When someone close to you doubts you, it can be a damper on your motivation or make you doubt yourself. It can make you angry and cause resentment. Doubt can lead to a range of negative emotions or actions. But before you let that happen, step back and analyze the situation.
Doubt is usually in one of two categories. It can come from a good place or it can come from somewhere else.
Before you decide what to do about it, determine what’s behind it.
Doubt from Judgment
A lot of people’s doubt is linked to a self-proclaimed right to judge.
Whether you realize it not, there are people around you who view you a certain way. They think they know what you’re capable of and what your limitations are. They think they know how far you’re going and what’s out of your league.
No matter what you say about yourself, they aren’t going to believe it if the details don’t fit how they’ve defined you.
These people believe they are better at judging your life than you are at living it.
This many sound like something you would expect from someone you kinda know, like a neighbor or a friend-of-a-friend. If that’s as close as being judged comes to your doorstep, you’re extremely lucky.
Most of us have one, if not multiple people, in our circle that doubt us because they judge us. And by “in our circle,” I’m talking friend, mother, brother or lover.
Yes, I’m saying that although your mother gave birth to you and loves you, she may not see much potential in you. And yes, you can sleep with someone every night and their true opinion of you and your potential may not be very high.
If you’re really open to knowing the truth, you can usually determine fairly quickly whether people are doubting you or doubting the idea.
If it’s you, depending on who it is, it may hurt a little or it may hurt a lot.
But, the good news is there’s lemonade to be made from those lemons.
See, doubt is like criticism. It can be constructive or it can be toxic runoff. And when it’s coming from people who think you just don’t measure up, it’s toxic runoff.
Knowing that, you can choose to wade through someone else’s mess or you can use your time and energy more wisely.
Doubt from Concern
Sometimes doubt stems from fear, and that fear comes from genuine concern about what will happen if things don’t go as you plan.
Parents and spouses have this type of doubt when their children or partners want to pursue entrepreneurial or creative careers.
When someone’s doubt is driven by concern, it can be very constructive and both sides can come out in a better place. Instead of letting your emotions get the best of you, use the situation to see if you can create a better situation.
A lot of times we tell ourselves we know what we’re doing and we have it all figured out. But in reality, there are blind spots and areas where our plans can be improved.
If you’re open to listening to the reason behind your loved one’s doubts, it can help you avoid pitfalls and prepare in ways you haven’t thought of.
For example, your husband’s doubts about you freelancing or blogging full-time may really be that he’s worried about falling behind on the bills if you don’t make enough money.
And, in many cases, people are overly optimistic and under-prepared when they jump into solo ventures. As a result, they do end up having financial problems.
But in this case, a loved one’s doubt could save you from that. It could motivate you to develop a better strategy– one where you pay down debt and save up some money before you sever a money line.
Doubt from concern can be a benefit. Appreciate it and use it wisely.