A Year Ago Today: A Mind Journey into Self Doubt

As in the title of the stunning painting by Jakub Kujawa, this post is used material. I wrote this last December for my tumblr. I’m trying to recall what I was feeling then, what inspired these words. A dream apparently. I can just about remember having that one. But… sometimes why we wrote something at a certain time and what we were trying to say to ourselves then is not as relevant as what I am trying to tell myself now – Why did I end up on this old post and decide to post it here now? Is present me trying to use the words of a ghost of me past to tell me something which I need to know now?
When I read what I’ve written in the past and what I write in the present, I am always aware of a subtext. There are key phrases and words which vibrate with more meaning than how they are being used. I can hear myself talking to myself through my words, sometimes saying things which have very little to do with what I’m writing about. I do this with the words of others too, look for the subtext. It’s a fascinating layer with conversation and writing.
Just skimming through this, the paragraph about deleting my old Facebook, Twitter, and tumblr accounts stands out, there is something odd about it as though it does not really belong in this post even if it sort of goes with the other paragraphs around it. I considered removing it for the repost. That’s when I knew it was the key message from me to me, and why I ended up on this post. It connects the past with the present, the past is there to shed light on some questions I am simmering in my mind now. Hmmm…
Sometimes following a train of thoughts leads to unexpected places. And sometimes it just goes around in a circle and ends up where it started. Or does it. Has the starting point changed somehow. In a subtle way. Perhaps. Perhaps not.
I am very much a mental creature. I love thinking. There is no such thing as thinking too much in my world. Unless those thoughts are anxious, then I wish they would shut up. But even they have valuable insights to impart to those unafraid to look into the panic room.

I am very much an emotional creature too. My mind does rule over my heart, but it doesn’t overrule my heart. It guides it. It reminds it of those things which are truly important, and those which are not, when my emotions are so strong that they threaten everything and everyone around me.

I had a dream last night in which I was very angry at someone for allowing the roots of a tree to grow so far that they threatened the foundations of their home before they did something about it. The tree in question was a dream tree, not a real one. I love trees. But this tree was a tree of self doubt. The person I was angry at was myself. For allowing my self doubt to grow large enough to threaten the foundations of my being. It’s always been that way. I am a very doubtful creature too. But recently I’ve been allowed to observe my doubts from a safe distance, and get some perspective on them. Punch some holes in their fabric. They’ll always be a part of me, and in some ways they help me, keep me flexible, don’t allow me to become rigid or arrogant. But there is a fine balance. And for a long time I lived in their shadow. They were huge, and I was tiny and insignificant. Things are changing. Hopefully for the better and not the worse. Either way, they are changing with or without my cooperation.

Change is in the air for everyone. All my friends seem to be having their lives turned upside down. The world seems to be in upheaval. I think it’s positive, but it’s hard to tell. Change is a blessing and a catastrophe all at once.

This time last year I was a lurker on the internet. I didn’t engage. I just surfed all on my lonesome. I liked it that way, I’m a natural hermit. But I was curious about social media. It seemed fun, but way beyond my capabilities. I have always seen myself as being too weird to interact with other humans. Interacting with humans has always been calamitous and awkward for me. I tried, but my trying always appeared to be trying to others.

A very good friend gave me a Twitter account and a Facebook account as a Christmas gift. I was a bit befuddled as to what I should do with them. So, I ignored them for a while. Then curiosity, and a need to challenge myself, pushed me to experiment. I slowly began to learn, and enjoy this new and fascinating world. I made many mistakes, but I also made many new friends who amazingly seemed to like me. It was life changing.

To make a long story as short as is possible for someone who likes to go on and on… I have changed significantly over the past year. In ways I never thought were possible. And I have been blessed by meeting some very awesome beings thanks to social media.

I don’t have a Facebook account anymore. I deleted it. I’m not suited to the format. But Twitter I adore. Although I did delete my old Twitter and create a new one. It was necessary. Like a snake shedding a skin which no longer fits. I love my old Twitter, and I am grateful for the things it taught me, but it belongs to the me that I was then. My new Twitter is a more accurate representation of the me I am now. The same applies to tumblr. I love my old tumblr, but this one is more me. If that makes sense.

Social media has taught me a lot about myself, helped me in many ways, and it has allowed me to face my self doubts in a way that has enabled me to understand them, and their purpose for existing. It is a strangely beautiful experience.

If you doubt yourself. Don’t worry about it. Don’t try to fight it. Fighting doubts makes them grow stronger. They feed on the energy. It is like fertiliser. If you can, try and observe the doubt. What is it saying to you about yourself. You may be surprised at what it has to say, underneath what it seems to be saying.

So, What are your self doubts, and what do you think their gift to you is?


  1. Loved that image of a tree of self doubt growing in the mind…doubt leaves me open to question other realities and shows me my way of thinking isn’t the only one.. in that way as you say it keeps me less rigid and more open to uncertainties and possibilities..

    However doubt can be an undermining energy at times when it tries to undo things or desires I have. It seems to me an important skill to develop our inward listening ear and tune into our guts or instincts to trust what I know to be true. Animals don’t have this problem. They intuitively know. The healer Peter Levine talks about this in his books on animals and trauma. In his book In An Unspoken Voice he explains how in our body we actually have more receptors sending messages back to the brain from the guts than we have going the other way. One of the problems of our rational culture is that we allow our brains to override instinctive and intuitive signals. When we are abused we learn to doubt and may be told what we feel, think, see or perceive didn’t happen that way or didn’t happen at all.

    Doubt could and does provide a protection against predators and if we have learned to be more discriminating, at times its healthier to doubt than to be more trusting.. Its interesting as I just read a beautiful book called Healing Through the Dark Emotions and she speaks about how in our culture we try to deny fear but then we leave ourselves open to threat. To have some fear or doubt is a good thing.. I guess it is in some way related to developing our powers of questioning and discrimination.


    • Very true! This particular post always stirs up doubt in me. I almost deleted it. That’s why I like it, even if it is a bit messy 😉

      Somewhere a long time ago I realised that everything was an energy. Humans label these energies – Anger, doubt, fear, love, hope – which is useful but can cause us to then solidify them because we like to prepare ourselves thus we create a list of reactions to have when a certain energy rises up. So we say – when I feel doubt I should squash it. When I feel fear I should run away or face it. When I feel anger I should react this way not that way – and so on. If that makes sense. We get stuck in the rules of engagement with certain energies and forget to reassess our own rules.

      The other day I came up against one of my rules when an energy rose up, and I paused and reviewed my protocol for dealing with it and changed it for that situation. Which worked out rather well and had I stuck to my original course of action I wouldn’t have found out what I did, which was new information gathered and thus an old habit has died and a new one is born. Something along those lines.

      So doubt is awful at times, but at other times it is useful. That’s why assessing the moment and the elements of this particular moment is helpful, because so much of the now is based on assessment of past moments.

      Same applies to fear, and to all other energies. yes, they can be negative, but they can also be positive, and both at the same time. We need to wire our systems to know what the energy right here right now is all about.

      Still working on this. And it’s complicated because we’re not robots 😉


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