The Toxicity of Doubt

Worry is a toxin.

It infects the mind, the heart, the soul, and then it spreads to the rest of the body.

I’ve never thought of myself as much of a worrier.  I’m entirely a big-picture kind of person, even though I list “detail-oriented” as one of my strengths in job interviews.  In college, I stressed over every class, determined to achieve a constant stream of As because grades meant success in my mind.  And a measly B could throw off graduate school submissions, job interviews, career promotions, etc.

Every time something goes wrong, I think the worst, and I think it on a grand scheme: I will never achieve anything in life, I will never find love, I will never ever find adventure or meaning or purpose or happiness.

Silly, I know.  It’s difficult for me to think in terms of details, but all the same, I’m a worrier.  Of the worst kind.

And worry is slowly poisoning me.

The second I woke up yesterday morning, a wave of worry hit me.  I thought about it in the shower, with each bite of my cereal, on my long walk to work, in the swivel chair at my desk, even while reading in bed later that night.

I’m being consumed with worry.  To the point where I cannot think of anything else.

As I’ve hinted at in previous posts, I will be taking a risk in just a few months.  A risk so life-changing, that I’m looking to no one but God for guidance.  But it’s a risk that’s paramount to my first step towards living out a greater story, writing a life of adventure and passion.  It’s something that I’m unwilling to give up.

Yet the worry is eating me alive.

I still have a few flaws in my plan.  Gaps so large that I’m trusting only God to provide.  But each time I attempt to lay down my worries, I take them back up again, allowing doubt to wash over me like a wave tossed aimlessly by the wind out at sea.

And that’s exactly what it feels like.  Doubt seeps in until you’re no longer an active agent in your life, until you can no longer act out anything but the role of victim.  Doubt is the opposite of empowerment.

There’s no easy remedy for worry.  It’s a process that takes time, but the effort always ends in growth.  Doubt is intrinsic to human nature.  And each day is an empty battlefield.  Understanding the need to meet doubt on that field daily is a step in the right direction.  And a step towards living out the story you were meant to play out.

Am I alone in all this doubting and worrying?  What’s been eating away at you lately?