Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Envy & Doubt

I have begun to notice a strange little phenomenon in my life. It appears that I have two "protectors," Envy and Doubt, who are hard at work making sure that life works out for me.

Envy follows me with a whip, pointing out everyone else who has succeeded and will succeed (or just says they have/will). Envy believes that if she doesn't whip me, I won't keep running; I won't keep working; and I will never, ever, catch up with everyone else. She believes that, without her, I will simply stop trying. So she chases me around with her whip, making sure that it doesn't happen.

Doubt, on the other hand, thinks she knows the truth, which is that I may not succeed. She diligently erects walls wherever she can to divert my path so that I don't get hurt. Each brick in her wall is made of solid objections: you may not be able to do it; you may not make it; you might not be successful. She believes that, without her, I will fail and become so crushed that I never get up again.

Of course, the harder Envy and Doubt work to take care of me, the more they get in each others' way. Even as Envy drives me to work harder, faster and longer, Doubt erects walls and obstacles to prevent me from getting anywhere.

This morning I decided to give Envy and Doubt a chance to reinvent themselves and take a stab at putting their energy towards more productive ends. Envy thought that maybe she would like to trade her whip for a pen, so that she can write lists full of good ideas gleaned from other people's success. Doubt thought that maybe her bricks could be used to create a solid path for me to walk on - one that grows day-to-day based on which direction is best at the time.

We'll see how well this new agreement works!

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