“Am I worth it?
Did I put enough work in?”
– Sing about me, Kendrick
– Maria salaam, Checkmate
The reason doubt has power is that it could be true. Unlike other emotions that are grounded in a fact (real or imagined) doubt thrives in absence, shaping all the possibilities into a self-inflicting weapon of “what ifs.” Under assault, we begin to move in fear, too paralyzed to make any risk that could lead to a question whose possibilities our hearts cannot handle.
“to live a better life,
you know as well as I,
that falling down
is easy when you’re close to the ground.
So pack up your pride and start again.”
– For the lovin, Labbi Siffre
“Doubt won’t save us all.”
– Doubt, Henshaw
My old choirmaster used to say “spoil powerfully.” His logic was simple – it’s easy to mumble along in a choir, never really singing but also never really not singing. If you do that, you’ll never know how to sing. His idea was to keep singing, loud and proud – even when you’re unsure of the next note. “spoil powerfully, so we can help you.”
Doubt doesn’t let you spoil powerfully – so we can’t help you.