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The Power of Self-Doubt

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

How do I get rid of self-doubt? Self-doubt is the product of unmanaged thoughts working to maintain the mind’s desire for safety and status quo. Developing a disciplined mind comes by practicing the skill of objectively observing one’s thoughts and not subjecting yourself to their random whims.

Warning: I’m not a psychologist, nor do I pretend to be one. My thoughts on self-doubt come from observing humans in the workplace these past 35 plus years. Clearly, a scientist of the mind I am not, however, an observer of humanity in the workplace I am. As one called upon to deliver high performing teams, I’ve made some observations of those around me and, perhaps most notably, of myself.


As a participant and spectator of employee performance, I’ve come to draw a distinction between self-doubt and low self-esteem. It would appear a low self-esteem is characterized when a person has a poor opinion of themselves. This plague of poor self-esteem seems to be ever-present, or at a minimum is the general perspective the sufferer lives with. Self-doubt, on the other hand, is more transient in nature, rearing its self-limiting thought pattern periodically, usually associated with a particular task or assignment. Self-doubt is appropriately named, doubt generated from oneself and not from the environment. Although in nearly every situation I’ve observed the self-doubter attributing their sense of limitation upon some circumstance outside of their control. Self-doubt is not done to you, but rather by you. Doubting oneself is the ego’s way of maintaining the status quo, a place of security free from the fear of failure, which is a mental illusion.

"Self-doubt is not done to you, but rather by you."

Gaining the upper hand on self-limiting thinking, although simple in formula, does take practice. Here it is; become the quiet observer of your thoughts, as though you were sitting in a stadium watching a football game. By simply observing your thoughts you slow down the runaway train of cerebration and become the objective observer. As the observer, you gain control and bring objective reasoning to your mind. You are to control your mind, not be controlled by your mind, which seeks its status quo.


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