Shadows of Doubt – The Plague of Self Doubt


Isn’t it interesting that, on the verge of writing the portion of Shadows of Doubt on self-doubt, I am struck with a major case of self-doubt?! It occurs to me that this is a perfect opportunity to describe what the process looks like for me, for self-doubt is something I continue to deal with, even after some time as a sober person.

A friend wrote his thoughts about doubt. I compared myself to him… my words to his words, my thoughts to his thoughts, and judged mine as less than his. I became paralyzed to write the blog. My confidence slipped, which led to a lowered self-esteem. Then, I doubted myself even more, and the spiral continued.

While in the throes of musing about my words for the blog, I came to a realization. I realized that while I bemoan the fact that I compare myself to others because my father always did that to me, I don’t need him any more. I compare myself quite nicely, thank you, without his help. So, the one more appropriate to bemoan is myself.

I have learned to realize that I am powerless over the ability to stop comparing and judging myself, that only God can restore me to sanity. I make the conscious decision to let God help me. Then, I am asked to look at what is behind my habit of comparing myself. Is it fear that I am not good enough? Probably some of that, a lot of that, perhaps.

So I talk with someone about my feelings, my realization. Then I need to become willing to have God remove that habit of comparing myself to others, which involves becoming humble. Once humble, I can ask God to remove my compulsion of comparing myself. I realize I have hurt myself by doing this and I apologize to any I have hurt, including myself, and try to change my behavior.

Changing my behavior involves spot checking myself during the day to identify those times when the compulsion to compare myself crops up and I ask God to remove it at once. Over time, if I do this, God may remove this character flaw. But He removes things in His own time and it may not go away right away if, by sharing about my struggle, it may be of use to others.

Then, I continue to build my relationship with God, and I go help another. And this is how I have learned to live my life… with everything. It gets tiring at times. Yet, there are rewards to this process that are indescribable. And, I have had many compulsions lifted.

I came to the realization last night that my friend and I are writing about two different things. He is writing more generally about the topic, where it takes you, etc., while I am writing because I am telling the story of my book, which is my story. To compare is to compare apples and oranges. Suddenly, I feel free, and able to write my own darn blog!



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