'WARNING' Self-doubt is injurious to health.
Seems funny, but the harsh truth. We all do this to ourselves now and then. And because of these self-doubts, we make simple things and decisions complicated, which lead to hiding our potential. Every time we see or face a new thing, the first thing we ask ourselves is, 'Can I do this?'.
Here self-doubt arises. So, until we say, 'Why can’t? We will never be able to do that particular task. It is all about what you say, ask and command your mind to do; it all starts with this small question and how you respond to it. It is a 0.5-second decision that leads you unwanted consequences.
What does doubt mean?
Doubt is when we feel uncertainty about things, whether it could be some decisions, facts, motive, an action, relationships, or the existence of something. We are not sure about things. It is a phase where there is a slight, invisible line between belief and disbelief. Let me tell you, doubts are human tendencies; there is nothing wrong with you.
What does the self-doubt definition say about it, and what is self-doubt meaning in our lives?
Self-doubt is when we doubt our abilities, are uncertain about our own decisions, and are unsure about things we do. But doubting yourself is not always wrong. Being Sometimes suspicious about things leads us towards the right path or gets us the conclusions or results we are looking for. When we talk from the positive perception of self-doubt, they are only favorable when they make us do something productive. But when we doubt our capacities and hustle, that's not acceptable, and it shouldn't be.
The causes of self-doubt with a story
Martina was a NEET (National Eligibility cum entrance test) aspirant, which is a pre-medical test for qualifying in MBBS AND BDS programs in Indian medical colleges. She was preparing for an exam since last year. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, exams weren't conducted.
Suddenly, students were notified that their exams will be conducted anytime in the next 2 months. And dates will be disclosed 15 days before the examination. She was astounded, despite studying for a year. But as soon as she started overthinking that, she has very little time to revise and practice; she completely forgot her potential.
She started focussing on consequences more than processes. Many questions were continuously bothering her, what if my competitors do better than me? What if I can't perform well, as I decided? What if I can't answer the whole question paper? What will people say if I can’t qualify exam? Will they criticize me? All this and that.
She was shattered due to such a short notice period and got feared of failure. She went to her father and told him all the chaos going on in her mind. He took her to the kitchen and told her to take 3 vessels. He poured water in all three vessels and kept them on a gas flame.
Furthermore, he added coffee, eggs, and potatoes respectively in each of those utensils and let them boiled for half an hour. Then he turned the flame off and asked Martina, tell me what just happened. She said Eggs got hard, potatoes got soft, and coffee got dissolved in water. Her father said there are 3 types of people, just like eggs, potatoes, and coffee. Either they get stronger, covert, or eye-catching after facing difficulties.
What the story conveys?
People, who are like eggs, make themselves tougher when they face tough situations. Instead of getting afraid of things, they face them courageously.
Next are people like potatoes, who entirely get soften, change their structure, and get affected by the situation. They don't have control over themselves, but the situation has.
And then there are people, like coffee, who are adaptive to changes. They change themselves, neither the situation. Not only that, but they see the opportunity, extract the best from themselves and make every situation favorable. In the end, he said, now you have to choose what you want to become.
If you keep doubting yourself, you will never be able to perform with all your potential. We need to throw our inner fear of failures and mistakes long away because they are the root cause of our self-doubt. We have more vigor in us, that will surely make us give one more try.
Before doing self-analysis, we should not draw conclusions. So that’s what Martina’s story wants to convey, never ignore your potential before you analyze yourself. Believe in yourself and be like a coffee….!!!
How self-doubt works
Let's continue the above example; as soon as Martina heard of the exam notification, she welcomed fear. That fear destroyed her comfort zone and got fixed in her mind. As soon as fear enters your mind, it grabs your entire mind. And we become unable to think anything other than that.
That fear doesn't let us see other things like, just like what happened with Martina. She forgot about how much she strived from last year, how much capacity to study she has. And she let those fear grab her. Which leads to overthinking.
She kept thinking of her competitors and other consequences instead of focusing on the process. Fear brings self-doubt along with it, which makes us feel everything risky and impossible.
The fear factor
All these things take place because we let our fears increase more than our morale towards our goals. Fears never come from outside; we create them inside us. Instead of taking things as challenges, we look at them as trouble. This is how self-doubt works.
How self-doubt is dangerous
To overcome self-doubt, the first thing you have to accept is that you have done that yourself. Because until you accept that something is wrong with your mind, you won't be able to change it the way you want. Initially, we discussed that self-doubt is injurious to health; indeed, it is! Because lack of self-confidence and excess self-doubt can harm your mental health.
It can even cause anxiety, fatigue and if it exceeds, it can cause depression too. Self-doubts keep your healthy and deserving life away from you. And these self-doubts often trigger as soon as something happens inversely than we thought.
Let’s understand it one by one in steps:
The biggest mistake we all make in our lives is procrastination. You cannot deny, we all have done that to ourselves. We keep avoiding small things until it creates big troubles. Initially, procrastinating things seem naïve or harmless. But once we get used to it, it becomes tougher to overcome, and then we find ourselves unable to break that cycle.
As soon as we start procrastinating things, at the same moment, our growth starts declining. Because until we get up and kick ourselves to do something enthusiastically, we cannot grow our abilities and skills.
So, for personal growth, we have to leave procrastination away. Lack of personal growth weakens our faith and self-will. If we cannot keep consistency in our chores, We start losing interest in those things. And then we start making excuses.
Lacking self-will not only makes us doubt ourselves, but it makes us feel useless, and as soon as we stop considering our willpower and faith in ourselves, it starts declining feasibly.
Then we start regretting our own decisions; we feel that “I shouldn’t have done this.” But this is one more mistake we make. I know it this natural to regret things whenever they don’t work as we wanted. Regrets don’t let us fight with our fears, it makes us fight with ourselves.
