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  • Writer's pictureAkshara Santoshkumar


Along with love, one of the most powerful forces in the world is doubt. Doubt is so powerful it makes you take the long way around doing things instead of just doing them just because you aren’t confident in your abilities. Doubt creates an immense amount of anxiety and plants false perceptions about the nature of your abilities and other people’s opinion of you. It’s the reason that you don’t raise your hand that one time in class, or you don’t get up and go sing karaoke, or go up to that new person you had never seen before because you thought that they would think that you are weird.

Doubt is that quiet, creeping fear that crawls up your back and through your spine settling into a permanent home in the back of your brain. It questions your abilities every time you want to take the leap and try something new.

It manifests in everyone regardless of what stage of life you are in but it is especially present in teenagers. As kids get older their priorities start to shift from only revolving around their families to shifting more towards their friends and academics and other pursuits. Social circles start to change, kids have to deal with societal, academic, and familial pressures all while making it seem like they have their life together. When, in reality, a different story is being told. Everyone is trying to prove to the world that they are confident of their abilities so it’s only natural that doubt is present. People try and fit the mold that society has put for them because they doubt themselves and their abilities.

I’ve constantly had to deal with the overwhelming feeling of doubt that I was never good enough academically, athletically, and socially because of societal pressures. I would constantly play it safe and never speak my mind because I wasn’t sure or because I was afraid to make a mistake. It wasn’t until I realized that making mistakes was a part of life that my doubt in my abilities started to somewhat fade. It’s normal to doubt your abilities but the key was to not let it control you and dictate your actions. Mistakes make you human and unless you take chances you would never have the opportunity to experience life to the fullest and learn from your experiences. All of this stems from doubting yourself. If you constantly doubt yourself and let that doubt consume you, you would never take chances and take risks, taking away potential learning experiences and opportunities for growth.

Doubt keeps you on your toes and helps you stay humble. However, the key to dealing with doubt is first acknowledging that it’s there and is normal. If you don’t acknowledge it is there you will never see the big picture to life and will constantly be playing it safe. Once you acknowledge your fears and recognize that it’s only you against your brain it makes it easy to achieve your goals.

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