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  • Writer's pictureTracey Lee


The hesitation to believe, the uncertainty of possibility and the suspicion, misgivings and disbelief of those things that can’t be seen! That be the meaning of doubt!

I’m always impressed by and a little  jealous of the self-confident, their sense of purpose and ownership of opportunity is inspiring. 

So why the envy? Because I’ve spent most of my life buried beneath the burden of self-doubt. And self-doubt is a heavy beast. It has you always second guessing your own ability to achieve your goals. It even undermines the validity of your own dreams. It often stops us at the sight of challenge or prevents us beginning something new because of the impossibility we create in our own heads. Doubt begins with “it will never happen” and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that can infect every attempt to embrace change and dream big.

It has taken a long time for me to dip my toe in the unfamiliar waters of becoming a published author. The ‘rejections’ and the criticism were only two of the reasons to stay so quiet for so long. The thought of public humiliation was also a hindrance to progress. But the greatest deterrent was doubting my own ability. I was the self-saboteur par excellence.

What happens in our head is the most destructive force when it comes to striking out on our journey. No matter how many times people confirm that we are okay; the nagging voice of doubt can be the loudest voice of all.

So profound is my self-doubt that on the viewing of the wonderful Meryl Streep film, Florence Foster Jenkins I began to have concerns that I may be living out a Florence Foster Jenkins scenario and that my family were in fact fulfilling the role of St. Clair Bayfield; that is feeding the delusion. Florence was at one time an extraordinary musician who simply loved singing. But she really couldn’t. She was terrible. But Bayfield kept all the negative publicity, the scoffers and the mockers away from her. She was above self-doubt and the reality created for her allowed her to sing her heart out, make recordings and even sing at Carnegie Hall. The latter actually being her undoing.

Now I’m not saying that I identify with Florence. She had a self-belief that could light up the world; the internal nagging did not utter a single cautionary utterance. But she really loved what she did. And for this reason I have found she is a worthy muse. Her most well-known statement; “People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing” remains highly motivational.

How terrible would it be to get to the end of life and realise that the only thing standing in the way of achieving something you loved doing, was yourself. So bring on the inner Florence, if need be find yourself a St. Clair Bayfield, tell your inner voice to shut up for five minutes and sing (write, dance, cook, run, create, paint or build) your heart out!

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