Short outline of how self-doubt harm our inner self
Ultimately, all these things hide our creativity deep inside us. It doesn’t even let us ask, ‘how do I find myself?’. And creativity never comes out until we ask this question ourselves. To be creative, we need to keep asking questions to ourselves that, what am I? What do I want to do? What are my goals?
The cycle that starts from procrastination keeps moving in the same direction. It doesn’t let us do something other than regret.
Therefore, we need to stop doing the small things that harm our self-will and make us doubt ourselves before they create complex problems for us.
HOW TO OVERCOME SELF-DOUBT-
Now it becomes another question, how to stop doubting yourself? So, to stop doubting yourself first thing you have to do is, you have to ask yourself another question, i.e., why do I doubt myself? What are those things that are restricting me from believing in myself?
Unless we get an answer to this question, we won’t be able to overcome self-doubt. Someone may be comparing themselves with others, someone may be threatened of trying, another may have a fear of judgments, criticisms, or failures. Overcoming self-doubt is as easy as giving it a place in our thoughts.
Here are few handy ways we can start with-
1. DON’T BE AFRAID OF MISTAKES-
Never, ever do that…! We all are humans; everyone makes mistakes, you, me, all. And we are supposed to do it. Human life is all about finding ourselves and creating the best out of it. Just because, being afraid of mistakes, we stop trying new things or giving one more try. Never let consequences matter more than practice; that’s all we can do about mistakes.
2. DISTRACT YOURSELF FROM THOUGHT OF COMPARISON-
As soon as comparison enters into the mind, try to distract from that specific thought. We compare ourselves with others; that simply means we compare our energy with others, that universe gave only to us. We all have the one exceptional energy that the universe gave only to us…!!
3. TRY TO SEE THINGS IN A OPTIMISTIC WAY-
No matter if you compare yourself with someone else, surely do that if you can take that positively and choose a good path for yourself. Getting affected by other's decisions, successes, failures can also be a good lesson for you. Self-doubt is not always harmful, but only if you use it as a tool for your personal growth.
4. STOP OVERTHINKING ABOUT EVERYTHING-
This is the root cause of every unwanted situation you face. Overthinking takes you to another world that doesn’t even exist. Once you are done with your decision and necessary thoughts, just note it down and get away from that particular topic. Don’t entertain the same thought for a long time.
5. REMEMBER WHAT YOU WERE-
No one will be there who has not achieved anything throughout their life. That’s not possible. Everyone has done something that made them proud of themselves and trust in their potential. Whenever you feel like, Can, I do this? How? Then remember how you did it that time. No matter how small that achievement was, it could help you in any other way.
6. DON’T GET CRITICISED OVER SMALL THINGS-
Just because someone tries to do it to yourself, don’t get criticized. Criticism is one of the major things that keeps you away from self-will. It keeps us showing what we are not good at. Whenever you face such things, just tell yourself, “My wills are powerful than all these senseless things.”
7. WRITE AND ANALYZE YOUR THOUGHTS-
We get too many thoughts once we start doubting ourselves, and we draw baseless conclusions. What we can do is, write or record what we are feeling right now and analyze where these thoughts take us. How these little self-doubts change our whole thought process and drive us towards conclusions, Then go through this analysis twice or thrice but at different times. It will give you a clarified idea of your thoughts.
8. LEARN SAYING STOP-
Once you analyze your thoughts and direction of conclusions, you can set your limits. Analyzing will help you find the saturation point of your thoughts, and then you know what to do, say STOP AND DISTRACT yourself from thoughts.
9. DON’T HESITATE TO ASK FOR A FAVOR-
Sometimes, it happens that we are stuck in our thoughts this much that it doesn’t let us think or see different aspects of thought. Then we should ask for help. I would strongly recommend talking to your mom; there is no better therapist than mom, or else you can talk to someone who understands you. Don’t hesitate to ask for a favor; we cannot do everything all alone.
10. LISTEN OR READ POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS-
This thing works like unpaid therapy. At least for 15-20 minutes in a day, read something good or positive to refresh your thoughts. Listening to positive affirmations at the start of the day will keep you away from all the negative vibes and make you believe in your willpower more than anything.
11. DON’T RUSH INTO THINGS OR DECISIONS-
Rushing into things without getting all the facts can also create chaos in our minds. When we are unsure or overconfident about something, we rush to make a decision quickly and without analyzing it. It causes more self-doubt. Take the things easily and make them work with all your preparation.
12. FOCUS ON YOUR PLANS AND DESIRES-
Try to focus on your goals and desires. Keep a precise plan, and once you make a plan, don’t make frequent changes in it. Think about what you want, what your “self” asking from yourself. Do not give place others' thoughts in your mind once you decide what you want to do.
13. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE SELF-RESPECT-
It generally happens when we can’t keep good relations with someone. It may not be your mistake always. Try to get clarification on facts; if you are not wrong, never let your self-respect die. Once you compromise with your self-respect, people will keep forcing you to do that.
14. KEEP LEARNING EVERY DAY-
Once you stop learning, you stop growing. Learn new things every day; it makes you believe that you have knowledge and understandings of things. Doesn’t matter how small things you learn, but learn…!!
15. BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE-
Gratitude matters the most in everything we do. When we are grateful for the things we have, we become sure about the things we have to work for. Be grateful for what you have, and walk towards what you want with the same gratitude.
Once in a while, we all doubt our existence. And as we discussed, if your self-doubt driving you towards self-analysis and growth, it's a good sign of self-assessment. Just like there are countless things that make us doubt ourselves, the same way plenty full of things are there which can bring down self-doubt from our mind and our life for sure. And this feeling will make you say proudly, I never had thoughts that control me. Just remember that you can find solutions, and go for it.!!