My doubt comes down to one thing, the inability to trust myself. I doubt because I can’t trust.
It is this inability to trust myself that causes me to always seek out reassurance. Thriving on external affirmation, I always look for that gold star of approval. “Reassure me!” I implore. Strangely, I trust this doubt-born reassurance more than anything else.
Yet no amount of “patting on the back” will ever fill this hunger to be self-assured. An insecurity is an insecurity, no matter how great, no matter how small, but it is up to you to recognize it and act upon that knowledge.
Philip Lopate writes, “Strangely enough, doubt need not impede action. If you really become friends with your doubt, you can go ahead and take risks, knowing you will be questioning yourself at every turn, no matter what.”
So I won’t let my doubt cripple me anymore. I’ll befriend my doubt by not trusting it over the confidence that I know lies within me. And I’ll reinforce that by saying this: “Don’t reassure me. I’ll reassure myself.”
For more reflections on doubt I highly recommend reading Philip Lopate’s “The Essay, an Exercise in Doubt” in full. His honesty helped me tremendously in writing this post.