I've been trying not to panic, to not look down, to not allow myself to consider how vulnerable I am to failure. What I'm attempting to achieve may not work and I've been afraid to think about it.

I put on a happy face, but deep down inside a little voice stalks me, whispering, “You're not going to make it.” I try to quiet it to no avail. I have to admit, I'm terrified of failing.

I'm ashamed to admit that although I feel the warm breath of failure breathing down my neck I often don't do the things necessary to prevent failure. Sometimes, I freeze. Oh, I hide it well, even from myself, but the reality is I don't always behave in my best interest.

It's not difficult to feel like a failure. It comes naturally. I compare myself to accomplished people, make an upward comparison, and feel terrible about myself. Observe thirty-year-olds worth millions, doing all the things I dream about doing, and I come away drowning in envy. Sometimes I just want to give up.

I have no desire to kill myself, but I do long to stop propping myself up. I want to quit running from how I feel and what I really think. A Herculean effort is required to distract me from my fears. Keeping doubt at bay saps my strength. My own dark thoughts and feelings frighten me, so I eat, I sleep, I work out, I meditate, attend meetings, avoid being an ass-hole, motivate others, pretend I'm fearless, wake up, and do it again.

Sometimes it feels hollow. It's insufficient because it's all done in the service of avoidance. I do it to avoid experiencing the pain and misery of being me. Freedom can only be achieved through complete and total surrender and acceptance of who I am and of all of my thoughts and feelings.

I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that the aforementioned coping skills don't work, they prevent me from cowering to my fears and they also have bought me time to get to this place where I can lay pen to paper and actually describe what it's really like to be me. Coping skills help me face reality. The unvarnished truth about how I feel and that which I am both afraid and ashamed of.

We all have doubt, especially if you are taking risks, trying to create, and change. Understanding self-doubt is important. It has meaning, and It is worth exploring. It is a natural part of not only the change process but also of being human. Left unaddressed self-doubt can make you feel bad and rob you of your creative energy. By exploring self-doubt you can, reduce internal stress, and remain on the path to your goals.In that way, it can be productive.

If self-doubt is holding you back get some help.