Self-Doubt: It’s not a Little Problem

Recently I have come to see just how insidious self-doubt is and how it plays out. I once viewed self-doubt as something that was just there, that I accepted as a normal part of being a human being and that it was something that I couldn’t change.

I know there have been times in my life when I would feel the Truth of a matter ever so strongly. I knew exactly what had happened, what had played out and why – but I would not hold it. Instead I would hang on to something that was said about me, and it was this aspect that would have my full attention. From here I would be pulled into the black hole of confusion and doubt, swept to a place far away. I would so easily let go of the Truth that I had felt and would make things complicated, defer to another’s opinion or the majority view, become confused or upset, or even want others to feel it as I did, although they did not.

At times I found myself standing alone, where the Truth that I felt wasn’t confirmed by those around me and it was this aspect for a long time that I found most difficult. 

In the past few months I have been provided with many opportunities to feel the game of self-doubt in its true colours. These opportunities have been quite amazing in fact, but it was a situation between a group of people that provided me with the opportunity to observe and to understand in greater depth just how destructive self-doubt is in our lives. That was the light bulb moment that inspired me to give up the self-doubt game.

I was reading through a Facebook thread and noticed that initially some of the comments were very sure and certain – concrete in fact. Another person came in and planted ‘the seed of doubt’ – a person who is very much respected. As I read through the thread, I began to see how those who had commented initially became more and more wobbly and then other people commented in doubt as well. I was surprised at how easy it was for people to lose their confidence, their authority, their assurance in what they had initially felt. How easy it is for Truth to be buried when it comes to the surface, although it is never hidden for long.

Although for a lot of my life I have been a bit wishy-washy, never sure about myself, and searching for right and wrong instead of what is true, what I have come to know is that when I do feel Truth, I feel it in my body with an assurance and an unshakable knowing. 

Although there is often an opposing energy that comes into play at these times – to tip us over, to make things complicated and to bring in doubt – we must learn to back ourselves all the way and be mindful of our own false beliefs that are always at play.

One of the things that really stood in my way at such times is that I did not want to be irresponsible. I knew that I held hurts, and that at times those hurts tainted my view of things and so I quickly let go of my Truth. I did not want to be arrogant and hold on to what I felt was a Truth, just in case I was completely off track and was fooling myself. For instance, a situation that presented numerous times was where someone would verbally berate me, using particular words in their accusations. If they said I was controlling, for example, then I would bury what I felt was really happening in that moment and go into self-doubt.

It played on my knowing that in the past (or in my life) there were times when I was controlling in my behaviour and this was the very thing that would unravel me, as I began to unreasonably question and interrogate myself about whether I was being controlling again and not open enough to see it. My focus left the initial feeling or reading of the Truth and became all about me. It’s a tricky and underhanded technique, but on me it worked every time.

What I came to learn though is that Truth is a very solid aspect felt within ourselves – a place where there is no emotion, not an ounce. We must hold it firmly and if there is more to feel, life will simply present that to us and all we will need to do is be open for the ‘more’. This allowed me to honour my Truth, but allow expansion and greater understanding of any part of the situation that needed to be learned, should it be offered. In other words, if we don’t learn something in full the first time, there is always another loving opportunity offered, to have another go. This is the blessing!

If we don’t know who we are, if we don’t know that we are Love, then we are easily played with. If we feel we are not worthy, not gorgeous, not enough, not beautiful, not intelligent, not knowing, not graceful, not sexy – or if we simply do not appreciate all that we know ourselves to be – then we provide an opening for the game of self-doubt to play with us, enhancing the doubt in ourselves that already exists.

Honouring the Truth that we feel is not to be arrogant nor fight another with vengeance. It is about being open to hear what another has to say, to be honest about our own reactions, to consider and feel for its Truth in our body, and to be open to learn and understand what the situation offers us in our evolution. We must register the energy that is felt behind all that comes through us and to us. Whilst people can be very influential, charming in fact, and argue a good case, it is the energy in our body that is the marker of Truth.

Self-doubt flows out to affect not only ourselves, but others around us, people who have the tendency to play with self-doubt too. From this, I can see the level of responsibility that is offered. Self-doubt is not a silly little thing that we do and cannot stop – it’s a choice.

From here it is clear that staying steady in the tension, connected to ourselves, and backing what we feel all the way, has never been more important. Self-doubt is not a harmless little thing that we do – it has consequences; it opens the door to thoughts that are dripped in ever so quietly, only to spread through us and out to others too.

Self-doubt is not a little problem: it’s a big problem, and has big ramifications. Self-doubt is rife when we live a life from right and wrong, instead of what is true. It holds us back from expressing who we are, from voicing what we feel and from acting as is needed. A tiny seed of doubt can easily become a forest so thick that we cannot find our way, and that was once the nature of self-doubt for me.

