Dealing With Doubt In Your Circle

Before you react to doubt, figure out what kind it is.

Dealing with doubt from someone close to you can blow your motivation and make you doubt yourself. It can make you angry and cause resentment. Doubt can lead you through a range of negative emotions or actions. It can even cause you to change your plans.

Before you let that happen, step back and analyze the situation.

Doubt is usually in one of two categories–it’s coming from a good place or it’s not. Step one is determining which is true in your case.

Dealing With Doubt from Judgment

A lot of people doubt others because they believe they have the right to judge them.

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 may 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 judgment comes to you, 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 open to knowing whether someone is doubting you or doubting an idea, all it takes is a little conversation. The truth is usually easy to find.

If the person doubts you, depending on who it is, your feeling may be hurt a little or 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. When it’s coming from someone who think you just don’t measure up, it’s toxic runoff.

That leaves you two choices. You can lay around dealing with doubt that won’t benefit you or you can use your time and energy to get things done.

Related: You Lack Confidence? Here’s why you don’t need it.

Dealing With 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 planned.

Parents and spouses have this type of doubt when their children or partners want to be entrepreneurs or pursue creative careers.

And that concern is fair, especially when what you do has implications for others.

But that doesn’t mean you need to abandon your plan.

When someone’s doubt is driven by concern, it can be very constructive.  Both sides can come out in a better place.

Instead of letting your emotions take over, use the situation to see if you can improve your plan.

A lot of times we tell ourselves that we know what we’re doing and we have it all figured out. But in reality, there are blind spots and areas where we can tighten up and do better.

Listening to the reasons behind doubt that comes from a good place 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. And, they do end up having financial problems.

In this case, a loved one’s doubt could save you. Perhaps you’ll realize the best strategy is to pay off debt and save up money before you quit your job.

Or perhaps you were going to buy equipment for clients you don’t have yet. Instead, you keep the money as a financial cushion.

Doubt from concern can be a benefit. Appreciate it and use it wisely.