It’s been about six hours. Six hours since the doubt started creeping in.
I hate doubt.
Doubt is all the things that lie to you and make you say, do and believe irrational things.
Doubt is external circumstances twisting solid beliefs into brambles and thorns on the inside.
In psychology we use the term “locus of control” to describe the extent to which people believe they have control over certain situations. People with an “external locus of control” may suggest that people, situations or circumstances outside of themselves contribute to either their success or their failure. For example:
External Locus of Control (Success) – “I got that scholarship because people were doing me a favor. It was them, not my own work, that helped me get that award.”
External Locus of Control (Failure) – “It was my coach’s fault that we lost that game, he played the wrong line-up. It was not my poor playing that lost us that game it was the bad calls from the referee’s.”
While some of those things may be true, the person largely believes that much of what determines their success or failure is outside of their control. This includes bramble and thorn producing doubt. These people can be brash narcissists or shame-filled over-achievers to name a couple.
“Internal locus of control” may suggest that people, situations or circumstances within ourselves contribute to our success or failure. For example:
Internal Locus of Control (Success) – “I got that scholarship because I worked hard for it. I stayed up late studying and practiced on the weekends to earn that reward.”
Internal Locus of Control (Failure) – “I played poorly and that contributed to team’s overall performance. I stayed up late watching television and did not get the proper amount of rest to perform well on that test and therefore I received a bad grade.”
The person largely believes they are responsible for their own success or failure; it comes from within. In a healthy balanced person, this creates really good things. In an unbalanced person, this may create the makings of a rugged individualist or perhaps a shame-filled over-achiever. Taking on too much control has the same makings as taking on none at all.
Now that I’ve set that up for you, let’s get back to doubt.
See, doubt is kind of tricky. It plays on both external and internal loci of control (I spell checked, “loci” is a word).
When it creeps up, we have to address it. We have to figure out what we are going to do with the uncomfortable feeling that we don’t know what in the sam hill is going on. We either have to sit in it and deal or we’ll come up with myriad defense mechanisms to deal with it. Defense mechanisms are things like denial, shame, blame, projection, isolating or shutting off and a host of many others.
Unfortunately (well, actually, thank my lucky stars fortunately), I know too much to employ a defense mechanism. So, for the past six hours I’ve been sitting in my doubt.
I hate doubt.
Like, really, really, really hate it.
But it’s necessary to sit in it and be uncomfortable.
Because when I finally kick my own ass and decide the lies aren’t true, that I’ve snuffed them out once and I can snuff them out again – I am going to come out stronger.
I will realize that I don’t need any person, situation or circumstance to confirm (external locus of control) what I already know is true.
I’m not going to need convincing or persuading or even pizza (external locus of control) to crush that lie one last time.
It will come from within (internal locus of control). It will come from the place I already know so well and that’s going to feel great.
For now, though, I just get to sit in it and be uncomfortable.
Categories: All The Rest