By Maree Savins, Education Outreach Coordinator – Tertiary Education, Australia

Related Reading:
No Doubt
Self-Doubt, Ostriches and Clairsentience
The Importance of Expressing Truth

523 thoughts on “Self-Doubt: It’s not a Little Problem

  1. What comes to me after reading this is a resolve not to give my power away to anyone, but to trust in myself and keep building a solid platform within myself that I can trust in. Then I will not be hurt or react when someone I look up to or is close to me isn’t having such a great moment – knowing that we can all have ‘not so great moments’ anyway. With the more consistent I am the more I will realise when I too am having a wobble so as not to trust myself blindly. When I expect something from others I set myself up.

  2. The most effective way I have cut self-doubt in my life is by choosing to move my body in a true way, when I feel the quality of this I know that whatever I am saying or doing is true and no self-doubt exists.

  3. If we are not prepared to back ourselves we will inevitably doubt ourselves and probably look for reassurance and validation from outside of ourselves..

    1. Very true, the more we back oursleves and trust what we know to be true the stronger the feelings will be, so much so it is painful to ignore them and go against what we have felt, even if it may at the time like putting a lot of trust into the unknown I know for myself whenever I have fully let go and gone ahead with what I have known to be true I have never been let down and often very pleasantly surprised by what has come before me.

  4. Thank you Maree, it’s true that self doubt, even in the smallest instance opens us to up a kind of poisoning energy, an energy that diminishes us if we do not confirm the truth, including the truth of the beauty we are within. A powerful line “Self-doubt is rife when we live a life from right and wrong, instead of what is true.”

  5. Warning bells should go off when we start to feel or hear doubt in our minds. There is nothing unsure when you are connected to your body. Doubt is something we let in that takes us out of this solid connection and as you have shared, causes us to go into a black hole of complication and inertia.

    1. The alarm bells and clear and loud when we start to listen to them. I find there is a moment when it can catch me and take me astray but if i catch the doubt coming in I can immediately stop it. It feels so freeing to know no matter what happens there is always an opportunity to learn and evolve from whatever is before me, so why waste time doubting?!

  6. When we see and understand that self doubt is a choice it takes on a whole new meaning for us because if it is a choice then we can always choose something other than self doubt.

  7. Even though it is very logical that it is either truth or doubt, doubt lets everything appear so very complex and complicated – so I love how you bring us back to truth. It is simple, we know the truth, and we must, otherwise we couldn’t doubt ourselves, but instead of staying with what we know is true we meander around and make things complicated.
    This was a very much needed read for me tonight. Thank you Maree.

    1. Yes I can see how holding on to right and wrong goes hand in hand with self-doubt. We then look at things through the lens of right and wrong and it taints what is really going on and we don’t read it clearly.

  8. I realise that doubt for me played a big part in childhood when I time and again I dismissed what I felt and didn’t honour what was true for me.

    1. I did this for most of my life, giving my power to others as a result. Over the last few years I have been building trust in myself and what I feel and so the doubt diminishes.

  9. Yes, I agree self-doubt is insidious. It can look like humility, and it can look like one is taking care not to be pushy or arrogant – in fact it can have the guise of many things . . . but it is one of the most destructive acts done to oneself on earth. The emotion of self-doubt sends lethal poison into one’s system as well as keeping oneself hanging (while hanging oneself!) It is time to say ‘no’ to self doubt, and also time to say ‘yes to the openness of observation – the observation of what is happening energetically in our lives.

    1. ‘It can look like humility, and it can look like one is taking care not to be pushy or arrogant’ I can relate to this Lindy, the perfect hidden excuse for self-doubt but inside building resentment of never been heard, blaming others but also myself for not expressing my truth.

      1. How well-spotted Annelies! Doubt is a false mask which covers a rats’ nest of emotions. And the funny thing is we all feel this every moment – we all know when these games are being played and what it feels like – how can the human spirit be so absurd as to run around looking like a rat and calling out to everyone ‘Look at me I’m a wonderful kookaburra’.

  10. I am feeling a truth that has always been there but have avoided because of the responsibility that came with it. The truth feels solid and absolute and although there are avenues of self doubt to creep in it is the absolute knowing I am connecting to, holding onto and saying yes to. It is the foundation subtle yet strong that is set in place that supports my every movement to unfold and expand…

  11. “From here it is clear that staying steady in the tension, connected to ourselves, and backing what we feel all the way, has never been more important” super wise words Maree and ones that I will take with me into my day.

