James Patrick presentingPeople don’t really like to discuss their self-doubts with others. It leaves you feeling exposed and vulnerable. Acknowledging self-doubts is akin to admitting failure.

I’ve been having these visceral dreams lately, almost on a nightly basis, where I am carrying this backpack. In the dreams I am consumed with an unquenchable desire to protect this backpack.

In one dream I am walking down the street in a suburban neighborhood when a gritty, old homeless person tries to take it from me. In another I am playing baseball and the contents of my bag are lost and I cannot take the field until I find them. In yet another I am working in a hospital and I left my bag and all of its contents in a conference room only to return to find it missing.

In analyzing the dream I had to ask myself what the bag meant. It meant security. It meant comfort. It meant a reliance on my past and how I have always done things. In my dreams I would guard it so intensely that it would prevent me from doing anything else – such as going out onto the field to play the game. Hard to get more literal than that.

The protection of this bag in another dream led me down a pitch-black alley where I was attacked by others. In another I couldn’t carry on my work until I was able to locate it.

The dreams have surfaced at a time where I am examining my brand and everything it represents. They appear as I look into a massive paradigm shift in how all the facets of my work are orchestrated and presented. They arrive when I am planning a new big launch that could change the future of my businesses.

The dreams are self-doubt. It is the fear I’m battling on a daily and nightly basis.

There are a few things I’ve found that help me persist through the self-doubt. The first is words of affirmation. Writing down a list of the reasons I’ve made it this far already. When things feel dark, I whip out that list and read it to myself outloud.

Second is an understanding that I didn’t make it to where I am by playing it safe. Safe is the enemy of greatness. Thus by taking risks and chances I can move forward.

Lastly, it is asking what is the worst thing that could possibly happen? I just end up back where I am right now. So why not try to push past the self-doubt and see what miraculous thing could happen next?

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto