcome doubt in little and big ways in your life?