Banish Doubt: mini-mission

Banish Doubt

There is more to eliminate than just physical clutter when it comes to living with less and living a happy, meaningful life.

Think about the negative thoughts that run through your brain on a daily basis. Now think about the thoughts that come up when you are focused on yourself and your life and your work. When it comes to self talk, there is no shortage of what ifs, questions and harsh words.

The root of those what ifs is doubt and doubt is at the top of the list in terms of mental clutter. This mini-mission will help.

Getting rid of doubt may start to make letting go of your hard to release clutter seem like a piece of cake. It won’t be easy, but it is possible to banish doubt in your life and in your brain.

Banish doubt by:

Asking Questions. When the doubt pops up, instead of going down the doom and gloom rabbit hole, ask yourself what the doubt is about. Are you thinking about past failures or behaviors? Does the lack of confidence from friends and family have you down? Why don’t you think you are good enough? Big important questions. Ask them.

Write it out. When my brain starts spinning with all the reasons I shouldn’t do or try something, I get my thoughts on paper. Ink on paper is more rational than a busy brain. Read your writing out loud and see if your doubt is reasonable or completely exaggerated.

Do it anyway. Just like fear, the level of doubt is rarely proportionate to reality.  It’s never as hopeless or as ugly as you think. Get started.

Help someone. Thinking about someone else is the quickest way to stop dwelling on how unworthy you are and how impossible everything is.

Say thank you. When the doubt comes from someone besides you, simply say, “thank you for caring”. If there is helpful advice in the doubtful warning, use it and let the rest go. People will think you are crazy and weird. They will doubt your intentions and ideas. Keep going. You are wonderful and the world deserves your crazy ideas.

Doubt is the easiest way to dismiss a great idea. It will silence dreams and force complacency. It may not be cluttering up your closets, but doubt is serious clutter. It holds you back from your real potential, and from fully participating in the life you’ve been dreaming about.

If you can’t banish doubt, replace it with …

  • hope
  • action
  • connection
  • laughter

When you make that subtle shift, doubt fades. Doubt simply can’t live in hope and action.

So what have you been doubting? What dreams have you silenced? Go on. You got this!


  1. says

    Visualizing yourself being successful can be very useful as well. If you take the time to actuall “see” it in your mind, you can tame the fear.

    Dan @ ZenPresence

  2. says

    As a classical guitarist who has given concerts, I know doubt well and it is clutter of the worst kind. Doubt in the sense that we are not good enough is indeed insidious, but doubt where beliefs and dogma are concerned is critical.

  3. says

    Oh, thank you for posting this! I really needed to read an encouraging post today. I often get stuck thinking about past failures/mistakes. It’s so easy to forget how much I’ve learned from them! I find that action is my go-to for turning my mood around. Even if I can make tiny steps toward accomplishing a goal, I always feel better.

  4. says

    I’ve found that the only way for me to conquer doubt is to do it anyway! Sometimes it takes forever for me to get the courage to, but I suspect that it gets easier the more times you do it.

    P.S. I use the term “mental clutter” as well.

  5. says

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been experiencing a lot of self-doubt about my blogging endeavor. It really sucks up a lot of energy. I’m going to put some of your ideas into practice and see if I can get it under control.

  6. says

    Piggybacking on CJ’s comment, being a musician leaves little room for doubt. Of course it creeps in, but if you are doubting yourself before a performance it is guaranteed not to go well! Action is the best replacement for sure!

  7. says

    Courtney, I love your point that “the level of doubt is rarely proportionate to reality.” It has been true in my life. Just think about how many times you look at someone else and think “wow, so-and-so is so amazing at X, but they never do anything with it.” It’s so much easier to see that in someone else!

    For me, it’s about deciding to do it anyway and then breaking it into small enough parts that you can get started on something! Just getting started can help banish doubt as you point out.

    Love your site and content~

  8. says

    This is such a helpful post! I wrestle with doubt a lot, and I have found that writing about it in my journal is the best way to find the root and start moving in a positive direction. Thanks for the reminder to replace doubt with hope, action, connection, and laughter. Good stuff!