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Self-Doubt ~ Thinking

It seems that there is a certain degree of self-doubt in the air. It makes me think of the many times I have experienced self-doubt; it makes me wonder what causes an individual to doubt themselves.

From time to time I reflect back on the times when I was seeing a student-therapist and he suggested that perhaps I had a fear of success, not failure, but of success. Back then I was the same person, but much more timid and I was very insecure. I had much more self-doubt. I think of his words from time to time and wonder if there could be truth in them for some people: The fear of success. I am forever grateful to him because, quite possibly without his assistance and nudging, I may not have re-signed up for community college courses, back in those beginning years. I may have continued doubting myself with a vengeance.

I feel as though I spent a great deal of my life in self-doubt and there are still moments it comes up. Mostly, I feel as though I've broken through certain self-barriers. On the one hand I can view my experience as both a blessing and a curse. It has taken me much longer to reach certain milestones because it seemed I was constantly rolling myself up a hill only to roll back down. On the other hand, if I had not rolled back down and brushed myself up and got going back up the hill, I don't know that I'd appreciate the present moment quite as much as I do.

I still stumble, but I feel better able to trust myself. After conquering one of my worst fears ever--public speaking--I've felt that I can do anything that I set my mind to. I know that may not seem like a big thing; it certainly was for me. With certain other life events, I've learned to embrace and act on the sayings that "life is too short" and "what do you have to lose?"

Our lives are each our own with very significant questions and decisions that only we can answer with help from our inner guides. It's comforting to know that we're not alone on our journeys. We may encounter a rocky road or perhaps it will be smooth. We won't know unless we try. If our passion is true in our hearts, souls, minds, and bodies, we know what we must do.

By moving past our fears and learning to trust ourselves, acknowledging the fears, yet being open and knowing that it's going to be alright, if we trust ourselves and listen to our guts, we won't lose ourselves in the process; we will still maintain our essence--this is what I believe.

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Lovely post - as

Lovely post - as always.

Funny.  We are littered with self-help books that urge us to believe in ourselves.  Yet no one seems to show us just exactly how to do it.  Just telling us to believe in ourselves doesn't make it happen (at least not for me.)

Our teachers/parents/friends/husbands sometimes feed our insecurities.  As a teenager, my teacher (an amateur astrologer) told me that because I was a Piscean with Virgo ascendant, I would be a failure in life.  How cruel was that?

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Thank you so much, Katherine.

Thank you so much, Katherine. The irony is when I began the post last night I felt quite good and then I started to doubt myself. I even thought of deleting the post and started feeling a bit low. This morning I pushed along, taking my own words trying to move along out of those feelings possibly creeping up for no good reason. So when I saw your comment after I had posted my blog for this morning, it was a nice surprise.

I know what you mean about how no one seems to show us exactly how to do it and that’s the interesting thing—it is very much a solo journey, yet we may get helpful words on the way either by people or books, but ultimately it seems to take a shift by way of a very prominent event(s) in our lives before we start taking action and believing in ourselves. It’s such an interesting and delicate balance.

How horrible that your teacher interpreted that aspect of your natal chart in such an unhelpful way. Very cruel indeed! Our charts are there to point possibilities and challenges and then there is free will and choice, but to have someone provide such a harmful viewpoint at such a tender age. Glad to see it didn’t hinder you and that you proved her wrong!

That’s an interesting combination—dreamy, deep, sensitive, and expansive Pisces, with the more analytical and factual Virgo. Those are the qualities that come immediately to mind. It seems a great balance and combination of writing and communication qualities. I am a Cancer with Leo ascendant and I notice the very difficult balance of these two opposing energies.

Thanks for reading and sharing.

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Here I sit, Cancer with Leo rising -

Self doubt, I've had a few, but then again, not that many.

Larry Block, well published as novelist and short story writer by the time he sat down and talked to me, told a tale. He was working on a novel. During downtime, he read a book that featured rain and water as symbolism throughout the story. He said it was a great read but then found himself torn apart by self doubt caused by the question, does my book have enough rain in it? He later wrote an article along the same theme. 

I think writers bend toward self doubt more than many others. We pry into other's lives, looking for motivations, striving to discover and express what they did and why. While we do that, we turn on lights in our own dark rooms.

It's spillover, collateral damage, and it's a writing tool, so we exercise and hone the skill. Moreover, the many others who suffer self-doubt often don't have the same need as writers to express it and explore it.  We're almost masochistic about it.

So, in a sense, something plants the seeds of self-doubt, but as writers, we consciously and self-consciously nurture it. 

That's my theory and I'm sticking with it.


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Well stated, Michael. I agree

Well stated, Michael. I agree that “…as writers, we consciously and self-consciously nurture it.” It’s like a cycle and of course anytime we enter someone’s space, we will be affected in some way, whether we relate or don’t understand.


We all have our own reasons for what and why we do what we do. For me it’s about exploring, sharing, and more—and sometimes that may come with a degree of self-doubt and that’s alright. It’s part of being human.


Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

And now…I kiss self-doubt to the wind until next time…

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Hmmm... I don't know enough

Hmmm... I don't know enough writers but, as a former theatrical agent, I fear that actors are strong contenders in the biggest self-doubt award contest.  

Here's something you might both enjoy, from The Stage.


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Katherine, I can definitely

Katherine, I can definitely see that actors are high up on the list.

Thank you for sharing the bit from The Stage. Fitting and hilarious. It gave me a good laugh!

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Rebbecca, Once again a great


Once again a great post that has described my own experience as well.

I've often reflected on the same issues. I have thought about the people in my life who encouraged me, and the ones who made a negative comment that crushed my spirit and caused me to doubt myself, even when I felt sure in my gut I was on the right path. 

We can only go forward, and continue to trust our own instincts and tune out the naysayers.


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Annette, It’s a blessing to

Annette, It’s a blessing to receive encouragement to balance the negative comments that, as you say, can crush our spirits—eventually learning to be there for ourselves.

Yes, yes, yes! “We can only go forward, and continue to trust our own instincts and tune out the naysayers.”

Thanks for reading and commenting.

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Very encouraging Rebb. As an

Very encouraging Rebb. As an Irish person the one word I was taught at a very early age was guilt. Guilt leads to self-doubt and the layers grow without one even knowing it because it becomes an accepted way of life. To survive we have to grow - not wither into the soil and that element I suspect is easier in some cultures more than others. Just my two cents worth. mx 

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Mary, I’m very glad this was

Mary, I’m very glad this was encouraging. You bring up a good point about guilt and also of cultural differences. I’ve always been fascinated with mental health in general from a cultural perspective. It seems too daunting a task to fully map out. I’m glad you reminded us about the cultural aspects of these issues. We can only do the best with our own patch of soil. I suppose as long as we don’t fall into self-defeating modes of being, we accept some degree of personal responsibility, and continue the internal work, our gardens will grow.

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Hi Rebbecca: Self doubt has

Hi Rebbecca:

Self doubt has been good for me - kept me on my toes, made me introspect. I quite enjoy the vulnerability it brings, for when you are vulnerable you also mould yourself into different shapes.

And, yes, I totally understand fear of success as opposed to fear of failure. Vertigo?!


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Hi Farzana, I like your

Hi Farzana,

I like your perspective. It makes sense and offers a way to see that being vulnerable can act as a catalyst to possibilities we may have missed if not for our self-doubt, as long as we push off from it and find those different shapes to explore.

Yes, I sense that you understand fear of success very well. :)

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It’s nice to see you.