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The Shout of Self-Doubt…

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A trip to the dentist.

“Mr. Dentist, something is wrong with my right jaw. It’s painful.”

“I don’t see anything on the x-ray – just a little inflammation. Maybe your gums are sore. Try this antiseptic rinse. You will be all better in 3 days.”

Introduction….Self Doubt.

You are just being whiny. Toughen up. Sore gums? You paid someone to tell you that?

The next day. Pain worse.

You really need to toughen up. Stop whining. It’s no big deal.

The next day. Pain a lot worse. You think, something really isn’t right. Maybe you should call back the dentist.

Here we go again. This is only the second day. You are really being whiny. Remember, there was nothing on the xray.

Third day. Pain so bad you want to cry. In fact you do. You decide you are calling the dentist.

“Mr. Dentist, something is really wrong with my right jaw. The rinse isn’t working.”

I bet he is tired of you…complaining again. Remember he said just sore gums.

“I will give you antibiotics. You will be fine. Come see me next week”

You see, I told you, nothing is wrong. It’s all in your head. He’s probably writing problem patient on your chart right now! Toughen up.

You take the antibiotics. Everything seems like a painful blur. Days go by. You have no appetite.

You don’t need a dentist….something is wrong with your mind! Now you are feeling sorry for yourself. Toughen up.

Back to the dentist. Again. This time your head down, embarrassed.

Remember you are problem patient. Here we go again Mr. Dentist is probably saying.

“Mr. Dentist, something is really wrong.”

 “I just don’t see what could be giving you such pain. But you say you are feeling sick.”

Ha Ha problem patient – he doesn’t believe you. When are you going give up this sore jaw and feeling sick act?

“I will send you to another type of dentist to take a look”

You get a referral. Three more days for an appointment. Then you are just a work in.

Now you are being passed off to someone else. Mr. Dentist is just too nice to say you are crazy. Toughen up.

One day goes by, two and then three. You feel sick, tired, in pain. Mentally and physically exhausted.

The new Mr. Dentist.

“Mr. Dentist, I think maybe (in a soft voice) somenting is wrong here in my right jaw. But maybe not. Maybe you can look at it for me. I’m sorry I”m taking up your time and had to be worked in your schedule. It’s probably nothing.”

You finally believe me. Nothing is really wrong except for your overactive imagination and being whiny.

New Mr. Dentist looks. Sighs. Takes an xray.

Haven’t you had enough? He’s writing problem patient on your chart here too. Toughen up.

New Mr. Dentist comes back in the room. Sits down on his stool.

Here we go. Mr. Dentist is going to tell you nothing is wrong. And then are you gonna stop this charade?

“Ma’m, you are quite ill. You have a serious infection, We will need to treat this right away, First….”

You don’t hear the rest of the words. You think, I knew I was right. I knew something was wrong.

What’s wrong with you? You knew something was wrong…why did you not believe yourself? When will you start believing yourself? Look at all the time you wasted!

The shout of Self-doubt.

We all have it. The problem is not that we have self-doubt.

It’s that we believe it!

Sometimes self-doubt can actually be beneficial – when it leads a person to healthy introspection. But self-doubt can also be a challenge that can impact behavior in a negative way. Self-doubt can sabotage. Self-doubt can be connected with anxiety, depression, lack of self confidence, and difficulty in decision making. Oftentimes self-doubt can be associated with past self criticism or a hurt that has become a sensitivity.

What helps to overcome self doubt? Focus on the present instead of failures from the past. When self doubt thoughts begin, change your focus. Visualize a stop sign first to quiet the shout; then visualize positive thoughts and affirmations. If self doubt becomes crippling in one’s daily life, counseling can be helpful. Counseling can help the person to feel understood and acquire greater confidence in who they are as a person. A counselor can also assist the person to discern and address self doubt beliefs.

The shout of self-doubt? Deafen its sabotage with the truth of the gift of who you are!

“Believe in yourself, your abilities and your own potential. Never let self-doubt hold you captive. You are worthy of all that you dream of and hope for.”
― Roy Bennett

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About

I am a therapist at Family Counseling Services, a division of Lifelines Counseling Services in Mobile, Alabama.

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