Reflections On Self Doubt

Self-doubt is crippling. It handicaps us from being ourself because we lack faith in our own ability. Self-doubt raises thoughts of failure, humiliation, causes us to fear being wrong, made a fool out of because all of these are real consequences of independent action. Due to this, we go from being an individual to being a conformist. We start to conform our nature in order to fit a mold created by other people. This is a protective measure. We rather embrace the opinions of others, the beliefs set upon us, act in order to meet the expectations of strangers, behave and think how we are told to behave and think and in doing so we stay safe, comfortable, without the risk of being hurt. Self-doubt is an overprotective mother who shields her child from any harm and raises soft, weak children.

By giving in to the emotions brought on by self-doubt you strangle your own identity. Often times this strangulation, this suicide of the self comes because you think you are not worthy. It is so easy to see the power and strength in other than to see that in yourself. So easy to see why you are wrong and others are right than to trust your own intuition. Following your own feelings can lead to harm so you rather just act in a way that is already destined, a blueprint to copy, a safety harness holds you and you can pretend to be “free”, pretend to be “yourself” as you act out the commands of others. Self-doubt leads to such a scenario.

Trust and self-doubt go hand in hand. When we don’t trust ourselves, we begin to doubt ourselves and this doubt leads to the conformity of our individuality. When we trust ourselves, doubt is erased and we have the opportunity to be an individual.

So, perhaps the issue is not to stop doubting ourselves but rather, start acting in a manner that produces trust in our own ability. To stop is negative. To act is positive. One is passive, the other is active. In life, we must be active.

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being. And we are now men, and must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny; and not minors and invalids in a protected corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but guides, redeemers and benefactors, obeying the almighty effort and advancing on Chaos and the Dark. (Ralph Waldo Emerson – Self Reliance)

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