Do you often think that you make poor decisions? Do you constantly question yourself when you make a difficult choice? Do you lack confidence in yourself?
Self-doubt can have a paralyzing effect on our lives — keeping us spinning on the sticky wheels of insecurity. Doubting ourselves at every turn, we become overly-cautious, which can stifle our creativity and restrain us from taking risks.
Self-doubt is often a nagging remnant from our past. If we were often told that we’re wrong or won’t amount to anything, we internalize the message that we can’t succeed in life. We need positive mirroring in order to develop healthy self-worth. Frequent shaming leaves us with the sense of being inadequate or defective. We don’t raise our hand in class or offer our opinion at gatherings. We fail to act boldly and confidently when have choices to make, perhaps shrinking from seeking a promotion, procrastinating about going back to college, or restraining ourselves from contacting someone we’d like to know better. We might be fearful that such actions won’t turn out well, which would confirm that we are indeed a failure.
Self-doubt keeps us stuck. The belief that “I can’t do it” holds us back and prevents us from living a fulfilling, meaningful life.
Self-doubt is a universal experience. We all have it to varying degrees. And that’s a good thing. People who have no self-doubt (or who don’t seem to have any) are a danger to themselves and others. Think of certain politicians or people you know who never doubt themselves — at least in public. They cling to their convictions and plow ahead in life, oblivious to the needs and opinions of others — and to the wounded bodies they leave behind.
Healthy Doubt Requires Strength
Self-doubt is akin to healthy shame. We