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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Rumaker

We'll Never Overcome the Doubt

doubt (v.)

"to dread, fear, be afraid" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French doter"doubt, be doubtful; be afraid," from Latin dubitare "to doubt, question, hesitate, waver in opinion" (related to dubius "uncertain"), from duo "two" (from PIE root *dwo- "two"), with a sense of "of two minds, undecided between two things." Compare dubious. Etymologically, "to have to choose between two things." - Online Etymology Dictionary

I don’t think we’ll ever overcome self doubt. I just don’t think so. WHAT we doubt about, that will change overtime. Some doubts will circle back. Some will stay with us for the whole journey. Some will never be revisited once we’ve finished their lessons. Just like the definitions above, there are always multiple perspectives.

I doubted:

If I’d ever have any friends.

If I could grow taller or be beautiful.

If my dreams would come true.

If I’d ever be happy.

As a child, I thought more about wonders than doubts. There was excitement and hope. Hoping that something good would happen. It was simpler. Even though I didn’t know what was coming, it was just like the night before opening Christmas presents. You don’t know exactly what’s coming, but that’s also a huge part of the whole experience. I knew something was there for me. Again, I had hope and excitement. But I didn’t assume as much. I didn’t expect as much.

Fast forward to now. I have so many amazing friends. I grew taller. Not as much as I hoped for, but at least more than before. A lot of my dreams came true. I wanted to move to America and live in NY, and I’ve been here in NY for 6 years. I wanted to sing, dance, be in shows and movies. I did a lot of that and more. I wanted to be able to speak English really well. I wanted to meet celebrities and I did. I even worked with some of my idols, like Lea Salonga and Baayork Lee. Even with my ups and downs, I AM happy. Even though my life looks nothing like what I wanted it to look like back then, I am so grateful for where I am in my life. If I had known this was the path I would be going through, would I have taken it? Probably not. But I wouldn’t trade this for anything.

But now, things are still different. The voice inside me can be meaner and louder. Sometimes, I just laugh it out saying “How CUTE”. I know that’s how my brain is trying to make sure I survive. That voice means my brain is working. That I AM still ALIVE. Genetically and biologically speaking. I’m functioning just fine as a member of the human species. But feeling those doubts can easily turn into serious emotional drainage and mental beat up, which I call “spiritual beatup,” which is not fun at all. NOT AT ALL. Why can’t you be more positive? Why can’t you be more grateful? Why can’t you just shift out of this, there are so many people who would LITERALLY die to trade places with you. Who are you to be complaining about this? STOP! I’ll even beat myself up for beating myself up. I think you get the picture.

What are my doubts now? It’s more FEAR than doubts. I hesitate, doubt, because I’m afraid.

Should I do this? I know I should do this…. This would make more money. But if I charge, people would think I’m doing this for money. If I’m doing a good thing, why should I charge?

Should I do this? I’m not sure I should…. Some people might hate me. I don’t want people to hate me. I don’t want to be alone.

Should I go to this? I really don’t want to…. They came to your event. How can you not support them? Stop being so selfish and just go.

Should I say yes to this? Yeah, I should….. I may never get that opportunity. They are so busy. I don’t wanna bother them. Be grateful that they thought about you.

Should I be this way? Yeah, people would take you more seriously. If I don’t, people will think “what is she doing here?” I don’t belong here.

Should I keep going? Of course, you haven’t done enough. There are so many people working so many hours. Stop being so lazy. You haven’t worked enough.

Should I call him? I don’t want him to think that I’m clingy, so perhaps I shouldn’t…

But sometimes, that doubt leads me to beautiful things, like starting “I AM” Series or building deeper connection with friends, allowing myself to grow more. Doubts aren’t bad. It just means that we want to be safe. I wanna be safe. I don’t wanna be yelled at. I don’t wanna be alone… that’s why all these doubts are there. Again, I am alive. So thank you doubt, for keeping me alive. Thank you fear, for making sure that I’m aware. Thank you tears, for cleansing my soul. So, here’s what I’d say now.

Hi doubt,

Since I guess you’re not going anywhere, can we work on our relationship? I think that’s a good start. Can we start talking a little bit more often so that we just don’t explode and drive each other nuts?

Love and light


Yuko Kudo is a founder of “I AM” Series, photographer, community builder, renaissance artists, social entrepreneur. Native Japanese.

Her solo show chronicling her journey from Japan to NYC, "HOME : My Heart" premieres this Friday 8/16. Tickets and schedule can be found here

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