I read something the other day about how indecision is potentially our greatest threat. It made me wonder, How much does self-doubt impact my life?
I remember realizing that my life was in a state of perpetual indecision when I was 29. It was filled with questioning when it came to just about everything:
Should I stay with the company I’m with, or should I leave?
Should I get another degree? An MBA? A law degree? Or both?
Should I marry this guy? What if he doesn’t want to marry me?
Should I get what I want for lunch? Or should I try to be healthy and eat a salad?
What should I wear today?
I wasn’t sure about anything. Every decision, big and small, was plagued with angst and doubt.
After having that realization, I made a conscious effort to be more decisive. I started making more decisions and stopped second-guessing them. The angst disappeared.
I thought all that indecisiveness was behind me, yet around the same time that I read the article, I discovered something I wrote that I never published because I wasn’t sure about it.
I drafted it in 2012.
For the record, it’s now 2017. That’s five years that piece was sitting around, initially abandoned because of doubt and ultimately forgotten until I came across it while looking for something else.
And that’s in spite of the fact that I’ve been wanting to write more and publish more that entire time.
The true cost of self-doubt is high: It’s life as we want it. When we doubt ourselves, we risk never seeing anything through to completion, leaving ideas on the table, projects unfinished, dreams unfulfilled.
And it isn’t just about accomplishment either; it also impacts our energy. Our energy is depleted making the same decisions over and over, instead of moving forward.
Everything we do, big or small, either fuels more hesitation, or helps us move beyond it.
So I took that post and wrote and edited and did whatever I needed to do to be able to hit ‘publish’. (It turned into this. Now let’s just say I have a few more to go.)
Are you feeding your doubt, or facing it?