​Doubt is common to survivors and grew exponentially from the very first time we were abused.We had no choice you see but to doubt ourselves, because we couldn’t afford to doubt the abuser. Why? Because we needed them.

Let me explain: They were family, which meant we couldn’t afford for them to be wrong, we were children after all. Or they were friends of the family which typically meant our parents/caregivers had entrusted us to them. (I have not included stranger abuse which accounts for 7% of sexual abuse statistics).

Do you see the dilemma? In neither situation could we trust our instinct which had us doubting the wrongness of what was happening.

Depending on our mindset and conditioning, doubt can appear occasionally or often.

I think it’s safe to assume no one likes feeling it, but there are some benefits as well.

It helps us to:

  • Question our decisions in detail
  • Clarify where we are at
  • Determine whether our course of action is needed
  • Create necessary questions around our process

Though helpful to know, read the fine print – ‘As, if left to run amok, doubt will lead us straight to either one of two files: procrastination or delete’.

Recently I’ve had cause to doubt what I always assumed was valued; my skill set at work. This came out of left field and I didn’t welcome it one bit.

Being able to sit with it, move through the fear of it and allow myself to notice the impact of it was confronting and uncomfortable, and put me in a place I’m not usually in – confusion.

What I realised, once I emerged from panic mode was that I needed to

  • Self-check
  • Check the facts
  • Consider the agenda of the informant
  • Ask a trusted 3rd party

Interesting that all it took, was a conversation with someone who doubted me, to start me doubting myself.

It wasn’t till I spoke to someone much more qualified and objective that I realised my instincts had been right all along, but wow, did I allow myself to get taken on a roller coaster ride.

Can you see where it all begins or began? Right at the start, when what was happening to us felt wrong, but because it continued and we couldn’t speak, we then doubted who we were.

Looking back, I recognise the value of the doubt, but for those 24 hours (I’m talking about work now), I was not thrilled.

I could so easily have chosen not to But I didn’t, for some reason I had to go down the path of ‘beat myself up’ till I did a U turn.

Once headed in the right direction, I checked –

  • What I really believed about myself
  • My resilience in the face of others doubt
  • The words I used to allay others concerns; and
  • The integrity I needed to stay true to myself

The answers did come, and they are there for all of us should we need them.

Don’t procrastinate rather If doubt comes knocking at the door; Look through the peephole and check it out. It usually wears 3 different suits;

  1. You start feeling unsure about why you are doing something
  2. You wonder if you really are the right person to take charge
  3. You suspect you’ve got it wrong.

One of the best ways to check if it has merit, is to run the scenario by a trusted family member or friend. Not someone with an agenda, someone who believes in you. Usually we find people that love us, will support what we are capable of, VS undermining us and then causing the doubt to move to into top gear.

Another way is to check in with yourself around the last time you doubted yourself, what happened, was the outcome what you imagined or did it all work out. The best way to recognise whether this is just your anxiety is to check your own history about where your thinking typically leads you.

A good pros and cons list work well to confirm your decision to proceed or not.

These are all practical tips, but at the end of the day, you need to be sure that you are comfortable with the worst-case scenario.

Regardless of what you decide about yourself and this Doubt character, most of who you are is of such value, you can’t even see it.

But I can

And so can others who love you.

Enjoy your week

Please feel free to like, comment or share this post.

Gloria Masters
Gloria Masters
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  • Avatar
    Marc Fisk
    Posted at 18:11h, 09 September Reply

    Great blog Gloria. It is so important to have people you can go to get get a spiritual top up!!

    • Gloria Masters
      Gloria Masters
      Posted at 19:36h, 09 September Reply

      Thanks Marc, agreed. If we didn’t have others to check in with, I think we would struggle a lot more.

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