Doubts Happen To Good People Too


What have you learned from the hard things that you have been forced to handle? What do your doubts and fears help you to recognize in yourself?

For me, challenges have most often taught me what I am able to accomplish even when I did not think I would be able to do it. Once I am successful, it invariably makes me wonder why I ever doubted myself in the first place.  However, the next time the unknown comes along, it can seem just as daunting as the last time.  I am always doubtful of my potential for success until I have specific evidence of my ability to perform the task. So this happens more often than not.

No matter how often it happens, the doubt still arises in the face of uncertainty.  It also does not matter whether the task is big or small. I was once challenged to stack six small dice on the broad side of a popsicle stick while holding the stick between my teeth. I immediately felt that it would be an impossible task. However, given that the stakes for success and failure were low, it made it easy for me to want to try my hand at the activity. I remember being surprised when I was actually able to do it on my first attempt.

Doubt is something that comes to us all. Each person has some degree of uncertainty around their ability to complete a task that they have never done before. For each of us, this doubt can be a hindrance if we let it.  There is however, a way to address it. You can start by determining whether or not your feelings of uncertainty arise on a consistent basis. Is there a pattern that allows you to identify a possible way to tackle it? Does it only happen with certain type of tasks or when the stakes are higher or lower?  Having that level of awareness of yourself gives you a stronger idea on how best to tackle it.

For me, I know that if I am going to have a chance of tackling anything that is new to me, I have to be willing to break it down into smaller steps. This takes my mind away from how big the new thing is. It reduces the chances that I will feel overwhelmed and will then become stalled in my attempt to analyze from every angle. Taking this approach helps me. It also allows me to disrupt my tendency to use the pursuit of perfectionism as an excuse that keeps me away from taking action.

In summary, when doubt arises in our minds it often helps if we are willing to take the action that we need to, in spite of the uncertainty. To keep me on track in these circumstances, I have started adopting the phrase, Do It Anyway. I learned that phrase from Mel Robbins, the author of the book The 5 Second Rule. So making the decision to do what needs to be done and then following through on it, is an approach that has worked for me. What is your approach to dealing with the situation?


Marjorie Wharton is a trainer, facilitator and coach who works with individuals and organizations to help them improve their performance.  She is based at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.  For more of her writing visit

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