  12. When we dishonour what we feel and ignore what our body is telling us then it is easy to be in self doubt. Honour ourselves and self doubt no longer exists.

    1. Well said Elizabeth. I have found the same that when I honour myself and what I am feeling then there is little or no room for self doubt to creep in. When I do not confirm and go with what I feel then either the thoughts can creep in or someone else may say something which can nudge me into the doubt, then it is like being in an eternal washing machine going around and around until I see the truth again.

  13. It is interesting how often we rely on outside influences whether it be what we think is the right thing to do because of what we have heard or are expected to do or what a person has told us. Yet we can all feel and innately know what is true to our bodies. Yet we so often find we lack the confidence to go through with what we have felt and know will be the best thing to do. But the more we honour what we feel and our body the more we develop and build the confidence simply by being present and aware to what is going on and saying yes to the body and what it has sensed regardless of what another has said. Building this connection within and honouring ourselves means self-doubt thoughts no longer have a bed to lie in, they can be there but do not plant their all consuming seeds.

  14. To honour what we feel is to honour what is true or not. When we confirm and keep choosing to live what is not true, allows the space for self doubt to enter and flourish.

  15. It has been a very familiar behaviour of mine to abuse myself with self doubt and place what another says before what I feel especially when they are very much respected but this is changing as the people I once had respect for or in truth compared myself to I now feel equal to, a beautiful change where I now honour myself instead of allowing self doubt to enter what I know to be true.

  16. Living in a way where everything is “right” versus “wrong” is a complete set up for us to experience self doubt as we are constantly in the stress of knowing which is which. When we live from our body and allow ourselves to be guided by it we realise that we know what is true and this brings a great simplicity to life.

    1. It is very cool to expose the falsehood and superficiality of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and how they keep us in an exhausting struggle as an individual, rather than in the grand truth of our learning and evolving together.

  17. It’s amazing how much we build up the idea of self-doubt and anxiety as just a part of who we are, something we have to put up with and live with because its just who we are. I have come to realise that actually these feelings are a choice, a reaction and not in fact who I am – when those feeling make themselves known, rather than just giving in and letting them take over I remember that there is an inner essence more true and solid within me I can connect to

  18. It feels like self doubt enters through our movements, if we walk less than who we are then we can provide the opening for those thoughts to come in yet if we move with all of who we are then we close the door on this and walk in the knowing.

  19. Recently, self-doubt was described to me as an energetic poison that enters your body when you engage in a certain way of conversing with yourself. And as I would not like to actively poison myself with energy, there has been an exploration in to what is there, or what would life look like without self-doubt. And honestly I do not know, which, if the energetic poison equation is true, means that I am very used to a certain flow of poisonous energy in my body, so much so that to be without it seems foreign. This is a very sobering realisation.

    1. Yes, the way we choose to converse with ourselves is definitely very important and way before we come to converse with anyone else, for that conversation and tone we take with ourselves can be 24/7 and so has a huge influence, it is so important to make that a true conversation that supports and confirms us to know who we truly are.

  20. It’s true Maree, in my case how I have let self-doubt be my 1st go-to in any given situation if someone comes back to me with seemingly more assurance and greater authority. In those moments, I haven’t backed myself and stood by what I felt was initially true letting myself think the other person knows more. But I have found the more I honour myself and what I feel the easier it has become to express what I feel. The beauty of this is that even if I turn out to be wrong, I find there is no sting because in that moment I allow a learning to take place.

  21. To live life from the positions of right or wrong not only allows an opening for self doubt but is a fertile ground for ignorance to flourish where we do not consider the whole and can’t feel the truth of things.

  22. Knowing the truth of a situation is something that comes from my whole body I find – it’s not just a mental thing and so if I dis-regard my body in the seemingly smaller or less significant moments that lead up to the time when I really want to know the truth about something then it’s like I’ve undermined my ability to clearly connect with it in the way that I moved leading up to that time… And so really there are no insignificant moments…

  23. Doubt can come in so quickly and easily especially when we read or feel something we may not want to. And the may not want to simply comes because it does not fit the picture or ideal we have of another or the situation etc.. I know when it starts to come in and I stop myself and go ok so what have I really just felt then I get to see underneath it, the whole clearer picture and the doubt no longer grabs me. After all we are all Gods here on Earth and so we are all knowing which means in truth we cannot have any doubt just a denying of who we are.

  24. It is so true, the living life from a position of right or wrong rather than what is energetically true is an invitation for self doubt to enter, and play havoc with the absoluteness of who we truly are and know ourselves to be.

