Have you ever caught yourself thinking “I must be f**king crazy to do this”?
It might be writing a book or starting a business or embarking on a few months of travel.
You want to do it. You’ve planned towards it for a long time. You are inexplicably driven to do this. In your heart you know it’s right but there’s a lot of voices in your head having major doubts and a panic.
“Am I mad?” you keep asking yourself.
I’m observing this myself at the moment
I’ve just taken a break from my day job to have some devoted writing and creativity time. I’m calling it my creative sabbatical. I’ve wanted to do it for the last two years. Over the past eighteen months I have struggled with anxiety and overwhelm. Deep down, I have known that I need to give myself a few months of creative freedom.
A minor explosion went off in my head a few months ago which brought home to me that I absolutely have to do this now.
But that doesn’t stop the voices.
“Really – you’re going to walk away from a good job in the middle of a pandemic when so many people are losing their jobs? Really?”
“You’re gonna write the sequel to a book which hasn’t exactly been a bestseller? Who the hell is going to read it?”
“You’re making all these sacrifices for a creative whim? Are you f**king crazy?”
There’s a pattern in the language – and resistance sows doubt
Throughout this process I have noticed that there is a pattern to the language of those voices. Resistance sows doubt.
“Am I crazy?” – that’s resistance.
“I must be mad to do this.” – also comes from doubt. That’s resistance.
In contrast, when you know something really isn’t a good idea, your wisdom tells you this in a definitive way. “This is crazy.”
You might have to spend some time weighing up various possibilities. When an option is genuinely unwise you make the decision and say “that would be mad” or “that would be unwise” or “that would be stupid.”
Do you see the difference? There are no questions or woolliness when wisdom is speaking. The statements are direct, matter of fact.
But when resistance speaks, it questions. “Am I crazy?” “Who the hell am I to think I could do that?” “This book has been written a hundred times. What can I add to the discussion? Why bother?”
Resistance loves doubts
Resistance loves to tie your mind in knots, to make you doubt yourself. Resistance comes from your small ego and when it sees what your soul wants, it goes into a fearful panic.
It has good intentions. It wants to protect you and for you not to be hurt. But the only way it knows how to do that is to shut you down from taking any risks. It will do anything to protect you.
One way it can try to stop you pursuing your deeply felt desire is to turn up those pesky voices.