Self-doubt and a new year

If you’re anything like me, you struggle with self-doubt.

For me, its roots lie in fourth grade. I was adjusting to a new (small) town, and getting used to wearing glasses, with difficulty, to say the least. As a result, I had some major issues that came out in the classroom, and those led to even more difficulty with my teacher.

I’m not saying she was a bad teacher, but some of the things she said got stuck in my mind and wouldn’t leave. Those comments, perhaps made out of frustration on her part, became accusations and devaluations to me. Things some of the other kids said helped to solidify those thoughts. Eventually, I came to accept and reinforce them myself.

Self-doubt can take many forms. For some, it is perfectionism. If I do this thing over and over again until I get it perfect, maybe then I will be able to accept myself. For others, it is a lackadaisical attitude that accepts whatever comes along. For others, it is voluntary subjugation. They will not accept anything more than the absolute minimum from anyone.

As this new year begins, let us move beyond self-doubt. We are too gifted, too valuable to impose limitations on ourselves.

Michael Terry

Michael is a follower of Christ, an Eagle Scout, and a graduate of the University of North Texas; a son, brother, and friend; a lifelong student and occasional teacher. He started writing in high school.