There seems to be an endless stream of self doubt in each of us. If you entertain self doubt, it multiplies. You will always be able to find reasons to believe you’re in a bad situation or think that you’re not good enough.
I heard its voice last night.
My respond to it was to give thanks for what I have got and for how far I had come, in spite of my imperfections and mistakes.
Putting myself out there through blogging and building a website based on my own insights and experience instead of hiding behind an impersonal tone of cold information are one of the biggest tests to my courage and faith. It’s also a tremendous growth experience in my walk with God.
When I first began, I found a lot of reasons why I should do this big online project. It seemed like such a good idea at first, and it still is a very good idea. However, last night, I was feeling intimidated when thinking about where this project would lead me. Will my non-native English be a problem? Will people care about what I have to say? Am I successful enough to write any insight at all?
On one hand, I felt the urge to write more about what I really think. But on the other hand, the voice of doubt said, “You are different! You’re a Chinese young guy who lives in Hong Kong trying to write to the Western people!” The fact that a lot of my writing ideas come from the West doesn’t help, because that would makes me un-unique! Reading information from the Web and from the Western World, then turn around and send them all back to the Web and the Western people by posting them on my websites make no sense. I have to be original and be confident about myself.
But am I good enough? Will people like it?
There’s also a guzillion of factors to consider while I write a page, such as Search Engine Optimization, compatibility with the overall theme of the blogs, grammar, tone, priority, time constraint, and many others. Many times when I try to sit down and simply write, I can’t help but surf through established websites and blogs. They are magical. I say magical, because I wouldn’t have believed that they would succeed if they hadn’t already succeed, but they did.
Through my trained eyes, I could see their imperfections, but they did a lot of work and they came through in spite of their imperfections.
Successful people always seems bigger in our eyes. Competitions always look tough when we first enter the market. Sometime I questioned if I could really overcome my imperfection and build a successful website too.
But my experience indicated that if one keeps shooting her best shots consistently, factors such as races, languages, cultures, and others disadvantages will turn out to be irrelevant as the result came through. Odds and troubles that were once problems became reasons for higher honors and glories during triumphs.
Difficulty is always exaggerated by the mind.
In the Old Testament time, God led the Israelites out of Egypt and into the promised land. While the Israelites reached the border of the promised land the first time, they sent out spies to check the land out. They saw that the land was wonderful beyond imagination —it took two adult men to carry a single cluster of grapes — but there was one problem, the natives were huge.
The spies reported to the Israelites, “…All the people we saw there are of great size… We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” Then the Israelites reacted to Moses, they cried, they whined, and they threatened to kill Moses and choose another leader to lead them back to Eygpt, the land of slavery.
When it comes to confronting my own imperfections and disadvantages, they keep growing bigger whenever I paid too much attention to them.
It’s easy to look at successful stories and to hear about how other people made it. But when it comes to our own situation, success always seems far away and unreal.
The Israelites could have chosen to believe in God and fought the fight, and then the rest would have become history. Instead, they chose the victim mindsets. Because of this, the Lord punished them and had them wandered in the desert for 40 years until the whole generation of whiners had aged to death, and had their children picked up on where they failed.
The whiners could have entered the promised land had they not complained and succumbed to fears.
No one know what the future holds. In theory, if I keep posting articles on my blog and website, by the time I reach 400 articles, I should be able to at least get a few thousand unique visitors per day. I had done my research and I knew this goal was attainable, as long as I do the major things right. That’s the big picture. However, as the author of the sites, I am aware of every tiny mistakes —mistakes that were real or mistakes that I imagined —that I’ve made on a micro basis.
That’s what everyone has to face though. You will never know exactly what’s going to happen in the future. If you stall because you think too much, that’s analysis paralysis.
Even at this moment, I doubt if what I just write in this article will ever be appreciated by someone!
No one like uncertainty. When I feel uncertain, I sometime surf the Web to look at how other website owners make it. There are many successful websites on every topic under the sun, and I would just keep surfing instead of writing for my own websites.
You Know What To Do Next
The fact is, we know what to do next. We procrastinated because we were too lazy, or too impatient, to eat the elephant one bite at a time. Sometime, it’s possible to know what the next 20 steps are. Sometime, we just don’t know. Even for those of us who don’t plan much and are not so organized, we know what to do next. The solution to self-doubt is to take the leap of faith, and do what’s obviously needs to be done now. The next step will reveal itself.
I have been learning Wing Chun Kung Fu recently. In Wing Chun, we train our reflex system by doing “Sticking Hand”, an interactive training that simulate real fight. See this video if you want to see it in action. I learned from sticking hand that if you use your eyes to watch your opponents, and think about how to respond, it’s usually too late. You have to rely on systematic training to condition your reflex to reach the level that when your opponent move, even just slightly, your hands feel it and respond automatically. There’s just no room to think.
Similarly, when you know what to do next, do it. Thinking can be addictive.
Taking immediate actions and think later is the best solution to self doubt and procrastination.
In the next installment, I will continue to delve further into the topic.