Dancing with Demons and Self Doubt

Dancing with Demons and Self Doubt

Have you ever had that feeling of hesitation, when you question your entire thought process and wonder what the hell you are doing?  I have these moments quite frequently. I struggle with self-doubt and find it difficult to trust decisions in which my wellbeing is at stake, ironic given that I consider myself an expert at “reading” other people. This has not transferred in any real tangible way to myself and I often find myself in the most uncomfortable of situations over and over again.  As the old adage says, we often miss what is right under our nose.


“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”

― Bertrand Russell


This may be a side effect of being one that is a constant state of information retrieval and analysis. I tend to always see conflict as a fault of my own. I wonder how I could have not seen or understood what was unfolding, ignoring all of the warning signs. I also wonder why I could not ease the conflict in a peaceful way. It is tough trusting others, hence the reason why I have so few close and intimate relationships. I don’t want to hurt anyone by something I do or say, that would be incredibly painful for me. You guessed it; I am a people pleaser of the highest sort and try to minimize any potential pain I might cause another. I risk assess most things and quite frankly have to ward against my inner dialogue constantly telling me to play it safe.


“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.”

― René Descartes


A healthy level of doubt is prudent when seeking truths and testing theories. In mysticism, questioning is an important part of the spiritual journey. The only truth being that the answer will always be found in the questions. The area in which doubt can become insidious is with self. Self-doubt can lead to a lack of confidence and a constant hesitation when making important decisions. How can one possibly risk assess an entire life? Mistakes will be made, people will get hurt and goals will not be met. It is the nature of living a full life.


In so far as my study of mysticism, I have found a healthy level of doubt to be useful.  It is very rare that I doubt the bigger unknowns of the universe; I have said before that I possess a comfort with sitting in this space of the unknown, not having to have all the answers.  When I do find something that makes me take pause, I spend a bit more time ruminating over it.  Introspection is one mechanism in which I visit doubt and come to some resolution within.  It is rarely an outward experience or one that I seek counsel for.  It is most often internal and very much my own exploration of information.


“Truly embracing the fragility and tensions of life…brings with it the possibility of true joy.”

― Peter Rollins


When experiencing any measure of doubt, try not to let that color your view of the outcome. Doubt is our internal checks and balance system and one that should not be ignored.  Doubt does not mean that you have ventured down the wrong path or chosen the wrong door. It simply means that you must create space to explore the reasons and fears behind your doubt.  This self-study may lead to some painful truths.  You may even discover that you alone have taken ownership of a number of fears and misgivings that have no merit in actuality. This realization is a lesson in of itself. Hear it, trust your intuition and keep moving. All will be known in due time and all will be as it should.


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