Self-DoubtFeb 09, 2023
When you are questioning your own capabilities, your judgment, or anything about yourself, you are having self-doubt.
Self-doubt may be stemmed from fear, especially when you are in a new environment or a new phase in life. For example, as a new attending physician, you are doubting your ability to accurately diagnose and treat a patient – even though you are well-equipped with years of medical training. You are afraid that you will make the wrong judgment call. You then start to imagine that you are not a good doctor, or that you are not fit to be one. You then start to doubt other aspects of your life, and question your own worth. The fear feels very real. The fear of making the wrong decision. The fear of rejection. The fear of not belonging.
This is in contrast with what I call healthy questioning. Healthy questioning stems from curiosity. Curiosity is a light-hearted spirit of questioning the situation. You are not focusing on your true abilities. You do not feel defeated. You do not feel inadequate. You are simply examining the scenario and are open-minded about possible choices and outcomes. Your awareness is heightened. Healthy questioning keeps you on your toes. You will arrive to what you believe is the best decision or action. You are willing to learn from your experience and grow from it.
Self-doubt, on the other hand, holds you back. As you are afraid to make the wrong decision, as you are uncertain about your adequacy, your wholeness, you are at a standstill. You avoid making a decision. Your feeling of incapability keeps you stuck. You may not want to step out of your comfort zone and remain at your current situation, doing the same things you have been doing, when you are made to do much more.
It can feel very real when you doubt yourself. Be curious and question your self-doubt. Is it true? Is it possible that you are much more than you think you are? What do others think of you or say about you?
Recognize what self-doubt is and acknowledge it when it comes up. Self-doubt is an invisible but tangible obstacle. The best way to deal with an obstacle is to face it head-on. Self-doubt will show up from time to time, especially when you are in a new environment, in an unfamiliar situation or with people you do not know.
Identify what exactly you are doubting yourself on. Are you questioning your ability to perform a task well? Are you unsure of your decision in a situation? Talk to yourself kindly. Always have your own back. You do not have to wait till everything is perfect in your eyes to move forward.
Practice self-love. Have compassion for ourselves. Be confident that given the situation, you will make the best decision and you will do your best.
Any self-doubt moment is a chance to grow, a chance to practice to be more comfortable in discomfort.
Do not let self-doubt hold you back. Label it as it is, acknowledge its existence. Whenever it pops up, set it aside and remember who you are, how much you have accomplished. Remember to trust yourself. Have compassion for yourself and love yourself no matter what.
Are you ready to stop feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Are you ready to have more time to do what you want?