Self-doubt is an unavoidable aspect of human nature that everyone must face. The moment before taking a risk, a little inner voice created by inerasable past experiences, insecurities and fears of failure speaks out. Scenarios of the situation going awry and possibilities of embarrassment begin to question success and amplify hesitancy. By letting the scared voice inside decide one’s choices, an individual allows self-doubt to define one’s power.
“Playing badminton, I have realized how self doubt is embedded in the decisions I make. In the middle of a game, there is a split second where I have to decide whether to go for the kill or play it safe and let it drop. Most often than not, I find myself allowing my doubt to make the decision and play it safe,” Senior Clifford Zhang said.
Had Bill Gates never made the risky decision to drop out of college, today’s advancement in technology would be drastically different. Had Bill Gates doubted himself and his dream, he never would have changed the lives of millions. Self-doubt is a hurdle that must be mentally and emotionally overcome to finally achieve growth. Only by breaking this barrier and taking risks will an individual be able to progress. Whether it be trying out for a sport or joining a new club, students have to put themselves in positions of vulnerability to take on opportunities.
“Being in such a pivotal moment in my life, choosing where to apply to college, I feel like my self-doubt has been constantly affecting my decisions. Not wanting to apply to certain schools because of my doubts has really shed light on how my insecurities limit my future,” Senior Connie Song said.
However, there is a fine line between caution and self-doubt that becomes hard to distinguish. When is it okay to refrain from taking a chance? When is it wise to do so? There comes a point where people must question whether they are taking action solely out of their fear of failing or if they are acting logically. By understanding the reason behind hesitation and reluctance, an individual can begin to understand oneself better.
“I really begin to recognize the difference between self-doubt and caution when I compete. In the midst of my routines, sometimes I will complete a trick a different way than designed because I lack confidence in the skill. Other times, it is because I know it is wiser to do so, not because I am afraid. When I consider my reasons for changing the trick, I realize what skills I need to strengthen in my routines,” Junior Courtney Suh said.
Growing up constantly struggling with self-doubt can stem from a deeper issue. Individuals who have always been hindered by self-doubt and who find that their personalities have been molded by a childhood plagued with insecurities can develop a defensive or jealous nature.