  25. I don’t feel as though I have ever felt not in this life time so clearly the energy of self doubt as I do today but I see that as a good thing to be able to observe exactly where I am in this moment knowing that from this moment onwards the energy of self doubt is dissipating and clearing leaving a greater sense of clarity within my body to take with me into my day. Everything is an unfolding from one moment to the next.

  26. It is so true that we set ourselves up for self-doubt in advance when we don’t hold steady in our knowing and our livingness and flow of a true way of being. It is a momentum but we can also choose to live a deeply confirming life in the flow of all that we are.

  27. Self doubt occurs when we dishonour ourselves so whenever we go into doubt we need to go behind it and see where we have dishonoured ourselves. Doing this then empowers us to become more knowing of ourselves and when we know ourselves there is no place for self doubt.

    1. What really cut self-doubt for me was the understanding that if I am in true connection and then doubt it, really I am dishonouring God. For some reason that felt really awful whereas I had allowed myself in the past to dishonour myself. The more I connect to my purpose here on earth and my connection to Divinity, the less I allow or indulge in that dismissive and disempowering energy of self-doubt.

  28. Maree, this is interesting; ‘Self-doubt is rife when we live a life from right and wrong, instead of what is true. It holds us back from expressing who we are, from voicing what we feel and from acting as is needed.’ Reading this I can feel how right and wrong beliefs are that are imposed on us, this can be from parents or from school or society in general, they feel like a set of rules that say this is ok, this isn’t. This is very different to feeling energy and using what we feel as our guide instead of trying to please and get things ‘right’.

  29. If we lived a life that was consistantly true, we would never allow self doubt to be present. To not have self doubt in our lives, is a game changer.

  30. “In other words, if we don’t learn something in full the first time, there is always another loving opportunity offered, to have another go. This is the blessing!” – This is a real key to allowing ourselves the space to come to a complete truth while we fully honour what we have felt from our body without needing to be right or have the whole picture immediately. Needing to know the whole dynamic of a situation or why something happened and I reacted to it based on some hurt has held me back in the past from simply trusting my initial feeling and understanding that even if I get it wrong, I will learn something in the process.

  31. “I would so easily let go of the Truth that I had felt and would make things complicated, defer to another’s opinion or the majority view…” – I can very much relate to this experiencing of self-doubt Maree… so essentially the more we can hold on and trust what it is that we feel then the less we are swayed by adding metaphorically speaking ‘too many cooks’ in the kitchen that ultimately are adding in ingredients we really do not need to spoil the original version we’d been working on.

  32. It’s easy to get wrapped up in knots in our head so to speak, thinking about what we consider to be the right or wrong thing to do or say but bringing our awareness back to what we are sensing in our whole body gives us marker for truth, a sense or knowing of the next step to take or awareness of what is needed from us in a situation…

  33. When someone’s intention is being exposed and they are not willing to be honest about it, then they shift focus to the person that senses it and debases them by saying something to personally bring the other down. It then depends on if we react or not, to whether we come down or stay with the knowing we have.

  34. Every time we listen to what we feel and act on it, we affirm the truth of what we feel and build self worth and self confidence, closing the door to self doubt. It then becomes far less about needing confirmation from the outside – i.e. another’s response – because we’re more in tune with and able to read the truth we feel and know in our own bodies.

  35. “We must learn to back ourselves all the way and be mindful of our own false beliefs that are always at play.” Backing what we know to be true is absolute paramount if we want to stand strong in a world that can often be vicious and complicated. Backing ourselves, knowing our selves and standing strong in our authority keeps life simple and inspires others around us to do the same.

  36. Looking at the bigger picture usually puts me on track. I can get caught in the details and lose my way or begin to feel overwhelmed by how much there is to unpick but by taking a few steps back ironically the overwhelm usually subsides and different aspects present themselves and if I allow it they present to me a starting point where before I thought I had none.

  37. ‘when I do feel Truth, I feel it in my body with an assurance and an unshakable knowing’ this is true, we can all feel it but often use our minds to override it, giving more attention to what others say rather than trusting our inner wisdom and what we feel.

  38. It is true self-doubt is not a little problem but we are not really honest with ourselves and willing to stop and question where the self doubt came from. We question the truth but we don’t question the self doubt

  39. Thank you for writing this Maree, if I could say I was a master at one thing it would be self-doubt and this has been great ammunition against an affliction I thought I didn’t have much control over.

  40. ‘From here it is clear that staying steady in the tension, connected to ourselves, and backing what we feel all the way, has never been more important.’ It is getting used to the tension and to feel the power of our stillness, no reason to fight and or be challenged by ‘right and wrong’.

  41. When I remember that doubt is the very thing that comes in to knock us off from our sureness and knowing of truth, it has much less power over me and I am more understanding with myself (rather than adding self-critique onto the doubt 😐).

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