Thursday, September 9, 2010


I have discussed self-doubt with a few of my friends. I only really thought about it because last month I was helping in a Primary class. During the class the kids (age 5) were taking turns drawing on the board things they are grateful for. One of the younger boys got up and started to draw, with the chalk still pressed to the board, he said, “I can’t do this, I am horrible at this!” This stopped his progress, is it any wonder the Lord commanded us to “...doubt not, fear not.”

This experience made me consider when, how, and why we let doubt enter into our beings? We were not born with doubt. As a matter of fact one my graphic design teachers one day asked us to draw our peer across from us without looking at the paper we were drawing on. As we did so our results were less then desirable, and we laughed at our drawings, instantly critiquing their many faults and many students did not want to show their drawings to anyone. Our teacher then told us that younger children don’t feel ashamed to show their drawings in similar situations. They are proud of what they did and are excited to share it with anyone and everyone. He shared the study with us as a means to tell us that we should not be afraid to try anything fearing that it might turn out bad. We should consider all creative solutions and dismiss none.

What I take from it in context of self-doubt is that self-doubt is acquired. Which makes me consider the source of it, and why we let it take a place in ourselves. One source seems to be fear of what people will think of the results of our efforts. What if we fail? How will we compare or be compared? It is easier to doubt yourself than believe.

Last semester I was taking a vocal instruction class. The teacher planned a concert for the students of her various classes to perform if they so desired. I decided that I would not because I assumed that all those preforming would be significantly better then me and I would be just a poor spot on an otherwise great program. I attended said concert, and was impressed by the talents or bravery of each of the students. I had wished that I would have decided to go out a limb. I know that each one of the students that did, learned from the experience, and stretched towards their various levels of potential.

I wonder what kind of unrealized potential the everyday person never achieves because of self-doubt. I wonder how many more Einsteins, Monets, or Mozarts there would be if we would not doubt ourselves?

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