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Working with Doubt

It’s so interesting having a journal—I really feel good when I am posting 4-5 days a week and then sometimes I get too tired and have to put other things before writing. Regardless, I’m proud of myself for posting as much as I have this year. I have connected with so many wonderful people through this platform and have become increasingly comfortable with my writing skills. I’ve always loved to write but never thought much of my writing. Posting here has given me a chance to write often and recognize that I am a pretty good writer despite what my head tells me ;)

Speaking of what the head says, I’ve been thinking quite a bit recently about how sometimes it’s much more beneficial for me to take in what the people around me say versus what my head tells me. Writing is a great example. I haven’t ever really felt confident about my writing. I have a tendency to compare it to other writing and think that my writing is too simple and unintelligent. Since starting my journal, I’ve received so much encouragement about my writing. I recently decided to accept all of this kindness from others into my heart, instead of shrugging it off like I’ve done in the past. I’m not saying that if someone says my writing sucks that I need to then start thinking my writing actually does suck. I do however think there is a great deal of healing power in accepting the positive feedback given to me by my friends and readers instead of always defaulting to what my head tells me.

Being in a place where I am willing to stretch beyond what feels good and take in what I am being given is a sign of how much I’ve grown this year. It no longer feels good to think negatively about my writing or be in a state of perpetual doubt about it. The truth is I have a gift and it is time for me to own it. Deep down I have always known I have a way to communicating and connecting with others though words but it scared me so I pushed it away any chance I got. When someone said my words helped them or that they were inspired I couldn’t let it into my heart. I felt like such a fraud. Shedding all of these layers of years of compacted fears is a scary process but one that I am grateful to be participating in. I am no longer willing to accept what my brain tells me as true. Instead I am opening up and trusting that sometimes others can see our beauty before we are ready to receive it.

One of the big areas of my life I want to work on in the upcoming year is the under current of doubt that runs throughout my life. I am ready to face it head on. I don’t believe that I will get to a place where I will never again experience doubt (a form of fear) but I do not want it to hold such a steady place in my life any longer. I want to make room to believe in myself as I never have before, to love myself as I never have allowed myself to before and that will not be possible with the corroding thread of doubt that weaves through every part of my life.

It is extremely humbling to admit all of this but I also know from my experience that awareness and admission are the first steps to change. We don’t know until we know and life is a continual process of self-discovery and evolution. Coming up against doubt and being willing to examine it, work with it and eventually overcome it to the extent that is possible is where I am aiming for in 2013. For years I never imagined this was an option, like I’m always going to be a glass is half empty kind of person. Today I realize that is bullshit and that is fear talking. I have the capacity to change—we all do—if we show up and do the work. And it is a lot of work.

As I start my week I am going to take extra time to pay attention to when I am in doubt and make a conscious decision to shift my thinking. Maybe I’ll do a simple practice of breathing or go for a walk or practice mindfulness of my surroundings. Each morning before my meditation I will ask that my doubts be removed and that I be given the necessary grace to get through the day as awake and open as possible.


Photo: Marielle Chua


  • Nicole Lee

    Hi Ashley,

    Happy New Year to you!! Was doing my long over-due housekeeping of my emails for 2012 that I saw your newsletter. Reading your blog never fails to refresh me. This time is no exception. While reading this blog, almost your every word strikes a chord within me. You blessed me. May we blossom fuller and fuller as we trust and live life abundantly.

    Breathe, feel & smile:)))
    Love to u my dear friend.


    • ashley

      Hi Nicole!

      Love hearing from you. What you wrote is so beautiful. We are totally on the same page – blossoming and living in abundance. Definitely how I want to move forward this year ;)

      Miss you and hope our paths cross again.

      Happy new year!


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