How Doubt Serves You | The BridgeMaker

How Doubt Serves You

By on Sep 17, 2009


Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom. – George Iles

Image courtesy of Daniel Y. Go.

Article written by BridgeMaker contributor Lorraine Cohen. Please visit her at Powerfull Living.

In the last 24 hours I have had two conversations about doubt.

One was with a client about an argument she was having with her husband. She was expressing her point of view on something she felt was important and her husband was not of the same belief. His comments caused her to question herself.

This morning a close colleague called to discuss an email going around that was raising fear and concern about a modality he teaches to students. He wanted my perspective and wondered how to address the doubts that were being felt by others who were reacting to the message in the email.

Why does feeling doubt cause fear and discomfort?

Doubt is created by our mind – our ego. Imagination kicks in, our negative emotions flare and we are off and running with worse case scenarios, what ifs… Doubt causes us to feel off-kilter and not on firm ground.

Fears of the unknown create uncertainty and worry. This is created by our mind and is all illusion. While there can be some truth mixed in to the story we create in our mind, doubt can really serve us when we are open to appreciate the gift it brings.

When your inner wisdom, guidance, and intuition bump up against your mind’s doubt and fear, what happens?

Have you ever so felt strongly about saying yes to something that felt so right? You might not have known why it felt right or been able to give great reasons. You just knew, period. AND you did it!

In December I received an email from a client who was struggling with a decision to attend a conference in January. She said, “I feel so strongly I’m supposed to be there. I can’t stop thinking about it! I’m all ready to register and then I start thinking about how much money it is, leaving my children for a week…. I feel so conflicted. What should I do?”

My response was to encourage her to tune into her heart and spirit.

She did. Her doubts brought her back to her SELF and she said YES. The conference was life-altering for her and her life is blossoming is wonderful ways.

The Gift of Doubt

Doubt invites you to look inside of yourself by asking questions about who you are; your beliefs, choices, and actions – all areas of your life. Through the process of self-reflection we become more of who we are and less of who we are not. In this way, we become more authentic and live in a greater expression of our true selves.

Doubt serves you to gain clarity about what is right and true for you. Whether your doubt is ignited by your own mind or others, the opportunity to serve you in your healing and growth is a blessing.

When feeling doubt about a situation ask yourself:

  1. What is the truth, as you understand it, about this situation?
  2. What do you know to be true with certainty?
  3. What does your intuition and gut say? Be sure to use your spiritual practices to hear your inner wisdom’s guidance.
  4. What do you fear might happen and what is the likelihood or probability that your fears will manifest as you imagine?
  5. If you waver of what you know to be true, what will you lose? Your power, self-trust, self-confidence, responsibility? We give our power and energy to people and things out of fear and issues of unworthiness. “What if they are right and I am wrong?
  6. If you stand strong on what you know and believe in, what will you gain? Self-trust, confidence, faith, connection with spirit, direction, prosperity?
  7. What wisdom is your doubt (or fears) calling your to recognize, embrace and own?
  8. How can you use this wisdom the next time you experience doubt?

Remember to breathe and bring your attention back to the present. Bless the doubt from wherever it comes to serve you in remembering who you are!

Founder of Powerfull-Living, Rev. Dr. Lorraine Cohen is a spiritual advisor, life coach, published writer, and inspirational speaker who is recognized as a cutting-edge expert in her field. Please consider her groundbreaking eBook How Do I Choose: A powerful five-step blueprint for making rock-solid decisions.

Lorraine Cohen is the CEO and founder of Powerfull Living. Join Lorraine on May 15 and 17 for two FREE calls: Awakening to Love: Revealing Your Courageous Heart in an Insane World. You are invited to register here.

  • Great post Lorraine! The doubt in my life can sometimes increase my faith once I recognize that I am allowing the doubt to take over. Great list of questions!

  • Thanks so much for posting my article Alex

    I used to feel the same way about doubt – viewing my reaction and fears as something negative. In uncertainty, so much clarity can emerge and I have come to appreciate that every person and experience serves me to either grow or withdraw from life. So, my invitation is “Bring it on!” LOL


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  • Nicely said! I do this and I didn’t even realize it. Whenever I feel doubt about something I use it to ask myself if this is what I really want to be doing. Sometimes the answer is no and I figure out a way to stop but usually I confirm that yes, I’m on the right path and find myself re-energized.

  • Hello. I always thought doubt was a bad thing, but after reading your post, it seems like doubt can actually make you more aware of yourself. I guess if you can see a positive even in negativity of emotions, it can help us heal and become stronger individuals. Thanks for this Lorraine.