Beware The Return of the Doubt Monsters

The less scary sequel to the never ending horror movie in my head.

The other morning, as I lay awake at 4am as I often do, wondering why God decided I won’t sleep more than four hours like a normal human, I was plagued briefly as I sometimes am by sudden doubts. I’m working on a few challenging ventures right now, and suddenly I was asking myself vague questions like “What the heck makesĀ me think I’m so special? How the HECK am I gonna pull this all off?” Actually, in my mind I was using a lot more expletives, but the fact was, IĀ was plagued by a lot of doubt. So what did I do? I asked myself where the doubt was coming from, and had the familiar epiphany: MY OWN MIND. This made it easier to slay my dragons, get up, make some coffee, and start my day.

Later in the day, someone I’m working on a big project with sent me a few anxious messages about how they felt horrible that they may not be able to follow through on the project because of their already taxed schedule. A real sense of anxiety and regret came through in their texts and emails. I was already having a hectic day, so for just a moment, my brain went into “OH NO ALL HOPE IS LOST ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE” mode. And then you know what? I decided that this person was probably being attacked by the same doubt monsters I had been battling at 4am. These guys seem to travel quickly, and are relentless. So rather than asking my associate “OH MY GOD WHAT ON EARTH WILL I DO NOW” in a panic, I calmly replied, pointing out in a general way that maybe this was all more doable than they thought. And you know what? A few hours later, we were back on track, as if nothing had ever happened.

We’ve talked a lot about the monsters our self-talk seems to breed before, but I just thought I’d share the reminder that the next time your mind is over-run with Doubt Monsters, just put on your Mental Dragon Slayer Outfit, and don’t be afraid to enlist the aid of a friend to help you do battle. These dragons are usually more flaming breath than bite. And just like when humans are blowing a lot of hot air, if you just sit tight they’ll eventually cool down and go away.

About Ian

Ian is a media consultant, writer, musician, and budding public speaker with an eye on being the next Ellen. Ian's interest in helping others find success and happiness stems from his experience with events planning and media consulting with organizations like and the Kenya/US NGO Amara Conservation from 2000-2008, which taught him how little we all know about what we're really doing. From 2008 until April of 2011, Ian wrote for and maintained the site Ian learned long ago that the journey to success may take occasional detours, and often eschews the road map in favor of taking in life's scenery. His first business venture was a small telecom company in the late 1980's, but subsequent ventures included pursuing a pop music career, screenwriting, and the foodservice and retail employment that often follows such pursuits. After struggling with addiction for years, Ian is happily embracing recovery and the clarity it brings.