Photo Credit: Alexas Fotos
“Mom, my throat hurts.”
Recent words from our son. While it’s not earth shattering by a long shot, a sore throat is out of the ordinary for him. He has never, ever complained of having one. I thought, a brand new symptom? Stop the presses. Something’s off.
My mom ears perked up 100%. And 2 hours later, we were in his pediatrician’s office.
She looked in his right ear and almost jumped back. It was completely infected. Clearly amazed, she looked at him and asked, “Your EAR is not hurting AT ALL???” He smiled sincerely and replied, “No, ma’am. Just my throat.”
At the ripe old age of 10, this was our son’s first ear infection (with a sinus infection, to boot). Yet, his ear didn’t hurt.
The doctor looked at me, affirming, “You did the right thing by bringing him in as soon as he started complaining. That ear doesn’t look good. Let’s patch him up.”
I nodded and smiled, knowing I’d listened to my intuition—that little voice we all have inside, but sometimes easily dismiss. In this case, my mom-intuition kicked into High Gear. And, for my son’s well-being, I’m thankful I didn’t ignore it.
When it comes to caring for others, I don’t hesitate to follow my intuition. I trust my judgment, swiftly moving into action for others in need. Yet, for many years, I hesitated to do the same for myself.
The answer’s simple: In those moments, I allowed self-doubt to rule the day.
Ever notice how self-doubt picks fights with our intuition, especially when we’re progressing toward our goals and dreams? It feeds on our fears: Do I have what it takes? What if I fail? What if I succeed? Am I making the right decision? It’s so easy to get caught up in the questions and get distracted from moving forward. Wrestling with self-doubt can be draining at best, paralyzing at worst. It’s especially talented at holding us back from reaching our full potential, stunting our growth.
But, only if we let it.
Writing is one arena where I had to learn this lesson. For many years, I’ve been a grant proposal writer. My work has helped many organizations and the people they serve, and that’s gratifying. Yet, along the way, I discovered something was missing. Something that would surface in other areas of my life from time to time. I’d sense it, in my journal entries and written notes to encourage loved ones. I’d feel sheer joy and reenergized when writing to uplift and inspire others.
Writing prose kept tugging at my heart, and dreams of writing—really writing—grew stronger. My intuition was nudging me to discover and value my own voice as a writer.
But, did I trust what I could see and feel for myself, about myself? Nope. For a long time, I let self-doubt win, ignoring those intuitive nudges. I reasoned that writing to my heart’s delight could seem self-indulgent as it demanded time away from other work and responsibilities. So, I played it safe instead—convincing myself I’d be satisfied staying only in the grant-proposal-writer lane. End of story.
Yet, it wasn’t the end of my story. Thankfully, I discovered a simple but significant truth: Self-doubt is only as powerful as we allow it to be. Giving it power is a decision we can control. And sure enough, once I decided to trust my intuition, self-doubt took a hike . . . and this blog was born (plus a lot of other writing!).
So, when self-doubt comes knocking on your door, challenge it. Ignore it. Laugh in its face. Do whatever it takes to push it aside, and listen to your intuition instead. Trust yourself—your dreams are waiting.
Your Turn: What unmet dreams are calling you to trust yourself more?