Doubt may be my constant companion, but it will NEVER be my master.
When discussing a word it always helps to understand its origin. The word doubt comes from the Old French douter from the Latin dubitare – which means “to hesitate, waiver”. A concept of fear was attached to the word’s meaning in its Old French incarnation and that meaning made its way into the English definition. (Online Etymology Dictionary)
A modern definition is: “to be uncertain, consider questionable or unlikely, hesitate to believe, to distrust, to fear or be apprehensive about.”
The fact is that we live in a world full of uncertainty. Some doubt is normal and natural. The trouble comes when doubt paralyzes; when you take up residence in a constant state of doubt. When that happens you find it hard to move on to acceptance or trust.
Doubt has long been recognized as an obstacle to growth or progress. Buddha named doubt one of the Five Hindrances that prevent enlightenment. Modern psychotherapy has developed cognitive and behavioral approaches to dealing with doubt. Many motivational speakers and teachers encourage us to find ways to overcome doubt.
Doubt has also occasionally been a stepping stone to deeper understanding such as in the case of the Christian Apostle Thomas. He required rational proof of Jesus’ post-Crucifixion appearances and even had to see the holes in Jesus’ hands to believe. Some rationalists extol doubt as a necessary part of weighing evidence and coming to a rational conclusion based upon it.
So, given these differing views of doubt, how can you come to terms with it and use it? I’m not sure it’s healthy or productive to try to remove doubt from your life. It is a natural part of being human. What you can do is make peace with it and use to your advantage.
My answer is to let a focused doubt run wild in your life! Doubt your weaknesses, doubt your fears, doubt your doubts. Just never doubt yourself.
Doubt is not the challenge. The challenge is what you choose to focus your doubt on. The tendency is to doubt the good things about yourself or your circumstances and believe the “realistic” or negative aspects. Turn that on its head by using “the power of doubt” to eat away at your obstacles and challenges rather than your dreams and your belief.
Why fight this natural human tendency when by directing it appropriately you can use it as a tool to improve your circumstances? So become a doubter of every negative, disempowering thought you think and watch your positives grow.
“I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!”
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