trust: firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
doubt: a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction
When you compare the definitions of these two words, it is easy to see why it is much more happifying to set your personal default to trust.
Doubt is one of those feelings that leaves us second guessing ourselves into an unsettled state that only leaves us feeling even more doubtful.
Like cells that have their own growth cycle, doubt undergoes different phases or stages. As cells multiply, there are checkpoints at the end of each stage of growth to make sure that the last stage is fully completed before moving to the next stage.
When we find ourselves at the end of a growth cycle or at one of life’s crossroads, let your checkpoints be governed by trust, not doubt.
Questions of doubt:
Should I accept the new job offer?
Should I move across the country to a town where no one knows me?
Should I adopt a new pet?
Should I go back to school?
Should I break up with my boyfriend?
Should I . . . ? Notice how all of these doubts are foreshadowed by should.
Re-frame with statements of trust:
What if we were to re-frame these same questions with statements of trust? Notice what happens when you replace should with am and will:
I am ready to start a new career.
I am brave enough to go on a moving adventure.
My life will be so enriched by adopting a new pet.
By returning to school, I will learn so many amazing things.
I am ready to honor my own preferences and become independent.
Give doubt a shovel and it will bury your hopes and scatter your strength. It is far more harmful and damaging than we give it credit for. As we spend time doubting, we spin our wheels and allow opportunities to breeze by . . . even when they are exactly what we have been hoping to meet. We think that by doing nothing, we are honoring our preferences . . . but are we? Are we truly?
A Positive Challenge:
The next time you hear yourself doubting yourself or prefacing a sentence with I should or I shouldn’t, maybe you are merely at the end of a growth cycle and you find yourself at one of life’s checkpoints. Please, be kind to yourself for feeling a little uneasy about launching yourself into the next growth stage. It’s natural to wonder about the possibilities at these checkpoints. Take a deep breath, eradicate any and all doubt, and replace it with a Trust Statement. Say it out loud. And repeat it as needed. Imagine what life would look like and feel like if you trusted yourself more than you doubted yourself.
As my mentor Scott would say: You’ve got this!