How to Overcome Self-Doubt When You are in a Challenging Situation

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will

– Suzy Kassen

Self-doubt used to be my best friend. She enjoyed hanging out with me. She talked a lot. She loved voicing her opinion even though I didn’t ask for it.

She was like a security blanket. She kept me warm and comfortable on my old cozy bed. She was too intense sometimes. Especially, when I am traveling to places that I’ve never been before. I wanted to get away from her. I tried many things, like ignoring her, but when I did that, her voice gets louder. I didn’t know what to do. Until one day, my son showed me how.

Losing Gifts in Your Own Home

A few years ago, we were invited to our friends Christmas dinner party, who lived 10 minutes away from our house. At the party, my son, who was five, received Christmas presents, unexpected. He was delighted! After saying goodbye we went home. It was late for my son. When we arrived, he went straight to sleep.

The next morning, out of the blue, I heard my son cried. I rushed to him and asked, “What’s wrong?”.

“I lost all of my gifts from last night…I can’t find them.” He said while catching his breath from crying. He was devastated. Imagine, waking up excited about the gifts, ready to open them, but suddenly could not find them anywhere.

I was certain we carried them home last night. But to make sure, I asked him again. “Did you carry them home?”

He said, still with tears on his eyes, “Yes, I saw daddy carried them in a bag with him.”

Feeling relief, I said, “Well, if you can’t find them, it doesn’t mean you lose them. Your Christmas gifts are here somewhere in our house. Why don’t you take more time to look for them again.”

Ten minutes later, he found what he was searching.

The Lesson

How often in our life we think we are missing something and frantically looking for it elsewhere? It could be in the form of a skill, experience, resource; or courage, confidence, and even, love.

You may not have the exact skills and experience for a new role or something new you want to do, but you always have relevant skills and experience from the past that you can leverage. Unless you are a newborn baby, you’ve never started anything from a zero skill and experience.

In dealing with a challenging situation, the first step you need to do is to be still, be in silence and remember where you stored your courage, remember the last time you showed up with confidence and which closet you hid your love and strength.

When you don’t see them, it doesn’t mean they are missing. You just need to take time to search them within. Not out there.

If you are looking for clarity on your path, if you feel anxious, doubt about your ability, remember you don’t lose it out there, you still have it within. Get familiar with the rooms, spaces, and storage

you have in your house.

Get to know yourself. Every single part of you. Inside out. Get to know yourself beyond your analysis and self-labeling of good or bad, right or wrong, accepted or not accepted, enough or not good enough.

As the famous Rumi wrote in his poem,

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there."

I’ll add to that:

Beyond what you search out there

there is a place called home.

Where you sleep, eat, rest, 

and store your gifts, wisdom and courage.

When the MIND RESTS in this home, 

Everything HIDDEN will be VISIBLE.


My friend, Self-Doubt, never goes away. But she changed. I changed her. She doesn’t speak as loud as before. Out of her concern; I know she means well; she expresses her opinion. But I’ve learned, when I start hearing her voice it’s time for me to search inside. All my gifts, my toolbox, are stored in the house within. The first thing I do is to locate them before I search elsewhere.

My friend, Self-Doubt, has become a guide that reminds me who I really am and how much abundance I have within me.

Other Posts

What It Takes to be The Greatest Version of Yourself
A Reactive Approach to Stress is Like Fighting a Forest Fire – Do This Instead
The Art of Overcoming Obstacles

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