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Navigating Self-Doubt

Unstick from Difficult Thoughts and Feelings

October 13, 2022

Do you relate to any of these? 

Walking into (or out of!) a meeting, unsure of what you have to contribute. 

Replaying a conversation with a friend, wishing you had said something different. 

Interviewing for a new job and questioning if you’re really qualified for the duties. 


If you’re human, you’ve experienced it. So the more interesting question is: What do you do with doubt when it arrives? To make it easier, let's try a multiple choice format.

When you feel doubt, do you: 

a) Run away

b) Make the doubt go away

c) Let it belong


Let's break these down.

a) Run away 

This includes numbing, distracting, tuning out, avoiding. “What, I’ve been scrolling TikTok for 2 hours!!!” "Wait, is this my 3rd glass of wine?" Or you have a sudden, compulsive need to clean your house and reorganize your closet. 

b) Make the doubt go away

This can take a few forms. The first is when we do battle with the doubt, going toe-to-toe with our insecurity. This includes challenging our negative thinking, searching for disconfirming evidence that shows our competence, or even just calling bullshit on ourselves. This requires a lot of thinking and analyzing, which can sometimes ensnare us.

The second form is seeking validation from outside, looking for someone else to tell us we're okay, so we can quiet the feeling of doubt. 

c) Let it belong

What would happen if you just let your doubt belong? If you didn’t have to fix it, change it, or make it go away? What if you could just let it exist, without it having to mean anything or without you having to do anything?

"But Lucy," you might ask, "how do I even do that?"

Great question. Imagine you are snuggled in a comfy, cozy chair, deep in your belly. You hear a knock at the door. Because you are far too comfortable to get up, you yell “come in,” and in walks Doubt.

Picture Doubt.

Say hello.

Be open and curious to what Doubt might have to say.


Can you allow yourself to welcome in Doubt, and invite her to sit down with you?

And then I want you to telescope out from Doubt and see who else is there with you two: Anxiety? Fear? Excitement? Joy? Loneliness? Confidence?

Can you hold a space large enough for it ALL to belong, and can you soften around all of this with warmth and compassion? 



So which path do you want to take?

I pick option c.

Let it all belong

Options a and b tend to be more popular, but I have become incredibly fond of the third option: letting our doubt belong.

The first two require a lot of work and effort. When we let our doubt (or any other emotion) belong, it becomes far more simple.

It just is.

And I notice that my nervous system (and those of my clients) settles much more quickly when we can let our feelings belong, holding them with kindness and compassion, rather than doing acrobatics to ignore or get rid of them. 

I’ll gladly trade overthinking and frantic efforts to avoid for even a small dose of peace and ease

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The Good Stuff

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