Bilbo the Hobbit was a practical and steady character, who never let a situation get the better of his emotions. When we face and battle doubts, perhaps we should do what practical Bilbo would. Doubts might assail us left and right, whether it be concerning a project we’re working on, or a goal we hope to succeed in, but it’s what we do when we face such doubts that counts.
(below quotes are Bilbo’s)
We work on that project, that goal, that thing we’ve put so much sweat, blood and tears into, and once it’s near completion, we give the result a worthy name…
“I will give you a name,” Bilbo said to it, “and I shall call you Sting.”
I named my project (a novel) Strayborn. What name have you given your project or goal? Once it’s named, maybe you’ll give yourself a new and fitting title that goes well with the work you do. Bilbo titled himself as:
“I came from the end of bag, but no bag went over me. I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am Ring-winner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider.”
I shall be titled Dastardly Behemoth Novel Slayer, and Author of Superfabulistic Words in Sci-Fi Fantasy Worldom! (That’s a mouthful) What will yours be?
After the names and titles, there’s a moment of happiness when anything seems possible and it feels like you will succeed, but then…that’s when the doubts start to creep in: Will anyone enjoy said project? Will the goal succeed? What if people shake their heads and cast disapproving frowns upon the years worth of labor?
“Now I know what a piece of bacon feels like when it is suddenly picked out of the pan on a fork and put back on the shelf!”
What do you do when you feel like that piece of bacon?
“Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!”
I suggest you not turn into a snarky person and lash out at others, especially if they happen to be dragons. 😉 Bilbo has good sense, doesn’t he? Instead, be the better person, and show them how witty you can be in a nice way:
“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
Best way to confuse someone. It even sounds like it could be a compliment.
Those doubts do continue to assail, though, even as we strive to do our best work and endure criticism. We begin to feel like…
“All thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread… That can’t be right. I need a change, or something.”
A change might be a good idea, indeed. Sometimes a change of scenery, and a change of pace, is all you need to begin pushing those doubts aside and developing your inner courage.
The change could be something dramatic, or simply a cozy time spent with tea as Bilbo does:
“I wish I was at home in my nice hole by the fire, with the kettle just beginning to sing!”
Whatever the change happens to be, make sure it helps you to move forwards, and not backwards.
“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!”
It’s dangerous, to be sure, fighting back those doubts and making changes moving forward…
“You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.”
So share your journey with any who are willing to travel the road of life with you. A friend can help battle those doubts. (Be sure and bring plenty of biscuits and tea with you if they’re a hobbit.)
“I am glad that I have shared in your perils – that has been more than any Baggins deserves…
“If ever you are passing my way,” said Bilbo, “don’t wait to knock. Tea is at four, but any of you are welcome at any time!”
And so I say to you, dear readers and fellow journeyers on this voyage! I am glad to be sharing in this writer’s journey and perils with you—it is more than I deserve. Tea is at noon (four is far too late), but you are welcome here at any time!
Keep battling those pesky doubts!
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