Doubt… But Do

I'd like to share a story of faith and doubt.

10 years ago, I made a bold career move. Instead of fantasizing about how cool it would be to curate locally-created objets d'art and serve them up in a winsome retail environment full of magic and possibility — I decided to do something about it.

I hired a coach. I wrote a business plan. I put out the call for investors and community support. I named the venture "Faith."

Support came. A space was secured. Energy gathered. It was happening! And then the natural next step happened, too: I got scared.

As the time drew near to sign a lease on the little Edwardian storefront in San Francisco that would soon house an oasis of creativity and spiritual energy, my fear got louder.

It sounded a lot like this: What am I getting myself into?! This is a biiiig project. Full of unknowns. Full of risk. What if I fail? What if what if what if!!! Aaagh!

I met my fear in the spacious embrace of meditation. I grounded my anxiety through visualization and energy-work techniques. I was stepping into a bigger game, and so I resourced myself by strengthening my spiritual practice.

Sitting down to meditation one night, I felt a sick pit in my stomach. Fear anchored in a dense ball right at my core. I breathed into it. I asked it to identify itself. It said: "My name is Doubt."

Poetic irony: I had named my venture Faith, and here was its polarity — its evil twin — Doubt.

Rather than resisting Doubt, I said hello to it. I breathed into the dense ball at my core, and saw the letters of the word all jumbled-up and compressed: DOUBT. A knot of letters in the pit of my stomach. I breathed space into the congested word, and the letters began to spread out: D O U B T. I breathed more space into the word, and the letters began to dance. Then they began to move around. Then the letters did something very surprising. They re-arranged themselves into something new: BUT DO.

Doubt. But do.

The message I received from my meditation was this: My doubt was not telling me to stop; it was inviting me to act. Doubt was not a reason to shrink from my vision. Doubt was a call to resource myself better to step more fully into my vision.

As I launched my little boutique called Faith, I realized that Doubt was not Faith's evil twin. Her twin, yes. Evil, no.

Doubt asserts uncertainty. It says: "I'm not sure I can accomplish this." If we see doubt as an ally and not an enemy, we see that it cloaks a request. It asks the question: "What is needed to ensure I can accomplish this?"

Where is doubt showing up in your life? What steps is it asking you to take so you can actually achieve the thing that's conjuring your doubt?

Have faith. Listen to your doubt. Let them both guide you to manifesting your vision.