If you worry, fear, and doubt, you are in good company.
Fear and doubt are like old, unwanted companions. Some mornings I feel like I wake up to them sitting on the edge of their seat, ready to tell me all their new thoughts, new fears, new doubts, that I hadn’t thought of the day before. Their voices can be so loud, and the evidence around me can be so overwhelming, that I can feel like I’m living my own version of A Beautiful Mind, working to not acknowledge or engage their latest thoughts.
This day-to-day reality is why confidence has been my heart’s mission for twenty plus years.
When confidence shows up, it’s like a superhero arriving with a red cape blowing in the wind.
She takes my hand and asks me to fly with her … to get a bigger picture of my circumstances, my future, my past. When I feel my feet lose contact with the ground, I see how much more there is than the present troubles I’m facing. I realize how small worry, fear, and doubt are. They can’t even fly. They can only wave, jump up and down, shout to me, but they are still like tiny people. From up high, they are easily overlooked. That is what confidence gives me, the power to shift how I feel despite my circumstances.
But I’m often in the trenches, not up high.
So I do my best to find ways to feed confidence while I try to starve worry, fear, and doubt.
As I think about the new year approaching, I must admit, I see worry, fear, and doubt already there. They are jumping up and down on the New Year’s horizon, trying to grab my attention. They are never lacking diligence and have already done all the fact checking as to why I need to seriously worry, fear, and doubt about the new year. And they are passionate about their cause. After all, they insist they are only working for my benefit, trying to keep me prepared, to not be taken off guard, disappointed or disillusioned. That is what I risk when I hope for other companions. That is the gamble with faith — believing in what you can’t see.
Worry, fear, and doubt offer me the blue prints for how to navigate the future with success when the future isn’t even here yet.
When I look at their blue prints, I feel the stress of trying to walk through a field of buried land mines while being blindfolded. As faithful as worry, fear, and doubt are — showing up every morning to remind me of everything there was to worry, fear and doubt about yesterday — they are never there to help guide me through land mines. They are never faithful about helping me when I’m lost. They only make me feel more lost.
So I’m going to put myself in the horizon of the new year. Instead of allowing worry, fear and doubt to be my only greeters to the new year, I’m going to show up and wait for me. How? I wrote a letter to myself tonight. I didn’t write a letter to Santa, but to me. I wrote a letter to the woman who will enter the new year. I wrote down everything I could think of that she needs to hear. After all, I know her better than most.
I wrote down all the things she is worrying, fearing and doubting about for the new year already.
I wrote about the hope, the impossible being possible, and the future that awaits her… that may surprise her. Instead of writing about all the things that could go wrong, I wrote about all the things that could go right. I cast vision for her. I spoke of life and possibilities. I was her friend tonight.
I folded the letter, put it in an envelope, and stamped it. I’m going to mail this letter to myself on December 31st. That will be four weeks from now. Four weeks of change will happen between now and then. Four weeks of me evolving. And if the worry, fears and doubts are still faithful to show up every morning, I want her to receive a letter from someone who gets her, knows her, and is cheering her on.
This whole exercise of writing a letter to yourself may sound completely crazy.
But I promise, it’s quite magical. When I’m facing a new season, some kind of transition, I write a letter to myself. When our family returned from Thailand the first time, after living in the jungle for six weeks, I wrote a letter to myself. By the time you open up your letter, after a few weeks have passed, your heart is amazed at how you needed to hear these words, this encouragement, today.
When I look out on the horizon of the new year, I now see four figures. I still see worry, fear, and doubt. They are busy pitching tents and settling in. But I also see a fourth figure. She is waving to me, excited, inviting me to join her. She is me. She is confidence, faith and joy.
I run to meet her!
If you resonate with this post, may you be encouraged, comforted, brought to unexpected laughter, given space to cry, and know you are not alone.