I can almost guarantee the majority of you reading this would agree with the question posed. We are repeatedly conditioned to believe that having doubt means ‘don’t’. Be it from early childhood or adulthood, social media or those around us, we learn that experiencing feelings of doubt means the decision we are about to make must mean something’s wrong.
As a Life and Wellness Coach, I encounter many layers of doubt and the uncertainly that holds us back and have learned that doubt is often mistaken as ‘gut feelings/intuition’. However, when broken down we can also refer to doubt as fear, fear of making the wrong decision.
I frequently encounter three types of fears that we meet throughout life; they are ‘What If?’, ‘Rock the Boat’ and ‘It’s Time to Go’ fears.
‘What If’ fears typically sound like ‘What if I’m not good enough?’ ‘What if I’m doing something that isn’t worth it in the long run?’ or the reoccurring question ‘What if I’m feeling like this because he/she isn’t the one?’ These fears are future based and generally focus on something that is unknown to the individual and are rather illogical. Most individuals will come across these fears during their lives, however the more self-examining a person typically is, the more ‘What If’ fears are present.
‘Rock the Boat’ fears exist when we don’t want to do something in trepidation of the consequence. These are things like not telling someone they’ve hurt your feelings or disappointed you when they consistently cancel plans or make a casual comment that you’ve taken personally. You may let it slide because you’re nervous they’ll end the friendship or because it’s easier to keep the peace. Or maybe you’ve not stood up to your boss when they set an unrealistic expectation out of fear you’ll be labeled undedicated or uncooperative. Maybe you’ve not told your significant other how hurt you felt over an action or remark they made in fear of not wanting to start an argument.
By not wanting to ‘Rock the Boat’ these fears ultimately make an individual say ‘No’ to what they want in favour of pleasing others.
Lastly, ‘It’s Time to Go’ fears are red flags and don’t accompany an internal question as they’re immediate and logical. Red flag fears can be entering into or participating in something that goes against your core values or situations where your personal safety is at risk or in danger. These situations are your body’s ‘fight or flight mode’ and are easily identifiable.
Doubt/fear needn’t be controlling and can serve positive purpose, leading to many significant constructive transformations (personal and professional). Whenever fear based thoughts creep in I urge you to challenge them until you understand them, but also permit yourself to leave ‘Red Flag’ situations.
Remember, every doubt/fear allows you the opportunity to discover more about yourself and what it is you truly want which adds up to living a life of your creation!