Crushed like crackers in a fat man’s bed

Doubt can be a nagging, frustrating emotion that’s just big enough to matter, but just small enough not to kill you.

Descartes once said that doubt pulls the rug out from under whatever certainty you think you just got hold of. It’s the wrecking ball that swings into action and knocks the poorly founded belief aside. Couldn’t agree more.

For example, here’s a career doubt that sometimes pops into my mind at work.

Scott, either you are one of the most valuable employees at this organization, or you are going to be fired tomorrow.

Have you ever felt that way before?

It’s easy to beat yourself up for this kind of thought. But before falling down a shame spiral and giving yourself another work related stomach ulcer, remember the psychological concept of response flexibility.

Frankl coined this term about a century ago to describe the temporal and mental space between stimulus and response, between impulse and action. This moment can have a profound impact on our overall wellbeing.

And when we learn to increase our response flexibility, that is, widen the pause between doubt and shame, we create significant leverage for ourselves.

Let’s go back to my original thought.

Either you are one of the most valuable employees at this organization, or you are going to be fired tomorrow.

First of all, this kind of doubt is healthy and human. It’s a sign that my faith has a pulse. As a matter of fact, it might even be useful fuel in motivating me to do more great work.

Macleod, my favorite business cartoonist, said it best.

“Doubts aren’t meant to keep you from moving forward, they’re meant to keep you active in the decision making process. The only way to get past them is to push. Let your doubts fuel your movement.”

Secondly, this doubt can be cleared in one fell swoop through a simple and honest asset inventory.

Instead of chasing doubt down into the sewer of my mind, the response might go something like this.

Scott, you get along with everyone at the company, deliver generous and positive energy every day, tell the truth most of the time, improve yourself and the organization constantly, remain accountable for your work, stay out of office politics, mentor and serve as a role model to younger team members, take massive ownership on valuable projects, and finish what you start. That’s your professional reality. Nobody can deny it, and nobody can take it away from you.

Now, is it possible that your coworkers won’t make you feel seen for those assets? Maybe.

Is it possible that the company won’t reward someone who makes that kind of contribution? Sure.

But those things are outside your sphere of control.

See the difference? Responding to doubt in that kind of way is affirmative, encouraging, loving and life giving. It honors those difficult feelings without judging or fixing them, without trying to kick doubt’s ass right out of your mind, and steps in to remind you of your worthiness instead.

Next time those old doubts dare to rise again within you, widen the pause between impulse and action.

Is the doubter not obliged to doubt that he doubts?


Daily updates straight to your inbox.


Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
Sign up for daily updates


Daily updates straight to your inbox.

Copyright ©2020 HELLO, my name is Blog!