Stuck in the Web of Self Doubt?

Here’s one way to get out

Sara Bates
2 min readMar 13, 2021


Photo by Miltiadis Fragkidis on Unsplash

I read a book to my kids called The Hug Who Got Stuck.

It’s about how we all have a hug factory inside our hearts that tirelessly creates then pumps hugs out into the world. But sometimes a hug gets caught up in a lonely thought or bad feeling, and when a hug gets trapped in The Web of Sticky Thoughts it cannot make its way out into the world. It cannot share its love and light with the world.

I was feeling bad, bad, bad the other day. So I went running and listened. This is what I heard.

I can’t.
I can’t write.
I can’t write a novel.
It’s too complicated.
It’s too long.
It’s too late.
It’s taking forever.
I don’t know how.
Nobody taught me.

I remembered The Web of Sticky Thoughts, and the only way a hug can escape.

It stops wriggling and squirming and fighting. It relaxes, accepts, gets still. Only then can it be free.

Then I ran through a long strand of a spider’s web. No joke. I must have been the first person on the trail that day, and as I continued deeper into the woods I ran through strand after strand of sticky web. I didn’t freak out or brush them off. I kept running, and every time I broke through one I imagined The Web of Sticky Thoughts breaking strand by strand. And I realized that it’s much easier to get out when there’s only a single strand. It’s not as scary when it’s one tiny thought. I kept running, web stuck to my sweaty arms and face and neck. My thoughts started to change. I started to think:

I can.
I can write.
I can do it.

That’s when the really magical thing happened to me. I heard something inside me say.


This is what doing it looks like. It looks like self-doubt and second-guessing and wondering if it’s worth the effort, LISTENING and then continuing anyway. We are going to second guess. We are going to get things wrong. We are going to say it’s too late and why bother and I’ll sound stupid.

Yes, yes, yes.

Let’s continue to try anyway, okay?



Sara Bates

Functioning Perfectionist. Library Enthusiast. Recovering Lawyer. Stay-at-Home Mom. Not so patiently writing my first novel from five to seven each morning.