How you cope with doubtful thoughts and feelings affects your whole future – not to mention your present experience! What do you do when doubt fills your mind and overwhelms your emotions? Your ability to move through doubt determines whether you fail or succeed.
Doubting is normal, no matter what you believe in or how strong your belief is. There’s a natural tension between hope and faith, trust and security. My tips on what to do when doubt fills your mind will help you grow forward – whether you’re doubting your job, relationship, parenting skills, future plans or even your faith.
As a writer, I struggle with self-doubt all the time. What if my books or articles are offensive, uninspiring, dry or boring? In five years will I regret what I wrote? Probably! Sometimes I regret what I wrote earlier today. I’ve also written articles that can’t possibly include everything I want to say, such as What to Remember When You Feel Like No One Cares. So, this article (originally called “When Doubt Fills Your Mind” but I doubted myself and changed the title) is for all of us. We believe but we doubt.
I was inspired to write this article when I read the words “when doubts filled my mind” in Psalm 94. That writer said “your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
And that, my friend, is what we have to do when doubts fill our mind. We need to find renewed hope and cheer by seeking comfort and support. The good news is that there’s an endless supply of hope and cheer! Starting right here at She Blossoms; I send free weekly Blossom Tips to encourage and inspire women who want to move forward in life.
The dictionary definition of doubt is “to lack confidence, to consider unlikely.” This applies to everything! You may doubt your ability to:
- Be happy…or even joyful!
- Save your relationship or marriage.
- Get the job of your dreams.
- Write a book.
- Have a family.
- Get physically healthy.
- Overcome grief, loss, or depression.
- Have a real relationship with God.
- Forgive yourself.
- Find peace.
The reason you feel overwhelmed when doubt fills your mind is because you know the truth: you can’t do it alone. Whatever you want in life—the job of your dreams, happy relationship, solid faith, physical and spiritual health—is impossible to achieve by yourself.
If you struggle with self-doubt, you are normal. If you’re overwhelmed with doubts about your faith, you’re human. And that means that others have not only experienced the same doubts and fears, they’ve learned ways to cope.
I know what to do when you doubt what you believe.
When Doubt Fills Your Mind
These Blossom Tips for the Doubtful apply to all types of doubt, ranging from faith to future plans, love to long-term goals, career to coping with a crisis at work or home. Work through these steps to dealing with the doubts that fill your mind and threaten to destroy everything you believe in.
Let me know how you’re dealing with doubtful thoughts and emotions in the comments section below! You matter, and your opinions are important.
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Know where your doubt comes from
Everyone struggles with resistance, not just writers and artists. Steven Pressfield made this concept famous in The War of Art, but the truth is that humans have struggled with doubt since the beginning of time. Whether we were inventing wheels or founding cities, creating works of art or walking on the moon for the first time, we doubted ourselves.
When doubt fills your mind you’re dealing with one of the devil’s oldest tricks in the book! Literally. Satan asked Eve, “did God really say that?” in the Garden of Eden. Doubt is normal, but it’s not good.
Doubt makes us lack confidence in God and our beliefs. Doubt destroys our relationships and hinders our ability to move forward in faith. Doubt is a killer of heart, mind and soul…and doubt comes directly from the enemy.
Read Recreating and Replanting with Eve – Growing Forward to learn how Eve coped with death and doubt…and how she blossomed into who God created her to be.
Know how doubt affects you
When I doubt my abilities as a writer and blogger, I don’t write or blog. When doubt fills my mind, I feel paralyzed. When I start doubting who I am—a child of God, becoming who He created me to be!—I don’t do anything. I sink into despair and worthlessness. I waste my time and energy on meaningless, shallow tasks.
How does doubt affect your mind, body, and soul? What do your doubtful thoughts and feelings lead to? Knowing how doubt affects your daily life will motivate you to deal with it.
Expect regular doses of doubt
Prepare yourself. You will be attacked by daily—if not hourly—barrages of doubts that fill your mind and overwhelm your emotions. You’ll feel insecure and alone. Your doubtful thoughts will threaten to overcome your beliefs. Doubt will lead to anxiety, fear, and helplessness.
Expect doubts to fill your mind regularly. Don’t be surprised by sudden attacks of self-doubt. Don’t be surprised when you start to question your beliefs, faith, relationships, hopes and plans. The more prepared you are for sudden onslaughts of doubt and fear, the better you’ll cope.
Learn how to deal with doubts that fill your mind
When I’m attacked by doubtful thoughts about my writing, I circle around the article or chapter. Literally! I put my journal on the floor of my loft office and I walk around it. I pace. My articles and chapters are like living breathing lions that must be tamed. My doubts hold me back, my insecurities are chains that I need to break free from. Circling my work is a ritual that helps me deal with the doubts in my mind.
But my most powerful Blossom Tip for overcoming the doubts that fill my mind is Ruach. The Holy Spirit, given to me because I believe in Jesus. I open my spirit to Him and accept the power, strength, wisdom and guidance that freely flows. And the joy, love, hope and peace! Amazing grace that washes away all doubts and fears. His power washes away the doubtful thoughts and fearful emotions. His joy fills my spirit so there’s room for nothing but boldness, courage and creativity.
How have you dealt with doubts in the past?
Did it work for you? Remember that you can’t do it alone. You need external support when doubt fills your mind and soul. Connecting with people is great, but God is better. Finding external resources is good, but Jesus is the only source of life that never dies. Talking to mentors and advisors is helpful, but Ruach (the Holy Spirit) is the only river of wisdom and guidance that never dries up.
Your thoughts on dealing with doubtful thoughts and emotions are welcome below! Writing is one of the best ways to discover what you really think and feel. Take time to stop and listen to God’s still small voice. He knows what you need. Will you accept Him?
May you find peace and healing. May wisdom and guidance be yours through the doubts and the fears…and may you experience a deeper relationship with God than you ever thought possible. And may you succeed beyond your wildest dreams!
With His love,
Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.