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5 Unexpected Dangers of Self-Doubt

5 Unexpected Dangers of Self-Doubt

As one of the greatest obstacles that hinders humans from fulfilling their dreams, self-doubt is what almost all of us struggle with at some point in our lives. Dozens of experts have written widely on how to overcome this scourge, and philosophers have thousands of quotes on self-doubt attributed to their names. This shows the extent to which self-doubt has become a pervasive issue for humans.

If you’re battling with that persistent voice that keeps telling you how things could go wrong, how you may not have worked it out right, then you’re dealing with self-doubt. Self-doubt can be dangerous to your overall wellness; it is not only physiologically harmful but also harmful in terms of living productively and with emotional and spiritual wellness.

The following are some of the dangers of self-doubt you should know about. I believe if you discover how self-doubt contributes to most of the productivity-related issues we face at work and in life, finding the voice to say NO to it won’t be as hard.

Self Doubt Weakens Your Self Will

Self will is still one of the strongest gift we inherited from God.

Being able to determine that we want or do not want something and being able to go ahead with our decision is not an ability all creatures enjoy. Where self-doubt becomes really dangerous to your self will is when it makes you seek encouragement or an excuse for why you can’t still move forward or for why you’re not able to accomplish a goal.

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The problem with seeking encouragement is it makes you lose your self-esteem. Most of the bravest and most successful people today needed no one to encourage them, in fact most had no one to do so. Giving excuses on the other hand makes you embrace failure, which ultimately crushes your self will.

If you’re looking for a reason to kill that self-doubt, think of how it could damage your self will.

Self-Doubt Breeds Procrastination

Could self-doubt really be the reason the majority of people procrastinate?

Procrastination may seem harmless at first, but when self-doubt begins to creep in and you’re consistently considering starting that first paragraph later, then you’ll begin a long cycle of procrastination that will prevent you from getting anything done.

Hesitation is one of the grandchildren of self-doubt. When people are hesitant about doing something, they procrastinate until they miss out on that opportunity and find an excuse to justify themselves.

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Opens you up to regrets and self pity

When you fail at something, it’s natural to feel emotional about it. The emotional feelings often associated with failure include fear, disappointment, regret, pain and anger. However, many have mastered how to turn these emotions into their strengths and it helps them to move forward.

Self pity and regret will do the opposite.

By giving room for self-doubt, you’ll only allow the two least helpful emotions that follow failure to take control. Regret will make you wish you hadn’t started. Self pity will prevent you from moving ahead.

To prevent self-doubt from keeping your stagnant, fight it and prevent it from breeding other low emotions such as regret and self-pity.

Self-Doubt Kills Personal Growth

Self-doubt prevents us from experiencing personal growth.

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We often experience our greatest moment of personal growth and fulfillment when we give ourselves the freedom to pursue that which we desire without the fear of failure or worries over what other people might think about us.

When you begin to doubt your ability to achieve your dreams and fulfill your desires, you’re consciously preventing yourself from experiencing growth.

Hinders Creativity

Creativity is one of the greatest natural resource tools we humans can always tap into. It’s what helps us to create the most precious things we admire and work hard to achieve our dreams. It’s what helps us to design a way out of unfavorable situations.

But self-doubt will effectively shut down our ability to think creatively.

Self-doubt makes you question the rationality behind your ideas and prevents you from being bold enough to show your most creative ideas. At its worst, it makes you totally unable to see a way forward in tricky situations.

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Conclusion

Doubt is a part of being human. This is a normal experience that we’ll face as we navigate through the several stages of our lives, but it should not be given the power to determine our success. By recognizing the dangers of self-doubt, you can fight its ill-effects more easily.

Are you battling with self-doubt? Will knowing about the dangers of self-doubt make it easier for you to overcome these challenges? If you have any personal experiences with self-doubt, or ideas about dealing with self-doubt, we’d love you to share in the comments below.

Featured photo credit: Majo Gordillo via flickr.com

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Do you like making mistakes?

I certainly don’t.

Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

  • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
  • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
  • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
  • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

  1. Point us to something we did not know.
  2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
  3. Deepen our knowledge.
  4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
  5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
  6. Inform us more about our values.
  7. Teach us more about others.
  8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
  9. Show us when someone else has changed.
  10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
  11. Remind us of our humanity.
  12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
  13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
  14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
  15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
  16. Invite us to better choices.
  17. Can teach us how to experiment.
  18. Can reveal a new insight.
  19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
  20. Can serve as a warning.
  21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
  22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
  23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
  24. Remind us how we are like others.
  25. Make us more humble.
  26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
  27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
  28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
  29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
  30. Expose our true feelings.
  31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
  32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
  33. Point us in a more creative direction.
  34. Show us when we are not listening.
  35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
  36. Can create distance with someone else.
  37. Slow us down when we need to.
  38. Can hasten change.
  39. Reveal our blind spots.
  40. Are the invisible made visible.

Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

The secret to handling mistakes is to:

  • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
  • Have an experimental mindset.
  • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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