They say comparison is the thief of joy. But, what about that crippling, insidious feeling of self-doubt? That incessant ache of not knowing whether we’ve made the right decision or the silent fear that we’re not good enough? It has the ability to wear us down, bit by bit, until we believe it.
It’s natural to doubt ourselves. From a young age we’re told no, that we can’t do this and we shouldn’t do that. It makes us question what we’re capable of and fuels that spark of hesitation within us, which never truly extinguishes. It lies in wait, a small ember flickering within us, biding its time until it sees an opportunity to combust.
Anxiety amplifies self-doubt. It’s only natural for those with the disorder to worry. But, the difference is those with anxiety tend to worry about the uncontrollable – self-doubt usually emerges from choices we’ve made. It can stem from wondering whether we did the right thing, knowing there’s no going back. Should we have gone left when we went right? Should we have said yes when we said no?
Life is all about making choices. It throws decisions our way every day, from the mundane to the momentous. It’s those big decisions that can ignite the spark of self-doubt. Did I choose the right course at University? Should I have asked that guy out when I had the chance? Did I do the right thing leaving my job?
What can we do, then, when we start to question our choices? Simply, remember why we chose them in the first place. It’s easy to forget why we made the decision in the first place when we’re convinced it was the wrong one. But, there was a reason we went down the path we did. More often than not, it felt like the right thing to do at the time – so, trust your instincts.
Whether you believe everything happens for a reason or not, our future isn’t set in stone. If we do come to regret a decision we’ve made, we can make another to change it. Did you start a new job to discover it wasn’t what you thought? Did you move to a new city to find you missed your hometown? See it as another step on your journey towards where you’re meant to be.
The only way to truly know whether we have made the right decision or not is to live it. What may have seemed like an opportunity may turn out to be a challenge, but give it a chance before deciding to take that next step. If you need to move on again, that’s okay. You did what felt right at the time and there’s no shame in admitting it hasn’t worked out how you thought. We’re all just doing our best and you never know what lies around the corner…
Until next time,