There are varying ways doubt can creep into life. We travel along our merry way, pretty sure we got it together! Then out of nowhere, a thought occurs that all this hard work might not be worth it. Or that it is unattainable. Or a waste.
I have some pretty strong convictions. Some anchor my faith. Others guide my parenting, diet, lifestyle and relationships. These guideposts help me to remain grounded and maintain healthy perspective when life gets messy. Such messy times can cause doubt…loss of motivation to stay the course. Recently I heard something that made sense on so many levels. When you are faced with a crisis of belief: don’t doubt your faith, doubt your DOUBTS!
I sometimes doubt the paleo diet solely based on my current body composition. Train of thought: I-don’t-have-a-six-pack-therefore-I-don’t-like-my-body-AND-no-one-will-think-that-a-clean-diet-is-desirable. Crisis. Anytime my mind starts going down that road, I have to push that doubt away, and remember the truths: eating clean has had a positive impact on my life even though I do not have a six-pack. I feel fantastic, I am strong, and my children benefit from learning principles of healthy eating.
Secondly, I sometimes doubt my decision to home school based on the thoughts that 1. I am impatient 2. horribly uncreative 3. my children (and I) miss out on so many socialization opportunities. Crisis. I have to resolve to remember to pursue my purpose. A few truths off the top of my head: they’ve learned HOW to learn from an early age, we’ve enjoyed the opportunity to explore what truly inspires them, and I’ve seen substantial development in their sibling bonds.
Those are just two of my personal examples. There are many more, and it seems like I am in combat with them every day! Doubt can surface in many forms, and it will trickle in. (Sometimes it’s a fire hose.) Is God who HE claims to be? Am I who I claim to be? Am I making the right choice in a given situation? Am I living/eating/parenting/relating the right way? Is all this hard work REALLY going to pay off?
I wish I had the gift of unshakable confidence. I see now: it’s another character quality that grows through deliberate discipline.
Doubt, fear, guilt, cynicism, and division–all of them are such distractions. They poison progress and success. They are “lie-darts” flying in. Constantly. We must practice the art of shutting out the demeaning and the negative.
Upon infection with doubt and lies, we meet an instant decision point…to believe it and feel bad, or call it for what it is. Paul, in Philippians, hit the nail on the head. In my family it simply goes by “P4-8” . Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. That statement is a gold nugget of truth for LIFE. What a concise mantra to combat the lie-darts.
Don’t be discouraged in your struggle. Remember to remember your passions. Draw strength from those who have gone before you and done the same. And be thankful for another day to walk with confidence.
P.S. Anyone who REALLY knows me, knows I have a ton of motivation-reminder-note-cards all around my house. They work. Write a note to remind yourself WHY you are doing _____________ (<—insert your doubt thing). Tape them into the inside of your pantry door. Every time you feel the doubt-trickle, open that pantry door and look at your list. Then say, “Yep. this is worth it.”