The Shadow Of Doubt

Doubt. It is a terrible thing.

It can make a person reconsider a decision that could vastly improve their lives for ever, just because that person is afraid that something bad might happen. It clouds judgment, blinds you to new possibilities and prevents you from taking that leap of faith.

Sometimes it can be over something truly monuments, like getting married. I never had an ounce of doubt in my mind over getting married to my truly amazing husband, but I know a fair few who did feel a pang of “what the hell am I doing?!?” as they walk down the isle.

However it seems to be smaller, but still reasonably big decisions that cause me the most anxiety from doubting a decision once it has been made. Well, we are both feeling this level of doubt right now. We just bought a motor-home.

We have been wanting a motor-home for a while now, we currently have a caravan which is perfectly good but the car that we use to tow it is a total and utter money pit and hardly gets about 13 MPG. But that car was my husbands favorite toy, he would spend hours working on it, cursing at it and then grinning with pride when he finally got it to do what he wanted it to do.

But now it and the caravan has to go, and although we are gaining an added level of freedom in the form of this motor-home, we are taking a rather large financial risk.

We have no real way of knowing if this thing is any good. we know it has some faults and we managed to barter the salesman down by pointing out some obviously broken (but fixable) things. But there are still so many unknowns and now we are without the 4×4 car that has always been the workhorse in our lives.

It’s doubt over which one was the lesser of two evils. The financial drain of the car and caravan or the unknown of the motor-home.

Yes, this is a material issue and is not in any way intended to reflect against people going through much more serious situations. However to us, this is a big step and I have been going from nervous to excited to down-right nauseous just thinking about it. I’m still not sure if we have made the right decision over this particular one.

I guess we will have to wait and see …

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The Monster Under The Bed

“I can’t do this” is, in my mind, one of the most crippling thought anyone can have. It has such a vast range of interpretations including “I can’t do a handstand.” or “I can’t live like this” and everything in between and beyond. In a majority of cases it stems from a fear of failure, the unknown, or just of trying something new. Even though we regret the things we don’t do so much more than the things we do do, we still deny ourselves the chance by telling ourselves we are simply not capable of whatever ‘it’ is.

It seems to me that this starts in childhood when we are afraid of the monster under the bead. Imagination is a wonderful thing, it is what brings books to life, allowing the characters to form inside our minds. However it can also turn shadows into monsters that send us leaping across the room in fright when imagination gets tainted by fear.

Fears develop because a person doesn’t understand something enough to truly grasp what it’s impact would be. If left unchecked these fears can very easily become phobias, despite the individual in question knowing that their reaction is disproportionate to the threat. As a personal example, when I was little I was afraid of spiders because I didn’t understand how they moved the way the do. Now, even after obtaining a BSc in animal behaviour, I am still scared of the little creeps!

So many people in the world today allow fear to hold them back, to tell them that they are not capable of achieving or doing or even just seeing something. They are afraid that the monster under the bed will come get them if they step outside of their comfort zone. This despite believing that there may be something out there worth seeing, but then resigning themselves to the fact that it is beyond their reach so why try in the first place.

I myself have fallen into this state on many occasions in the past.

So, instead of saying “I can’t do this” or “I’m not capable of that” try saying something like “I might be capable of this, who knows? Lets find out!” and give it a whirl! Learn  new language, go on a trip you’ve been longing to make, just take one step outside your front door and see where the world will take you.

Who knows, you might just enjoy it.