A Bout of Doubt

The doubt nearly crippled me.

The job description was a long list of qualifications I didn’t have. Part of it was in a language I didn’t speak. I was way past a long shot. Why even waste my time on a cover letter? I stared at the blank page.

Doubt is a traitorous copilot.

But despite terrible credentials, doubt is by my side more often than not. When I start to go out on a limb, doubt is right there with me. Questioning, undercutting, occasionally smothering.

Where there is uncertainty of any kind, there will be doubt of some kind.

I reread the job description. I reread my best friend’s translation of the sentence in Spanish: “Must be able to speak Spanish.” I had nothing for that blank page.

There is just one line I remember from Measure for Measure:

“Our doubts are traitors
and make us lose the good we oft might win
by fearing to attempt.”

I have disqualified myself too many times in the name of doubt.

I typed my home address on the blank page.

There is more that I can’t do than I can. But that misses the point. Because what I can do is attempt, with honesty and guts.

“I don’t speak Spanish,” I typed. “But I will learn.”

If I don’t get it, I’ll be bent out of shape. But I won’t be broken. And I’ll have respected myself. I’ll have respected that untamed part of me that wanted to go for this uncertainty.

Three weeks later, I got the job. They paid for me to take Spanish lessons.

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