Here’s a five-letter word that often creates too much chaos in our day-to-day lives; sometimes more than it should, and this word is –– DOUBT. Now please recall how did you feel the last time someone doubted you? And how did you feel the last time you doubted yourself? And what if I told you that self-doubt is a good thing? Here’s why.
Suzy Kassem, the American poet, and philosopher once said: “Self-doubt kills more dreams than failure does.” But…
Self-doubt is also a sign of self-awareness
We become aware of our limitations. Only when we know our limitations can we overcome them, which is why self-doubt is a mighty thing!
Self-doubt helps us identify our boundaries
Everybody doubts themselves. Some people let that cripple them, while others use it to propel themselves to succeed. Self-doubt is a survival skill that usually kicks in during times of change, and pushes us harder, makes us more resilient.
The fear of making mistakes is acceptable when it pushes you in the right direction.
Self-doubt allows us to probe and examine beliefs, people and ideas
It will enable us to change, slow down, and think. Some of the breakthroughs and inventions in human history exist because of our ability to self-doubt. Without self-doubt, we won’t have a growth mindset, and we will stay put where we are.
Conformity can only take us a certain distance. A little bit of doubt forces us to expose ourselves to alternatives that can help us be better. It opens doors that we might not have otherwise considered as options previously. Doubts are often our most excellent motivator that serves as an extraordinary stimulus to creativity.
It inspires us to take action. All of us have heard plenty of stories of humans overcoming adversity and self-doubt to achieve even greater success in life. It is because the same self-doubt compelled them to take action, and in doing so, it helped them overcome their limitations. It pushed them to improvise, to grind it out and do not give up.
To doubt is human. We should be making self-doubt our friend and learning from it. The idea that you are not supposed to doubt yourself is bollocks! It is because of me doubting myself that I am so aware of what my limitations are. It is this same self-doubt that also fuels my curiosity.
Ayodeji Awosika puts it best when he says
“The subtle shift from feeling emotions to observing them makes a huge difference.”
That is what self-examination is all about.
Only once you are always self-examining can you find ways to overcome that doubt and build your inner strength, which will ultimately lead to growth
This inner strength and confidence will propel you to take action.
I still doubt that I can become a successful writer, but I have not let that stop me from writing. On the contrary, I have used it to continually examine my writing > research ways to get better and improve > use some of those techniques the next time I write > repeat the process.
If I am, to be honest, I don’t think it will go away anytime soon, no matter how good or successful I become. The more successful I become, the more I start doubting myself.
Next time someone tells you that you are your biggest enemy, pay attention to them! What they are trying to say is that you are letting your doubts cripple you instead of pushing you in the right direction. You need to let them guide you instead of shutting them up. The higher our level of aspiration, the higher our level of self-doubt. The only way to overcome or reduce it is to choose whether or not to believe those doubts or to overcome them by proving your doubts wrong!